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Frequently Asked Questions

General information
Admissions information
Prerequisite coursework
Admission changes during COVID-19
Fall 2020

General information

Is the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) accredited?

Yes, since 1938, by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

What is the cost of attendance for 2019-2020?

Resident tuition: $21,990 | Non-resident tuition: $38,644 | Mandatory fees: $766

How do I apply for Washington residency?

The WSU Office of the Registrar Residency General Information page provides the best information about obtaining Washington residency. Note that moving to Washington solely for educational purposes is not sufficient to establish residency. However, because of licensing and certification requirements and relocation, many of our out-of-state students may qualify for residency after the first year.

Does the CPPS participate in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)?

Yes, with WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). Alaska, Nevada and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands provide support for their residents to attend WICHE schools for Pharmacy.

Admissions information

What is the difference between the ‘early decision’ and ‘regular admission’ processes?

The early decision application period begins in June and closes the beginning of September. Completed applications are reviewed by the admissions committee and interviews are offered to qualified students by early October. Early decision applicants are told of admission decisions in mid-October. Early decision offers are binding and offered students must accept the offer of admission.

The regular admission decision application period begins in the early summer and generally closes in December or January. Deadlines are posted on our Admissions Information page.

Completed applications are reviewed on an on-going basis, and interviews are offered to qualified students.

What is the Save-a-Seat program?

The Save-a-Seat program is for current high school seniors or college students who are working to complete their Pre-Pharmacy requirements and plan to apply to the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program after completion of their prerequisite coursework. Read more on our Save-a-Seat page.

How many students are accepted every year?

We accept around 135 students for our Spokane campus, and around 35 students for our Yakima campus every fall. Approximately 70% of students are Washington Residents, and 30% are current WSU students.

How can I increase my chances of being accepted?

Early submission of a complete application is strongly recommended and could increase a qualified applicant’s chance of receiving an interview and possible offer.

We evaluate applications through a holistic admission process. This means that we evaluate applicants on more than just GPA by considering academic record, evaluations, personal and professional goal statements, and life experiences.

Am I required to have pharmacy experience?

The CPPS does not require students to have pharmacy experience prior to applying for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. We do recommend that each applicant has a strong understanding of what a career as a pharmacist entails and can articulate why they want to become a pharmacist.

How is GPA calculated and what is the minimum requirement?

GPA is calculated through PharmCAS and includes all previous coursework, including repeated courses. A minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA, as verified by PharmCAS, is preferred for admission.

Do I need to send my transcripts to the CPPS?

You need to send an official copy of all transcripts to PharmCAS when you apply. You will need to send final official transcripts to the CPPS only if you are accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

We require one professional letter and one academic letter. Academic sources include professors or instructors who have directly interacted with the student in a classroom setting or official, university or college-affiliated academic advisors. Professional sources include employers or volunteer organization personnel with whom the applicant has directly worked. Recommendations are NOT ACCEPTED from family members, friends, politicians, teaching assistants, fraternity or sorority advisors, personal health care providers or high school faculty/advisors.

Where can I find the supplemental application essay questions?

The Professional Goal Statements can be found here

May I apply to the program before completing my associate or bachelor’s degree?

Yes. Applicants do not need a degree to be accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

May I transfer from another Doctor of Pharmacy program?

A student who is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Pharmacy program at another campus in good academic standing is considered a “transfer student.” Students requesting to transfer from their original school/college of pharmacy into the program at the WSU CPPS must follow the instructions detailed here.

Does the CPPS have an alternate list for admissions?

Yes. After the interview process, an applicant may be placed on the alternate list. Applicants can opt-in and remain on the alternate list for future consideration should a space open up. If a space should open up, the college may offer admission to the highest-ranking applicant on the alternate list.
Ranking is based on factors such as cumulative GPA, cumulative science GPA, and interview scores. The alternate list is kept active until after the first day of classes in August at which time all alternates not selected for admission will be sent notification via email.

How do I remove my name from the CPPS alternate list?

If you no longer want to be considered for admission please email us at We appreciate your updates.

Does the CPPS require a background check?

Yes. A national background check will be initiated for all students offered admission. The check is done through Certiphi Screening Services, which contracts with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and is facilitated through PharmCAS immediately once an offer of admission is made.

Prerequisite coursework

How can I find out if the courses I have taken meet the prerequisites?

We will accept classes from all regionally accredited institutions. We suggest that you meet with an academic advisor from your home institution and provide them with the list of prerequisites so they can assist you with determining the correct equivalencies. See our pharmacy pre-requisites page for more information. If you have taken a course which may meet one of these requirements but is not an obvious match, we can review the course for acceptance. Please send an email request which must include: course description from the college’s website, catalog, or class syllabus, name of the institution from which the course is being taught, the number of credits, and what prerequisite you would like the course to satisfy. Please email this request to

When do I need to complete my pre-pharmacy courses?

You must complete all pre-pharmacy courses before entering the Doctor of Pharmacy program. All science-based prerequisites must be completed by the end of spring term and all non-science-based prerequisites must be completed by the end of summer, prior to our orientation in mid-August.

Do you accept advanced placement (AP) credit for prerequisite courses?

AP test scores which appear as credit received on a regionally accredited college transcript will be accepted. If scores are not listed on an official transcript then we will request the official AP score report be sent to us directly.

Do you accept Pass/Fail classes for prerequisites?


However, there is an exception in place for COVID-19 related changes. For more information, please see: My institution changed the grading scheme for one or more of my prerequisite courses to Pass/Fail, will you accept this?

Can one course count for more than one prerequisite?

No. The only exception to this rule is for approved combined anatomy and physiology courses.

May I use the same course prefix for two different categories?

Yes, where appropriate.

Will you accept “science courses for non- science majors” to meet prerequisites?

No. You must complete the science courses designed for science majors with labs.

Are courses taken online acceptable?

We will consider lower division, non-science coursework taken online from a regionally accredited university.

However, there is an exception in place for COVID-19 related changes. For more information, please see: My institution changed course instruction from in person delivery to online, will you still accept my courses?

Do my prerequisite courses expire after a certain amount of time?

Upper-division science coursework should be no more than seven years old at the time of application. However, each situation is reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact our student services office at (509) 368-6605 for more information.

My college does not offer “general biology,” but they offer “botany” and “zoology,” is this acceptable?

We want our applicants to complete the sequence of general biology classes designed for science/biology/pre-health majors at their particular school, with labs, and to meet our requirement for credit hours. General biology courses are sometimes called “botany” and “zoology”, or by other names, so consult with the registration or advising office at your school to make sure you enroll in the right courses.

What if I have taken classes on the quarter system and after conversion I am short?

We round up the credit hours from the quarter to semester conversion.

Will you accept the coursework I completed at a university in another country?

Students with international transcripts must have their transcripts evaluated on a course-by-course basis by a foreign transcript service. The foreign transcript evaluation reports are then submitted to PharmCAS, and PharmCAS will provide us with this information. PharmCAS requires WES evaluations. Upper division sciences will not be accepted from foreign institutions and must be completed within the United States. Please visit the PharmCAS – International Transcripts page for more information.

Are international students eligible for admission?

At this time we do not accept international students into our Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Admission changes during COVID-19

My institution changed the grading scheme for one or more of my prerequisite courses to Pass/Fail, will you accept this?

The CPPS admission policy states all prerequisite coursework must be letter graded and a grade of C- (1.7) or higher must be earned. If the applicant’s institution initiated the change, CPPS will make an exception to this policy and will accept Pass (P) or Satisfactory (S) grades. CPPS will not accept Pass/Fail courses if the applicant initiated the grading change.

My institution changed one or more of my prerequisite courses from credit bearing to no credit, will you accept this?

No, the CPPS admission policy requires applicants to earn credit for the prerequisite courses.

My institution changed course instruction from in person delivery to online, will you still accept my courses?

CPPS will accept upper-division science courses and non-science courses that were modified to an online delivery from regionally accredited institutions.

How should I send updated transcripts to WSU CPPS?

Please send updated transcripts directly to PharmCAS during the spring academic update period until further notice. The spring academic update is currently open and will remain open until July 10, 2020.

See additional COVID-19 updates from PharmCas

Fall 2020

Should I secure housing?

As everyone’s circumstances are different, we are not in a position to recommend whether or not you should secure housing. At this point, there are a lot of variables to consider and we are following guidance from our governor, public health officials and our own in-house infectious disease experts. We will communicate as much information as possible so that you can make the best decision for your personal circumstances. As you know, guidance from our public health officials continue to be very fluid, and the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our primary concern, so we appreciate your flexibility and patience on this matter. Please refer to the question “Will there be class this fall semester?” for more details on instruction options the college is considering for the fall.

Will there be class this fall semester?

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will definitely hold classes this fall semester, but it will likely be modified to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

Here are some of the options that are being considered:

Hybrid: Some lessons will be delivered remotely, while others that require in-person evaluation, such as labs and simulations, may be conducted on campus and in small groups to allow for enough social distancing. This is the most likely option, unless public health officials recommend otherwise.

Rearranged Curriculum: To minimize the number of students on campus, the college may re-arrange courses so that ones that are easily taught remotely are front loaded in the fall semester and in-person courses, such as labs and simulations, are held later on in the academic year.

Staggered In-person: This option would bring students on campus in small groups for 1-2 weeks at a time to allow for in-person instruction and evaluation, while the remainder of instruction would be delivered remotely.

At the moment, these are the main options we are considering. Should the public health situation change, we will need to be flexible in how we deliver instruction. Our primary concern is to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Admission changes during COVID-19