Graduation & Licensure
Congratulations! You’ve reached the finish line of your Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Now what?
Students starting their final year in the PharmD program should begin setting time aside to prepare to apply for licensure and register for the necessary exams. Set calendar reminders and/or create a checklist to make sure you do not miss any steps. This page has important information, helpful links, and tips for you to keep in mind throughout this process to help you navigate these steps!
Please note that information regarding processes for outside entities (NABP, Washington Department of Health/Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission, etc.) may change at any time and we will do our best to keep this information up to date.
Timeline for May Graduates
- May/Jun of PY3 – Feb of PY4: Apply to graduate with WSU after the conclusion of your PY3 year
- Jan – Apr: Register with the National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and law exams
- Feb – May: Begin your application for a pharmacist license in appropriate states. Note: some states, such as Idaho, request that you wait until after your degree has conferred to submit your application.
- Early-May: Graduate
- Mid-May: Degrees officially confer
- Mid/late-May: Request an official transcript to be sent directly to any entities requiring it (only after your degree has conferred). For states that require applicants to wait to submit their application until their degree has conferred, submit your application!
- Jul- Aug: Take your licensure exams – dependent on NABP registration & ATT issuance, see “NAPLEX Eligibility and Authorization to Test (ATT)”
It is important to note that there are fees as you apply to graduate and work on becoming licensed. You can refer to the Student Costs & Budgeting webpage for cost information by year, specifically the Additional Costs for PY4 students and the personal budget section.
Apply to Graduate
All WSU students must apply to graduate with WSU, which can be done online and requires a fee. This fee pays for diploma covers, printing and mailing. You may submit this application after the completion of your PY3 year once your grades have posted for spring term. During spring semester of your PY3 year we recommend you check the following:
- Verify your primary name is accurate for your diploma. If you need to change your name, make sure you follow the name change process.
- Update your mailing address.
- Run an advisement report to ensure all electives and core courses have been satisfied other than those you will be taking during your PY4 year.
After you apply to graduate you will receive a graduation information verification task in myWSU that you need to take action on. You will receive reminders to apply to graduate by the Office of the Registrar and Student Services. Late fees are assessed after the initial deadline has passed. Apply early!
Graduation, Commencement and Conferral Date
There are several dates surrounding your graduation.
- WSU Health Sciences Commencement
- WSU CPPS Commencement
- WSU Pullman Commencement
- Degree conferral date
- Official graduation date
The distinction between these dates can be a bit confusing. Degree conferral is when the University verifies you have met degree requirements and actually processes your degree. Transcripts will not show as complete until conferral takes place, which occurs a few days after your official graduation date. The date you need to know for your official paperwork is the official graduation date, this will be the date listed on your transcript and degree. This is not the same date as the day you walk in a commencement ceremony. Do not list the commencement ceremony dates on your official paperwork. Your official graduation date is always on a Saturday and you can view the WSU graduation website to verify the official date.
Official Graduation & Conferral Dates for May Graduates
|CPPS Commencement||May 5, 2022||May 11, 2023||May 9, 2024|
(as listed on your degree)
|May 7, 2022||May 6, 2023||May 4, 2024|
(earliest your degree will process)
|May 11, 2022||May 10, 2023||May 8, 2024|
Information regarding commencement will be posted on the CPPS commencement webpage as it becomes available.
Degree Conferral & Transcripts
The University must confer, or process and verify, that you have satisfied your degree requirements. Typically, conferrals are completed the week after commencement celebrations. There is no way to expedite this process, even if your grades are inputted early or rotations are completed prior to block 8.
It is important that you do not order your official transcript until after your degree has conferred. If you order your transcript prior to conferral it will not show that you have earned your degree.
Only after your degree has officially conferred can CPPS fill college/degree verification paperwork to the state board you are applying for licensure in (most states require this).
Verifying Your Degree Has Conferred
You can use the steps in this PDF to verify the status of your degree to see if it has conferred.
There is a difference between a transcript and an official transcript. An official transcript is sent directly from WSU to the third-party indicated, which ensures to the third-party that it has not been tampered with. A transcript is no longer considered official if a student has the transcript mailed to themselves, then sends it on to an organization.
Most entities require an official transcript, which requires you to order it from the office of the registrar via an online ordering portal. Some groups may accept an unofficial transcript, but you will want to verify that.
When applying for licensure certain states may require an official transcript, in addition NABP requires your official transcript. Your transcript is an educational record and as such WSU cannot send a transcript on anyone’s behalf without the student requesting that through the official WSU Transcript Ordering process.
Again, only a student can request their official transcript be sent to an organization or entity. If you need a transcript to show your degree has been awarded you need to wait until after your degree has conferred. See “Verifying Your Degree has Conferred” above to learn how to confirm your degree has conferred or been posted.
When going through the transcript ordering process you can either 1) have it sent the traditional method (via the mail) or 2) PDF download (electronically provided) to the intended recipient. The electronic option is the fastest. Check with the states you are applying for licensure in to see if they accept transcripts electronically before selecting this option.
Information to provide your official transcript to the Washington Department of Health/Pharmacy Quality Assurance (Washington DOH/PQAC) and NABP are provided below. Wait until your degree has conferred!
The state of Washington require an official transcript as part of your licensure application. This can be sent to the Washington DOH/PQAC electronically or by mail:
- Go to the WSU Transcript Ordering Portal
- Select either the traditional or PDF download option
PDF option: On the “Recipients” tab (third screen when ordering) select “Washington State Department of Health — Transcripts” (Screen shot below).
Traditional (hardcopy) option: Enter the recipient manually and input the following address:
Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission Credentialing
P.O. Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877
- Complete your order
As of May 21, 2020, NABP also requires graduates to submit a transcript. Information on the NABP website states that schools can take care of providing transcripts for students, that is not the case. The only way your official transcript can be sent from WSU is for you to order it and indicate the third-party you want it sent to. Electronically provided transcripts are accepted by NABP.
- Go to the WSU Transcript Ordering Portal
- Select the PDF download option
- Once you get to the “Recipients” tab (third screen when ordering) select “Enter Recipient Manually”,
- On the next screen, list firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient
Optional: Under “Attachment Options for this Recipient” answer “Yes” to “are you providing an attachment?” Add a word document with your NABP e-profile number as the attachment. This is helpful to NABP, but not required.
- Complete your order
Transcript Order Status
CPPS faculty and staff do not have access to the transcript ordering system and cannot verify the status of your transcript order. Individuals can check the status of their own transcript orders through the WSU Transcript Ordering Portal.
Degree Verification Paperwork
Experiential Services verifies names, graduation date and IPPE/APPE hours completed for all new graduates to the Washington DOH/BOP. As some states require your IPPE/APPE hours to be verified by another state board, this ensures if you seek licensure in another state that the Washington DOH/BOP can verify your hours should you request them to.
Note: You must submit a request for the Washington BOP/DOH to verify your hours to another state board’s licensing group (if required), you can do this by sending your request to email@example.com indicating what information is needed on the verification and to what email address the verification should be sent to.
Once you know what state(s) you plan to apply for licensure in you can complete the survey below. Experiential Services will utilize the responses to complete any additional paperwork for other states you may be applying to, you can add the specific forms you need within the survey. Links to various boards of pharmacy are available here. This is especially important for graduates planning to apply in states other than WA, use the link below to request any college or degree verification paperwork required by indicating the state you are applying for licensure in.
Experiential Services processes all college/degree verification paperwork within 10 business days of degree conferral. Please see above for more information on degree conferral.
As of July 1, 2020, the Washington DOH no longer requires an additional 300 intern hours outside of the curriculum to be completed for new graduates. Under the new rules (WAC 246-945-162), students will not need to submit the 300 non-curricular related intern hours. Instead “an applicant who graduates after July 1, 2020, whose official transcripts confer or award a doctorate of pharmacy is deemed to have satisfied the pharmacy practice experience and education requirements for licensure without documentation of internship hours.”
WSU will verify to the Washington DOH/PQAC all IPPE and APPE hours that each student completes as part of our program, which is 1,720 hours (more if a student opts to do a third APPE elective). Make sure you read what is required for the state you plan to apply for licensure within, if it is a state other than Washington it is your responsibility to confirm how many hours they require and how those hours are to be verified. States that require another board, and not WSU, to verify intern APPE/IPPE hours applicants will need to submit a request to Washington DOH/PQAC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org indicating what information is needed on the verification and to what email address the verification should be sent to.
NAPLEX and Law Exams
National Association Boards of Pharmacy: Registering
Regardless of what state you plan to pursue licensure in you must register with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) (fee required). You will indicate in your registration all states which you plan to apply for primary licensure within. There is a comprehensive NABP Registration Bulletin that contains a great deal of information about the registration and exam process.
Avoid common registration mistakes:
- Make sure the name you register matches your identification (driver’s license) including middle initials.
- Make sure you input the official graduation date (see chart above), not the CPPS commencement date. Listing the wrong date has been a source of delay in the past. If you submit the wrong date please notify Anjie Bertramson, Director of Experiential Services, and send your NABP e-profile number. CPPS can request NABP correct this mistake on your behalf with that information.
Registering with NABP is the first step in being able to secure your examination date/time. When you register with NABP you will indicate the state(s) you plan to apply for your primary license in. All states require new graduates to take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), beyond that many states (49) also require the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination® (MPJE).
NABP does require that students provide their official transcript as part of the process as of May 21, 2020. Also, as required by NABP, WSU will also send a list of all graduates to them for verification.
Survey of Pharmacy Law Resource
As a WSU student you have access to the annual NAPB Survey of Pharmacy Law PDF Resource by ~April 1 and will have access to this secured resource until the August following your graduation. When this is ready your cohort will receive instructions on how to access it.
WSU Facilitated NAPLEX & MPJE Review
Annually CPPS arranges a NAPLEX preparation program through RxPrep (fee required) that includes the RxPrep NAPLEX review book, access to online question bank, video lectures, practice exams, and a three-day review workshop that takes place live on the Spokane campus the week of commencement with an RxPrep faculty instructor. Following those three days is a one-day MPJE review.
Note: During COVID pandemic in spring of 2020, the three-day workshop was provided virtually instead.
The MPJE review is offered by WSU Faculty and is provided at no additional cost to students. Participation in the WSU-RxPrep Program provides students access to purchase the MPJE of CPJE Review book at a significantly discounted price.
Information about these opportunities will be provided by Sarah Kohler, email@example.com, when available. In addition, there is a Pre‐NAPLEX exam ($65 cost) available on the NABP web‐site to give you a sense for what to expect when you sit for the actual NAPLEX exam.
NAPLEX Eligibility and Authorization to Test (ATT)
Either the state you are applying for licensure in will determine if you are eligible to sit for the NAPLEX (this is the case in Washington) or for select states the NABP determines eligibility. There are 8 states that have the NABP certify eligibility to take the NAPLEX/MPJE examinations, requiring an additional fee to NABP, these include: Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, and/or Rhode Island. Information regarding the exam process can be found in the NABP registration bulletin.
The NABP website has a lot of great information about the process for authorization to test, which does vary by state.
If you indicate in your NABP registration that you plan to apply for primary licensure in more than one state, you will receive an ATT for each state. If you plan to apply for primary licensure in only one state and transfer your score, then you would only receive one ATT for the primary state.
In Washington, once required documents are processed by PQAC and you have successfully registered and paid the exam fees with NABP, PQAC will forward your name to the NABP confirming your eligibility to sit for the exam. NABP will then send you your ATT which will be your “ticket” to take the exams; this will take up to another 2‐3 weeks.
NAPLEX and Law Exam Scores
You must pass both the NAPLEX and MPJE with a minimum score of 75. Your test scores will be automatically forwarded to the states you indicated you are applying for licensure in by NABP. Not all states require a law exam, i.e. Idaho, however Washington does require a law exam, referred to as the MPJE. Check the state you are applying within to verify if a law exam is required or not.
Once you have taken the necessary licensure exams you can contact the primary state you are applying for licensure in to ensure the scores are on file and to learn the results.
Applying for State Licensure
Before you begin applying to any state make sure you have already registered with NABP to sit for your exams! All states require new graduates pass the NAPLEX, and some states have a separate law exam (including Washington).
Tip: If mailing in your licensure documents always make a copy for your records first!
Applying in Washington via Examination
When applying for licensure in Washington you will apply through the Washington State Department of Health Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC).
All the steps in the process are outlined in the Washington DOH License Application Packet. Please pay special attention to the “Requirements Checklist for New Graduates” page, and be sure to check in frequently on the DOH website in the event last-minute changes are made to the process.
State pharmacist application – complete the “Pharmacist by Exam for New Graduates” and submit along with a non‐refundable application fee. AIDS Education – as part of the curricular requirements of CPPS, all new Graduates automatically meet the 7-credit requirement.
It will take approximately three weeks for the Washington DOH to process your application, so we recommend you send as many of the required documents together in a single packet if mailing application materials.
New graduates must order an official transcript, after your degree has been conferred, to be sent to PQAC. A license will NOT be issued until PQAC receives an official transcript which confirms you have earned your PharmD degree. Do not request your transcript until your degree has conferred.
When applying in Washington, beyond sitting for the NAPLEX you will also sit for the law exam, MPJE (fee required).
To verify that your Pharmacist Application has been received you can use the provider credential search. It will show as “pending” if it has been received and the initial processing started, license status is regularly updated but is not instantaneous.
Primary Licensure in Other States
Licensure costs vary greatly by state, be sure to check current information with the appropriate licensing board. Most common licensure states for WSU PharmD grads include:
- Idaho (~$140, refer to law book for fee schedule)
MPJE Law Exam: None required
Tip: Do not submit your application until after your degree has conferred, ID notes that submitting it prior can delay your application.
- Oregon (~$340 for new grads or ~$540 by score transfer)
MPJE Law exam: Required (OPJE).
If a student graduates with a pharmacy degree and they are going to take the NAPLEX for Washington (or another state as home state,) and they also want to become licensed in Oregon, they would apply for the Score Transfer method of pharmacist licensure. They need to submit their NABP Score Transfer Request Form to the NABP no later than 89 days after having taken the NAPLEX.
- California (~$285)
MPJE Law exam: Required (CPJE).
Note: California licensure processing time is 30 days. Indication your application has been received is when your application fee check is deposited. They request that applicants not inquire as to the status of their application until their application has been on file for 45 days.
Dual Primary Licensure
Holding dual primary licensure is common when you work close to another state (where you may be a float pharmacist working between two) or is beneficial if you are planning to move after graduation but want to practice pharmacy in two states during your transition. Pharmacists only need to maintain an active license in the states they are practicing. The more states you maintain a current license in, the more costly that can be, both for application/renewal fees as well as meeting licensure requirements in each state, such as Continuing Education (CE) requirements for each state.
License Transfer or Reciprocity
A license transfer, or reciprocity, is an option more frequently utilized by experienced pharmacists. Some states require you be a practicing pharmacist for more than one year to transfer your primary license, however some states do not have a time limitation before transferring licensure. You will need to review the requirements set by individual states to determine your eligibility.
Score transfers are less cumbersome than a license transfer. This is the preferable option IF you plan to practice in multiple states as a pharmacist, so plan ahead! During NAPLEX registration you may select multiple states in addition to the primary state you plan to maintain your pharmacist license and NABP will send your score to those other boards of pharmacy where you plan to proceed. Score transfer requests must be made within 89 days of taking the NAPLEX. It will cost $75 per state you plan to send your score to.
- Learn more about receiving scores
- Specific information on Washington Reciprocity or License Transfer
While you are waiting to take exams for the state of your primary licensure it may be possible to acquire a temporary license in the secondary states.
Graduate Intern License
Some new graduates may also need to acquire a temporary practice permit if planning to continue working in a pharmacy after graduation and if the appropriate state intern license has expired. This will be needed to bridge the gap between you intern license expiring and sitting for the licensure exams (NAPLEX and law) to continue working in a pharmacy.
Licensure or NABP Questions
It is always best to reach out directly to the entity in charge of those processes. Keep in mind that certain times of the year are higher volume than others for these groups and may take several business days. If you try reaching out via email and do not hear back within three business days try calling instead. WSU does not have access to NABP registrations, or any state licensing boards processing que. Below are links to contact information with some entities:
- They have a live chat, email, and phone number you can use. Be sure to have your NABP e-profile number.
- Washington Licensure and ATT questions
- Check the status of your application online.
- It is recommended you ask to speak to a representative trained in Pharmacy Licensing each time you call PQAC. Typically, the first point of contact is a customer service representative for all the licensing programs and may not have accurate information regarding your application and/or documents sent by the college and may not have a record of received documents.
- Idaho Licensure and ATT questions
- Oregon Licensure and ATT questions
- California Licensure and ATT Questions
Some states require forms to be officially verified, or notarized. Documents requiring a notary should not be signed until you are in the presence of the notary. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or other official form of identification.
Often banks provide customers with free notary services (appointment maybe required). Alternatively, there are also paid notary services available that you can find near you.
CPPS has several certified notaries on the Spokane campus that can provide free notary services.
Schedule a time for notarization