Doctor of Pharmacy

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. The associated 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:

Update Your Mailing Address

To ensure mailed items get sent to the right place, make sure you update your mailing address in myWSU.

Run Advisement Report 

Run the 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 & 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 Graduate Hooding Ceremony

2024: May 9
2025 – 2027: TBD

WSU Spokane Commencement Ceremony

2024: May 10
2025 – 2027: TBD

Official Graduation

As listed on your degree.

2024: May 4
2025: May 3
2026: May 9
2027: May 8

Conferral Date

Earliest your degree will process

2024: May 8
2025: May 7
2026: May 13
2027: May 12

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).

Official Transcripts

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. Some groups may accept an unofficial transcript, but you will want to verify that.

Ordering Transcripts

Residency programs, licensure applications, and NABP typically all require an 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 with the third-party vendor Parchment.

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.

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.

Typical groups you will need to send a transcript to
All graduates are required to submit a transcript to NABP. While the NABP website states that schools can provide transcripts, that is not the case. The only way your official transcript can be sent from WSU is for you to order it.
Typically required if you are applying for residency programs.
State Boards of Pharmacy
As part of pharmacist licensing applications many states require a transcript, however this depends on the state. Review application information for each state to verify if they need a transcript, when and preferred delivery method.
Washington requires a copy of your transcript prior to issuing your ATT, see the step-by-step instructions for specific information on how to send to PQAC.

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 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 indicate that in the form listed 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 form. 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. If you need an official transcript please review Degree Conferral & Transcripts above.

Experiential Services processes all college/degree verification paperwork within 10 business days of degree conferral.

Intern Hours

WSU will verify to the Washington DOH/PQAC all IPPE and APPE hours that each student completes as part of our program. Class of 2024-2026 complete a total of 1,720 hours (more if a student opts to do a third APPE elective), starting class of 2027 students will complete 1,960 hours. 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 indicating what information is needed on the verification and to what email address the verification should be sent to.

NAPLEX & 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.

Note: There is a comprehensive NABP Registration Bulletin that contains a great deal of information about the registration and exam process.

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.

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. The college can request NABP correct this mistake on your behalf with that information.

NAPLEX & Law Exam Study Resources

RXPrep NAPLEX 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 review workshop with an RxPrep faculty instructor.

Information will be provided by Sarah Kohler when available.

MPJE Review

WSU Faculty provide a MPJE review during commencement week 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 will be provided when available.

Survey of Pharmacy Law Resource

As of spring 2024 NABP ceased “distribution of complimentary copies of the Survey of Pharmacy Law to final-year pharmacy students. NABP advises pharmacy school students or recent graduates, seeking information about state pharmacy laws or rules, to ascertain information directly from state pharmacy board resources, as the Survey of Pharmacy Law is not a recommended study guide for state pharmacy jurisprudence exams.”


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 Study Sessions

To help you prepare for the NAPLEX the college has virtual study sessions and associated materials.

State Laws & Regulations

These resources cover two types of questions regarding the laws and regulations governing pharmacy in most states. 

NAPLEX Eligibility & 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. NABP also provides a lot of 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 & 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

~$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, Idaho notes that submitting it prior can delay your application.
~$340 for new grads or ~$540 by score transfer
MPJE Law exam: Required (OPJE)

If you are taking the NAPLEX for Washington (or another home state,) and want to become licensed in Oregon, apply for the Score Transfer method of licensure. Submit your NABP Score Transfer Request Form to the NABP no later than 89 days after taking the NAPLEX.
MPJE Law exam: Required (CPJE)

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 your application until it 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 Transfer

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.

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 & ATT questions

Check the status of your application.

It is recommended you ask to speak to a representative trained in Pharmacy Licensing each time you call PQAC. Customer service representatives typically represent all licensing programs and may not have accurate information about your application or documents.

Notary Services

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.

Schedule a Time for Notarization

CPPS has several certified notaries on the Spokane campus that can provide free notary services.

Immunization Documentation

It is common for new graduates to request copies of their immunization certificate and immunization records after they graduate for new employers. Graduates from Class of 2020 and after can find their documentation by accessing their CastleBranch account, which has lifelong access. Documents uploaded as a student can be found in CastleBranch within the “Document Center.” Training completed in 2008-2012 was issued through APhA, all other years were issued through WSPA. To get a new copy of your immunization certification contact the appropriate issuing organization.

Staying Connected

Your WSU email account will only stay active for one month (30 days) after graduation. Please be sure to update your contact information in myWSU prior to graduation to be sure we can keep in touch.

Upon graduation, you will receive a complimentary three-year membership in the WSU Alumni Association. You can visit this link to access alumni benefits. You are already part of the WSU pharmily and we hope you’ll stay connected with us and the CougaRx Nation! Join us for networking events, stay in touch with your classmates and fellow alumni, and make plans to join us every year for Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend.

Additional Post-Graduation Resources

Become a Mentor

We also encourage you to consider mentoring a future WSU pharmacist. As a recent graduate, you have insights and experience that would be beneficial to current student pharmacists and participation will also allow you to build your professional network.