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International-Trained PharmD Program

Admissions Requirements

The International-Trained PharmD (ITPD) Program is open to pharmacists who possess a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in pharmacy from any locally-approved or accredited college or university program outside of the United States. Applicants must be licensed pharmacists and be in good standing with the licensing agency in their country. Successful applicants must also demonstrate a desire and commitment to expand patient-centered pharmacy care in their home country. (PLEASE NOTE: Successful completion of the ITPD program’s pathway to the PharmD degree does not ensure eligibility for licensure in the US, as each state sets its own requirements for licensure.)

There is no minimum grade point average to apply to the ITPD Program. University policies require background checks for all students upon admission. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to consider exceptions to the admissions policies on a case-by-case basis.

Students begin the ITPD Program once per year in the summer semester. Applications are accepted at any time with a January 15 priority deadline.  The DDP Office will continue to accept applications beyond this deadline until all spaces have been filled. If the deadline falls on a weekend or United States holiday, then the deadline will be the next business day. Please contact the DDP Office if there are concerns about meeting the application deadline. Acceptance into the ITPD Program will be honored for one year from the start of the summer semester; otherwise, the applicant will be required to reapply.

To apply to the ITPD Program, applicants must complete the following: 

  • application form
  • personal statement
  • CV/resume
  • transcripts
  • pharmacy license or certificate
  • letters of recommendations/professional sponsorship
  • application fee
  • competency exam
  • TOEFL exam

After January 15 or once all spaces have been filled, the School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee will review each applicant's admissions packet. Those applicants who will move forward in the admissions process will be contacted to complete the ACTFL OPI, a written essay, and an interview.

 Application Form

Download a copy of the application form​ (PDF) or contact the DDP Office to obtain the application form.​ ​​​


 Personal Statement

A personal statement describing the applicant’s reasons for seeking a PharmD degree and applying to the ITPD Program, specifically describing their goals and plans for expanding the practice of patient-centered pharmacy care outside the United States.  Details regarding specific questions to address and formatting instructions can be found in the professional goals section of the application and on the admissions website. 2

 CV / Resume

A current, updated CV / resume describing the applicant's professional pharmacy experience and accomplishments.3


Official transcripts from the locally-approved or accredited school of pharmacy from which the applicant graduated and from any degree program(s) in which the applicant has been enrolled in since obtaining the pharmacy degree. 
The transcript must be sent to an official transcript review service; approved foreign transcript services are those used by PharmCAS and can be found on their website. An official copy of the transcript review must be sent from the transcript review agency to the DDP Office. 

 Pharmacy License or Certificate

A notarized or barrister-certified copy of the applicant's current pharmacy license or certification.  If the applicant's local area does not require a pharmacy license or certification to practice as a pharmacist, written verification of qualifications to practice as a pharmacist must be provided. 

As noted in the Active Pharmacy License policy, the DDP Office requires a license or official documentation of the ability to practice pharmacy in the student's respective country for ITPD students as an admissions requirement for all applicants and for current students to remain enrolled. All applicants and current students are required to inform the DDP Office of any changes in their license status, such as expiration, suspensions, restrictions, and/or the receipt of any letters of admonition. All students should provide proof of updated licensure upon licensure renewal.  Failure to successfully maintain your license or notify the DDP Office of any changes to your license will lead to disciplinary sanctions up to and including to dismissal from the program.​​


 Letters of Recommendations / Professional Sponsorship

  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendations written on standard University of Colorado School of Pharmacy recommendation form. Recommendations will be completed by people who know the applicant's professional, academic, and/or personal achievements or qualities well. As such, references must be from professional contacts, such as employers, supervisors, former faculty, preceptor or professional colleagues. References from clergy, family members, friends or politicians will not be accepted.  Applicants should review the guidelines as listed on the recommendation form. The recommendation forms are located on the website (see link above) and can also be obtained by contacting the DDP Office.
  • Professional Sponsorship:  Please provide the name of the individual who has agreed to serve as your professional sponsor. A professional sponsor (typically an employer), will attest to their support of your pursuit of the degree program, and your plans for expanding the practice of patient-centered pharmacy care outside the United States. The professional sponsor does not require financial sponsorship. If the professioanl sponsor is also serving as a reference, then the professional sponsor must submit a letter of recommendation and a professional sponsor letter

 Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $200.00 (US dollars). Checks or money orders should be made out to the University of Colorado.7

 Competency Exams or FPGEE

The ITPD program meets the same abilities-based outcomes as the school’s on-campus entry-level program, with advanced standing achieved through coursework earned in the applicant’s baccalaureate Pharmacy degree, prior professional experience, and demonstration of competency in biomedical sciences and pharmaceutical sciences on two pre-admission exams. These exams assure that knowledge obtained from coursework provided in the applicant’s baccalaureate pharmacy program may be accepted as credit for previous degree work. 

The two exams are comprised of multiple topics. Applicants will need to pass each exam. Individual topics include: biochemistry, cell biology, mechanisms of disease, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology/toxicology, pharmacokinetics, drug design and drug action, immunology, and basic anatomy. The examinations will take place as a requirement prior to admission. Results of the competency exams will be valid for 2 years (or two admission cycles). Applicants will be limited to sitting for the exams twice per admission cycle. After sitting for the competency exams four times, restrictions may be placed on any subsequent registration. Read through the documents below to learn more about the exam.

ITPD Foundation Competency Exam Frequently Asked Questions – Provides more information about the exam, including how to sign up for the exam.

Test Authorization Request Form – The form applicants need to fill out and submit to the DDP office to gain access to the exam.

Learning Objectives and Study Guide – The learning objectives and two review guides all applicants should use to prepare for the exam.
Please Note:  Alternatively, applicants may demonstrate this competency through successful passing of the US Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam (FPGEE). These applicants will submit an official copy of their FPGEE exam results. 


 English Proficiency Testing: TOEFL

The ITPD Program requires all applicants be proficient in the English language, as detailed in the program’s technical standards. Applicants must undergo an evaluation of English proficiency by taking the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. 
  • TOEFL Exam –Scores from the internet-based TOEFL exam will serve as one piece of the admissions process. 
  • Score Requirements – Applicants must achieve a minimum composite score of 89 on the internet-based TOEFL exam taken within the past two years. The required minimum scores on each of the individual components of the test are: reading 15, listening 14, speaking 19, and writing 20. The preferred scores for the individual components of the internet-based TOEFL exam are: reading 21, listening 21, speaking 25, and writing 23.
    • TOEFL Exam Testing Schedule - Applicants can visit to find more information about and sign up for the TOEFL exam. Applicants should use code number 8776 to indicate the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences iPharmCU® as the score recipient.
  • Please Note: Should an applicant receive a low TOEFL score, the applicant may also contact the University of Colorado Denver English as a Second Language program to improve his/her English speaking and communication skills. The University of Colorado Denver English as a Second Language program is located on the downtown Denver campus, and the applicant will complete courses on the downtown Denver campus. Online courses are not offered at this time.

 Further English Proficiency Testing: ACTFL OPI and Written Essay

Applicants will complete an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and written essay as the second part of the English proficiency admissions requirement.

ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) – Applicants must achieve a minimum level of oral proficiency in English defined as “Advanced Low,” per the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking.  Oral proficiency levels are assessed by participating in a telephone based OPI (approximately 30 minutes), conducted by an ACTFL-certified language assessor, designated by the School. The DDP Office will contact the applicant about scheduling the OPI assessment. ​
  • Please Note: Should an applicant receive a low OPI score, the applicant may also contact the University of Colorado Denver English as a Second Language program to improve his/her English speaking and communication skills. The University of Colorado Denver English as a Second Language program is located on the downtown Denver campus, and the applicant will complete courses on the downtown Denver campus. Online courses are not offered at this time.
Written Essay - The applicant will write, in English, an essay on an assigned topic. This essay will be completed in a proctored online environment. The DDP Office will contact each applicant aobut scheduling the written essay. The Written Essay Frequently Asked Questions document provides more infomration about the written essay process. 


The interview process is designed to assess the applicant's knowledge of the profession, assessment of prior professional pharmacy experience, communication and ability to perform in a positive, professional manner when working with others. To be considered for admission, applicants must participate in a video teleconferenced admissions interview, which will consist of a verbal evaluation. The interview will occur after a review of the applicant's materials as completed and listed in the English Proficiency Testing sections. The DDP Office will contact the applicant to schedule the interview.



The US government requires all international applicants to provide a proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before a formal letter of admission, or the form for obtaining a visa, will be issued. If selected for admission, students will need to submit the Request for Student I-20 for Foreign Applications form. This form is typically available for download from July to December of each year.​​ The DDP Office or the Office of the International Student and Scholar Services will contact and assist students accepted into the ITPD Program in obtaining a student visa.