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University of Colorado Denver

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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 and Canada. 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.  There is no minimum grade point average (GPA) 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 in the summer semester. Applications are accepted at any time for the ITPD Program, provided the application is received prior to the application deadline of March 15. Applications received after the March 15 deadline will be considered for the following admissions cycle. Acceptance into the ITPD Program will be honored for two years from the start of the summer semester; otherwise, the applicant will be required to reapply.

As a student of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, all ITPD students are subject to all school and program policies, including the ethics and conduct code and academic advancement policies, as our entry-level PharmD students. A full list of these policies is located on the Program and School Policies and Procedures website page.

To apply to the ITPD Program, applicants must complete all ALL of the following application materials, which are reviewed by the School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee:

 Application Form

Download a copy of the application form​ (PDF) or contact the Distance Degrees and Programs (DDP) office to obtain the application form.​ ​

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 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 in their home country.  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

 Transcripts

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 (http://www.pharmcas.org/applicants/transcripts.htm). An official copy of the transcript review must be sent from the transcript review agency to the DDP Office. ​​4

 Pharmacy License

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.​

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 Recommendations/Sponsorship

  • Letters of Recommendation: Three recommendations written on standard University of Colorado School of Pharmacy recommendation forms. References will usually be from employers, supervisors, former faculty, preceptors or professional colleagues who can attest to the applicant's abilities. Personal references will not be accepted.  Applicants should review the guidelines as listed on the recommendation form. The recommendation forms are located on the website and can also be obtained by contacting the DDP Office.
  • Professional Sponsorship:  Each applicant should have a letter from a professional sponsor (typically an employer), who will attest to their support of the candidate's pursuit of the degree program, and the applicant's plans for expanding the practice of patient-centered pharmacy care.  This sponsorship does not require financial sponsorship. If the professional sponsorship is also serving as a reference they must submit both, a letter of recommendation and a professional sponsor letter. 
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 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

 Interview

The interview process is designed to assess the applicant's knowledge of the profession, 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 both verbal and written evaluations. For the written evaluation, the candidate will write an essay, in English, on an assigned topic.  Details of this process will be provided to qualified applicants.​8

 Competency Exam

Applicants are required to pass a pharmacy foundations competency exam comprised of multiple topics and provided as two separate exams. Applicants will need to pass each exam. The exams will assure baseline knowledge in coursework typically provided in the first and second years of the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program, and likely provided in the applicant's BS in pharmacy coursework. Individual topics to be tested will 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.

Study Guide – Two review guides all applicants should use to prepare for the exam.

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 Visa

Students accepted into the ITPD Program are responsible for obtaining a student visa. 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.​10

 English Proficiency: OPI and 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 an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.
  • 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 Oral Proficiency Interview (approximately 30 minutes), conducted by an ACTFL-certified language assessor, designated by the School. The OPI exam will be administered to applicants who meet the minimum qualifications of the program.  The DDP office will contact you about scheduling your OPI assessment.  
  • 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 www.ets.org/toefl 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 or 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.
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