FAQs - AdmissionsFAQs - PrerequisitesFAQs - Online AppFAQs - OtherFAQs - Internal Assessment Exam

Question 1: Who is qualified to apply for the IPBP program?
The IPBP program is open to all American- and foreign-trained pharmacists with a bachelor's degree or equivalent who wish to progress to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree at the College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences. View requirements for more detail.

Question 2: When can I apply to this program?
Please visit the apply now page for the latest information on application availability and deadlines.

Question 3: Why is the application deadline October 1, when the interviews are in March/April?
The early deadline will allow timely processing of each application to give each selected applicant enough time to prepare for the Internal Assessment (IA) exam. Also, this deadline will allow us to accommodate changes in the rules of purchase of the IA study guide (see under “Admissions Process Information”).

Question 4: I am due to graduate with a BS in Pharmacy this year. Can I apply for the IPBP program now?
Yes. However, you must provide evidence, such as a letter from your school/college, stating that you are on track to graduate prior to the start of classes (July) at WesternU. All relevant documents must be submitted by the application deadline. Please visit the apply now page for details.

Question 5: What is the process for admission into the IPBP program?
Once your file is complete, the Admissions office will forward your application to the College of Pharmacy for a preliminary evaluation. The college of Pharmacy faculty will evaluate your file and provide a score, whereupon your application may be selected for an interview and internal assessment (IA) exam. If you are not selected for an interview and IA exam, you will be notified of this decision immediately and your file will be closed for that year.

Question 6: How does the October 1st deadline affect the admissions process?
All completed applications received by the deadline date will be evaluated by the admissions committee. The applicants selected for interviews will be notified by the end of November. This will allow the selected applicants sufficient time to study for the IA exam. Also, only those applicants selected for the interview and IA exam will be required to purchase the IA study guide (if applicable).

Question 7: When will the interview session take place?
Visit the apply now page for interview dates.

Question 8: Will the interviews and IA exam take place on the same day?
Yes. The IA exam is administered in the morning and interviews (including written essays) are conducted in the afternoon, of the same day. This arrangement is more convenient for applicants traveling from out of town.

Question 9: What can I expect on the day of the IA exam/interviews?
Applicants selected for interviews will be asked to arrive at the campus early in the morning on their assigned interview day. The morning starts with a brief introduction and orientation to the program by the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management. The IA exam starts immediately after the orientation. Applicants are given four (4) hours to complete the IA exam. During the afternoon session, applicants are separated into two groups to complete the oral interview and the written essay component. Once all activities are completed, applicants are free to leave campus. You may wish to also review our internal assessment (IA) exam FAQ page.

Question 10: How are the oral interviews conducted?
Usually, a team of two members comprise an interview team consisting of one faculty and one current student of the College of Pharmacy. Each interview session lasts approximately 25-30 minutes during which time the applicant is also given an opportunity to ask questions. Although communication skills are evaluated extensively, the interview team also looks for qualities such as motivation, critical thinking, general knowledge, etc. Overall, every effort is made to keep the interview session friendly.

Question 11: How is the written essay session conducted?
As one group starts the oral interview session, another group is administered the written essay component. The essays topics are usually of general interest whereby the applicant is encouraged to provide a balanced view of the topic to the best of his/her ability. The writing session lasts approximately 40 minutes.

Question 12: Where will the interview sessions be conducted?
Interviews will be held at the WesternU campus in Pomona, CA. Other sites may be added depending upon the size of the application pool.

Question 13: When will I know whether I have been admitted into the program?
Admission acceptance letters will be sent out within two-three weeks of completion of the interview/IA process.

Question 14: Where can I get the application for admission?
Visit the apply now page for detailed instructions on how to apply.  

Question 1: Am I required to have a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy or equivalent?
Yes. You must provide evidence, such as a letter from your school/college, stating that you are on track to graduate prior to start of classes (July ) at WesternU. All relevant documents must be submitted by the application deadline. Visit the view requirements page for a complete list of requirements.

Question 2: Are there any requirements to pass the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) for admission into the IPBP program?
No. FPGEE scores are not required or considered for the IPBP program.
However, you must obtain a passing grade in the IA exam administered by the College of Pharmacy. For more details see FAQ’s on the IA examination.
Information on pharmacist licensure can be obtained at www.nabp.net especially if you have a BS degree prior to 2003 or graduated from a 5-year pharmacy curriculum.

Question 3: Is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) a requirement for admission into the IPBP program?
Yes. TOEFL is a mandatory requirement for all graduates from non-English speaking countries. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) is required for consideration of admission. For students appearing for the TOEFL exam under the new guidelines, a minimum score of 79 (internet-based) is required for consideration of admission. Scores must be submitted by June 1 of the year of admission. Visit the view requirements page for a complete list of requirements. The TOEFL exam will be waived for students who have graduated with a confirmed baccalaureate or higher degree from a United States institution.

Question 4: Is the Test of Spoken English (TSE) a requirement for admission into the IPBP program?
No. At this time, TSE is not required for admission. However, the College of Pharmacy places a strong emphasis on communication skills, both oral and written, for all students. We believe that a strong foundation in communication is vital to becoming a competent practitioner of the profession. Good communication skills also facilitate productive interaction with fellow students, faculty, the healthcare team and your patients.

Question 1: What if I cannot remember my Login ID or PIN?
Send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, program you applied for, mailing address, phone number and birth date.

Question 2: What if I am locked out of my account?
Send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 3: What is the difference between "Applications in Progress" and "Processed Applications"?
The Application Menu can have up to three sections:

  • Applications in Progress: If you wish to create a new application, click "NEW". If you started an application and didn't complete it, click on the appropriate term in this section.
  • Submitted Applications: Applications listed here have not been entered by Enrollment Data Services (EDS). This could take 1-2 business days after you "Complete" your application. If your application has not moved to "Processed Applications" after 2 business days, please contact EDS at EDS@westernu.edu
  • Processed Applications: Check your application status and view outstanding requirements, by clicking on the term in this section. Status updates can take 5-7 business days after receipt of application materials.

Question 4: How do I check my application status online?
Login to the "Admissions Application/View Application Checklist Login" web page using the Login ID and PIN you created with your application. Under "Processed Applications" click the Admission Term. Check Application Status; if "Incomplete", check for missing dates under Received column. Please keep in mind that it can take 5 to 7 business days, after receipt of your application materials, to post those items to your application. If your application materials are not posted to your account after the appropriate amount of time, please email EDS@westernu.edu for more information; include your legal name and any alternate name(s) that may appear on your documents.

Question 5: What if I want to change information on my application after I have completed it?
After your application is complete, changes cannot be made however, you can send us a word document, PDF or email which can be added to your application. Please send to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 6: How do I view the contents of my application after I have completed it?
Unfortunately, once your application is complete, you cannot view the contents. We suggest that you print each section prior to completing your application.

Question 7: When checking my application status, why do I see more than one term listed under "Processed Applications" when I've only submitted one online application?
If you applied to multiple programs/campuses via a Primary and/or Secondary Application, you will see all active applications listed here by the term. This doesn't necessarily mean we have received all required applications/materials. Please verify all requirements have been received. (See Question 4:"How do I check my application status online?" above.)

Question 8: What if I want to apply to more than one program? Do I need to create a new Login ID?
You can create multiple applications with one Login ID. Just select "New" under "Applications in Progress" to start a new application.

Question 9: Can I use my preferred name on my application?
Always use your "Legal" name on your applications (both Primary and Secondary). Nicknames/Preferred names must not be used. If the program you are applying to requires a Primary and Secondary application, your name must match exactly for both applications to be properly applied to your record. Please send an email to EDS@westernu.edu notifying us of errors as soon as possible. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied to.

Question 10: What address should I use if I need to mail any additional application materials?
For official documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) please mail to:
Western University of Health Sciences
Attn: EDS/program you are applying for (DO, PHARMD, DPM, etc.)
309 E Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766

For non-official documents (prerequisite worksheets, repeated coursework, etc.) please email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 11: How do I pay my application fee?
All application fees require payments made by credit card. Only cards with Visa and Master Card logos will be accepted.No checks, money orders, or cash will be accepted for payment of application fees.

Question 12: What if I don't have a Visa or Master Card?
Payment may be made with a Visa or Master Card prepaid gift card which can be purchased at many major chain stores or online. Please be aware that the gift card must contain a balance sufficient to cover the application fee in one full payment.

Question 13: Are fee waivers accepted?
Application fees must be paid by credit card to submit your online application. To qualify for an application refund due to a financial hardship, you must contact Admissions for instructions and approval. After approval, your credit card charge will be refunded (this could take up to 10-15 business days).

Question 14: What if I cannot find a College Code for a school I attended?
Please be sure to search for your school in the "Previous College(s) Attended" section of your application using City and State by selecting the "Lookup College Code" link. If your school is not listed, please send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for. The college codes in our system are WesternU specific and may be different from college codes provided by your institution.

Question 15: How do I find a College Code for schools outside of the United States?
Please do not list foreign schools in the "Previous College" section of your application. All foreign coursework must be evaluated (course-by-course) through an approved evaluation service (World Education Services or Josef Silny & Associates). Instead of listing the foreign schools you attended, please list the service used to evaluate your foreign coursework. You can find World Education Services and Josef Silny& Associates by selecting the Lookup College Code link and searching by Country and selecting 'Foreign Country' and City 'Foreign City'. If you need additional assistance, please email EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 16: How do I view the colleges that I have already entered?
Select "Previous College(s) Attended" from the Application Checklist. If you previously entered and saved school information to your application, the first school's details will be displayed in the form. Click "Enter or View another College or Degree" to view any additional schools. When you come to a blank form, there are no additional saved schools available. When you are done viewing your schools, select "Return to Checklist without saving changes".

Question 17: How do I remove a college from my application?
If you have added an incorrect college or duplicate college in error, it cannot be removed until your application is submitted. Make a list of any colleges that must be removed, then continue with your application. Once you have submitted your application, email EDS@westernu.edu requesting to have those schools removed from your application and specify the reason for removing them from your record. Please include your legal name, Login ID, and program you applied for.

Question 18: I am a current employee of WesternU, are there any additional forms needed for HR purposes?
If you are a current employee of WesternU, you must complete an Employee Authorization Release Form. You can request this form by sending an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 19: Will I receive notification that my application was received?
Yes, once your application is processed we will send an email confirming it was received. Please be sure to check your "Junk Mail" folder for this email and allow emails from the domain 'westernu.edu' (WesternU Faculty, Staff, and Students) to avoid any delay of its delivery. For more information on adding WesternU to your email whitelist, please review these Email Whitelist Instructions. If you need additional assistance, please email EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.

Question 1: What is the IPBP program?
The International Post-Baccalaureate PharmD (IPBP) program offers a unique training opportunity for domestic and international graduates with a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in pharmacy. Like most Colleges/Schools of Pharmacy in the United States, WesternU requires four years of professional training following a minimum of two years of pre-pharmacy coursework. The International Post-Baccalaureate PharmD (IPBP) program allows the successful applicant to bypass the first year and enter directly into the second year of the traditional program. Thereafter, the program is completed within a three-year duration. The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree awarded to the IPBP student is to the same as the degree given to traditional students.

Question 2: How long is the IPBP program?
The duration of the program is 3 years. IPBP students join the second year of the traditional Pharm.D. program and complete the remainder of the program within the time frame of 3 years.

Question 3: What are the tuition and other fees for the IPBP program?
The tuition and other fees are the same as for our students in the traditional program.  Visit the financing my education page for tuition, scholarship and loan information. Please also review the international student financial aid page.

Question 4: If I am a foreign student, will you assist me in completing student visa/immigration formalities?
Yes. The WesternU Admissions Office will assist you in completing your immigration formalities. All foreign applicants are required to provide documentation such as financial support no later than the day of the interview/IA to enable the Admissions Office to prepare related paperwork for F-1 visa, should they be admitted. Please see our International Student website for more information regarding requirements for international students. Contact the Admissions Office for additional information. Please remember all required paperwork should be turned in as quickly as possible for the Admissions Office to issue the I-20 form to the student.

Question 5: When do classes begin for the IPBP program?
Although classes for the traditional PharmD program students start in early August of each year, the IPBP students will start classes early to mid-July. A three to four-week orientation course, PHRM 5601: Overview of Clinical Practice, is offered (1) to orient the new students to the block system, (2) provide other relevant information provided to traditional Pharm.D. students during their first year curriculum and (3) prepare IPBP students for the didactic blocks during the upcoming years. PHRM 5601 is a graded course, hence attendance is mandatory. Following the completion of PHRM 5601, all students will be expected to participate in a University orientation session a week before regular classes start in August. More information on this orientation will be provided at a later date.

Question 6: Is attendance at the "Overview of Clinical Practice" course a mandatory requirement?
Yes. This is a graded course based on exams and quizzes. Your grade in this course will be applied towards your overall grade point average (GPA) in the program.

Question 7: Am I eligible for employment as a student on an F-1 visa?
Yes. However, there are certain restrictions on employment. Please visit our F-1 Transfer and Change of Status page for more information on employment and issuance of social security numbers.

Question 8: Is on-campus housing available?
Please refer to our housing website to view housing options for Pomona and surrounding areas.

Question 9: What is your withdrawal/cancellation policy and procedure?
The following policy applies only to applicants who have purchased but not accessed the IA study guide:
An IPBP withdraw form must be completed and submitted online to the admissions office at least ONE week before the interview/IA exam date indicating clearly that you have decided to withdraw your application from consideration into the IPBP program for that year and that you have not accessed the study guide. (Please note that we can only provide refunds if we have a written official notification from you)

Upon receipt of the email or letter to the admissions office, the College of Pharmacy will refund your exam fee according to the following policy:

  • If access to the exam study material HAS NOT yet been established, a 20% processing fee will be deducted from the original exam fee.
  • If access to the exam study material HAS been established, you will forfeit the $250 fee as indicated earlier but you would be able to reuse the study guide for the next admissions cycle. All remaining amounts (as applicable) will be refunded to the candidate within 2-4 weeks.


Question 10: Can I visit your campus?We would love for you to visit campus! Attend Preview Day where we will provide you with detailed information on the curriculum and profession as well as the admissions process. You will also have the opportunity to hear from the dean/upper administration and chat with current WesternU students as they tour you through the facilities.

Question 1: What is the IA exam?
The IA exam is a written test that is graded by the faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy. The two main purposes of the IA exam are as follows:

  • Since IPBP students bypass the first year of the curriculum, the IA exam is intended to evaluate the candidate's strengths and weaknesses in topics that are taught in the first year Pharm.D. curriculum at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy. The weaknesses identified by taking the IA exam will allow the faculty to advise the student to further review specific basic pharmaceutical sciences concepts and foundation skills in preparation for the rigorous Pharm.D. curriculum.
  • The IA exam serves as an entrance exam for admission into the IPBP program. Scores from the IA exam play a significant role in the overall admissions process.

Question 2: Is anyone exempt from taking the IA exam?
No. It is mandatory for all candidates applying for the IPBP program to take the IA exam.


Question 3: Is there a fee for the IA exam?
Yes. The fee structure is as follows:

1. IA Exam Study Guide Access Fee: $250. All new applicants selected for the interview/IA exam will be required to submit this mandatory fee to purchase the IA exam study guide. Once this fee is received, electronic access to the study guide will be provided. The IA exam study guide is valid for a period of two consecutive admission cycles from the date of purchase. Re-applicants selected for the interview/IA exam will not have to purchase the study guide as long as they are within the two consecutive admission cycle guidelines as stated above. (Please note that applicants are no longer required to purchase the study guides in advance of their selection for an on campus interview.)

2. IA Exam Fee: $250. All applicants (new and re-applicant) selected for an interview must pay this fee on the day of the interview without exception. Failure to pay this fee will result in the applicant(s) not being allowed to take the IA exam and participate in the interview process.

All fees must be paid in two installments: the first installment of $250 for IA study guide access (if applicable) will be due after being notified of your selection for an interview; the second installment of $250 for the IA exam will be due on the day of the IA exam and the interview. Payments not made in this fashion will be promptly returned to the applicant. This may result in the delay of his/her application process.
All checks must be made payable to the College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences.

Question 4: What happens to my IA Exam Study Guide access fee if I do not get selected for an interview?
The IA exam study guide access fee will be applicable only if you have been invited to campus for an interview that year. Otherwise, no fees will be charged. Applicants selected for an interview/IA exam will be notified by the end of November. Study guides are valid for two consecutive admission cycles from the date of purchase.

Question 5: When and where will the IA exam be administered?
The date for the IA exam and interview has been set for February 28, 2015.

All admission related events including the IA exam will be held on the campus of Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California. Please visit our website for directions to the University.

Question 6: How will the IA exam be graded?
An applicant must achieve a score of at least 60% to receive a passing score for the IA exam. Also, if areas of weaknesses are identified, the candidate may be required to take remedial courses prior to being admitted as a student.

Question 7: Will my IA exam score make a difference in the overall admission process?
Yes. IA exam scores are a significant factor in the admissions process. Therefore, a high score in the IA exam will definitely improve your overall chances of being admitted into the program. How do I study for the IA exam? Upon your selection for an interview/IA exam and subsequent notification from us, you will need to submit your IA study guide access fee (if applicable) to receive online access to an information packet containing study guides, sample exams and a syllabus of review information.

In order to obtain the information packet, all prospective students must have access to a computer and a valid email address (your email address should be clearly filled out in the application form). All relevant study materials will be placed on the Western University of Health Sciences server. No hard-copy documents will be provided. Prospective students will be given "guest student" account access thereby allowing them to download the study material from the server. Detailed instructions will be provided on how to download documents from the Western University of Health Sciences server. Once the study materials are received by the candidate, it will be the responsibility of the candidate to study at his or her own pace and take the IA exam at the designated date and time.

Question 8: What is the format for the IA exam?
The entire examination will consist of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions. The test will be divided into four sections: (A) Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics (B) Immunological Sciences (C) Pharmacology and (D) Acid-Base Chemistry. Most of the questions for the IA exam will be based on the information provided in the study guides.

Question 9: When will the study materials be available for download?
Study materials will be available for distribution by November 1st each year. However, applicants would only be allowed to download the study materials if they have been selected for an interview and have paid the study guide access fee (if applicable). This decision will be announced on or before the end of November. Thus, students selected for an interview will have approximately four months to prepare for the IA exam.

Question 10: When will the results of the IA exam be announced?
Results of the IA exam will be available within two weeks after the exam. All applicants will be notified of their scores by email.

Question 11: What is the expiration date on the IA exam score?
All passing IA exam scores are valid for 1 year only. Thus, in the event a candidate is not admitted to the program, he/she must retake the IA exam each time the candidate chooses to reapply for the program provided they have been selected for an interview.