How Do I Become a Registered Pharmacist In The USA?

3 min read

If a person was not born in the United States they can still become a pharmacist. They will need to meet certain educational requirements to work in this field. They can go online and try naplex practice questions to help them pass the test and work as a pharmacist. There are some ways that a non-United States citizen can become a pharmacist.

Got to School

A person must attend an approved school. They will need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. There are approved colleges in the United States that offer this program. Foreign students will need to meet the same testing and educational requirements as any other student. If a person has attended a foreign school they need to check and see if their school had the same educational requirements as those in the United States.

Pass the Naplex

To pass the naplex a person can find naplex practice questions online or in a study guide to get a feel for the exam. This exam is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. There are 185 questions. 

This exam wants to make sure the applicant knows the field and will demonstrate safety. They need to know specific medications and their interactions. To take this test a person needs to have a degree in pharmacy. To work in the United States a person needs to pass this exam.

State License

After an applicant completes school and passes the exam they need to apply for a license in the state they want to work in. The requirements may vary slightly from state to state but some things are required. A person must be able to pass a criminal background check and they may also have to go and make an appearance before the board of pharmacy in that state.

Out of the Country Schools

If an applicant has graduated from a pharmacy school outside of the United States they are going to need to get a certification from the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee. They will need to apply for the NABP and their educational requirements will be reviewed.


The application will be sent to the Educational Credentials Evaluations. They will need proof of a degree. All of the educational requirements and other documentation must be translated into English for their review.

Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam

A foreign applicant will need to take this exam. 250 questions cover the requirements to work in this field. This test is offered twice a year.

Additional Testing

The applicant will need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test. The applicant needs to show that they know the English names for all of the medications and the terms that are used in pharmacy. They need to demonstrate they can read, speak, and understand English so they can interact with doctors and patients.


It can take several months to become a pharmacist. It can take up to 6 weeks for the initial documentation to be reviewed. The FPGEE is offered once in the fall and once in the spring. It will take 8 weeks for the score to come in. Once all documentation is gathered the final review can take up to 10 weeks. A person will then be able to go for their state license.

These are some ways that a non-US citizen can become a pharmacist. While they may need to complete additional paperwork, in the beginning, they can still fulfill their dream of working as a pharmacist.

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