Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

General Questions

What is DKICP’s accreditation status?

The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

What types of qualities are you looking for in a pharmacy student?

Candidates must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form. Candidates must exercise good judgment, be consistent and prompt in completing all responsibilities and be able to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.

What is the cost for in-state and out-of-state tuition?

For tuition information please visit the UH Hilo Tuition Schedule page.

What are technical standards?

The technical standards for admission set forth by the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) outline the non-academic abilities considered essential for students to achieve the level of competence required by the faculty and by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) in order to obtain a PharmD degree.

Admissions Questions

What does the rolling application process mean?

The rolling application process means that we review applications on an on-going basis from the beginning of the application year until all seats in the class are full. Once we receive completed applications they are reviewed by the Admissions Committee and interviews are offered throughout the year to qualified students. Some qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list. It is to your advantage to turn your application in as early as possible because of this process.

How many students are accepted every year?

We accept up to 70 students every Fall.

How can I increase my chances of being accepted?

DKICP operates on a competitive, rolling admissions process. The application review process begins in August of each application year and continues until all seats are filled.

Early submission of complete application materials is strongly recommended and will increase a qualified applicant’s chance of receiving an interview and possible offer.

How is GPA calculated and what is the minimum requirement?

GPA is calculated through PharmCAS. Read more about GPA Calculations for details. There is no minimum GPA required in order to apply.

Does your school offer an academic forgiveness policy?

Yes, an applicant may request that the admissions committee review only the last 60 credits of academic coursework as a consideration for admission to the PharmD program if he/she can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances which contributed to or caused the student to do poorly.

Guidelines for consideration must include:

  1. Completing the last year (two semesters/three quarters) of coursework as a full time undergraduate student with a 3.0 GPA or higher overall. A total of three science prerequisites including labs must be completed during the last year. The courses must be taken at a 4-year degree granting regionally accredited University. Non-four-year degree offering institution courses will not be considered.
  2. A student must complete an essay on the supplemental application explaining the extraordinary circumstances which contributed to the student’s academic challenges and the specific reason for requesting academic forgiveness.

Is there a preference on who writes the letters of recommendation?

We do not accept letters of recommendation from friends or family members. We recommend that you seek out reference letters from individuals who have had direct experience with you in an educational and/or professional setting (employment, community service, etc) that can attest to your work ethic, character and skills. This may include professors, pharmacists you have worked with, supervisors, and/or club advisors.

In reference to the supplemental application, if I’m not a Hawaiʻi resident, do I still need to fill out the residency declaration form?

Yes, every applicant is required to complete this form.

Can I apply to the program before completing my Associates or Bachelors degree?

Yes, applicants do not need a degree in order to apply to or be accepted into the DKICP. Students must complete, or be in the process of completing all prerequisite coursework with a minimum grade of “C”. However, our Admissions Committee gives preference to those students with a Bachelors degree.

Can I apply to transfer into DKICP from another Pharm.D. program?

DKICP may accept transfer students from other ACPE accredited pharmacy schools, as long as these students are in good academic standing and have legitimate reasons for seeking a transfer. Transfer applicants must have completed or be in the process of completing all required prerequisite courses listed on the admissions website.

Transfer students will only be accepted for Fall enrollment. Complete applications for transfer are due by March 1st of the matriculation year. It is important to note that there is no guarantee that coursework taken at a previous College of Pharmacy will transfer into the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Students may only transfer didactic coursework and Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE). Advanced Pharmacy Practice experience (APPE) will not be considered for transfer credit.

To be considered for transfer the applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Complete, or be in the process of completing all required prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better, as listed on the admissions website.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good academic standing in an ACPE accredited pharmacy school.
  3. Have a legitimate reason for seeking transfer.
  4. Submit all of the application materials as indicated below.

To apply as a transfer student, do not complete a PharmCAS application, instead please submit the following documents:

  1. A letter to the Director of Student Services indicating why the applicant wishes to transfer and explaining any difficulties encountered at his/her current institution.
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions attended – undergraduate, graduate, and professional.
  3. A catalog and a detailed pharmacy syllabus for any courses for which advanced standing consideration is requested.
  4. A letter from the Dean of the pharmacy school/college in which the student is enrolled. The letter must indicate the student’s current academic status and/or terms of withdrawal/dismissal.
  5. The applicant must also complete a DKICP Supplemental Application Form, residency declaration form and submit a $50 application fee (instructions for this process and application forms are available via email request to

All of the above documents are to be sent to:

Director of Student Services
200 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, HI 96720

Upon receipt of all required application components noted above, the complete file and applicant profile will reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If the review is positive the applicant’s file will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for consideration. Additional documents or letters of recommendation may be required as determined necessary by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of DKICP or by the Chair of the Admissions Committee. After review of the application, the Admissions Committee will decide to invite the applicant for an interview or reject the applicant.

Please note that students who are not in good academic standing at their pharmacy school will not be considered for transfer.

How does the DKICP Alternate List work?

After the interview process is complete an applicant may be offered a letter of acceptance, placed on the alternate list or denied. DKICP operates a rolling admissions process and changes are being made to both the candidate pool and the alternate list throughout the admissions cycle. Due to this, applicants are not given a specific rank on the alternate list. The alternate list is kept open and active until after the first day of classes in August at which time all alternates who were not selected for admission will be sent a denial letter via email.

How do I remove my name from the DKICP Alternate List?

If you are no longer interested in being considered as an applicant on the DKICP Alternate List, please let us know by emailing We appreciate your updates.

I applied and was not admitted. May I appeal this decision?

No, the decisions made by the DKICP Admissions Committee are final. If you choose to reapply in the future, we encourage you to contact our Admissions and Student Services Office for advice on how to strengthen your application.

Can I apply for financial aid before being accepted?

You may submit a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in October and indicate the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UH Hilo); code number 001611, however, you must be accepted for admission before a financial aid award can be issued

For more information, please visit the UH Hilo Financial Aid Office website.

Are there other scholarships available?

The majority of DKICP scholarships are available to P2, P3 and P4 students. The purpose of the scholarship program is to recognize and reward students who demonstrate outstanding academic performance in the PharmD curriculum and have shown a commitment to leadership and community activities within the College.

Contingent upon funding, DKICP may offer a Merit-Based Scholarship Award to incoming P1 students which recognizes exceptional academic achievements and will take academic and leadership success into consideration. Award amounts may vary. Eligibility criteria includes being a DKICP PharmD student, having a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5, having a Bachelor’s Degree and being a US resident. The application and additional details will be provided upon acceptance.

What can I expect after being accepted?

To secure your seat, a matriculation agreement and a $500 non-refundable seat deposit is required. Incoming students will need to provide original transcripts (transcripts sent to PharmCAS during the application process will not fulfill this requirement), proof of health insurance, proof of various immunizations (PPD, MMR, Varicella, Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis, and Hepatitis B) and submit health clearance documents. Additional details maybe found on the Matriculation Process webpage.

Will a background check and/or drug testing be required?

Pharmacy Practice Experience (PPE) preceptor sites (hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, and other patient care service industries) may perform or require to divulge any evidence of a criminal background and/or drug screening before DKICP students may participate in PPE. The preceptor site maintains the right to refuse a student admission to their site based upon the findings of the background check and/or drug screening. Failure to complete PPE will prevent a student from satisfactorily completing the degree requirements for the PharmD program. The board of pharmacy in the state(s) for which you are seeking licensure will determine your eligibility to sit for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). Candidates should familiarize themselves with the licensure requirements in the state(s) where they plan to practice.

Prerequisite Coursework Questions

How can I find out if the courses I have taken meet the prerequisites?

The DKICP will accept classes from all regionally accredited institutions. Please read the information below carefully, this will help you to determine what types of classes will fulfill the requirements. It is also suggested that you meet with an academic advisor from your home institution and provide them with this information; they will be able to make educated suggestions. When you submit your completed application with the prerequisite checklist, the Admissions Committee will review your courses. If you are missing a prerequisite you will be notified in writing by the Office of Student Services. If you have taken a course which may meet one of these requirements but is not an obvious match, we can review an email request which includes: course description from the college’s website, catalog, or class syllabus, name of the institution from which the course is being taught, and the number of credits. Please email this request to

Will Advanced Placement (AP) credit be accepted for prerequisite courses?

AP test scores which appear as credit received on a regionally accredited college transcript will be accepted. AP test scores will be accepted for lecture-based courses only. In other words, AP credits cannot be used toward lab requirements.

Will Pass/Fail classes be accepted for prerequisites?

We will not accept pass/fail classes for prerequisites.

Can one course count towards more than one category?

No, one course may be used toward only one requirement.

Can the same course prefix be used towards two different categories?

You may use the same course prefix for two different categories where appropriate. For example: COMM – Public Speaking will meet the Speech requirement and COMM – Intercultural Communications will meet the Humanities requirement.

Will science courses for non-science majors be accepted?

We will not accept any science course which contains the designation “for non-science majors”, “for liberal arts majors only”, or “not intended for science majors”. You must complete the science courses designed for science majors, with labs, in order for them to be accepted.

If an institution does not offer general biology, but offers botany and zoology, is this acceptable?

There are often differences in nomenclature between the courses offered at various colleges, and sometimes this can lead to confusion. We want our applicants to complete the sequence of general biology classes designed for science/biology/pre-health majors at their particular school, with labs, and to meet our requirement for credit hours. General biology courses are sometimes called “botany and zoology”, or by other names, so consult with the registration or advising office at the school which offers them, to make sure you enroll in the right ones. Mentioning to staff that you are taking the courses for pharmacy school admission usually leads to the correct selection.

Can two courses with the same prefix be used towards the Humanities and Social/Behavioral Science categories?

You may not use two courses with the same course prefix for the Humanities or Social/Behavioral Science category. For instance you may not use two Art (ART) courses for the Humanities requirement.

What types of courses meet the Humanities requirements?

In general, classes which are taken in the following disciplines will meet the Humanities prerequisite: Art, Linguistics, Communication, Performing Arts (Dance, Drama, Music), English, Philosophy, Ethics, Hawaiian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Religious Studies and Languages other than English.

What types of courses will meet the Cultural Diversity Component requirement?

Our requirement for a course with a cultural diversity component is generally met by classes such as: World History, World Religions, World Literature, Geography of World Regions, and Cultural Anthropology. In general, it is a class which exposes the student to different cultures and lifestyles. If you have taken a similar course and would like our Admissions Committee to review it to determine if it meets our requirement, please submit an email request to which includes: the course description, name of institution from which the course is being taught, and the number of credits.

What types of courses meet the Social/Behavioral Science requirements?

In general, classes which are taken in the following disciplines will meet the Social/Behavioral Science requirement: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Geography and Women’s Studies. Classes such as Introduction to Business and Agricultural Economics will also meet this requirement.

Is there a statute of limitations for courses?

Prerequisites courses completed over five years ago will be reviewed for acceptability.

International Students Questions

Will coursework taken at a foreign university be accepted?

Students with international transcripts must have their transcripts analyzed by a foreign transcript evaluation service. Please visit the PharmCAS website for more information on this process and to view the list of Foreign Transcript Evaluation Services.

What is the cost for an international student?

For tuition information please visit the UH Hilo Tuition Schedule page. If accepted, international students will need to provide proof of sufficient funds to cover one year of tuition, health insurance, fees, and cost of living; provide a copy of their Passport, Visa, and Form I-20; and must also attend an international student orientation.

Is the TOEFL exam required?

No, international applicants are not required to take the TOEFL exam. However, international applicants must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework in the United States at any regionally-accredited college or university. Of the 30 required semester hours, 6 semester hours must be allocated to English courses, 3 semester hours to Speech/Communication, and 15 hours to non-remedial science courses.

Ready to Get Started?

Request your prospective student information package.

Request Info Form