Pharmacists educated outside of the United States are required to achieve Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination CommitteeTM (FPGEC®) Certification before applying for a pharmacy licensure exam or state board of pharmacy license.
The FPGEC Certification includes:
- A review of your education and licensure/registration
- A passing score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
- A passing score for the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination® (FPGEE®)
The certification is not a license to practice pharmacy; it ensures that a foreign pharmacist’s education meets comparable requirements to pharmacists educated from US pharmacy colleges. Each state has different requirements for obtaining a license. Once you are FPGEC certified, it is important that you check the board of pharmacy website for specific licensure requirements in the state or jurisdiction you wish to be licensed.
- Graduate from a recognized/accredited school of pharmacy in a non-US country or jurisdiction
- If you received a pharmacy degree prior to January 1, 2003, you must have completed a minimum 4-year pharmacy curriculum at the time of graduation.
- If you received a pharmacy degree on or after January 1, 2003, you must have completed a minimum 5-year pharmacy curriculum at the time of graduation.
- Provide documentation for your foreign license and/or registration
- The license and or registration must be unrestricted. You must meet the licensing requirements according to the country in which you obtained your license and/or registration. If both are required, both must be submitted.
Gain a better understanding of the steps involved in receiving FPGEC certification. The timeframes noted in the below steps may vary during high-volume periods. Before applying for certification, read the FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin for application details and requirements. Reviewing the Bulletin is the first, and most important, step in the application process.
Submit Your Application and Degree Credentials
Complete the following steps to properly submit your FPGEC application and documentation:
Make sure you have an NABP e-Profile and e-Profile ID number. You will need an account to submit the online FPGEC application. Your e-Profile ID replaces the EE number as an identifier. Do not create a new e-Profile if you applied for certification prior to May 2018. Read the Candidate Application Bulletin for more information.
Prepare and register for the TOEFL iBT.
You must pass the TOEFL iBT before you can be accepted for the FPGEE. Consider preparing and/or taking the TOEFL iBT exam before you submit your FPGEC application.
Check with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for dates and locations for the exam. All 4 sections of the exam must be completed in 1 testing session; MyBest scores are not accepted. Remote-proctored or the at home TOEFL iBT exam is not accepted by the FPGEC.
Submit your FPGEC application in the Foreign Pharmacy section of NABP e-Profile.
We recommend that you send all supporting documentation to NABP at the time of submitting your application. FPGEC applications are only valid for 2 years. Evaluation of your FPGEC application will not begin until all documentation is received, including a passing TOEFL iBT score report.
Collect your degree credentials and submit the following to Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE):
- Documentation of your education including official transcripts
- Official proof of your degree in pharmacy
- Translation of non-English documents
- Payment of the General Evaluation Report fee
ECE will verify your degree credentials and is the only organization that can evaluate your credentials on behalf of NABP. The ECE application may be submitted prior to submitting your FPGEC application.
Ensure you have valid proof that you have obtained the requirements to practice pharmacy in another country without restrictions.
This may include a license, a registration, both a license and a registration, or neither. You will also need to provide other required personal documentation (passport, attestation, and photos) that can be sent to NABP. Do not submit original documents, as documents will not be returned.
If your documents are not in English, follow the translation requirements specified in the Candidate Application Bulletin. Documents must be submitted in a properly sealed envelope by the issuing body, with a seal, stamp, or signature of an official across the envelop flap closure, to ensure the confidentiality of the documents. Envelopes that are not sealed as outlined in the Candidate Application Bulletin or that appear tampered with will not be accepted.
After submitting an FPGEC application, you will have 2 years to meet the requirements for acceptance to the certification program. Review all documentation requirements thoroughly before they are submitted. Your evaluation may significantly be delayed if the documents are sent incorrectly the first time.
You will have 2 years to meet the requirements for acceptance to the certification program. In addition to submitting your online FPGEC application, the following supporting documents must be received for your evaluation to begin:
- FPGEC Attestation (including an additional loose photo)
- Unrestricted, permanent pharmacy license and/or registration
- Official translation of non-English documents
- Notarized copy of acceptable current photo ID
- ECE Report/documentation (submitted to ECE)
- Passing TOEFL iBT score report
- It takes approximately 4 weeks for NABP to process your scores after you request the TOEFL iBT score report.
Review all documentation requirements thoroughly before they are submitted. Your evaluation may significantly be delayed if the documents are sent incorrectly the first time.
Additional information about the required documentation and evaluation process can be found in the Foreign Pharmacy Help Section and Bulletin. Check your application and document evaluation status by logging in to your NABP e-Profile.
Please note, obtaining approved US asylum status does not waive any FPGEC requirements.
Evaluation of supporting documents and your application may take up to 8 weeks. The evaluation will not start until all the required documentation is received at NABP Headquarters, including a passing TOEFL iBT score report. Evaluations are prioritized in the order they are received. Your evaluation status will be posted in your NABP e-Profile. Requesting a status update will not expedite the evaluation time.
Each time you submit corrected/required documents per your deficiency posting, they must be evaluated. It can take an additional 8 weeks from the time they are received by NABP for the new documents to be evaluated. Evaluation will not begin until all deficient documents are received at NABP Headquarters.
FPGEE Identification Cards (FICs) will only be sent to candidates who have registered for the FPGEE and received an Authorization to Test (ATT). You will receive an email once your FIC is mailed.
Acceptance to Take the FPGEE
You will be notified electronically that you are eligible to purchase and schedule your FPGEE when you have completed all of the requirements for your FPGEC application. You will receive an acceptance notification in your NABP e-Profile. You will have 2 years to take and pass the FPGEE from your acceptance date.
The FPGEE is administered once per year. Read more about the FPGEE and review the important testing dates prior to scheduling the exam in your NABP e-Profile.
On the day of the FPGEE test, you must present your FIC and your primary ID. Your primary ID must exactly match your name in e-Profile and your FIC. You will forfeit your test fee if these requirements are not met.
Your FPGEE scores will be available in your e-Profile approximately 8 weeks after the test and will not be mailed to you. The minimum passing score for the FPGEE is 75.
Receiving FPGEC Certification
You will be granted your FPGEC Certification after completing all of the above steps and receiving passing scores on the TOEFL iBT and FPGEE exams. A paper FPGEC Certificate will not be provided. NABP e-Profile will show your FPGEC Certification date; this date can also be viewed by the state boards of pharmacy.
Next steps: Contact the state board of pharmacy where you wish to obtain your pharmacist licensure to receive information about that state’s requirements. Each state’s pharmacy licensure requirements may vary. We recommend you check the state’s eligibility requirements for the NAPLEX and MPJE before registering for those examinations.
We have many resources available to help you throughout the FPGEC Certification process.
For specific Certification questions, contact the FPGEC team: