STEP – Students Exploring Pharmacy
A Summer Program for High School Students

Program Overview

Students Exploring Pharmacy (STEP) is a 4-day program designed to inspire high school students as they explore pharmacy as a career option. Students engage in hands-on activities that provide an introduction to pharmacy practice and perspective on the numerous ways a pharmacist contributes to improving people’s health—in ways that go far beyond dispensing medications.

UW School of Pharmacy faculty, who are nationally-known experts, teach classes and facilitate activities. The UW School of Pharmacy is ranked in the top 10 nationally and internationally and has pioneered leading-edge pharmacy practices.

STEP 2023

Information for the 2023 STEP program will be available in March.

Apply Now

Applications generally include the following materials:

  • Application Form 
  • A 250-word maximum personal statement (included in the application) discussing your interest in health, wellness, healing, medical care, or related fields. Please include any personal experiences that may have contributed to your interests. 
  • One letter of recommendation (from a teacher, counselor/advisor, other school official or supervisor) 
    • Note: Your recommender will receive a link via email to submit their letter of recommendation up to 2 business days after you submit the application form.

Included in the Program

  • Healthcare communication skills
  • Pharmacy calculations basics
  • Discussions with pharmacists from various specialty areas
  • Interaction with faculty and current pharmacy students
  • The opportunity to explore a wide-range of career options in the pharmacy field
  • School of Pharmacy “swag”


Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to apply, including incoming high school freshmen. Graduating seniors are not eligible and are encouraged to consult the UW Youth Program Directory for additional opportunities.


The 2023 STEP program fee will be announced in March. The program fee includes courses, activities, “swag” and lunch for the entirety of the program. The fee is non-refundable. 

Pharmacy as a Career

Pharmacists are the medication experts on the healthcare team. They work collaboratively with physicians and other providers to treat and prevent illness, and to improve and monitor people’s health. Pharmacists’ professional training gives them full mastery of medication therapy—with the goal of improving a patient’s quality of life.

Pharmacists work in a variety of settings, including community-based pharmacies, long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and research labs.

Careers in pharmacy consistently rank at the top in the U.S. for salary, job satisfaction, growth opportunity, and work-life balance. The demand for well-trained pharmacists continues to grow.


Disability Accommodations
To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or The University of Washington makes every effort to honor disability accommodation requests. Requests can be responded to most effectively if received as far in advance of the event as possible, preferably at least 10 days.


dubs-studentsQ: What will I do in the program?
As a student you will attend interactive presentations, labs, discussion groups, and workshops. You will learn health information, basic medication compounding procedures, approaches to treating illnesses, ways to improve the quality of medication-related healthcare, and clinical skills such as counseling a patient and measuring blood pressure.

Q: Is there an active component to the program?
Yes, students will have an opportunity take part in hands-on and other interactive activities such as campus tours and games. Comfortable shoes are recommended. 

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions?
UW School of Pharmacy