Students Exploring Pharmacy

A summer program for high school students
July 24-27, 2017

Program Overview

Students Exploring Pharmacy (STEP) is a customized program designed to inspire Seattle-area 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.

STEP students learn from the best. World-renowned UW School of Pharmacy faculty experts lead these classes. The UW School of Pharmacy is ranked in the top 10 nationally and internationally and has pioneered leading-edge pharmacy practices. View flyer (PDF)

Pharmacy as a Career

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

According to a Mayo Clinic study, 70% of the U.S. population takes medication on a regular basis to treat or manage chronic illness. Pharmacists are the health care team’s medication experts who work collaboratively with physicians and providers to prevent illness, and improve and monitor people’s health. Their professional training means they understand the selection, dosages, interactions, side effects and appropriate use of medications—with the goal of improving a patient’s quality of life.

Pharmacists work in a variety of places including community-based pharmacies, long term care residences, hospitals, and clinics.


All high school students are eligible to apply. Both incoming freshmen and graduating seniors are eligible.


The tuition fee for this four-day program is $40 per student. This fee includes all activities and lunch on Thursday (students bring their own lunch on the other three days). The fee is non-refundable.

Limited scholarships are available.

Included in the Program


  • Hands-on activities in the UW’s Bracken Pharmacy Learning Center
  • Healthcare communication skills
  • Pharmacy calculations basics
  • Discussions with pharmacists from various specialty areas
  • Discussions with current pharmacy students
  • A field trip to a pharmacy
  • The opportunity to explore a wide-range of career options in the pharmacy field
  • BBQ social with program participants

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials by email or postal mail:

Application deadline: March 17, 2017

Application review will begin after the deadline. You will receive notification about your application by March 24, 2017. All relevant details including schedules and directions will be sent once you are accepted and have paid the $40 tuition fee.

Upon acceptance, the following documents will need to be submitted at least 30 business days before the beginning of the program:


Program Outline*

Day Theme(s)
July 24
  • The role of the pharmacist
  • Recognizing drug-related issues
July 25
  • Medication adherence
  • Personalizing medicine for patients
July 26
  • Pharmaceutical compounding
  • Antibiotics, bacteria and infections
July 27
  • Careers in pharmacy
  • Specialty pharmacy

*Tentative, subject to change


dubs-studentsQ: How do I get to campus?
The UW School of Pharmacy is conveniently located in the Magnuson Health Sciences Building. Students can easily travel to campus using light rail or buses. Transportation is the responsibility of the student/family.

Q: What will I do in the program?
Students will attend interactive presentations, labs, discussion groups, and workshops. They 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: Where can I find a detailed schedule?
You can view the STEP Summer Program Agenda here. This schedule is subject to change.

Students spend approximately seven hours a day engaged in activities (Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM).

Q: Is there an active component to the program?
Yes, students will take part in a daily physical activity from 1 to 3 PM, such as kayaking, softball, a university scavenger hunt and bowling. All safety gear such as helmets and life vests will be provided. Accommodations can be made in advance for those not wishing to participate in activities.

Q: If I receive a scholarship, what will be included?
The scholarship includes the tuition fee waiver and daily lunch throughout the program.

Hear how STEP was featured on Seattle’s local radio station, C89.5 FM!

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions?
Cher Espina
Director of Admissions
(206) 616-2916