International Students (RAQA Graduate Program)


Special Notes for International Students


We welcome your interest in the Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance (RAQA) graduate program of Temple University School of Pharmacy. We hope this page answers your questions about our program.


The Master of Science in RAQA is designed for professionals working in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biopharmaceutical industries. It is the largest and most comprehensive graduate program of its kind, and it was the first graduate program in RAQA in the world, started in 1968. We offer many certificates in industry specialties, which students may earn as they pursue the MS.

The MS in RAQA requires the completion of 12 courses of 3 credits each. It is classifed as STEM.

Courses are offered evenings and weekends in three semesters a year: fall (Sept - Dec), spring (Jan - Apr), and summer (May - Aug).

Courses are offered on-campus or online. It is possible to pursue our MS in RAQA degree entirely in a traditional classroom format to complay with F-1 visa status.

Most international students take courses in the fall and spring semesters. Some pursue an OPT in the summer. Others take summer courses to accelerate their program of study.

Students may pursue the RAQA MS full-time, which means taking at least three courses each semester on weeknights and weekends. This satisfies F-1 visa requirements, which stipulate that students must attend all courses in person throughout the entire semester. The School requires international students to take at least one weeknight course each semester.

When permission is given to take an online course, the student must attend that course in the Fort Washington computer lab; this ensures that visa requirements are met. The Fort Washington Computer Lab has current technology required for RAQA courses, including access to Banner, Canvas, and RPNow (an online proctoring system we use for exams). There is no fee for RAQA students to use computers in the lab, which is kept open when classes are in session. There is a separate fee of $15 per exam to use RPNow.

Students may accelerate their studies by taking four courses a semester over three semesters provided they have permission from the Graduate Studies Office. Tuition increases accordingly.


The RAQA graduate program is based at a suburban, corporate-style classroom site (Temple University Fort Washington).

Unfortunately, our site does not have University housing, dormitories or dining halls. There is no walking access to stores or quick access to public transportation.

Housing in the immediate area tends to be expensive. Many international students prefer to live at Temple's Main Campus, which is a large, urban campus, but it is located 20 miles away. There is a train between Temple's Main Campus and Fort Washington, but the station is approximately 1.5 miles away from the RAQA site. It is not an easy walk during snow storms in the fall and spring semesters.

We strongly urge international students Students need a car to access stores, restaurants, apartments and other facilities near Temple University Fort Washington. They also need a car to get to the Temple University Fort Washington to attend classes on weeknights and weekends.  Many carpool with other students.


To view the current tuition of RAQA courses, click this link.

Full-time graduate tuition for three courses in the RAQA program costs at least $12,222 (USD) per semester. That does not include the University Service fee ($445 for three courses), the cost of books, living expenses, or other fees.


There are no full-time or part-time scholarships for the RAQA program.

There are no teaching assistantships or fellowships. 

When you apply to the MS in RAQA, you must demonstrate that you have financial support through a government agency/program, corporate sponsorship or personal finances. 

F-1 visa holders may work a maximum of 20-hours per week in a university setting. The RAQA graduate program and the School of Pharmacy do not offer student employment opportunities.

Visa requirements stipulate that students must attend the entire semester. Students may not stop attending classes early or truncate the semester due to travel plans.

OPT internships may be pursued in the summer. CPTs are not available. The School of Pharmacy and the RAQA Office does not provide assistance with identifying OPT training.


Applicants to the MS in RAQA must be fluent in written and spoken English, since they must make oral presentations and write papers in courses. The pharmaceutical industry uses a specialized regulatory language which contains acronyms and unique terminology. Industry regulatory and quality positions require strong written and oral language skills. For these reasons, the TOEFL or IELTS is required.

  • The minimum scores that Temple accepts for the TOEFL are:
    • 585 for the paper version (PBT)
    • 230 for the computer version (CBT)
    • 85 for the Internet-based version (IBT).

The minimum IELTS is 6.5.

You must achieve the minimum TOEFL score, or your application will not be considered. There are no exceptions.


Due to visa requirements, all international students with a J-1 or F-1 visa are required to take courses on-campus during their first two semesters in the RAQA program. At least one course must meet on a weeknight.

In subsequent semesters, international students may take a maximum of one online course per semester, provided they have earned an overall minimum GPA of 3.33 in all RAQA courses and also obtain the permission of the RAQA Office. That 3.33 GPA must be maintained each semester: if a student does not earn a 3.33 in a given semester, permission will not be granted to pursue one online course in the following semester. In addition, if a student earns a grade less than a B in any required course, permission will be not granted to pursue any online courses.

All online courses must be taken in the Fort Washington Computer Lab. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Students taking online courses must have access to an individual laptop or computer and have hard-wire access to the Internet for online courses.  The Ft Washington computer lab provides hard-wire access.

The School of Pharmacy reserves the right to require international students to pursue traditional classroom courses during their entire program of study.


Office of International Students and Scholars Information on U.S. visas, housing for Temple students, and additional fees for international students.

World Education Services (WES) Transcript and degree evaluation service

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Determines proficiency in the English language


Do not apply until you have received your undergraduate degree. If you apply too early, your application will be rejected.

We encourage you to use WES (a Credential Evaluation Service) to evaluate your transcript. The process takes approximately one week. Applications that do not contain a WES may be denied.

When ordering the evaluation from WES, please stipulate that you need:

1) a full report showing all courses taken;
2) the GPA equivalent for the courses taken; and
3) the degree equivalent in the U.S.

This complete information is required, since your credentials must demonstrate that you earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree and the equivalent of a U.S. GPA of 3.0.


Once you are formally accepted into Temple's RAQA graduate program, you should immediately contact Temple's Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) for assistance with your visa (F-1, J-1, I-20, etc.).

Students are eligible to apply for and receive an I-20, if they are admitted to a full-time degree-seeking program. For further information about the I-20, visit the OISSS website about fees and the Certificate of Eligibility I-20 Application. If you have further questions, please email Ms. Mildred Picon in the OISS () or phone her at 215-204-7708.

Best wishes with your academic pursuits, and thank you for considering Temple University.