PharmCAS Application: What You Need to Know

October 16, 2023
7 min read
Contents

”Jonathan

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/16/23

Your PharmCAS application can seem overwhelming at first glance. To ease some of your angst and make the process as simple as possible, in this guide, we will go over how to fill out this application, its deadlines, costs, and more!

The number of pharmacists has steadily increased over the years. Within the last decade alone, there was an increase of almost 100,000 pharmacists in the US. As a high-paying, lucrative, and rewarding career, it’s no surprise this profession is gaining popularity, and you’re considering joining it yourself!

But before filling those prescriptions and providing medical advice to your patients, you must attend pharmacy school. To do so, you must complete your PharmCAS application, which we’ll discuss in this guide.

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How the PharmCAS Application Works

Students complete just one PharmCAS application, which is sent out to all pharmacy schools they wish to apply to, regardless of how many. Sounds easy, right? While hitting submit and having your applications sent out to all of your desired schools is simple, completing the application itself is not.

It will require time, effort, and meticulous attention to detail!

How To Fill Out Your PharmCAS Application

Let’s break down the PharmCAS application so you know what to expect as you prepare to begin the application process:

Step One: Set Up Your PharmCAS Account

The first part of your pharmacy application involves you creating your PharmCAS account. Pick a username and password and enter your correct contact information, which will be relayed to the schools you apply to.

Step Two: Choose Your Programs

Before you begin your application, you should list the programs you plan on applying to. Several months in advance, research the pharmacy programs that fit your needs. Consider tuition costs, location, faculty, facilities, and the opportunities at each school.

While you can add or delete any programs throughout the application, once you have submitted them, you cannot change your selection.

Step Three: Fill In Your Personal Information

Once you’re satisfied with your program selection, you’ll be asked to share your personal information, including your:

  • Biographic information
  • Contact information
  • Citizenship information
  • Parent/guardian information
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Other information, such as your language proficiency and economic, educational, and environmental background
  • Military history

There is also a section that allows you to share how COVID-19 impacted your path to becoming a pharmacist. If you had limited academic opportunities due to the pandemic, your admission officers can consider this as they review your application.

Step Four: Report Your Academic History

Reporting your academic history is likely the most tedious part of the PharmCAS application. You must ask any colleges you attended for official transcripts that you can submit to PharmCAS.

Using these transcripts, you must list all the coursework you pursued in college, including those you withdrew from, failed, or repeated. For assistance with this application component, you may use PharmCAS’ Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) service for a fee. 

If applicable, you will also be asked to submit your standardized test scores. Many schools no longer require the PCAT as part of the application process, but if you want to share your score, you can do so here.

Step Five: Request Evaluations

Students must request up to four evaluations by professors or other mentors through the PharmCAS application. While you do not have to submit four, you should base the number of evaluations you request on your programs’ requirements.

These evaluations will have two parts: questions and ratings and a letter of reference. Both parts must be submitted through PharmCAS’ evaluator portal, Letters by Liaison. Ensure you contact your evaluators in advance so they are prepared to submit your evaluations and you know their preferred email addresses. 

Step Six: Share Your Experiences

You’ve worked tirelessly throughout college to build the best pharmacy school application, and your programs want to hear about it! This section allows you to share all  the activities and experiences you pursued to prepare for your career. 

List all relevant experiences and categorize them as one of the following:

  • Pharmacy experience: in a pharmacy or pharmacy-related field, such as shadowing a pharmacist or working as a pharmacy technician
  • Healthcare experience: paid or unpaid experience where you were directly responsible for patient care
  • Employment: volunteer or paid work done outside of the healthcare or pharmacy field or a research lab
  • Extracurriculars: any related, unpaid experiences you would like your programs to know about, including school clubs or sports

Along with listing your experiences, you will be asked to share information about your supervisor and the organizations you worked with.

Step Seven: List Your Achievements

Next, you’ll be asked to list your professional and academic achievements into one of the following types:

  • Honors
  • Publications
  • Scholarships

Once you submit your application, you cannot remove or edit your achievements, but you can add more if needed. You can also list professional licenses or certifications you have.

Step Eight: Write a Personal Statement

The final step of your PharmCAS application will be to submit a personal statement. This statement should address why you selected pharmacy as a career and how the Doctor of Pharmacy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. 

Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. Your essay should be around one-page long, with a 4,500-character limit.

PharmCAS Application Deadlines

The PharmCAS application deadline is June 1st. Applications open in mid-July. You should review your programs’ priority and enforced deadlines to determine when to submit your application. In general, these are the preferred deadlines of most pharmacy schools:

  • October 2, 2023
  • November 1, 2023
  • December 1, 2023 
  • January 4, 2024 
  • February 1, 2024
  • March 1, 2024 
  • April 1, 2024 
  • May 1, 2024

Similarly, these are the final deadlines for most pharmacy schools:

  • November 1, 2023 
  • December 1, 2023 
  • January 4, 2024 
  • February 1, 2024 
  • March 1, 2024 
  • April 1, 2024 
  • May 1, 2024 
  • June 3, 2024  

See which deadlines correspond with your preferred schools and ensure you meet them! To avoid any delays, students should apply by the priority deadline or at least two weeks before their final deadline.

PharmCAS Application Cost

The PharmCAS application costs $175 for the first program and $55 for each additional program you apply to. If you plan on using the PTE service, the cost for this depends on how many transcripts you need assistance reporting:

  • One to three transcripts: $69
  • Four to six transcripts: $95
  • Seven or more transcripts: $145

Students may be eligible for a fee waiver if they are financially disadvantaged. These are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be requested before you submit your application.

FAQs: PharmCAS Application

Still, have inquiries about the PharmCAS application? We’ve got you covered! Below you’ll find the answers to frequently asked questions about this application. 

1. How Long Does It Take for PharmCAS To Verify an Application?

It can take up to 10 business days for your application to move to the verified status, granted there are no issues with your application.

2. How Do I Submit My PharmCAS Application?

Once you’ve made your PharmCAS account, your entire application will be completed through this portal. You will be prompted to enter the personal information required by your programs,  academic history, evaluation requests, experiences, achievements, and personal statement. 

Once satisfied with these components, hit submit, pay your fees, and you’re good to go!

3. How Do I Find My Old PharmCAS Application?

You can find your old application by logging into the account used for this application and clicking “Reapplication.” Then you can review your previous application and decide whether to copy the data or start fresh.

Final Thoughts

While the PharmCAS application process can be time-consuming and require considerable effort, it is essential to your pharmacy school journey. Once you’ve completed it, you’ll be one step closer to actualizing your dream of becoming a pharmacist and joining this growing profession!

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