Letters of Reference

Letters of Reference

School Reference Requirements

Enter up to four (4) evaluator names on your PharmCAS application. Evaluators can submit electronic letters of reference (eLORs) ONLY to PharmCAS. Review the School Directory to learn the number and types of evaluators required and not accepted by each degree program. PharmCAS will NOT determine if you have met the reference requirements for a particular Pharm.D. program.

• PharmCAS will not forward references to pharmacy programs that do not accept them.

• A few pharmacy programs prefer that applicants send references directly to the institution. Review the School Directory for details. PharmCAS will forward up to four references to all of your designated Pharm.D. programs, regardless of the program’s preference.

eLORs Required
Your references must submit their letters of reference through our online electronic letters of reference system. Alert your evaluator to watch for an automated email from PharmCAS with the subject “PharmCAS Reference Request” from noreply@pharmcas.org . PharmCAS will send you an e-mail confirmation when the request is sent to your evaluator’s e-mail address.

Some email filters may interpret PharmCAS emails as “spam” and automatically delete or route them to a “junk” or “spam” folder. If your evaluator does not receive an email from PharmCAS, ask your evaluator to check all spam and junk email file folders or provide you with an alternate email address.

Paper References
Do not send paper letters of reference to PharmCAS. All references must be submitted using the electronic reference system. If your references have any questions at all about using our system, please don’t hesitate to give them the contact information for PharmCAS Customer Service. We would be more than happy to help them with any technical questions they have!

Committee and Composite Letters
Each of your designated Pharm.D. programs will decide whether a committee or composite letters may count as more than one reference.  “Composite” letters typically represent a compilation of letters collected from various individuals. “Committee” letters generally represent a single letter with the collective thoughts of a group of designated individuals usually written by the chair or a designee. PharmCAS will accept the name of a college pre-health profession advisor in lieu of the evaluator(s). Committee and Composite letters must be submitted electronically.

Arrange for PharmCAS to RECEIVE all of your references by the application deadline date set by your designated Pharm.D. programs. Pharm.D. programs may not consider applicants who submit late materials. PharmCAS does NOT enforce reference deadlines and will forward the references to your designated Pharm.D. programs even if they arrive late.

PharmCAS Mailing of References
PharmCAS will begin to forward your references to your designated Pharm.D. programs once your file is complete. PharmCAS will NOT hold your application for missing references.

Check Reference Status
You can check the status of your letters of reference at any time. To view the status of your references, login to your PharmCAS web application and click on References in the Status Box found on the right side of the screen.

Additional References
Do NOT send more than four (4) references to PharmCAS. Send any additional references directly to your designated Pharm.D. programs. Pharm.D. programs may not consider extra references.

PharmCAS will not verify an evaluator’s identity.  If a Pharm.D. program suspects an evaluation is falsified, the Pharm.D. program will contact the applicant or evaluator to investigate. PharmCAS will share any suspected cases of falsified evaluations reported by a Pharm.D. program with the applicant and the applicant’s other designated Pharm.D. programs without comment regarding appropriate action. PharmCAS will not attempt to verify the accuracy of the Pharm.D. program investigation results.

Editing Your List of References
If one or more of your evaluators is unresponsive or declines your invitation to submit a letter of reference on your behalf, you may edit your evaluator contact information on your PharmCAS application before or after you e-submit your application to PharmCAS. You cannot make edits to your evaluator’s information once the evaluator’s reference is received.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives applicants the right to access letters of reference written unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting a reference from an evaluator, you are required to indicate whether you wish to waive your rights. PharmCAS will release your decision to waive or not waive access to this reference to your evaluator and your designated Pharm.D. programs. Pharm.D. programs may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see the letters. If you retain access, you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during interview(s).

In order for PharmCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statements:

  • I hereby give PharmCAS permission to contact the Reference below via email to request the completion of the PharmCAS reference form and letter of reference. If my Reference does not submit an online reference form to PharmCAS in response to the email request, it is my sole responsibility to contact the Reference directly to ensure all references required by my designated Pharm.D. programs are received by the deadline.
  • I understand that the Pharm.D. programs to which I am applying may contact the Reference either to verify the information provided and/or for further clarification of the information provided, and I hereby give permission for the Pharm.D. programs or PharmCAS to do so.

List of PharmCAS Questions for Evaluators
Do NOT print this page! The list of PharmCAS reference form questions is provided for informational purposes only. It is intended to help you select the evaluators who can best respond to these reference questions on your behalf.

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