PharmCAS will begin to process your application once the following materials are received:
- Completed PharmCAS application;
- Sealed official transcripts from every U.S. and English Canadian college attended; and
- Correct PharmCAS application fee payment via credit card processed through the application.
Save Your Application as a PDF
You can download and view your application in PDF format. From the application dashboard:
- Navigate to the Check Status tab and click the download button next to a program, or
- Navigate to the Submit Application tab and click the download button next to a program.
Once you download the application PDF, you can print it or save it on your computer.
PharmCAS processing may take up to two weeks once all required materials are received. Once your application is complete, PharmCAS will verify the accuracy of your application materials, compare your original transcripts to the self-reported course information on your application, calculate your PharmCAS GPAs, and release your application to each of your designated pharmacy programs.
Other Materials Required by Programs
Your selected programs may require additional materials, including supplemental applications or fees. You are responsible for submitting your application and all other related materials to ensure they are received by the program’s deadline. Failure to submit all required materials required by your selected programs may jeopardize your eligibility for admission consideration. PharmCAS will not determine if you have met the minimum course requirements or are eligible for admission to a particular program. Please check the School Directory to view supplemental requirements.
Review your application carefully before you submit. You generally cannot make corrections after your application is submitted. Only the following sections can be updated following submission:
- Alternate Name
- Contact Information
- Password and Security Questions
- Add Programs: No substitutions or deletions.
- Colleges Attended: Add new institutions attended.
- Courses: Add new coursework completed or planned at any time. One-time submission of new planned and completed courses in the Transcript Entry section during Academic Update only for new verification and updated GPA.
- Evaluations: New references only. No deletions once reference is received.
- PCAT and TOEFL: Add new test dates and scores at any time. Programs might not consider updated scores in the admissions process.
- Experiences and Achievements: New entries only. No deletions or revisions.
Changing Program Selections After Submission
- Withdrawing Your Application. If you wish to withdraw your application from 1 or more programs, contact the institution directly.
- Substituting or Deleting Program Selections. PharmCAS cannot substitute or delete program choices or refund application fees after you submit your application. If you wish to rescind your application to a particular program after you submit, contact the institution directly to remove your application from consideration.
- Adding a New Program after Submission. You may apply to additional programs after you submit your application, provided the application deadlines have not yet passed. To apply to additional programs, review the “Add Programs” instructions.
Violations After Submission
If a violation or institutional action (i.e. academic sanction, etc.) occurs after an applicant e-submits their PharmCAS application, it is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the programs they have or will apply to in this application cycle. Programs can independently decide on what action they choose to take with this information.
Sharing of Admission Decisions
On a dynamic basis, PharmCAS programs will receive reports regarding the number of offers of admission made and number of offers of admission accepted for those applicants the program shares with another PharmCAS program. Your designated PharmCAS programs will know how many offers of admission you have received and how many offers of admission you have accepted at other PharmCAS programs. PharmCAS programs will not know how many applications you have submitted. They will also not know whether you were denied admission to another program or be informed of any other admission actions made by other PharmCAS programs, except offers of admission made or accepted.
Accepting Offers of Admission
You are encouraged to make a final decision related to your matriculation as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to adhere to any deadlines for acceptances established by the programs to which you have been offered admission. You should refer to the appropriate program page in the School Directory for instructions on deadlines, documents, and deposits that may be required to formally accept an offer of admission. Contact your selected program(s) directly for questions.
Notice to Applicants Offered Admission
If you are offered and accept an offer of admission to a program, you may be required to submit a second set of official transcripts from every college/university you have attended directly to the program prior to matriculation. PharmCAS cannot forward transcripts to a program to fulfill this program requirement.
PharmCAS programs may continue to make offers of admission to waitlisted applicants up until the first day of class. A program that has placed an applicant on a waitlist will not have access to that applicant’s admission status at other PharmCAS programs. Waitlisted applicants should contact the appropriate program directly for specific information on that program’s waitlist policy.
PharmCAS offers a centralized background check process for accepted applicants. The purpose of the process is, in part, to ascertain the ability of a student to meet the requirements of clinical education sites and become licensed pharmacists. Each program participating in PharmCAS chooses whether to use the background check vendor, Certiphi Screening Inc. Not all programs conduct a background check process through PharmCAS.
To see which PharmCAS programs use the Certiphi Screening Centralized Criminal Background Check Program, please refer to the PharmCAS School Directory.
Background Check Description
Below is a description of each check conducted by AACP's selected vendor, Certiphi Screening, in support of the AACP centralized criminal background check solution.
- Social Security Number Search
A search of credit report header data to help confirm the applicant's identifying information such as name, aliases, address(es), Social Security Number and to determine areas of prior residence.
- County Criminal Records Searches
A direct search of county courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history. All records are researched to help ensure positive identification and complete, easy-to-read details.
- Statewide Criminal Records Search
A search conducted through statewide criminal records repositories or court systems for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history.
- Federal Criminal Records Search
A direct search of federal courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history. All records are researched to help ensure positive identification and complete, easy-to-read details.
- National Criminal Database Search
This search is an instant, multi-jurisdiction private database search covering more than 194 million criminal records collected from across the country. All database "hits" are verified directly through the source of information to ensure that records reported are current and up to date.
- National Sexual Offender Database Search
A search of a national private database which contains sex offender data collected from across the country. All records are researched to help ensure positive identification.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals/Entities Search
A search of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), a database which provides information to the public, health care providers, patients, and others relating to parties excluded from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs.
- Search for Dishonorable Discharge from the Armed Forces
Military records are verified through either telephone interviews with the subject's former commander or by obtaining the applicant's DD-214 form. Verification generally includes subject's name, Service Number, rank, dates of service, awards and decorations, and place of entrance and separation.
- International Screening
International criminal records searches are performed where applicable.
- SanctionsBase Screening
A search covering sanctions, disciplinary and administrative actions taken by hundreds of federal and state healthcare regulatory authorities, including FDA, NIH, GSA, OFAC, terrorist watch lists and more.
Upon your initial, conditional acceptance by a participating program, Certiphi Screening, Inc. sends an email to the preferred email address you entered in your PharmCAS application. This email will provide you with access to a secure, online form via which you will provide basic identifying information and consent for this report to be procured. Your consent serves for all programs. You will not be asked to provide consent upon receiving additional, conditional acceptance offers by participating programs. You will be charged a $72.70 fee by Certiphi Screening, Inc.
Notification and Applicant Review
Once you provide consent, Certiphi procures a national background check on you. Once the report is complete, Certiphi sends an email requesting that you review the report prior to its distribution. Upon receiving this email:
- You have ten (10) calendar days from the date the email was sent to review your report prior to the report being made available to the participating programs. If you do not review this report, the report will be distributed after this period elapses.
- You are provided with an opportunity to contest the accuracy of the contents of the report within the specified ten (10) calendar day period. The report is not released to the participating programs until any potential inaccuracies have been resolved.
Once you review and release the report, or after the specified ten (10) calendar day period has elapsed, without contest, the report will be made available to the participating program who offered an acceptance and initiated the request for this report.
The report is not released to any party other than the programs requesting this report. Please note that the requesting program will be notified if consent is not provided, and that failure to provide consent may result in failing to meet the requesting program’s admissions requirements. Many programs not participating in our service may also require applicants to undergo a separate national background check process. Contact your designated programs directly for specific policies.
About Background Checks for Pharmacy
Most programs require a criminal background check as a condition of acceptance. Failure to disclose and provide accurate information about prior convictions may have serious consequences, such rescinding of acceptance offers, program dismissal, or other sanctions.
Background checks reflect all prior convictions, guilty pleas, city ordinance citations (such as public intoxication), illegal possession(s) including possession of alcohol under the legal age, payments of fines (including traffic violations), and in some cases, prior records thought to have been expunged. Note that in some states, common traffic violations may be considered misdemeanors.
Candidates with criminal records due to felony offenses are encouraged to be aware of the potential impact for program acceptance and future licensure. Contact the programs you wish to apply to and state licensing agencies where you hope to practice for advice if you have a felony conviction or a criminal record. If you are uncertain of the status of a charge versus a conviction on your record, or if you are uncertain as to whether your offense was an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony, contact the city, county, or state jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
Pharmacy programs may require criminal background checks and/or drug tests in order to verify an individual’s suitability to participate in experiential education rotations, to confirm a student’s eligibility for pharmacy licensure, and to ensure patient safety. Contact your designated programs directly for specific policies.
PharmCAS requires you to report any felony or misdemeanor convictions. You may also be required to report one or more of the following types of records directly to your designated programs with details about the judgments or disciplines.
- Arrests for misdemeanors and felonies
- Adjudication withheld
- Nolo contendere
- Plea bargain
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony prior to matriculation, it is your responsibility to IMMEDIATELY inform your program(s).
Contact the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to determine if a criminal conviction will prevent you from obtaining a license to practice pharmacy in a particular state. NABP, 1600 Feehanville Drive, Mount Prospect, IL Tel: 847-391-4406, Fax: 847-375-1114, https://nabp.pharmacy/.
The PharmCAS application limits its collection of applicant criminal history to information regarding felony and misdemeanor convictions. The application does not request information regarding arrests, criminal charges that were dismissed or were disposed of other than through conviction (for example, through pretrial diversion), or criminal matters that have been expunged or sealed. Laws regarding the ability to request and consider such information in connection with an application for higher education or in an application for professional licensing vary from state to state. In some jurisdictions, a pharmacy school or ultimately a state licensing board may be authorized to and may request and consider criminal history information beyond that collected through the PharmCAS application. Such information could also appear on certain criminal background checks. Applicants with any criminal history, including arrests or charges that were resolved other than via a conviction, are encouraged to independently determine whether those matters may appear in a criminal background check or may be considered by a pharmacy school or licensing board to which they intend to apply and whether they may present a barrier to acceptance or ultimate licensure.
Please note that PharmCAS does not provide legal advice regarding these matters.
AACP recommends that all U.S. programs procure a drug screening on you upon your initial, conditional acceptance to pharmacy school. The rationale for performing drug screenings on accepted pharmacy school applicants is based on a number of issues, including 1) the need to enhance the safety and well-being of patients and, in so doing, to bolster the public's continuing trust in the pharmacy profession, and 2) to ascertain the ability of accepted applicants to complete their pharmacy education and eventually become licensed pharmacists.
In support of this recommendation, AACP has initiated a PharmCAS-facilitated drug screening service, through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen® Company) procures a drug screening report on applicants at the point of acceptance. AACP initiated this service in order to recognize the desire of programs to procure appropriate drug screen reports, and to prevent applicants from paying additional fees at each program to which they are accepted.
Drug Screening Description
Certiphi uses urine screening methodologies utilizing both laboratory and instant testing technologies. Tests will be performed through Certiphi’s vast pool of more than 8,000 collection sites located throughout the United States and Canada.
Once a participating program has offered you admission, Certiphi Screening will send you an email with instructions for completing the drug screen. The email will include a toll-free telephone number to contact with any questions regarding the process.
Individual programs may require you to submit to additional drug screenings following the initial screen.
Once a drug screen has been completed, Certiphi will provide the report to the student applicant as well as all programs offering acceptance.
Drug Screening Process
Upon your initial, conditional acceptance by a participating program, Certiphi Screening, Inc. sends an email to the preferred email address you entered on the PharmCAS application. This email provides you with access to a secure, online form via which you will provide basic identifying information, consent for this report to be procured, and payment of $53. Your consent will serve for all programs, and you will not be asked to provide consent upon receiving additional, conditional acceptance offers by participating programs.
Once you have provided payment, Certiphi will provide additional instructions on available drug screening collection facilities to be used for specimen collection. Upon report completion, Certiphi will send an email to your preferred email address notifying you that your drug screening report is complete. A copy of the report will also be provided immediately to the program(s).
The report procured during this process will not be released to any party other than the programs requesting this report.
Upon testing by the laboratory, if the specimen is found to be positive for one or more of the drugs tested, you will receive a telephone call from Medical Review Officer (MRO) at Certiphi Screening, Inc.
The MRO will consult with you and your physician to obtain proof as to why the drug/medication was in your specimen.
If you do not return the call to the MRO within three business days, the report will be delivered as a “positive” drug screen.
To see which PharmCAS schools use the Certiphi Screening Centralized Drug Screening Program, please refer to the PharmCAS School Directory.