There are three general steps in applying to pharmacy schools: the primary application, the secondary application, and the interview. A sample application timeline process can be viewed here.
1. Primary applications for most schools must be filed with the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS), which is a centralized application system that opens in mid July. PharmCAS usually opens in mid-July. It includes a personal statement (4500 characters). Once the application is complete, PharmCAS forwards it to whichever schools the student has designated. The PharmCAS application fee is about $150 for the first program designation and $55 for each additional program designation. For schools with rolling admission, submit your primary application as early as possible.
2. Secondary applications or supplementary forms are specific to individual schools. Schools may include these applications in the PharmCAS application. Other schools may send these applications after they have received the PharmCAS application. Both frequently request additional information, essays, letters of recommendation, and/or fees. Some schools may even screen applicants before the applications or forms are sent out. However, secondary applications and supplementary forms differ in that the latter is not a formal application.
Note: Most pharmacy schools participate in PharmCAS. Students interested in applying to other schools must complete each of their prospective schools’ individual applications. For these schools, the application process consist only of steps 2 and 3.
3. Interviews: After reviewing the primary and secondary applications (or supplementary forms), pharmacy schools invite promising applicants to interview. Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred while interviewing, including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, professional attire, and meals. To learn more about interviews, attend our upcoming interview-related orientations and workshops here. For sample interview questions click here.
Re-applicants: Many applicants may not be admitted to the professional school that they desire on their first try. However, if an when you choose to re-apply, there are many things to consider before re-submitting another application the following cycle. For more information on how to improve your application, click here.
- The more you know about a school, the better your chances of being accepted.
- Many application questions can be answered by reading the PSAR.
- Contact individual schools’ admissions offices to find out how they handle:
- Advanced Placement (AP) credits
- International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
- military credits
- courses taken at a community college
- non-US coursework
- courses taken for credit/no credit instead of a grade
- residency issues
- time limits for prerequisite science courses
Please note that if you are retaking courses because pharmacy schools may not accept Advanced Placement (AP), online, or community college credit, your financial aid and/or scholarship status may be affected.
Financial Planning is a crucial step in applying to pharmacy schools. It is important for students to create a plan and make decisions in their educational expenses. Students are highly encouraged to budget their finances before, during, and after pharmacy school. To learn more about financial planning, click here.
FAFSA: All students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through this information, students are eligible to apply for grants, work study, and loans to help fund the cost of undergraduate, graduate and professional school education. FAFSA opens on October 1st.
Note: To be considered for this financial aid, you must apply the year prior to matriculation even if you do not know if you were accepted into graduate or professional school yet.
Military Financial Aid: For more information, click here.
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