Skip to main content
Liaison International

PharmCAS Quick Start Guide

What is PharmCAS? 

The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) simplifies the process of applying to Pharm.D. programs. You start by selecting the programs you wish to apply to, then you submit one application that includes all necessary materials. Once received by PharmCAS, your application and materials go through a verification process before being transmitted to all of your selected programs. Click here to start your application.

Also review PharmCAS.org, a site hosted by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). This site includes information helpful to prospective applicants, such as school-specific admission requirements and additional pharmacy resources.

How long does the application process take? 

It's important you apply as early as possible since completing your application can be a lengthy process, and since application processing times vary throughout the cycle. Below is a suggested timeline that includes key actions to keep the application process on track. This timeline may need to be adjusted based on your programs' deadlines and requirements. 

Timeline Key Actions

Prior to the Start of the Application Process

  1. Use the PharmD School Directory to research programs you wish to apply to. Pay special attention to:

    • Cycle dates and deadline requirements. 
    • Application fees.
    • Reference requirements. 
    • Minimum requirements, including prerequisites, standardized test scores, supplemental applications, foreign evaluations, etc. 
  2. Determine if you want to apply as an Early Decision applicant. 

  3. Begin contacting potential references to confirm their participation. 

  4. Review the PharmCAS Applicant Code of Conduct

At Least 3 Months Prior to Deadline

  1. Create your account
  2. Complete the Colleges Attended section. 
  3. Complete the Evaluations section. 

At Least 10-12 Weeks Prior to Deadline

  1. Ask your schools to send official transcripts directly to PharmCAS. If there are any holds on your account at a school, resolve them now to avoid delays in sending transcripts. 
  2. Begin entering coursework into your application. 
  3. Check in with your references to confirm that they received the reference request via e-mail.
  4. Begin drafting your personal essay.

At Least 6-8 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Complete and submit your application. Review the Verification process. Monitor your application for receipt of transcripts and letters of reference and follow up on any missing items.

At Least 4-6 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Continue monitoring your application until your status is Verified. 

After Deadline Download a copy of your application for your records.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coursework, Transcripts, and GPAs Programs and Statuses Fees and Payments
Do I need to send transcripts?

Yes, you must submit official transcripts to PharmCAS. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines on each type of transcript.

 

Where do I find the Transcript Request Form?

The Transcript Request Form is found in the Colleges Attended section, after you submit a college entry.

 

Should I send my high school transcripts?

No.

 

My transfer credits are listed on my primary transcript. Do I still need to send all transcripts?

You must report all colleges attended and submit official transcripts, even if your transfer credits are listed on your primary transcript. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines.

 

How do I know what my primary institution is?

Your primary institution is the college where you earned or will earn your first undergraduate college degree.

 

Do I really have to enter all coursework?

Yes, you must enter all US and English Canadian coursework into the Transcript Entry section of the application. 

 

How do I list my repeated courses?

PharmCAS considers a course to be repeated if you enrolled in the same course  again (with the same course title and prefix) at the same college as the first time. If you have taken the same class more than once, mark the first and all subsequent attempts as "repeated."

Enter the number of credit hours attempted for each course, regardless of how many credits were actually earned. If the repeated course is currently planned or in-progress, enter it on the application and mark it as "repeated" during Transcript Review. 

If you update a grade for a repeated course during the Academic Update period, your PharmCAS GPA will be updated to reflect the new grade, in addition to the grade for the initial course attempt. 

 

How do I know which course subjects to choose?

Course subjects typically correspond with the department that offered the course at your institution. If you're unsure of the subject, select the one that best describes the course content. Our verification team may revise your selected course subject if you clearly selected the wrong one based on its title or department. 

 

 
 
 
I don't agree with the course subject that was selected for me. How do I change it?

Course subjects are assigned to categories based on the titles and department prefixes listed on your official transcripts, not the course content or description in a college catalog. Pharmacy programs determine and use the standardized PharmCAS Course Subjects list and will not consider dispute requests for course subject assignments that are clearly indicated on the list. 

If, during Verification, a course subject is incorrectly assigned to the wrong category, PharmCAS can revisit the course title and prefix, and make the appropriate changes on your behalf. To request an update to course subjects that you believe were categorized incorrectly, email Customer Service with the subject line "Course Subject Correction," and include your name, CAS ID, and the requested course subject change in the message. 
 

 

 
 
Should I include foreign coursework in the Transcript Entry section?

No.

 

Why is my PharmCAS GPA different from the GPA on my transcripts?

The PharmCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college and any academic forgiveness policies. The PharmCAS  grading scale may also differ from the transcript grade key. See Calculating Your PharmCAS GPAs for more information.

 

I don't agree with the GPA. How do I change it?

The PharmCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college and any academic forgiveness policies. If after reviewing your calculated coursework you find an error with your GPA, review Disputing and Correcting PharmCAS Course Subjects and GPAs.

 

How do I remove a program?

Your application must always have at least one program selected. To remove a program, first navigate to the Add Programs tab and select the desired program(s). Then navigate to the Submit Application tab and remove the undesired program(s).

 

 

Where can I find the list of pharmacy degree programs that participate in PharmCAS?

The PharmCAS School Directly lists all participating doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) programs. You can also see available programs on the Add Program tab in the application. 

 

 

 
If I choose to apply to a pharmacy degree program that participates in PharmCAs do I need to apply through PharmCAS?

Yes. All applicants must use the PharmCAS application.

 
 
 
Can I apply to more programs after I submit my application?

Yes, if the program's deadline date has not yet passed and the application cycle is open.

 

Should I submit my application if I'm still waiting on transcripts, evaluations, and/or official test scores?

Yes. You can and are encouraged to submit your application before your transcripts, evaluations, and/or official test scores are received by PharmCAS.

 

Will PharmCAS update me on the status of my application?

Your application status for each program is listed in the Check Status section of the application. PharmCAS will notify you when official transcripts and Evaluations are received, and when your application is verified. It is your responsibility to ensure all materials are received on time. 

 

When will I learn about admissions decisions? Did I get in!?

Each pharmacy school will contact you directly regarding its admission decisions. Please contact the program directly with any questions regarding admissions decisions or timelines.

 

Is there any other way to pay other than by credit card?

We currently only accept payments by credit card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

 

I want a refund. What do I need to do?

Refunds are not given for any reason. Review Refunding/Withdrawing Your PharmCAS Application for more information.

 

Do fee waivers expire?

If you qualified for and were awarded a PharmCAS fee waiver, your fee waiver expires in 14 days, including weekends and holidays. See PharmCAS Fee Waivers for more information.

 

 

  • Was this article helpful?