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PharmCAS Background Checks


Upon your initial, conditional acceptance by a participating pharmacy degree 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 will send 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 this 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 will not be 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 acceptance and initiated the request for this report.


This report will not be released to any party other than the programs requesting it. 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 as 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: 847.391-4402,

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.

Participating Programs

To see which PharmCAS schools use the Certiphi Screening Centralized Criminal Background Check Program, please refer to the Background Checks and Drug Screenings section of the PharmCAS School Directory. Not all programs conduct a background check process through PharmCAS.

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