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PharmCAS Background Checks


Upon your accepting an offer of admission from 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. If you accept multiple offers of admission, your consent serves for all programs. You will not be asked to provide consent upon accepting offers of admission from any additional 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 after acceptance or enrollment. Failure to disclose and provide accurate information about prior criminal records 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. 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. 

Disclosure of Criminal History to Pharmacy Schools

PharmCAS does not require you to report your criminal history. Your selected pharmacy schools, however, may require you to disclose criminal records, complete a background check, and/or submit a drug test at the time of application or after acceptance to verify your eligibility to participate in experiential education rotations, obtain pharmacy licensure, and ensure patient safety.

Potential Implications of a Criminal Record

Applicants with criminal records are encouraged to be aware of the potential impact for program acceptance, program completion, and future licensure. Contact the pharmacy schools directly if you are seeking guidance on the potential impact of a criminal record on your ability to complete the Pharm.D. program or have questions about school policies. 

Applicants with criminal history, including arrests or charges that were resolved other than via a conviction, are also encouraged to independently determine whether those matters may impact their ability to ultimately obtain a license to practice pharmacy in a particular state upon graduation. Contact the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) for more information. 

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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