Scholarship opportunity

A big part of the decision to attend pharmacy school is figuring out how to finance pharmacy school. Whether you take out loans, use savings, or receive scholarships, there are ways to help pay for your schooling. Below is a scholarship opportunity that was shared with our Admissions Office. There are lots of scholarships out there, and every little bit of money can help!

National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) is pleased to award 20 scholarships to graduate students in dental, medical (allopathic or osteopathic), health policy, public health, and pharmacy schools as well as BA and above nursing students. Eleven scholars will receive a 2 year scholarship for $5,000 per year, and nine scholars will receive a one year scholarship for $2,000. The scholarships will be presented to awardees at the National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Galas in Los Angeles, CA on December 8, 2016 and New York City, NY on December 15, 2016.

Application Deadlines for StudentsOctober 14, 2016.

The applications are to be completed online. For applications and additional details, please visit the NHHF website at


Best things about Asheville

We’ve talked about our Asheville campus before here. Our students love studying on the Asheville campus because of the smaller class size (25-30 students as opposed to 120-130 in Chapel Hill), access to innovative pharmacy and health care practice through initiatives like the Asheville Project, and opportunities to study Rural Health. Students love living in Asheville because of the great food, drink, music, and culture scene in downtown Asheville, and the close proximity to the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Learn more about what makes Asheville an awesome place to live here.

Advice from our application readers

We use independent application readers to read and evaluate PharmD applications. After wrapping up application review this past year, I asked our application readers to share their application advice for prospective applicants. 

Outside of PCAT/grades, what makes an application strong or stand out positively?

A strong essay and strong letters of recommendation.

  • Essay – do not repeat what is already in your application. Tell the reader about yourself. We want to get to know you. We know what courses you have taken, we can see that you have been involved in student organizations and have shadowed, etc. Dig deeper! How were those experiences meaningful, what did they teach you, how did you deal with challenges, take us through the problem solving experience, etc. If you do want to share more about something already on your application, make sure you are sharing something above and beyond what is already included. We have so many outstanding candidates with excellent qualifications. We need to be able to get to know you through your essay. It is your opportunity to differentiate yourself.
  • Letters of Recommendation – do not gather letters of recommendation from high school teachers or a family friend who is a pharmacist. We want to learn about you as an undergraduate. We want to hear from those people who have known you well during your undergraduate experience – professors, lab supervisors, pharmacy supervisors, volunteer supervisors/advisors, etc. The main emphasis should be on asking people to write letters of recommendation that know you very well, and will write you a positive letter. Don’t ask a professor to write a letter just because you earned an A in their course. S/he will simply write that you earned an A in the course, which we already know from the transcript. Ask people who you have spent significant time with and can comment on who you are as a person  – professors who you have spent considerable time in office hours with, lab supervisors if you have taken part in a research project, volunteer supervisors/advisors particularly if you have had a leadership role and have been very active in supporting the volunteer organization (or any organization), etc. I want to learn something new about the applicant that no other section on the application can tell me.

Outside of PCAT/grades, what makes an application weak or stand out negatively?

  • No pharmacy/health care experiences – either shadowing, volunteering, or even participating in a Pre-Pharmacy organization. If you have not attempted to partake in any of these types of activities, how are we as the reader supposed to believe that you really want to be a pharmacist?
  • Essays and letters of recommendation that lack depth. If you don’t put effort into your essay, we can tell. If your recommenders don’t know you well, we can tell.
  • Any spelling or grammar errors. That is just sloppy! Ask someone else to review your essay or application before submitting it.
  • Plagiarism. Don’t do it.

What advice would you give prospective applicants regarding their application?

  • Don’t assume…
    • …that we will figure out that you did research unless you write about it in your essay or list it in your resume section. We see hundreds of applications from hundreds of schools, and we do not know your schools/majors well enough to realize that a 40- level course entails a major research project.
    • …that we understand what it means to be involved in a certain club or activity at your school. If you don’t have enough space to explain the activity in the resume section and it was a important part of your life or a big responsibility, make sure to elaborate on it in your essay.
  • Provide context for low grades – if we see that you got all A’s and B’s and one F, that F stands out (and not in a good way!). It’s always better to explain what happened in that course.

What is your biggest application pet peeve?

  • Not completing the transcript portion of PharmCAS accurately. If you want to earn possible credits to satisfy prerequisites with AP scores, you must include those in the transcript portion of PharmCAS.

What is your favorite part of application review?

Reading a fabulous essay or reading very strong letters of recommendation! Both of these areas of the PharmCAS application really help me get to know the student better.

Important admissions cycle dates

Well, it’s June! We’re getting closer and closer to the start of the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. I wanted to share some important dates and deadlines for this coming cycle.

2016-2017 Application Cycle

May 20, 2016 – Registration deadline for July PCAT examinations.
July 5, 2016 – Registration deadline for Sept PCAT examinations.
Mid-JulyPharmCAS launches 2016-2017 application
                  UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy application launches!!!
July 21-22, 2016 – July PCAT examination dates
September 7-9, 2016 – September PCAT examination dates
October 7, 2016 – Registration deadline for October/November PCAT examinations.
October 24-31, 2016 – October/November PCAT examination dates
December 1, 2016UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy application deadline
December 15, 2016Fall Academic Update window opens
                                    During the Academic Update period, you will be able to log in                                                 to your application to update your Fall 2016 grades, and make                                               changes to your Spring 2017 courses
February 15, 2017Fall Academic Update closes