All about the Supplemental Application

Do you have a supplemental application?

Yes, we do.

What is on the supplemental application?

A little bit of everything. It’s mostly information that we can’t gather from the PharmCAS application:

-Demographic and background information, academic history
-Residency for tuition purposes questions (learn more about the residency process here)
-How you learned about our School and program
-Agreement to uphold the honor code and community standards and School policies
-Military information
-Campus preference (learn more about our campuses here)

Are there additional essays on the supplemental application?


Why can’t I access the supplemental application now?

When your PharmCAS application is verified and released to our School for viewing, we process your PharmCAS application. We pull information from your PharmCAS application to create your supplemental application. We can’t create a supplemental application for you until we’ve received your PharmCAS application.

Within one week of receiving your verified PharmCAS application, we’ll send you a personalized email with information about how to access and complete your supplemental application.

Is there a cost associated with the supplemental application?

Yes, $80.

How long will it take me to fill out the supplemental application?

It depends on how much information you have to fill it out and how quickly you can type, but probably not long. It will likely take you less than 30 minutes.

When is the deadline to submit the supplemental application?

The deadline to complete your PharmCAS application is December 1. As long as you’ve submitted your PharmCAS application by December 1, we will allow you until January 15 to complete your supplemental application.

Have any other questions about the supplemental application? Let us know.

Apply now – don’t wait!

The 2016-2017 PharmCAS application has now been open one month. We have a rolling admissions process, which means we’ve begun reviewing verified PharmCAS applications.

Once you complete and submit your PharmCAS application, it takes PharmCAS 4-6 weeks to verify your application. Then, PharmCAS releases your application to our School for viewing. Allow us up to one week to process your application, and then we will send you an email with instructions to begin our supplemental application.

As we get closer to the December 1 deadline, we receive more and more applications, so apply now!


PharmCAS interview update

PharmCAS has made a change to the Interview No-Show Policy beginning this admissions cycle.

“Applicants, who decide to cancel an interview, must do so two business days prior to the scheduled interview. Cancellation notice must be reported to the school by 12:00PM (local time zone of the school) two business days (48 hours) prior to the interview. Business days are considered Monday through Friday.

Due to the professional nature of pharmacy program interviews, the following policy will be enforced when an applicant cancels an interview after two business days (late cancellation), or fails to show up for a previously scheduled interview (no-show):

  • Any late cancellation or no-show will have a note in the PharmCAS system, viewable by all Pharm.D. programs that you have or will apply to, saying “Unprofessional behavior – Interview No-Show”
  • Schools and colleges of pharmacy will independently decide if this information is relevant to their application process and on what action they choose to take with this information shared in the PharmCAS system (i.e. they may or may not take it into account in the evaluation of your application).
  • Please note that emergency situations are exempt from this policy.”

This is an important policy. While emergencies do happen, many times a student who cancels their interview is no longer interested in our program or has been admitted to another program. This is unfortunate, as they are taking an interview spot from another student; we have a limited number of interview spots available and it is impossible to invite another student to interview with only one day’s notice. If you are invited to interview and are no longer interested in our program, please let us know as soon as possible if you do not plan on interviewing so that we can invite another candidate.

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

Admissions lingo

When you apply to a school (whether it is an undergraduate or graduate program) you have to learn the admissions lingo to understand the process. Here are some quick definitions of words you’re going to encounter in the pharmacy application process.

PharmD: The Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) is the professional doctorate degree required to sit for the pharmacy licensure exam in order to practice as a pharmacist in the US.

Prerequisite courses (prereqs): Prerequisite courses are required to evaluate an applicant’s preparation for a PharmD program, and must be completed before enrolling in a PharmD program. Prerequisite courses must be completed at an accredited college or university with a C- or better.

Rolling admissions: We review applications on a rolling basis. As soon as an applicant submits their completed application, we start reviewing that application to determine if the applicant is competitive for an interview.

PharmCAS: The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) is a centralized application service used to apply to  programs offered by schools and colleges of pharmacy

Supplemental application: In addition to the PharmCAS application, students applying to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy must submit a supplemental application. After completing and submitting the PharmCAS application, applicants are emailed a link to the supplemental application. The supplemental application is short and takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

PCAT: The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is the exam required for entry into pharmacy school. It covers 5 content areas: writing, critical reading, biological processes, chemical processes, and quantitative reasoning.  Each section receives a score out of 99%.

Composite: The PCAT exam is given an overall or composite score out of 99%. The composite score is based on performance in the 5 content areas.

MMI: The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is the interview method we use to assess applicants. The MMI is a series of seven interview stations consisting of timed (eight-minute) interview scenarios. Applicants rotate through the stations, each with its own interviewer and scenario, over the course of an hour. The MMI does not test knowledge but will assess characteristics and attributes which the Admissions Committee feel are important for success as a pharmacist.




PharmCAS updates…and other updates

Starting next week (on December 15th) you will be able to login to your PharmCAS application and make edits to your coursework. You will be able to update your fall semester grades and indicate any changes to your spring schedule. We recommend that you take advantage of the academic update period (December 15-February 15), to let us know if there are any changes in your courses. For more information visit this page.

We are no longer accepting PharmCAS applications (our Deadline was December 1st). We are continuing to accept supplemental applications. The supplemental application will remain open until January 15, 2016, but I strongly encourage you to complete your supplemental application as soon as possible. We cannot review your application and consider you for an interview until we have received both your PharmCAS and supplemental applications.

We are getting ready to hold another interview day (Candidates’ Day) next week. Our final Candidates’ Day will be in early February. The Admissions Office and Admissions Committee is busy reviewing applications, preparing for interviews, and making decisions on candidates. It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Admissions!


Deadline approaching

Tomorrow is December 1st, our deadline! Finish up your PharmCAS application and submit it before our deadline passes. Just a reminder, as long as you submit your PharmCAS application by December 1st, we will process your application when it is verified and send you the supplemental application link (likely after December 1). We will allow students to complete the supplemental application after December 1; as soon as your PharmCAS application is verified and you are sent the supplemental application link, please submit your supplemental application. Good luck with your application!