Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
Jump below to frequently asked questions for:
About the students and applicants
- How many people do you accept each year?
Each year, we accept 122 to 127 students from a pool of about 500 applicants. Competition can be affected by the size and composition of the applicant pool for a particular year. For the class entering in 2018 when we launch our new 3-year curriculum, we will admit 95 students.
- Do you give preference to applicants from California colleges?
- Do you admit non-US citizens?
About the program
- Do you have rolling admissions?
- Do you offer an advanced standing program?
No. All students enter our program at the first-year level and must complete the entire three years.
Minimum eligibility requirements
- Should I still apply if my grade point average is just above the minimum of 2.80?
Admission is competitive and our evaluation is based on all aspects of the application in addition to your grade point average. This includes your science grades, curriculum, recommendations, essays, and interview results. Competition also varies from year to year depending upon the size and strength of the applicant pool. You should consider all of these factors and should not base your decision to apply solely on your GPA.
- Is a bachelor's degree required for admission?
No, only the pre-pharmacy requirements are required. However a degree may make an applicant more competitive for admission, and in recent years a large majority of our successful applicants have held bachelor's degrees.
- Do I have to take the PCAT?
The PCAT is required for all applicants. For more information on the PCAT requirement, visit our blog.
- Do I have to take the TOEFL or GRE examination?
We do not require the TOEFL or GRE.
- Are you on a quarter system or a semester system?
- Can I enter at winter or spring quarter?
No, we admit one class per year.
- When is the application deadline?
November 1, 2017.
Letters of recommendation
- How many letters are required?
We require at least three letters be received (by PharmCAS) by our application deadline. PharmCAS allows you to submit four letters. If four letters are included in your application by the deadline, we will review all four. For more information on letters of recommendation, visit our blog.
Who can I select to provide letters of recommendations on my behalf?
We leave it up to you to determine who best can provide letters of recommendation as part of your application. We will not accept letters from personal friends or family members.
Does one of my letters of recommendation need to be from a pharmacist?
Does one of my letters of recommendation need to be from a professor?
Although not a requirement, we would like to receive a letter from an individual who could speak about your academic abilities. Perhaps this is a professor in one of your science courses. Perhaps this is a professor for a non-science course. Perhaps it's a teaching assistant who can speak (in detail) to your academic ability. Again, we leave it up to you to determine who best can provide letters of recommendation as part of your application.
- I have been out of school for several years. Whom should I ask for a recommendation?
Select recommenders who are able to write about your intellectual ability, communication skills, and personal qualities in detail. Your supervisor, co-worker, or volunteer coordinator, are just a few examples of those who may fill this role. If you have returned to school to fulfill prerequisites, you may also decide to ask a current instructor.
I have letters of recommendation that were written for me last year. May I submit these?
We recommend that applicants submit the most up-to-date letters possible. More recently written letters better reflect your current accomplishments, skills, and qualities. Furthermore, recommendations must be submitted through PharmCAS, and PharmCAS will only accept letters from a letter service or from the recommender; they will not accept recommendations submitted by the applicant.
What is a degree conferral transcript?
A degree conferral transcript is a copy of your transcript that includes the following:
- the degree you earned (BS, MS, etc.)
- the major in which your degree was earned (e.g., Biological Sciences, Art History), and
- the date the degree was awarded.
A transcript that does not satisfy all of these is not a degree conferral transcript.
- Why can't I wait until my degree is posted before sending you the final copy of my transcript?
Grades are normally posted to transcripts within 3 weeks after the end of an academic term. However, it takes much longer for the degree you earned to be posted on your transcript -- at some schools this delay can be as long as 3 months. Since these grades are used as part of our evaluation of your application, it is important that you submit copies of your transcripts as soon as grades are posted.
- I already sent you a transcript with grades from my last term. Why do you need another copy with my degree posted if a degree is not required to apply?
A degree conferral transcript is the only document the University will accept as verification that a degree was earned, and the fact that you earned a degree was something we considered during our evaluation process.
- The registrar from my school gave me a statement that verifies I have completed all the requirements for my degree. Can I submit this statement instead of waiting for the degree conferral transcript to become available?
No, completing the requirements for a degree and being awarded a degree are not the same thing. The only document we can accept is a degree conferral transcript.
- I graduated this winter but my transcript won't be ready this May like you request. What do I do?
Your degree may not be posted, but your grades for a winter term should be posted by this time. If you submit a copy of your transcript with grades you will meet the deadline. The deadline for a degree conferral transcript is later. If your school tells you that the transcript will not be ready by our deadline, ask your school to send us a letter verifying the date that degrees for that term will be posted to transcripts. This is the only way to extend the deadline.
- When I was first applying I thought I would be earning a degree. My situation has changed and I will not be able to finish my degree when I said I would. This means I don't have a degree conferral transcript to give you. Will you withdraw the offer of admission I received?
Not necessarily, but as agreed to on the supplemental application, you are required to notify us whenever there is change in your reported degree status. If this happens, you must provide an explanation of why you will no longer be earning the degree. Your file will be reviewed again with this information taken into consideration. However, failure to report a change in your degree status, whatever the reason for the change, is misrepresentation and could affect your admission status. Don't delay reporting this change -- tell us about it immediately.
- I found a grading error on my copy of my transcript and am trying to get it corrected. Can I wait until the correction is made before I submit my transcript?
No. All transcripts must be submitted by the posted deadlines. You may notify us by e-mail about the error and your attempts to correct it, but you must still meet the deadline or you will jeopardize the status of your application. After the correction has been made, request that a new copy of the transcript be sent.
- Do I have to submit transcripts for college courses I took while I was in high school?
Yes. You must submit official copies of transcripts for all college level course work.
- Do you have rolling admissions?
No. We have a discrete admission cycle that ends in spring when all applicants are notified of their status.
- Will I be given special consideration if I submit my application early or in the summer?
No. All complete applications received by the admissions deadline are given the same evaluation. There is no advantage to submitting an application early.
- Is every applicant interviewed?
No. We receive applications from many more individuals than we are able to interview. This number is not fixed, but on average, we issue approximately 250 invitations per year.
Can I reschedule my appointment?
Our office grants permission to reschedule an interview only for the following 4 reasons:
- medical emergency or illness
- conflict with religious observances
- conflict with a professional exam
- conflict with a college course examination
- conflict with another pharmacy school interview
Additional details are provided with your interview invitation notice.
- How should I dress?
Although we have no dress code requirement, most applicants opt for professional attire.
- What should I bring with me to the interview?
You should bring:
- your letter of invitation
- your valid photo ID, and
- a pen to write your essay.
- What if I am late for my interview? or What if I miss my interview?
Extenuating circumstances beyond your control will be considered, but if you fail to appear at your assigned interview day and time, your application will most likely be canceled.
- I really need to know if I've been accepted. Can I call you to find out?
We notify every applicant as soon as possible. Please do not call our office to check on your status. This hinders the process and delays notification for all applicants. Be patient and wait to hear from us.
- How do spaces in the entering class become available?
Admitted applicants decline, usually for personal reasons; or, we withdraw the offer for not fulfilling all of the requirements for admission. For example: financial issues, personal issues, or medical issues sometimes prevent an applicant from accepting an offer. Every year some applicants are also administratively canceled. This could be for failing a prerequisite, not completing all the prerequisites, or not submitting documents or other verification materials required by the University.
- Where am I on the waiting list?
Please do not contact our office to verify your position on the waiting list.We contact all alternates on a regular basis to let them know their position on the list. We will contact you immediately if we are able to offer you a place in the entering class.
- What are my chances?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how many accepted applicants will decline their admission offer or be canceled.
- How soon will I know?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict when accepted applicants will decline our offer or be canceled. The waiting list remains open until the first day of classes. If your name is on the waiting list, but you are not offered admission by this day, your application will be formally denied via email.
- How many alternates are accepted each year?
Since the reasons for declining an admission offer or for being canceled are often related to personal or unexpected situations, it is impossible to predict the number of alternates that will be offered admission in any given year. In the past, we have offered acceptance to as few as 3 and as many as 48 people on the waiting list.
- If I am offered admission, how will I be contacted?
We immediately contact the first person on the waiting list. Therefore, it is very important for you to keep us informed if your contact information changes. If we cannot reach you by telephone or e-mail, or if you do not reply within the allotted timeframe, we assume you are no longer interested in attending UCSF. Your application is canceled and the position is offered to the next person on the list.
- Is there a process to appeal a decision of denial?
Yes. To receive instructions on the process, contact our office.
- May I apply again in a future application cycle?
Yes. You will have to submit a new application through PharmCAS as well as a new Supplemental Application.
Submitting a change of course schedule
- I'm changing courses that aren't related to the pharmacy prerequisites. Must I notify your office of these changes?
Yes, since we also consider your course load in evaluating your performance, you must still inform us of your current and planned course schedules -- even for courses unrelated to the prerequisites.
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