School Reference Requirements
Enter up to four (4) evaluator names on your PharmCAS application. Evaluators can submit electronic letters of reference (eLORs) or paper references to PharmCAS. Read the PharmCAS school pages to learn the number and types of evaluators required and not accepted by each institution. PharmCAS will NOT determine if you have met the reference requirements for a particular pharmacy school.
- PharmCAS will not forward references to pharmacy schools that do not accept them.
- A few pharmacy schools prefer that applicants send references directly to the institution. Review the school pages for details.
- PharmCAS will forward up to four (4) references to all of your designated pharmacy schools, regardless of the school's preference.
STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOUR EVALUATORS TO SEND ELECTRONIC LETTERS OF REFERENCE (eLORs) to PharmCAS. Alert your evaluator to watch for an automated email from PharmCAS with the subject “Student Reference PharmCAS”. PharmCAS will send you an e-mail confirmation when the request is sent to your evaluator's e-mail address.
Some email filters may interpret PharmCAS emails as “spam” and automatically delete or route them to a “junk” or “spam” folder. If your evaluator does not receive an email from PharmCAS, ask your evaluator to check all spam and junk email file folders or provide you with an alternate email address.
Paper references take longer to duplicate and send to your designated pharmacy schools. If the evaluator does not have internet access, login to your application and print the PharmCAS Evaluation Form. The evaluator should complete the paper form and attach it to a reference letter. Pharmacy schools may not accept paper references unless a completed form and letter are attached. Paper references must be mailed to PharmCAS in a sealed envelope on the evaluator's signed official institutional or business stationery. PharmCAS will not accept paper references mailed by applicants.
Committee and Composite Letters
Each of your designated pharmacy schools will decide whether a committee or composite letters may count as more than one reference. “Composite” letters typically represent a compilation of letters collected from various individuals. “Committee” letters generally represent a single letter with the collective thoughts of a group of designated individuals usually written by the chair or a designee. PharmCAS will accept the name of a college pre-health profession advisor in lieu of the evaluator(s).
Arrange for PharmCAS to RECEIVE all of your references by the application deadline date set by your designated pharmacy schools. Pharmacy schools may not consider applicants who submit late materials. PharmCAS does NOT enforce reference deadlines and will forward the references to your designated schools even if they arrive late.
PharmCAS Mailing of References
PharmCAS will begin to forward your references to your designated pharmacy schools once your file is complete. PharmCAS will NOT hold your application for missing references.
Check Reference Status
You can check the status of your letters of reference at any time. To view the status of your references, login to your PharmCAS web application and click on References in the Status Box found on the right side of the screen. Once a reference is received at PharmCAS, you will be marked as "Completed" and there will be a date under the Status Date column.
Do NOT send more than four (4) references to PharmCAS. Send any additional references directly to your designated pharmacy schools. Pharmacy schools may not consider extra references.
PharmCAS will not verify an evaluator's identity. If a pharmacy school suspects an evaluation is falsified, the pharmacy school will contact the applicant or evaluator to investigate. PharmCAS will share any suspected cases of falsified evaluations reported by a pharmacy school with the applicant and the applicant's other designated pharmacy schools without comment regarding appropriate action. PharmCAS will not attempt to verify the accuracy of the school investigation results.
Editing Your List of References
If one or more of your evaluators is unresponsive or declines your invitation to submit a letter of reference on your behalf, you may edit your evaluator contact information on your PharmCAS application before or after you e-submit your application to PharmCAS. You cannot make edits to your evaluator's information once the evaluator's reference is received.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives applicants the right to access letters of reference written unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting a reference from an evaluator, you are required to indicate whether you wish to waive your rights. PharmCAS will release your decision to waive or not waive access to this reference to your evaluator and your designated pharmacy schools. Pharmacy schools may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see the letters. If you retain access, you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during interview(s).
Your waiver decision on the PharmCAS web application serves the same purpose as a legal signature, and is binding. If you decide to change your waiver decision, you must login to your PharmCAS application to edit your selection online. For paper references, you must reprint the paper form and give the revised copy to your evaluator. Once your reference is received by paper or electronically, you cannot make changes to your waiver decision.
In order for PharmCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statements:
- I hereby give PharmCAS permission to contact the evaluator below via email to request the completion of the PharmCAS reference form and letter of reference. If my evaluator does not submit a paper or online evaluation form to PharmCAS in response to the email request, it is my sole responsibility to contact the evaluator directly to ensure all references required by my designated pharmacy schools are received by the deadline.
- I understand that the pharmacy schools to which I am applying may contact the evaluator either to verify the information provided and/or for further clarification of the information provided, and I hereby give permission for the schools or PharmCAS to do so.