- As part of the PharmCAS application, you are able to enter up to four (4) letters of reference, which are submitted electronically by your reference and then sent to EVERY degree program to which you submit your application.
- Check to be sure that someone is willing to serve as your reference BEFORE entering them on your application. As soon as you have saved your reference’s information on your application, an e-mail request is automatically sent to them.
- Confirm with each reference that they have received the request e-mail.
- All references that post to your PharmCAS application are sent to all of your designated degree programs, so they should not mention specific schools by name.
- Arrange to have your references submit before your earliest deadline date. Your degree programs may not consider applicants who submit late materials.
- All references must be submitted through the electronic reference portal, and cannot be accepted by e-mail.
- If your references have questions, encourage them to contact PharmCAS directly – we would be happy to help them use our reference portal!
Number and Type of References
You can have a maximum of four (4) references on your PharmCAS application. Do NOT send more than four references to PharmCAS. Send any additional references directly to your designated pharmacy degree programs. Pharmacy degree programs may not consider extra references.
Type of references
Check your degree program’s entry in the School Directory to see what types of evaluations are required, recommended and not accepted by each degree program. A few degree programs prefer that applicants send references directly to them. This information will be included on their directory page.
- Check to be sure that you have met your school’s reference requirements.
- Enforce Reference deadlines- even if your references arrive after the deadline, we will send them to your designated degree programs.
- Hold your application for references.
- Send electronic reference requests once you have entered references on the application.
- Send up to four (4) references to all of your designated pharmacy degree programs, regardless of the degree program’s requirements.
- Provide customer support for applicants AND references.
How does the eLOR process work?
- Click on “Add New Entry” in the References section of the application checklist.
- Fill in your reference’s contact information. You will need to enter their title, name, e-mail address and phone number.
- Once you click “save” an automated e-mail request is sent to the e-mail address you listed for the reference. Let your reference know to watch for an e-mail from email@example.com with the subject “Student Reference PharmCAS”
- You will also receive a confirmation e-mail once your request has been sent.
- Your reference logs in and begins filling out information-the status changes to “In Progress” in the status section.
- Your reference submits the reference- the status changes to “Completed” in the status section.
My reference says they haven’t received the request e-mail
Some e-mail filters may interpret PharmCAS e-mails 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 and check to see if they can add firstname.lastname@example.org to their safe senders list. Otherwise, ask your reference to provide you with an alternate email address.
I want to know if my references have been received
The status of your PharmCAS references are available to you at any time, day or night. Simply log onto your application, and click on the References section of the status sidebar. For detailed information on how to interpret the statuses in your reference section, please refer to the Application Status section.
Editing Your References
If Your Reference Status is New or In Progress
If your reference is unresponsive, declines your invitation, or otherwise becomes unable to submit a letter of reference on your behalf, you may remove their entry from your PharmCAS application and enter another reference. Even if you have submitted your application, you will be able to remove this entry and replace them with another individual.
If Your Reference Status is Completed
Once the status of your reference becomes completed, you cannot remove it from your application or delete it from your application.
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 degree programs. Pharmacy degree programs 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. Once your reference is received electronically, you cannot make changes to your waiver decision.
NOTE: Even you choose not to waive your right to your letters of reference, you will not be able to view your letters of reference through PharmCAS at any time. Once you have matriculated at a pharmacy degree program, you may ask to see your letters or you may ask your references to see your letters.
PharmCAS will not verify an evaluator’s identity. If a pharmacy degree program suspects an evaluation is falsified, the pharmacy degree program will contact the applicant or evaluator to investigate. PharmCAS will share any suspected cases of falsified evaluations reported by a pharmacy degree program with the applicant and the applicant’s other designated pharmacy degree programs without comment regarding appropriate action. PharmCAS will not attempt to verify the accuracy of the degree program’s investigation results.
In order for PharmCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statements:
- I hereby give PharmCAS permission to contact the Reference below via email to request the completion of the PharmCAS reference form and letter of reference. If my Reference does not submit an online reference form to PharmCAS in response to the email request, it is my sole responsibility to contact the Reference directly to ensure all references required by my designated pharmacy degree programs are received by the deadline.
- I understand that the pharmacy degree programs to which I am applying may contact the Reference either to verify the information provided and/or for further clarification of the information provided, and I hereby give permission for the degree programs or PharmCAS to do so.
Q: Can my college reference service or Interfolio send my letters directly to PharmCAS?
A: The PharmCAS reference consists of both a ratings section as well as a traditional letter of reference. While Interfolio or any other letter service might be able to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, they would not be able to answer most of the questions intended for the reference. As such, you are strongly encouraged to either have your references fill out their own letter of reference or check with your designated degree programs to see if you can send Interfolio letters to them directly.
Q: Do I need to fill in references?
A: If you are arranging for letters to be sent to PharmCAS, then you must enter these references in your application so that PharmCAS can match them to your file and forward them to your submitted designations. If you are not having your letters of reference completed through the PharmCAS Reference Portal, then you do not need to list them in your application. If you are unsure if your designated programs require letters of reference, please contact them directly.
Q: I am trying to save a reference but am getting an “invalid email address” error message. It is a valid email address so what is going on?
A: It is possible that this is an issue with your internet browser. Please be sure to log into your application using Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 8 or higher and this should resolve the issue. Please also try typing the email address into the text box, rather than copy/pasting. The reason for this is that when you paste an email address into the field, additional spaces may carry over before and after the email address, which would generate an “invalid email address” error message. Lastly, the phone number must be entered in the following format: xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you use spaces or parentheses, the entry will not save.
Q: I didn’t enter any references on my application. Will PharmCAS still forward my references onto the degree programs?
A: NO! PharmCAS will not forward a reference unless it is listed and completed in the PharmCAS application. A letter of reference completed through PharmCAS will not be available to a designated Pharmacy program until you have submitted to the program AND that reference is Complete.
Q: Do all degree programs require references?
A: No, all degree programs do not require references to be mailed to them. Please check the School Directory for the degree program(s) to which you are applying to see what they require in terms of references.
Q: Do degree programs require references to be mailed directly to them?
A: A small number of pharmacy degree programs prefer or require references to be sent directly to the admissions office (see each school page for the requirements of your chosen degree program designations). All other pharmacy degree programs require you to send your references to PharmCAS and not to the degree program itself.
Q: How will my evaluator know that I have selected them?
A: Your electronic evaluators will receive an automatic email alerting them to the fact that you have chosen them as a reference. The automated email is sent to the reference as soon as you save their information in your application, even before you e-submit. The reference will simply fill out the eLOR and e-submit it to PharmCAS.
Q: Can my evaluator deny my request for a reference?
A: Any reference may decide to accept or deny an applicant’s request for a reference. To decline an applicant’s invitation to submit an electronic reference to PharmCAS, the reference must select the “Deny” button on the “My Applicants” page. PharmCAS will automatically notify you via email if a reference request is refused.
Q: Does PharmCAS allow Paper References?
A: No. PharmCAS cannot accept paper references. All references must be completed through our online reference portal. If any of your designations requires a paper letter of reference, it will need to be submitted directly to the designated Pharmacy program, not to PharmCAS.
Q: Are there deadlines for letters of reference?
A: Applicants must arrange for PharmCAS to RECEIVE all references by the application deadline date set by their designated pharmacy degree programs. PharmCAS does NOT enforce reference deadlines. ELORs will be reproduced and forwarded to each of the applicant’s designated pharmacy degree programs.
Q: Can I send more than 4 references to PharmCAS?
A: PharmCAS will only accept 4 references per applicant. If you need to send an additional reference to one or more pharmacy degree programs for any reason, you must arrange for the extra reference to be sent directly to the pharmacy degree program itself.
Q: My evaluator never received an email from PharmCAS about the reference process. Why?
A: PharmCAS sends an automated message to your evaluators once you have submitted the evaluator’s contact information on the PharmCAS application. Advise your reference that the request will come to their inbox with the subject “Student Reference PharmCAS” from email@example.com. 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.
Q: The status of my electronic letter of reference is “In-Progress”. What does this mean?
A: The person you have designated as a reference has started the electronic letter of reference but has not submitted it to PharmCAS yet. When the reference is officially received by PharmCAS, the status will change to “Completed”.
NEED HELP? PharmCAS customer support staff is available to answer any questions you have about submitting electronic references to PharmCAS. Please contact 617–612–2050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. We recommend that the actual letter writer contact PharmCAS so we may directly assist them.