Supplemental Essay For Pharmacy School

The Supplemental Application collects information that PharmCAS does not collect but that is required by UCSF to complete our comprehensive process of evaluation. To complete it, you need:

  • A computer with an Internet connection and a modern web browser
  • A credit card for the Supplemental Application Fee
  • Javascript enabled in your web browser
  • Browser cookies accepted for the domain

Supplemental Application

The Supplemental Application opens in July 2018 and closes at 11:59 PM Pacific standard time on Thursday, November 1, 2018.

If you began or submitted a supplemental application, you may still log in to view your application:

UCSF Supplemental Application

Plan a schedule

We strongly encourage you to plan a schedule to complete your application materials in advance of the deadline. Technical difficulties with the Supplemental Application will not exempt you from the deadline.

Attend our Supplemental Application Presentation

To attend a presentation that guides you through completing the supplemental application, see Supplemental Application Presentation.

More on this topic in our admissions director’s blog

Although not required reading, you’ll find additional comments in The Seriousness of the Supplemental!, a blog post by Admissions Director Joel W. Gonzales.

Submitting transcripts

You are required to submit copies of your official transcripts (sometimes also known as "marks reports"). Some transcripts must be sent to PharmCAS, and some must be sent to UCSF. For details, see Checklist: Transcripts.

Submitting letters of recommendation

Do not confuse transcripts with applicant recommendations. All letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through PharmCAS -- do not deliver these to UCSF.

International applicants

If you’re an international applicant, see Applying Without U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status for other considerations you should be aware of before you submit an application. If you’re not sure if you’re an international applicant, see About Residency.

Problems? Questions?

See Frequently Asked Questions about the PharmD Degree Program

Go to: PharmCAS Application or Step 2: The Application or Step 3: The Interview Process

The following checklist is designed to guide you through the entire application process. If you have any questions along the way, admission staff is available to help you at (323) 442-1466 or

Check that you meet minimum eligibility requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree completed.
  2. Minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited two- or four-year college or university—with all pre-pharmacy required courses preferably taken at four-year institutions.
  3. Meet the pre-pharmacy course requirements and course equivalencies.

Please note: International students need to meet additional eligibility requirements for admission into the PharmD program. Please review our Application Guidelines for International Students for more information.

Complete your PharmCAS Application

The 2018 PharmCAS application will open on July 18, 2017. There will be no separate USC supplemental Application. USC questions and pre-reqs will be incorporated in the PharmCAS application.

Like many other leading schools of pharmacy, the USC School of Pharmacy uses the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS), which allows prospective students to complete one application that may be submitted to multiple schools.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the PharmCAS website and the new PharmCAS application in advance, so you can gather all the materials you will need to complete the application process. You will find a step-by-step checklist and other helpful materials on the PharmCAS website.
  2. Create your PharmCAS login account to obtain your PharmCAS ID number.
  3. Allow three to six hours to fill out your application. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting; you may save your work and return to your application repeatedly until you are ready to submit it.
  4. Enter your transcript information from each higher education institution you have attended. All data you enter must match your transcripts.
  5. Arrange for your official transcripts to be sent directly to PharmCAS from each institution.
  6. Arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to PharmCAS. One letter must be from a science professor with whom you took a class and/or did research. The remaining two letters may be from professors, advisors, researchers, pharmacists or employers. Re-applicants from one year prior only need to submit one new letter of recommendation.
  7. Under Program Materials section, you must answer a few questions including two USC PharmD Essay Questions, select your pre-pharmacy required courses, and sign electronically the California State Board of Pharmacy Felony and Misdemeanor Conviction Disclosure Statement, the Essential Characteristics and Abilities form and the Applicant’s Affidavit.
  8. Submit your PharmCAS application as early as possible. Generally, it takes two to five weeks for PharmCAS to process your application and send it to the School of Pharmacy.
  9. The deadline for the Fall 2018 application is November 1, 2017 (by 11:59 PM Eastern standard time).

Interview Process

Applicants must be interviewed before admission to the PharmD program.
The interview includes an oral interview and a writing test. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to take a campus tour and meet with faculty and current PharmD students. The purpose of the interview is to assess your oral communication skills, writing skills, leadership ability and your motivation or potential to be a pharmacist.

If you are offered an interview, you will be notified one to three weeks in advance. Please keep the following dates available because, except for rare circumstances, appointments are not rescheduled.

The 2017-2018 interview sessions are on the following dates:

Friday, October 20th, 2017(11:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Friday, November 17, 2017 (11:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Friday, January 19th, 2018 (11:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Friday, February 9th, 2018 (11:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Saturday, March 10th, 2018 (7:30 am – 1 pm)

Following Admission

If you are admitted into the USC PharmD program, at that time, you will be required to submit:

  1. One official transcript with degree posted upon request from the Office of Admission & Student Affairs. If you have already submitted a final transcript with degree notification to PharmCAS, and that’s been verified, you won’t need to send it to USC.
  2. Submit IERF (International Education Research Foundation) verification for international coursework and degree.

The above items should be mailed directly to the USC School of Pharmacy, Office of Admission & Student Affairs, 1985 Zonal Avenue, PSC 206A, Los Angeles CA 90089-9121. Please do not submit these items during the application process—only upon admission.

Background/Drug Checks

Many of the clinical facilities affiliated with USC require background checks and/or drug testing and/or urine tests for student placement at their sites. Therefore, all students admitted into the PharmD program must agree to undergo an initial criminal background check, as well as updated checks when required by clinical facilities during enrollment in the program. The USC School of Pharmacy participates in the initial background check with the PharmCAS Centralized Criminal Background Check program. Students are responsible for the cost of all background checks.

All students admitted to the USC PharmD program will be notified via PharmCAS that they are required to have a background check completed. The results of the checks will be forwarded to the applicants for review. The applicants have the right to agree or not to agree to the background checks and/or have the results forwarded to USC. Issues which may adversely affect the students’ abilities to participate successfully in the IPPE’s (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences) and APPE’s (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) will be reviewed by the Associate Dean, Faculty / Student Affairs & Admission. Applicants who fail to complete background checks, or who are determined to have unprofessional conduct issues, may have their admission decisions revoked. All revoked admission decisions related to background checks are final.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.More information for applicants.

Contact Us

For more information, contact us at or 323.442.1466.

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