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Saturday, December 20, 2008

We've made a list and we've checked it twice...

We did it!

We've made a list and we've checked it twice!

With the exception of (about) five pending files, we have made our final decisions on which applicants we would like to interview. ("Is this your final answer?" -- "Yes, final answer!")

Our initial goal was to notify applicants by late-December/early-January regarding their admission status. We are right on track.

I'll admit, this is a bittersweet time of year. There will be many excited applicants who will receive interview invitation letters in the coming weeks. (Please please please accept our invitation! Please!). But there will be many more whose journey in the UCSF 2009 application cycle will come to an end. In an ideal world, we would interview EVERYONE who applied in order to see who will make the best "fit" for our program. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to make that happen. So we were forced to select a limited number of applicants from a huge applicant pool and ultimately invited those we think have the potential to be great partners with UCSF.

Now that says absolutely nothing about those who weren't invited to interview with our program -- except that we believed it wasn't a good match this year. We believe that 99.9990% (there's always a few exceptions) of all applicants will someday become outstanding pharmacists -- somewhere! But in considering our program, curriculum, values, mission and culture -- and considering each applicant -- not everyone who applied is a good match for UCSF. That's our goal in the admissions process -- finding students with the best fit who will partner with us to move the profession forward. We always encourage applicants to cast their net wide in applying to pharmacy schools. The admissions process for every school is extremely competitive and it simply isn't smart to place all your eggs in one basket. We certainly aren't the be-all-end-all in PharmD programs. Finding the right fit is the most important aspect in ensuring you will thrive as a pharmacy student.

So what am I really saying? Well, in a nutshell, every PharmD program is different. Each has a unique culture that may be a better fit for applicants who bring different experiences and qualities to the table. We believe we have invited those applicants who match best with UCSF's program.

Below are a few questions related to our notification process:

When are you sending out notification letters?
Letters started going out this past week -- as fast as we could print them and package them. We will be sending out more this coming Monday and Tuesday. We hope to have all letters sent out by Tuesday, December 23rd.

What strategy do you use to send out notification letters?
No strategy. We are feverishly stuffing envelopes and getting them to the mailroom as soon as humanly possible. Theories ("they send out denial letters first and then acceptance letters"; "they send out CA letters first and then out-of-state"; "they wait until the day before Christmas to send out denial letters") are super-super fun to read, but they don't hold up. Even re-applicants aren't privy to our process -- despite having applied previously. (At last count, there were only about 3 -- maybe 4 -- experts at our admissions process.)

Where do you send the letters? To my current address or permanent address?
We send them to the "preferred" address you indicated on your PharmCAS application. We are honoring YOUR wishes to have correspondence sent to the address YOU preferred - whether that be "current" or "permanent".

Are the Interview letters in big envelopes and Denied letters in small envelopes?
One size fits all. Really.

If I contact you now, can you let me know what my letter says and what my admissions status is?

What if I don't receive a letter?
Be patient. The mail system takes time. Be patient. We will not field "what's my status" inquiries until January 12th. Be patient. If you have not received a letter by January 12th, please contact our office. Be patient.


As for those five pending files -- odds are that none of them have YOUR name on it. But if it's any comfort, they are a priority for Monday morning. =)

[I can't go without mentioning the true "awesome-ness" of our office staff. We are a small unit so everyone pitched in -- in some way, at some point -- to help us get through this Initial Review period. Whether it was fielding phone calls, stuffing envelopes, or makin' copies -- everyone stepped up to the plate when we needed it. Big Ups to all of you -- SE, EV, LP, FF, CW, CBW, ED! Let the interviews begin!]
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