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Friday, October 30, 2009

Did you get it?

As the application deadline approaches (and passes), we're bound to get lots of questions like:
"Can you tell me whether or not you've received my Supplemental Application?"

"Am I missing anything?"

"I'm worried that my application didn't make it to your office. Can you confirm if it arrived?"

"Did you get it? DID you get it? DID YOU get it? DID YOU GET it? DID YOU GET IT? DID YOU GET IT?"
(I picture someone sitting next to a phone, completely stressed out, because they've submitted their application yesterday and still haven't been notified whether it's been received or not. Oh, my scenario takes place on a Sunday -- with the application being submitted on Saturday morning.)

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to explain the notification process a bit.

Let me see... where do I start...hmm....

There are two parts to our application:
  1. PharmCAS Application
  2. Supplemental Application
We have one database. (But it's a big one!) The database content is supplied by PharmCAS. We receive electronic data/applications from PharmCAS.

We do not send notifications out until we've received a PharmCAS application AND a Supplemental Application.

Keep in mind:
  1. Every university admissions process is unique. Because you receive immediate notification from one school does not mean you'll receive immediate notification from another school. It just depends on their process and system.
  2. We do not manually enter data into our database. We wait to receive information electronically from PharmCAS -- this allows us to send electronic mail (email!) to applicants, notifying them that we've received an application (and indicating whether any items are missing.)
  3. If we receive a Supplemental Application BEFORE we receive your PharmCAS application, we do nothing except file that Supplemental Application away. We wait to receive your PharmCAS application and then retrieve your Supplemental Application (from the file) and process your application -- including sending you an email.
  4. If you turned in your Supplemental Application a LONG TIME AGO but just now completed your PharmCAS, we wait to receive your PharmCAS application and then retrieve your Supplemental Application (from the file) and process your application.
  5. Just because you submitted your PharmCAS application yesterday, it does not mean they will deliver it to us today. It takes them several weeks to verify your grades once they have received your transcripts. We receive electronic mailings from PharmCAS on a weekly basis -- so if your application is finally completed and verified by PharmCAS on a Tuesday (for instance), it may have to wait until the following Monday to be sent to us. Nothing in admissions is instantaneous.
  6. The closer it is to the deadline (November 2) -- before AND after -- the longer it takes us to process applications -- because of the shear volume of mail. Your application is not the only application that we are processing. =)
In short:
We send an email notification confirming we have received your Supplemental Application only after we've received your PharmCAS application. (But remember, just because you've submitted your PharmCAS application, it doesn't mean that PharmCAS has submitted it to us.)

(Another reason it's stress-relieving to get your application in early!)


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

oh, I got it :) Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Your little blogs make my day!

Marc said...

on behalf of every UCSF school of pharmacy hopeful out there, "long shot" or with a "legitimate chance" at becoming a student pharmacist one day:
To you and the entire admissions office,
Merry Christmas and happy 2010; many good wishes for the holiday and the upcoming new year. May Santa send the way of the admissions office, as a gift, plenty of applicants who are better fit for your program than in previous cycles.
When will you, by the way, post more entries and talk about, among other things, what your impressions are so far of those who applied for fall 2010 entry?
Take care.

Anonymous said...

How many interviews is UCSF giving out this time? I heard last year, it was 400, which was much more than the usual from past years. Is it again 400-ish, or less than that? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It was the 2 cycles ago (for fall 2008 admission) that had many more applicants than usual. The last cycle (for Fall 2009 admission) reverted to the standard number of 250ish (Joel, perhaps you can confirm the number). I'm sure we'll find out soon enough how many applied for the current cycle for admission fall 2010.

Maya said...

Yes, please comment on what specifically you were looking for in applicants that were awarded interviews (I believe it was a high GPA). Does the admissions committee actually look at every applicant's essays and supplementals? I am led to believe that our applications are not given the review process promised. Yes, I was denied an interview, however, I am 100% certain that no one out there had experiences (both pharmacy-related and not) that could compare to mine. I also know for a fact that my personal statement and supplemental essays were perfectly written and answered the questions clearly and concisely. Quite frankly I was shocked to not be offered an interview despite a GPA in the low threes.

My only conclusion is that applicants with higher GPAs were the only ones whose supplemental applications were truly looked at in detail. As someone who spent WEEKS working on the supplemental application for UCSF, I would appreciate a little blog from you just stating what specifically UCSF was looking for in this year's application pool. If it was indeed an extremely high GPA, then be fair to future applicants and let them know a low 3.3 or below isn't going to cut it (let alone the 2.8 you state on the website). It's not fair to take our money and time. On a positive note, at least I can say I donated to the UC system.

Anonymous said...

To Maya: Speak for yourself, rather than "our". If your attitude is anything like this post, you are probably not a good match for any pharmacy school.

Anonymous said...

Maya, it sounds like you're looking for a precise scientific formula that would guarantee a UCSF pharmacy interview. A+B+C=Interview. That doesn't exist. It could be any number of reasons that you were denied, and it very well may have been for reasons that are not quantifiable by GPA. You said you "know for a fact" that your essay answers were "perfectly written", but that's not an objective, scientific truth with a single factual answer. It's subjective, and of course you are entitled to your opinions, but ultimately it's not for you to decide whether your essays were "perfectly written." *Hundreds* of applicants spent weeks working on essays. Many of us have unique experiences which distinguish us from others, whether through tragedy, travel, work experience, or other personal growth. Some of us may have served in the Peace Corps. Others may have had internships at prestigious hospitals. Others may have worked in a homeless shelter or a community free clinic. Maybe one of us had a parent who died because the doctor prescribed the wrong drug, and that drives our passion for pharmacy. The point is, each of our stories is our own, and it's up to UCSF to determine which is the best match for their specific program and culture. I can't begin to guess why your specific application wasn't accepted, but I guarantee you that it is not based on one single factor but rather the overall gestalt of your application.

Anonymous said...

Maya ... I have a 3.1 GPA, and I was offered an interview from UCSF. Clearly goes against your idea that UCSF only cares for high GPAs.

You put yourself out as the best number 1 applicant out there - maybe this arrogance of yours showed throughout your essays and application, and that is why you were rejected. You need to learn to be humble - you are not the best. There is always someone better than you out there. I was sure to be rejected from UCSF because I thought there were so many more qualified people than me applying. It was a nice surprise to find that UCSF thought otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I think Joel had better make another blog post before his official admissions blog continues its decline into studentdoctor.net territory :)

Joel W. Gonzales said...

Eeeeks! So much drama! I never wanted to restrict comments but now I might have to reconsider.

I don't use this blog to comment on specific applicants but I believe some of the responses are well-stated!

I'm not sure what the GPA numbers will be like this year (as we have yet to admit students and we haven't pulled statistics) but last year we admitted a student with a 2.9 GPA.

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