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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Photo of the Day!

I know it's not a GLAMOROUS photo, but it is proof that we are able to get some letters in the mail this morning! (Yes, I made the sign.) 


Anonymous said...

I love this picture. Very exciting - it makes me giddy :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

I know you said we all need to wait till mid January to inquire about our status if we haven't received anything.

But, if you would be so kind, may we know whether all letters (both rejections and interviews) have been mailed out with the exception of files that have yet to be reviewed?

Thank you and I hope you can let us know!

Joel W. Gonzales said...

Most of them have -- but not all. (I'm not sure how this info is helpful for you, though...)

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success."
-Brian Adams

Anonymous said...

Hello Joel,

I thought it would just be nice to let you know...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! And Happy rest of holidays!

Joel W. Gonzales said...


The first thing that came to mind when reading your question ("...can we still can explain something to the admission committee about AP scores...") is: Why didn't you explain this on your application? Did you use question B4 to mention this?

PharmCAS asks you to list IN PROGRESS and PLANNED coursework. In addition, the Supplemental Application asks you to list IN PROGRESS and PLANNED prerequisite courses. As long as the plan seems "do-able" we trust that applicants will complete their plan. (If not, we reserve the right to re-review admitted applicants who don't complete their "plan".) For IN PROGRESS and PLANNED coursework, we can get a strong sense of how you will do based on your track record.

How incomplete coursework is viewed often depends on the outcome of coursework that is already completed. (i.e. An applicant with a very strong academic background can probably get away with more incomplete prerequisites than an applicant with an average academic background. For an average academic background, we would want to see more of those prerequisites completed BY THE TIME THE APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED.)

All that being said, we probably deny MORE people based on written communication skills than we do based on academic preparation. But nobody wants to hear or believe that. Instead they want to list their stats/grades to assess their competitiveness. =)


James said...


Thanks for the quick reply. I wrote on the B4 section ahout how my AP scores add up to my college credits so it doesnt look funny. What is considered a strong academic background (bachelor degree, grades, withdrawals?). None of my AP scores deal with pre-requisites but they do add up to graduation credits and I just want the adcoms to know i'll be graduating on time in addition to finishing the pre-requisites. Sorry for asking you these questions but your blog is really useful for advice. hope to hear from you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joel, there's some rumor going around online that all the UCSF denial letters are being sent out today (December 29th). Is tihs true? Some people are panicking because they see other people getting interview invitations, and everybody else nothing. Does the office send both rejections and interviews at the same time?

Joel W. Gonzales said...


"Strong academic background" means that we can answer "Yes!" to the question "Is this applicant prepared to handle the rigors of our curriculum?" A strong academic background could have MANY MANY MANY different looks. Perfection is not necessary. Trends are important. Diversity in coursework is important. Balance is important. Mastering the material is important.

Academic preparation is ONE piece of the puzzle. Other areas are just as important (communication skills, critical thinking, insightful essays, letters of recommendation, experiences, etc.)

Joel W. Gonzales said...


I think I answered most questions (regarding our mailing out of letters) in my previous post:

It's likely that the mail center sent out another huge batch on the 28th or 29th.

Be careful about the online forums. My feedback is:
1. There are very few people who post on there. (In comparison to the nearly 1600 applications we receive.)
2. Online forums are great places for people to hide behind anonymous names and post false information.
3. It's easy to get caught up in what people are saying -- even if the information isn't accurate.
4. There are a lot of bitter people who post false information for whatever reason. (I've read posts where people have said they've been admitted -- when in fact we never sent admission letters prior to the post.)
5. You have to step back and realize it's a small percentage of people posting information -- but it's easy to think "everyone" is part of the forum.
6. If you have questions, go to the source. We are pretty accessible at UCSF.


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