UCSF navigation

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Don't Be Afraid

With Halloween fast approaching, it makes sense that we've received several very scary questions lately regarding our PharmCAS deadline. I'm in total fear that applicant's aren't reading the PharmCAS manual/instructions, which include so many VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS as it relates to being a pharmacy school applicant. Failure to know and understand policies are what nightmares are made of.

Beware (be aware) of the details. Boo!

If I had a magic sorcerer's wand that I could waive at every ghost and goblin applying to ANY pharmacy school, I would require they read the instruction manual before, during, AND after submitting their application. (Third times a charm, they say.)  The 70-page manual is very-well organized and can really answer any question an applicant may have. No tricks here, folks, just treats. Do not send this document to the graveyard without reviewing it!

There are two items that, if ignored, can be particularly scary (explained below.) Both can be found on page 13 of the manual:

The first addresses the issue of email accounts. It's imperative that you check your spam/junk email folders on a VERY REGULAR BASIS. Many email services will read "pharmacy" and automatically label it as spam. (Hello, on-line pharmacies! Viagra, anyone?) PharmCAS suggests you add several email addresses to your contacts or "safe-sender" list. This is a step you can take to improve the chances that important emails make it to your inbox. Again, always check spam/junk folders. There can be a spooky silence if emails are being directed to an un-checked spam folder. Yikes!

The second issue focuses on the PharmCAS deadline date. This is such an important piece of information, you don't even have to read the manual, as it's featured prominently on the landing page.

But for those obsessed with the superstitious numbers, the information appears again on page 13:

UCSF's application deadline for 2014 is 11:59pm EASTERN time (one minute before the witching hour) on November 3. As long as you submit your application by the deadline, no ghosts will haunt you. It may take several weeks for PharmCAS to verify your coursework and allow us to access your application -- but that has nothing to do with the application deadline. (Note: The UCSF Supplemental Application is also due on November 3, 2014.)

Have a wicked, safe, and Happy Halloween, you little devil!

*evil laughter*

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Magic 28

So we thought we had solved the issue of applicants listing TOO many electives (beyond our minimum requirement) by providing a pop-up "warning" once 28 quarter units were reached. Well, it seems that many applicants have been frightened (BOO!) by that warning. Let me explain...

We ask applicants to list 28-quarter units in elective courses. (I won't get into the details as the form is self-explanatory.) The form is designed to count the units as you enter courses. Once the form notices you've reached 28 units, a pop-up warning appears.

 Here's a closer look at the box from an example (above) where 30 units were listed:

This is perfectly fine. In order for this applicant to include 28 quarter-units, they needed to list 30. Our goal with the warning is just to remind you that you've reached the 28-unit requirement and you can stop now (even if it means having to list slightly more than 28 units.) Chances are, there will be blank spaces. We don't want you to keep listing courses beyond the course that will get you to the 28-unit requirement.

As a reminder, a previous blog post could help you identify what courses to include in this section.

If we could, we would have opted for a friendly kitten to pop-up and warn you in a soothing voice. Instead, our only choice was a grey box with an alarming red-x accompanied by an intimidating "ding" noise. So here's the kitten...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reading instructions: It can make all the difference!

As our Supplemental Application deadline approaches, we are starting to receive many phone calls and emails from applicants who are experiencing "technical problems" with the application prerequisite page.

To date, we've been able to resolve every problem by reminding applicants to read (and follow) the detailed instructions we've provided.  It's not enough to simply download the form and start working on it, without making sure HOW you are downloading it -- in order to get the results we are both looking for (problem-free and readable!)

As an added "warning", we've included two questions to (hopefully) guard against applicant's completing the form in the wrong program/format. But, of course, we are finding some will simply check the boxes without reading. Yikes! 

Pharmacy is a profession where both following instructions and paying attention to details are highly-valued -- particularly as it relates to medicine. We believe that training starts at the point of  application to a PharmD program.
UCSF UCSF About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center