Saturday, June 11, 2016


Applying to Pharmacy School in the United States_California Pharmacy School_Pharmacy School Blog_SDN_Pharmacist_Pharm Blog_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus

Now that you've completed the actual PharmCAS application, it's time to get down and dirty with school specific questions! According to school websites and SDN, you THEORETICALLY shouldn't copy and paste answers from one school to the next... but the questions are gosh-darn similar! I suppose the main reason for this conjecture is for the applicant's benefit. Sometimes we get so used to seeing the same thing (like an essay) over and over again that we skip over minor details... like copying paragraph A into school #2 but forgetting to change the name of the school from #1 to #2. Those kinds of mistakes can really hurt your application.

REREAD your answers before submitting.

Yes, I understand that you're under pressure and a possible time crunch but it's better to send in a pristine application rather than one full of mistakes. When should you send in your supplementals? It's entirely up to you. Since I had no guidance during the application process, I just sent off my supplementals as I completed them. If I may be bold, I can honestly say I had a strong application. If I were to redo this process, I wouldn't have sent in my finished applications so early. Why? I ended up spending a lot of money on cars, hotels and plane tickets to schools I didn't want to attend. I actually cancelled my interview to Touro since I had acceptances rolling in however, I lost the money I put down for my airline ticket.

Know the risks you're taking when you're making a payment! 

Contrary to airlines, most hotels give a full or partial refund. Anyways, my first interview was in September and then I had one about every other week (most of the schools I applied to were on a rolling basis). I noticed how random and out of place some school locations were, so I used my earlier interviews as preparation for schools I actually wanted to attend. Use your money wisely since it will all add up! Though truth be told, if I were to actually apply again, I might just do the same thing and send all my apps in early... I guess it's just the OCD in me coming out!

Now onwards to the good stuff! The questions on Supplementals! Below are the schools I applied to, and their respective supplemental questions, in alphabetical order! Please note that the questions may change each application cycle as well as the fees. I am putting these up to help you guys get a gist of what to expect.

* NOTE: I only applied to California schools *


No Supplemental. No fee. All schools should be like this, don't you think?!?!


Fill out the form and re-enter (that's right... RE-ENTER) your college courses. $50 fee.


Answer the question: Why KGI? $60 fee.


Responses to the following should be limited to 250 words or less. $50 fee.

1. Have you ever attended another college or pharmacy, even for just a few days? If yes, (just explain).

2. Are you a re-applicant who has previously interviewed? If yes, what was the result of the interview and what changes have you made?

3. Please list your favorite extra-curricular activities and non-academic pursuits.

4. Within the last three years, please provide the name of previous employers, your occupation(2), and the duration(s) of your employment.

5. Within the last three years, have you been engaged in any volunteer experiences? Please include the type of experience, duration and position.

6. Within the last five years, what awards or recognition(s) have you received?

7. Please explain why you have chosen to apply to our College of Pharmacy?

8. What do you believe is the most difficult challenge pharmacists will face in the coming years? What would you do to overcome this challenge?

Response to the following should be limited to 500 words or less:

The Admissions and Standards Committee reviews applications from many applicants with strong academic backgrounds and experiences. Without considering skills and accomplishments, please describe those personal characteristics you feel make you stand out as an individual.


Responses are limited to 2500 Characters. No fee.

1. Why USC? 

2. What unique, personal qualities and/or life experiences will you bring to the program? You can also include information why your college transcript or resume do not portray an accurate depiction of your past performances. 


Answer Sections about specific topics. Character limit of 750. $90 fee.

1. Community Service : describe any community service related activities for which you have volunteered, and highlight any accomplishments.

2. Outside and/or Intellectual Interests : Describe hobbies, recreational interests, or other personally rewarding activities in which you participate and elaborate on their importance to you.

3. Other Information (Optional): You may use the space to tell else anything.

4. Professional Vision : UCSD Strives to create pharmacists who will lead the profession in innovative and integrated health care environments. How have your past experiences and your career interests prepared you to become an innovator in the profession and to excel in integrated models of healthcare delivery.

5. Leadership Talent : Select one of your activities listed in the "Extracurricular and Personal Activities" section and expand upon the leadership skills you developed through participation in this activity. How do you plan to develop your leadership abilities and use these skills to positively impact the profession of pharmacy?


Character limit varies however, as you can tell the question are much more intense. $100 fee.

1. What personal characteristics will make you stand out as an individual? How will these characteristics contribute to the UCSF community?

  • In contrast to your PharmCAS application and statement, which asks you to describe your skills, accomplishments and future goals, we ask that you write a second essay that addresses your personal uniqueness (4000 Characters)
2. Why UCSF?
  • Please tell us what specifically attracts you to UCSF. How will the education and training you receive from UCSF help you achieve your professional goals (2000)
3. Explain how your educational, employment or other extracurricular experiences have provided you an opportunity to actively address issues of diversity or health disparities. How will these experiences help you to succeed in our UCSF program?
  • An increasingly diverse society in America has significant implications for the future practice of pharmacy. At UCSF, addressing issues of diversity and health disparities are values we hold close. Use examples from your own experiences in addressing these issues and how they will help you succeed in our program and in the profession (2000)
4. PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE: How have your personal experiences informed your understanding of the human condition?
  • Summarize what you believe you have learned about the nature of humanity and how that will impact your tenure as a student at UCSF and your future as a pharmacist. (2000)
5. OTHER: Tell us anything us you want us to know (2000)

6. SOCIAL/CULTURAL FACTORS: Tell us about nay unique circumstances involving your family and the community in which you were raised, and how these social and cultural factors might have adversely affected the pursuit of your education (2000)

7. ECONOMIC FACTORS: Economic factors, such as the need to work, dependent car, family etc, can often seriously impede an individual's academic progress. Use the space below to elaborate on any economic issues that affected your schooling. (2000)

8. EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGES: The availability and types of schooling offered, as well as the history of education in one's family might vary significantly. Comment below on any educational disadvantages you feel you might have had to overcome (2000)

9. OTHER FACTORS / DISADVANTAGES: Are there now, or have there been in the past, any other factors or barriers that might have adversely affected your academic performance? If so, elaborate (2000)


No supplemental. $75 fee.


Character Limit of 1200 or 200 words. $65 fee.

1. Explain what you have done to prepare yourself for a career in pharmacy?

2. Identify one social problem in the US that is concern to you. What do you believe is a possible solution?

3. Name an individual whom you admire greatly. Why?

4. What are your strongest and weakest personal characteristics? How have these characteristics affected you in the achievement of your goals?

5. Describe one extra-curricular activity that had a significant impact in your life. If you have not participated, why?

6. Describe an adversity you have faced in your life and how you have addressed it.

7. Have you had any academic difficulties that may appear on your transcripts that you would like to explain.

8. Please use this space to make any additional personal comments that you think will strengthen your application. If you are a re-applicant, eplain what you have done in the past year to enhance your application.

Whew, after answering those questions, all you can do now is refresh your email every 5 seconds in hopes for an interview invite. I don't even remember how many times I checked... I went mad... Anyways, I know you guys will probably want to kick back but I'd say use your time wisely and learn some interview tactics. My next post will be purely dedicated on interviews - not the specific interview questions per se (those will come in a later post) but rather how to dress and act. Stay tuned!

PART III: Supplementals


You Might Also Like


  1. Good luck babe! My boyfriend graduated from UCSF and he loved it, they have an amazing program!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    1. Oh, no way! UCSF is a great school but the location is just so expensive ):