PharmCAS Community

Prepare Now: 2020-2021 PharmCAS School Directory Opens May 18

  • 1.  Prepare Now: 2020-2021 PharmCAS School Directory Opens May 18

    Posted 04-27-2020 10:02

    Hello colleagues,

    On May 18, 2020, we will be releasing the brand new PharmCAS School Directory pages with enhanced navigation and data fields. You are strongly encouraged to print and/or save a copy of your current 2019-2020 School Directory page. Some information in the current Directory will not carry forward due to the system change and additional updates to the School Directory questions and answer selections.

    To help you prepare for the transition in advance, below are a few items you may want to start discussing and/or collecting now to aid in your readiness and ease of completing the pages when they open:

    • Data: To assist schools, much of your current data will be carried forward. However, certain responses were purged and will need to be re-entered by the school, if any of the following occurred:
      • Additional or new answer choices were provided;
      • The question language was modified;
      • A text box for additional information was added; and/or
      • Previous answers were year/cycle specific.

    • Browsers: Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers for the new school directory. Do not use Internet Explorer.

    • Banner Image: A banner image will appear at the top of your school directory page. Please consider the following:
      • The image size must be 1920px by 576px.
      • The maximum file size is 64 MB.
      • The supported file extensions are JPG, PNG, GIF.
      • Given the large size of the banner image, it is recommended to use images of your campus or students, as opposed to school logos or text.
      • Your school and program name will automatically be displayed across the bottom of your banner image on the live PharmCAS School Directory, and therefore, we advise you select an image without the school or program name included.

    • Course Prerequisites: Staff has entered the school's course prerequisites on the new form to eliminate this burden on users and standardize the formatting across schools. If the program requires more than one course in the same subject area (e.g., Biology I and Biology II), the courses were entered as separate items on the new form. Once you have access to the form, please carefully review this section for accuracy and contact us, if you have questions about the format.

    • What to Expect: Fields in the updated directory pages have been refined so there are more opportunities for information to be collected and reported in a standardized way across all programs. Additional text boxes have also been added throughout to give programs an opportunity to add any extra details, when necessary.

    • Formatting: With the exception of the Program Description, all text boxes will be restricted to plain text formatting only for security purposes and to avoid misleading character counts. A rich text editor for open text boxes poses additional security risks to the website. Additionally, the use of formatting features (i.e. bold, italics, bullets, etc.) would result in underlying or hidden characters that count towards the character limit. Given these concerns, only the Program Description text box has a basic text editor.

    • Hyperlinks: The PharmCAS School Directory will feature new fields to capture school specific URLs and display them as hyperlinks on the public webpages. Due to security concerns, however, hyperlinks will no longer be allowed in open text boxes. Therefore, you will not be able to hyperlink a word or phrase, like done in Microsoft Word. These sections are just for plain text, so plan accordingly.

    • Character Limits: Each text box has a defined character limit to aid in brevity and clarity for potential applicants. Here are some of the questions and limits as you work to prepare responses:
      • School Page Notification (appears in a red call-out box at the top of your page): 500 characters
      • Program Description: 2000 characters
      • Briefly describe your institution's interview process (this question follows selecting your interview formats in a list of multiple options): 750 characters

    When the pages are released on May 18, we will provide additional training resources to help you complete the new directory pages. It is highly recommended that you review these training materials to best understand the new system functionality.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.


    Katie Owings Bruce
    Director of Application Services and Student Programs
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
    703-739-2330 x1026