Each student must submit at least FOUR and no more than SEVEN letters of reference from individuals. These letters should be mostly from academic sources.
- At least ONE from a natural science faculty member is REQUIRED. This includes the physical sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry) and the life sciences (e.g., biology, physiology, anatomy).
- At least one letter from a non-science faculty member is advisable, especially if you are in a science major. If you do secure a non-science faculty letter, it is strongly recommended that it be from PhD faculty.
- Other letters can be from employers or volunteer supervisors who know you well and can make some judgment about your qualities/qualifications for a professional health school. It is REQUIRED that you secure letters from your clinical exposure to health care (e.g., shadowing, health care volunteering).
- Letters from family or friends who are physicians are not the best to include unless they are acquainted with you professionally (e.g., shadowing).
- Many osteopathic (DO) medical schools highly recommend or require a letter from a DO. Be sure to check your school’s requirements.
Letters should be requested from faculty or supervisors whenever you believe the reference writer has enough information about you to write effectively. Avoid waiting a year or two later as memories can fade. Blank forms are available in Room 108 or online (PDF).
Recommenders can then send the reference directly to the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center, 109 Norton Hall where the references will be retained for 5 years or until an application is filed for the Prehealth Committee Letter. They can drop off letters in person, mail them or scan and attach them as a pdf or Word doc to email@example.com. Consult the form referenced above for all pertinent details.
When requesting letters of recommendation:
- Give people a reasonable amount of time to write and submit. Three to four weeks would be a minimum. You don’t want your recommenders feeling pressured.
- Sit down and talk with the individual. Bring them a resume and even a draft of your personal statement. Make it easy for them to write a comprehensive letter.
- Follow up the request a few days later with a thank you note.
- If letters have not arrived to our office, please contact the faculty member politely, but promptly alert them to any pending deadlines.