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Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are very important in our decision-making process. These letters should come from individuals who know the candidate well and who are in a capacity to objectively judge the applicant's performance (no family members or friends of family). Confidential letters and a specific statement that a student is in good standing are preferred. Commentary on any institutional action taken is desirable, when applicable. All letters of recommendation must be submitted through AMCAS. Instructions for submitting letters of recommendation can be found here, as well as on the AMCAS application. The AAMC has created some useful guidelines to provide your letter writers should they be unfamiliar with the kind of information that is to be included in a recommendation letter. Keep in mind that your application will not be considered complete until ALL letters have been received by AMCAS. Late submission will delay the review of your application!

Letters of recommendation requirements for all programs:

  • 3-5 Letters of Recommendations. At least two should be from science advisors/professors; or
  • 1 Pre-Medical Committee evaluation letter will be accepted in lieu of the 3-5 individual letters if your institution offers this service.

An additional evaluation letter from a research advisor is required for the College Program and Medical Scientist Training Program and recommended for the University Program, if applicable.

Letters of Recommendation FAQs

Q. Do you have any advice or guidelines for letter writers?

A. The AAMC assembled a group of admissions representatives and pre-health advisors to develop a set of optional guidelines to assist letter writers, and your recommenders may find these to be helpful.

Q. How do we define letters from "science advisors/professors"?

A. We will accept letters from professors or advisors in the disciplines of:

  • Life Sciences (Biology, Zoology, Human Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Neuroscience, etc.)
  • Physical Sciences (Physics & Chemistry)
  • Mathematics (Calculus, Statistics, Biostatistics)
  • Engineering Sciences (Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc.)
  • Exercise Science or Physiology
  • Nursing

We will not accept letters from Psychology, Earth Sciences (Geology, Ecology, Oceanography, and Botany), and Computer Sciences as satisfying the science letters requirement but are acceptable as additional letters of recommendation.

Q. Will we accept letters of recommendation from Graduate Students or Graduate Teaching Assistants in my science courses?

A. While this is not the preferred method of obtaining a letter of recommendation, we will accept a letter of recommendation from a graduate student or graduate teaching assistant if it is co-signed by the course instructor or professor. We recommend that you obtain an additional science letter from another professor/instructor from another class, if possible, to completely satisfy the science letters requirement.

Q. What if I've been out of school for a while and find it difficult to obtain science letters from professors I had as an undergraduate?

A. While we will accept letters of recommendation for your current employer and physicians you may have observed, we truly value letters from instructors that can comment on your abilities in the classroom. We suggest obtaining letters from the science faculty you have interacted with in your post-bacc or masters studies.

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