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, which has provided both instructions and 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!

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. Some committee letters consist of a single letter, with no additional letters attached, while others include the committee letter as well as letters from other recommenders. If your committee provides the former, with no additional letters attached, then you will need to submit an additional two letters of recommendation, with at least one from a research advisor, science advisor, or science course instructor. The other letter can be from a recommender of your choice. Please check with your premedical committee if you are unsure which format they provide.
  • 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

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.

We will accept letters from instructors 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.

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.

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 postbaccalaureate or masters studies.