Letters of Recommendation
Applicants should submit a minimum of three letters of recommendation (maximum of five). A letter packet is assembled and distributed by your school. It may or may not include a cover letter from your pre-health advisor or committee, but it does not include a committee evaluation. If the letter packet contains at least three individual letters, it will fulfill our requirements. However, if the letter packet includes fewer than three individual letters, you will need to submit additional individual letters to meet our minimum requirement of three letters. All letters should be submitted through AMCAS Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation Service.
We receive many questions about who should write letters of recommendation. We highly recommend you select writers who know you well and can speak to your qualifications for entering the field of medicine. Letters from family members and/or friends are discouraged. Learn more here.
- Letters must address personal experiences and characteristics that will help us to develop an overall portrait of you. A letter based upon direct interaction with you and addressing qualities such as maturity, empathy, character, reliability, interpersonal skills, and any special attributes or experiences will be the most helpful.
- Letters may be authored by individuals from an academic, clinical, employment, research, or volunteer setting. People who know you well and who can attest to your character and abilities based upon their personal experience with you will be the most meaningful.
- If you have taken time off between college and medical school, you should also send a letter of evaluation from a person who can comment about experiences during that period.
- If there are special circumstances or potential concerns raised within your application (ex: lower grades one semester, compelling reason for withdrawal from a class, minor institutional action), consider securing a letter that could validate or clarify the situation.
- Ideally, letters should be dated within one year of your application.
- We DO NOT provide a status message indicating receipt of letters of evaluation. If AMCAS has confirmed receipt of your letters, then we have them as well. It is not necessary to contact our office to ask if we have your letters.
- Unsolicited letters sent directly to the college outside of the AMCAS Letters service will not be reviewed, placed in your file, or retained in any form; they will be discarded.