Pre-Medicine

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation for professional schools (and others)

What is a letter of recommendation? A recommendation letter is the considered opinion of the writer about you. It includes but is not limited to:

  • Statements about your abilities and future chances of success in your chosen area
  • Statements about your skills, desires, and background, drive and determination
  • Targeted information to increase the chances of your acceptance to a program
  • Information that reflects on you both positively and negatively (they ask for strengths and weaknesses)
  • An overall summation of your abilities

Requesting a letter

  • Consider all of your options.
  • Make sure you have plenty of potential references who can speak well of you!
  • Double check what the specific school requires for number and type of references.
  • Type of reference may be specified (science, non-science, advisor), or not.
  • Talk to each of your potential references well in advance of the final date.
  • Prepare a packet of information (see below) to give your recommenders.
  • Offer to chat with them. They need to know your passion for medicine.
  • Give your references everything they need to increase the chance of a complete letter

Things to provide 

  • A copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • A copy of your personal statement for the AMCAS or other application
  • Your MCAT scores
  • A list of volunteer experiences and the things you learned about medicine
  • A list of some activities in which you have participated in a meaningful way