Applicants should consider potential recommenders throughout their college years. Since you may take classes as freshman or sophomores with faculty members that would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation, if you waited until your junior year, they may have forgotten you or what they would say on your behalf. Ask them for letters and have then forwarded to this office where they will be stored in your file until it is time to write the composite letter. Recommenders can be registered with us through the composite letter portal.
As health professional schools are serious about the authenticity of applications, ALL letters of recommendations should be submitted signed and with a letterhead.
This office suggests students have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 letters, with most students averaging about 5. We suggest two letters from science faculty, one letter from non science faculty, and at least one letter from a supervisor in a clinical, work, or volunteer setting who can testify to your other strengths.
Prior to asking for letters, decide if you wish to waive your right to see the content of the letters. Many faculty will not write letters if you do not waive your right. You should never ask anyone for a letter unless you have a pretty good idea that they are writing a good one.
Contact this office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of all the letters that have been received on your behalf.
AAMC has guidelines for letters of recommendation of which both applicants and letter writers should be aware. Though written for allopathic medical applicants, we include them here because they are applicable to all health professions applicants. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this document and share it with your recommenders. In short, recommenders should prepare their letters to help admissions committees objectively compare applicants, and ideally address certain competencies which AAMC considers important for future medical professionals.