Letters of Evaluation
All medical school applicants should familiarize themselves with the types of letters of evaluation each medical school requires.
As of January 2016, the Pre-Health Advising Office will no longer serve as a repository/submission service for letters of evaluation to medical school. The absence of a "committee" or "premed" letter will not adversely affect your application.
Most medical schools will provide you with several options for submitting letters of evaluation. Applicants can submit their letters via the AMCAS Letter Service or Interfolio (recommended).
Typically, applicants may submit one of the following:
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals (at least two from science professors)
- A packet of letters from a Career Center or a Letter Writing Service
- A packet of letters or a composite letter from a Pre-Medical or Pre-Health Committee
Because UGA does not provide committee letters for students nor do we assemble letter packets, students will need to assemble a minimum of three individual letters for submission.
Note: Always waive your right to view your letters of evaluation.
Whom should I ask for a letter?
Individual medical schools are quite specific in the types of letters of evaluation they expect from applicants. Therefore, it is important to be selective in who you ask to submit letters on your behalf.
Typically, you will need to submit a minimum of three letters of evaluation. Two should come from faculty members that you have taken science courses with and one should come from a physician with whom you have shadowed or volunteered. The Pre-Health Advising Office also recommends supplementing these three letters with one or two additional from other professors you may have worked closely with (for instance, as part of your double-major, minor, or certificate program), research mentors, other physicians or healthcare professionals you have shadowed under, or supervisors from any jobs you have held while an undergraduate.
There is such a thing as too many letters!
How should I ask for a letter?
When asking for a letter of evaluation, it is important that you do so in person. Emailing or calling to set up a meeting or appointment is acceptable but the request should be face to face. Further, you should schedule an appointment with each of your evaluators by early Spring (no later than May) of the year they wish to apply to medical school.
Due to the size of UGA, it is expected that not every applicant can generate 3 to 5 letters from college faculty and staff who know them very well and can offer significant insight into their character traits and capacity for entering the profession of medicine. Therefore, it is important to provide your evaluators with as much information as possible:
- Recent copy of your resume (with picture)
- Detailed instructions for how the letter should be submitted (AMCAS or Interfolio)
- Brief statement of your educational goals
- Rough draft of your AMCAS personal statement (if available).
- Guidelines for how to write a letter of evaluation
How do I submit my letters of evaluation?
Using Interfolio (recommended)
The UGA Pre-Health Advising Office strongly encourages applicants to use Interfolio to collect and submit their letters of evaluation. With an established Interfolio account, you can have your letters of evaluation submitted directly to AMCAS for a delivery fee. Interfolio offers free accounts to store documents with a flat rate of $48 per year for 50 deliveries. According to Interfolio, your letters will be maintained even if your account expires and you can renew your account any time.
Applicants can elect to use the AMCAS application service directly to upload their letters. To do so, you must provide each of your letter writers with the AMCAS Letter Request Form. Your evaluators can then use the form to either upload your letter directly into the AMCAS Letter Writer portal or mail your letter. Keep in mind that the Letter Request Form does not become available until the AMCAS application opens (usually in early May).