Letters of Evaluation
All student candidates should familiarize themselves with the types of letters of recommendations for all the schools where they intend to apply. Within their four allowed letters (at least one of those from an optometrist), students should construct a combination of letters that meet the requirements of all their schools.
Prior to the opening of OAT around July 1st(no later than the previous spring), students should schedule an appointment with each of their evaluators. At this meeting students should present their resume (with picture), and secure the evaluator's agreement for a letter at the designated date in July.
Additional paperwork to help students at this appointment is available in the Premedical Studies Program office (e.g., explanations of the two part evaluations that the faculty will do for you).
Selecting your evaluators
Individual optometry schools are quite specific in the types of letters of evaluation they expect. Your purpose, then, is not to please the Premedical Studies Program, but to design your packet to contain what will please your various schools.
How to ask for letters of evaluation
Consider taking a copy of a resume (containing your high school and college academic, extracurricular, community service, optometry exposure/shadowing experiences, and research/laboratory experiences) with an attached picture to an appointment that you set up with the evaluator when requesting that she/he evaluate you. Certainly not every UGA preoptometry applicant is able to generate 3 to 4 letters from college faculty and staff who know them very well and can offer significant insight into them, their motivation, abilities, citizenship, and character traits, including their passion for people, patients, and the profession of optometry. Remember that other student applicants were also in that large lecture class. Following these directions for a concise resume should help you make the most of your professors’ letters.
Make it clear to the evaluator that you are applying to optometry schools. (Put it on the resume you give them.) Help them understand your motivation to pursue the profession as well as how the professional education is obtained. Many evaluators wish to have your written comments on why you want to be an optometrist and how you feel you know this, perhaps how you decided, as it helps him/her rate your motivation for the field of optometry.