The Committee Letter Application for the 2015 -2016 application cycle is closed.
The Committee Letter
Rather than sending all of the separate recommendation letters in a student's file, applicants who qualify will receive one Committee Letter. The Committee Letter is a composite letter that incorporates all of the information in a student's file, and its narrative includes quotations from evaluations and letters of recommendation as well as impressions derived from the personal statement and an interview. At the discretion of the Pre-Health Committee, particularly strong and descriptive letters of recommendation may also be appended to the Committee letter in entirety.
Committee Letter Content
Each Committee Letter is subdivided into different sections, which include:
- Introduction & Background - with biographical information about the applicant, a brief description of the path leading to their application, and a summary of their educational experiences and accomplishments.
- Course Evaluations & Instructor Comments - which includes actual quotes from course evaluations and letters of recommendation describing the applicant's performance in a variety of subject areas.
- Clinical Experience - with a description of activities in the clinical area that the applicant is applying to as well as comments or appended letters of recommendation from supervisors in that area. It is important that every candidate has had clinical exposure related to their area of interest. Comments from supervisors in the clinical area provides admissions committees with a measure of the quality of such experiences .
- Research Experience - describing those activities if a candidate has research experience and incorporating comments from research mentors, which help to substantiate how effective a candidate has been as a researcher.
- Community Service - descriptions of the kinds of extracurricular activities that demonstrate that the candidate is genuinely committed to serving others. Again, letters from supervisors related to this area are encouraged as a way to evaluate a candidate's performance.
Committee Letter Application Workshops
Each applicant or re-applicant for a Committee Letter is now REQUIRED to attend a Committee Letter Workshop BEFORE submitting a Committee Letter application. These workshops are organized by the Pre-Health Office to provide each applicant or reapplicant with valuable information about preparing your Committee Letter Application AND your medical, dental or veterinary school application. This includes guidelines for preparing Personal Statements and other parts of the application. These guidelines are presented to help applicants to craft their personal statements and other parts of their Committee Letter Application.
The Pre-Health Office simply CANNOT meet with each applicant to critique their Personal Statements and other parts of the Committee Letter Application BEFORE it is submitted to us. Please do not come to advising sessions expecting this to happen. Longer appointments are necessary to provide this level of critique and we would like to provide this at a time when all of the necessary information is already in an applicant's file in order to make the feedback that we provide most meaningful, effective, and efficient. However, once the Committee Letter Application, along with all letters of recommendation and other supporting documents, have been received by the Pre-Health Office, candidates are encouraged to try to meet with a Pre-Health Advisor to get feedback on their Personal Statements and other facets of their applications.
In addition, every attendee at a Committee Letter Application Workshop is issued a unique Committee Letter Identification Number, which must be included in each Committee Letter Application before it can be submitted. This number cannot be shared and can only be obtained at one of these workshops. These numbers were provided to each attendee as they signed in at the workshop. If you did not attend a workshop, you will NOT be able to receive a Committee Letter Application Number and, therefore, will not be eligible for a Committee Letter.
Qualifications For The Committee Letter
Minimum academic qualifications for the Committee Letter include a GPA of 3.3 or higher for at least 38 credits in science and mathematics courses taken at Hunter. These 38 credits can be either completed or in progress at the time when the Committee letter application is submitted. The 38 credits must also include at least four (4) laboratory courses taken at Hunter College. The GPA requirement must be satisfied at the time when the Committee Letter Application is submitted.
Each candidate must also have appropriate extracurricular experiences in the field that they plan to enter (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, etc.), as well as course evaluations and letters of recommendation that comment on their performance in both academic and clinical settings.
All applicants for the Committee Letter or a Letter Packet must also be in good academic standing at Hunter College and at any other undergraduate institutions that they have attended.
Special Transfer Student Committee Letter Qualifications
If you are a transfer student, the minimum academic qualifications for the Committee Letter include a GPA of 3.3 or higher for at least 30 credits in science and mathematics courses taken at Hunter. These 30 credits can be either completed or in progress at the time when the Committee letter application is submitted. The 30 credits must also include at least four (4) laboratory courses taken at Hunter College. The GPA requirement must be satisfied at the time when the Committee Letter Application is submitted.
Special Requirement for Students in Hunter's Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program
Students enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program at Hunter College are required to complete 56 hours of service to the Hunter Community. Please note that this service commitment must be completed BEFORE a Committee Letter can be submitted on a student's behalf.
To qualify for a Committee Letter, all applicants must also have an active file with the Pre-Health Advising Office with the following documents included:
A total of at least 8 evaluative documents, which includes letters of recommendation and course evaluations.
A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must be from science faculty member at Hunter College. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a supervisor in a clinical setting related to your intended field. If you do not have a letter of recommendation from a science faculty member and from a supervisor in a clinical setting related to your interest, this could adversely affect your eligibility for a Committee Letter and your likelihood of being accepted to a professional school.
Course Evaluations (ideally greater than five), which can only be obtained for courses completed at Hunter College. Evaluations can be included from lecture course professors, laboratory instructors, and teaching assistants from lectures and recitation sections.
Additional letters of recommendation from employers, supervisors and/or mentors in clinical, research, and community service settings, or from science and non-science faculty members from Hunter and from other institutions attended.
- A Letter of Good Standing from Hunter College and any other colleges or universities attended. To obtain a Letter of Good Standing from Hunter College you should contact Arthur Ford from the Office of Advising Services, Room 417 Hunter West.
Once the qualifications for the Committee Letter have been verified by the Pre-Health Office, a member of Hunter’s Pre-Health Committee is assigned to interview the candidate and write their Committee letter.
The Letter Packet
For those students who have a file in the Pre-Health Professions Office but do not meet the minimum requirements for a Committee Letter (3.3 Science and Math GPA and 38 Credits in Science at Hunter); or for those who are applying to programs that do not require a Committee Letter, the Pre-Health Advising Office is also able to send out a Letter Packet. The letter packet consists of the Letters of Recommendation in your file along with a brief cover letter.
Each candidate for the letter packet must have a minimum Science and Math GPA of 3.0.
Each candidate must have at least 3 letters of recommendation in their Pre-Health File order to qualify for a Letter Packet. At least one of these letters must be from a science faculty member at Hunter and at least one letter must be from a supervisor in a clinical setting related to the field of interest. The Pre-Health Advising Office will examine your file and determine what letters are best to submit on your behalf. Only full letters of recommendation are submitted with a Letter Packet. Course evaluations are not appropriate documents for submission in a Letter Packet.
Each candidate for the Letter Packet must also have in their Pre-Health File a Letter of Good Standing from Hunter College and from any other colleges or universities that they have attended. To obtain a Letter of Good Standing from Hunter College you should contact Arthur Ford from the Office of Advising Services, Room 417 Hunter West.
The same application is required for either the Committee Letter or the Letter Packet. All sections of this Committee Letter Application MUST be filled in completely.
The deadline to apply for a Committee Letter or a Letter Packet was Saturday, March 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.
Committee Letter Application Procedures & Timeline
The following outlines the different steps in the Committee Letter Application Process:
Before you can submit a Committee Letter Application, you must first attend a MANDATORY Committee Letter Workshop. Each workshop attendee will be issued a unique Committee Letter Application Number, which must be entered on the Committee Letter Application before it can be submitted. Attendance at a Committee Letter Workshop is REQUIRED for first-time applicants as well as reapplicants.
You must submit your application for a committee letter before the March 15 deadline.
- The minimum required number of recommendations and evaluations needed to qualify for the Committee Letter (8 total as described above) MUST be in your file by April 15th, 2015. If your file is not complete by that date, you will NOT qualify for a Committee letter.
- All additional letters or evaluations, beyond the 8 documents needed to meet the minimum specified qualifications, MUST be received by the Pre-Health Advising Office no later than June 15, 2015. If you are taking classes during the spring and plan to request letters or evaluations from your instructors, or if you are participating in clinical, research or volunteer experiences for which you hope to receive a letter, all of these documents must be submitted by the June 15 due date. Any documents received after that date will NOT be included in the Committee Letter or Letter Packet.
- MCAT, DAT or GRE scores are NOT required by the June 15 deadline. However, these scores must be released or submitted to the Pre-Health Office BEFORE completed Committee Letters or Letter Packets will be uploaded. it is very strongly recommended that all applicants complete the MCAT, DAT or GRE no later than mid July of the year in which they plan to apply to medical, dental or veterinary school. Later test dates can significantly decrease an applicant's competitiveness and potential for acceptance.
The Pre-Health Advising Office team will review your application to determine your eligibility for receiving a Committee Letter or Letter Packet and will issue a formal approval. The approval process is expected to take up to 4 to 6 weeks after the April 15th deadline for the Committee Letter application. Candidates who do not qualify for the Committee Letter will be informed if they have sufficient documentation to be eligible for a Letter Packet.
Once you have been approved for a Committee Letter, you will be directed to set up an interview with a member of the Committee, who is pre-assigned to develop your committee letter.Please allow 6-8 weeks from the time of approval of your application to completion of your letter request.
THESE REQUESTS ARE ADDRESSED ON A ROLLING BASIS (FIRST COME FIRST SERVED).
Additional requirements that must be fulfilled before a Committee Letter can be submitted
- If you have the same instructor for more than one course, then only one evaluation or letter of recommendation is required. However, each of the courses that you completed with the instructor must be indicated in the letter or evaluation. In this case one letter or evaluation would count as written feedback for two courses.
- Evaluations can be written by Hunter College faculty and Laboratory or Recitation instructors (usually graduate teaching assistants), but letters of recommendation must be written by Hunter faculty.
- The number of evaluations will be considered in the context of all the other items in your file. The goal is to have enough information in a file for a committee member to write a thorough, accurate, and comprehensive letter. This requirement not only helps the committee but benefits the student. We require that you have 8-10 evaluative documents (letters and evaluations) in your file at the time when you apply for a Committee Letter.
- The Committee Letter Application is used by the Committee to learn more about your goals, accomplishments, and motivation. When you submit your Committee Letter application; this signifies to the Pre-Health Committee that you are ready to apply and want to be considered for a Committee Letter that semester.
- The Committee Letter Application is electronic and can only be completed in one sitting (you cannot start it and then go back to it later). You may want to start by answering the questions in MS Word. Then, when you are ready to submit the packet, copy and paste the answers in the appropriate boxes.
- The Committee Letter Application is also intended as a preliminary version of a medical, dental, veterinary, optometry or podiatry school application. You are expected to put serious and significant effort into the preparation of your Committee Letter Application as a major step in the preparation of your professional school application. It also provides the Pre-Health Advising Office with an opportunity to provide feedback on your professional school application before it is actually submitted.
- The Pre-Health Advising Office reserves the right to reject applications that are incomplete or that demonstrate a lack of serious effort.
- If you miss the March 15 submission deadline, or if your file is not complete with the required letters and recommendations by April 15, you will NOT be eligible to receive a Committee Letter or a Letter Packet.
- The Committee letter deadlines are established so that candidates' applications may be completed in a timely fashion. If you miss the Committee letter deadline, then your competitiveness as an applicant is likely to be compromised.
- If you are having trouble meeting the Committee Letter deadlines, then it may be best for you to defer your application until the next year's cycle. It is always best to apply to professional school when you are really ready - when you are the best applicant that you can be. It is NOT advisable to apply just to see what happens, when you know that you still need to accomplish a few things before you would be fully qualified.
LINK TO THE COMMITTEE LETTER APPLICATION
Committee Letters will only be provided to students who have completed their course work within the last 5 years.
To apply for a Committee letter or a letter packet, you will need to view and access the application form through a link provided here. The link will be made active when the application cycle opens in January.
For those students who have received a Committee Letter or Letter Packet within the past two years and are re-submitting applications for medical, dental, veterinary or optometry school, a Committee Letter Update is required.
If your Committee Letter is older than 3 years, you are required to submit updated letters of recommendation.
In order to receive an update, you must also provide additional information through the Committee Letter Application.
All Re-Applicants are also REQUIRED to attend a Committee Letter Workshop. A unique Re-Applicant ID Number will be provided to you at that time. This number must be entered in the form to be completed by all Re-Applicants. You will NOT be able to submit the form if you do not enter the Re-Applicant ID Number issued to you.