Evaluations and Recommendations
If you already have a Pre-Health file, but you do not request recommendation letters and/or evaluations for at least an academic year, your file will be marked as inactive and you will have to reapply to the program to make your file active again. To avoid your Pre-Health file becoming inactive, make sure you submit recommendation letters and/or evaluations every semester.
An evaluation is a form that a professor, usually of a math or science course, uses to write a sentence to a paragraph about a student’s performance and/or skill level in class. These evaluations are a great help for committee members when letter writing is taking place because it gives writers an overview of how a student has been doing across the board in science and math courses.
To request an evaluation from a professor, please complete the Evaluation Request Form (you must have the instructor's email address to do so).
A recommendation is a full-length letter, on letterhead, written by a professor, employer, research supervisor, MD, DO, etc. For more details, please see the last page of the guides on the left for tips on what the letter should include. Recommendation letters are always preferred over evaluations because they are far more detailed and professional. However, you should not ask for a letter of recommendation from everyone that you have ever worked or taken a class with. Rather than overload your file with letters that do not say very much or ones that do not portray you in a positive light, it would be to your advantage to request letters of recommendation from people who you feel will have both positive and substantive things to say about your performance in the area in which they know you. Exceptional recommendation letters that portray a student’s outstanding qualities can also be included with a committee letter if committee members feel that the content of the letter may better a student’s chances of admission into a health professions school.
To request a recommendation letter, please complete the Recommendation Request Form (you must have the individual's email address to do so).
MD/PhD Students **VERY IMPORTANT**
If you are intending to apply to MD/PhD programs, it is imperative that you receive at least 2 letters of recommendation from 2 different research experiences. These letters must detail the research that you conducted. Please inform the individual writing the recommendation letter that the letter must be a very detailed letter about your research project and your skills/abilities in the lab. Many times students do not request this of the letter writer and then the letter is insufficient and negatively impacts the student’s chances of getting into MD/PhD program. It is your responsibility to inform your recommender that they need to be detailed in their letter; otherwise, they may just assume that they should write a regular letter about your aptitude and not one that specifies your research project and abilities in a lab.
For more detailed information about letters of recommendation, see the final page of the guide on the left.