Once you have opened a pre-health file you may begin to solicit individual letters of evaluation.
How Many Individual Letters Do I Need?
Six letters are required for a committee letter packet, and no more than six letters may be included in a cover letter packet. Of the six individual letters, three letters should be from science faculty, one letter should be from a non-science faculty member, one letter should be from a health professional, and the sixth letter is a “wild card“ letter. The wild card letter could be from a research mentor, employer, or someone associated with your volunteer work or extracurricular activities.
What Counts as a “Science” Letter?
Generally, courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math count as science. But there are exceptions. Faculty members who teach the following courses count as science faculty: BIL, CHM, PHY, MTH, BMB, MIC, NEU, BME, HCS [except for 202, 206, 306 and 317], some engineering [IEN 311, 312], some kinesiology [KIN 221, 222, 232, 233, 234, 246, 321, 322, 365, 366, 421] and some psychology courses [PSY 220, 291, 292, 403, 425, 491, 520]. All Exercise Science (ESS) majors please consult with the Pre-Health Director or Assistant Director via e-mail or at the information sessions about using certain courses.
General Information on Requesting Individual Letters
It is best to request your letter/s at least 4-6 weeks in advance. Provide the evaluator with your curriculum vitae, personal statement draft, and transcripts. We, along with the health professional schools, require that all letters of evaluation be on official letterhead, signed, dated and include your full name and the full name of the evaluator. Letters of evaluation should be addressed generally, such as “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Medical Admissions”. Click here for letter of evaluation guidelines for letter writers. This document makes suggestions for what should be addressed in an individual letter of evaluation.
How to Request Letters from UM Faculty (with whom you’ve taken a course and received credit)
How to Request Letters from Professional/Administrative (“Outside/Wild Card”) Evaluators
How Letters are Submitted to the Pre-Health Office
How Do I Know Which of My Individual Letters Have Been Received by the Pre-Health Office?
To view which and how many of your individual letters of evaluation have been received by the Office of Pre-Health Advising and Mentoring, login to Blackboard, click on the courses tab at the top of the page, scroll down to the Office of Pre-Health Advising and Mentoring link. This link will take you to a new page. Click on the “My Letters of Evaluation” tab on the right hand side. If a letter has been received by the Office on your behalf, you will be able to view the last name of the evaluator and the date the letter was received. If a letter does not appear on Blackboard, contact that letter writer directly to verify the status of your letter.
Note: Our office does not submit letters to master’s or other graduate programs.