Pre-Health Instructions for Committee and Recommendation Letters

In recent years many health professions schools have stated a preference for a summative committee letter of evaluation in addition to input who know the applicant. A Committee Letter of Evaluation (CLE) will be offered to students applying to medical, allopathic, osteopathic, dental, podiatry, or optometry schools.
 

If you desire a Committee Letter from the Behrend College Pre-professional Evaluation Committee, follow the instructions listed below.

  1. You will need to download and fill out the attached form "Request for Faculty (Or Other) Letter of Evaluation" and give a copy to the individuals you are requesting to write you a letter of support. You should seek letters from three to six professional references, at least two of these should be academic references, and arrange to have the letters sent to behrendprehealth@psu.edu. These letters will be read and used by the Pre-professional Evaluation Committee, but also will be copied and sent along with your committee letter to each health professional school.
    • It is recommended that you request letters from at least two individuals that were teachers in your classes.
    • Letters of reference should not be solicited from relatives.
    • Since it is clear that most admission committees of health profession schools prefer confidential letters of recommendation and evaluation, you are encouraged to sign the statements that waive your rights of access to these letters. If you choose to retain your rights of access, we must so advise the professional schools, and your letters will be viewed as not confidential.
    • Faculty letters of evaluation can be requested and returned to this office at any time, even as early as your freshman year. Because faculty letters are an essential component for both your committee interview and medical school application, we recommend that our office receives requests by June 15 of the summer before you are applying.
       
  2. You need to complete the “Request for Compiled Pre-Health Evaluation” and submit this to behrendprehealth@psu.edu.
     
  3. Before your committee letter of evaluation can be prepared you must have: 
    • Three letter of recommendation submitted to behrendprehealth@psu.edu.
    • You must complete and return to the “Request for Compiled Pre-Health Evaluation” form to behrendprehealth@psu.edu.
    • You must schedule a time for a 30-minute interview with representatives for the Behrend College Pre-professional Evaluation Committee. These interviews are generally conducted during the Summer and Fall and cannot be scheduled until three letters of recommendations have been submitted, and the “Request for Compiled Pre-Health Evaluation” form has been completed and submitted.
       
  4. The Committee will not send an evaluation letter to more than one type of health profession school during one application period. For example, you cannot request that your evaluation letter be sent to both medical school and dental schools during the same year. However, we will send to both allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medical programs during the same year.
     
  5. On the “Request for Compiled Pre-Health Evaluation” form, some family background information is requested. Our committee requests this information because it is also asked by health professional applications and is a frequent point of discussion during school interviews. Your inclusion of this information is voluntary and our office will handle this information with sensitivity and confidentiality.
     
  6. You can always add to the list of professional schools in writing (on page 3 of the request form) where you want your letter sent. Also, if you don’t know the date when your letter should be sent, you can notify our office when you do know. You don’t want committee letters sent until you know that the individual schools have received your AMCAS transmittal notice.
     
  7. This is no time to be modest in completing pages 5 and 6 of the request form. Medical schools and our committee are particularly interested in leadership experience, research affiliations, health care exposure, and volunteer work benefiting people, communities, and other worthwhile causes. As you probably know, you must include similar personal comments statement on Health Professional School application forms. You can use the same statement from both forms. The information you give us on the request form is only for committee use and the interview request form is not forwarded to medical schools. Our office will forward both the compiled pre-professional committee letter as well as the individual faculty/supervisor letters of evaluation to each health professional school listed.


If you have any questions, contact one of the Pre-Health advisers:

Dr. Todd Cook, Pre-Health Advisor, (tdc15@psu.edu)

Dr. Victoria Kazmerski, Pre-Health Advisor, (vak1@psu.edu)

Dr. James Warren, Pre-Health Advisor, (jtw4@psu.edu)

Dr. Michael Campbell, Coordinator of Pre-Health Advising  (mac17@psu.edu)