St. Mary's College of Maryland

The Committee: The Committee Letter

Most medical schools, many dental schools, and some veterinary and optometry schools require that you submit a "committee letter of recommendation" (also called an "institution letter of recommendation"). Some schools in other fields may require a committee letter, so be sure to research your schools and their admissions requirements for letters of recommendation.

The committee letter of recommendation process:

  • Instead of having your professors/bosses send their letters directly to the school you are applying to, you will instruct them to send the letters to the HSAC chair.
  • You can ask as many people as you want to send letters of recommendation.
    • They will all be synthesized into one letter, so the more contacts you include, the more facets your letter is likely to have.
    • However, it is best to only ask contacts who know you well and care about your success. Otherwise, those letters will not be adding much substance to the committee letter.
  • Your advisor and the chair will then pull the highlights out of each letter he/she receives in order to write the committee letter.
  • Following the mock interview, your personal committee will draw upon information from your interview in order to enhance the committee letter.
  • Download the letter of recommendation form here.

**It is your responsibility to send school addresses to the HSAC, so your advisor can send the committee letter to your schools!

You should request letters of recommendations from:

  • Faculty from SMCM or another university you attended
    • You should choose professors who have seen your best academic performance and/or your best improvements and effort.
    • Choosing faculty members in the humanities is great and helps paint you as a well-rounded student, but make sure you choose at least one or two faculty members from the sciences. A strong science background is key, and professional schools want to see testaments to your drive and ability to perform well in science courses.
  • Professionals in your future career field that mentored you in your practical experience
  • Internship Mentors
  • Bosses that knew you well and/or oversaw good work you did
  • Anyone you did research with, especially if the research is related to your field
  • Coaches or other non-academic mentors

*Note: The committee letter cannot and will not be used for any purposes other than applying to professional schools in the health sciences. That means that you cannot use this letter for internships, grad schools outside of the health sciences, or other jobs/programs that require letter of recommendations.

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