Strong letters of evaluation that provide professional schools with the sort of information they want can be a major part of a successful application. Poorly written letters or letters that are written by inappropriate evaluators can severely hurt an application. Here you can find some basic information about who to ask for letters. Even after you select appropriate people to write your letters of evaluation the evaluators may not have had the opportunity to hear what sort of information health profession schools are looking for. Here are some helpful hints that will make your evaluators task easier.
Different professional schools will request slightly different mixtures of letters from faculty, health care professionals and/or employment/volunteer supervisors. Be sure to carefully research all of the schools you are planning to apply to and make sure that the letters submitted fulfill these requests. Most professional school application services have a letters service within the application (ADSAAS, PTCAS, OptomCAS, CASPA, AACPMAS, etc.)
How to submit letters of evaluation for
Virtual Evaluations (for participating schools) (through Undergraduate and
Preprofessional Health Advising Office--UPHAO) Free for you.
independent electronic submission- You pay.
Evaluations (see above)
2. Interfolio (see
3. AMCAS letter
4. Both VE &
Use what your schools
prefer or will allow.
BE SURE TO COMPLY WITH YOUR SCHOOLS’ EVALUATOR REQUIREMENTS.
- Interfolio. See http://www.interfolio.com/.
- This is a web-based, pay-for service.
- It has the advantage that you can store
- Virtual Evaluations (VE) (MD & DO)
- Web based system for submitting letters
electronically coordinated through our office (Undergraduate and
Preprofessional Health Advising Office UPHAO).
- All letters come to us directly from
the writer with the signed waiver form. They are then scanned as a single pdf
file and electronically submitted as a letter packet to AMCAS or to the
- The advantage of VE is that it's
simple, effective, and free for you.
We can also do some basic quality assurances—letterhead, signature, correct
- The disadvantage is that you can't
customize letters for schools although we can do a packet for osteo and a
packet for allopathic. We cannot add letters after submission although we can
- To use the Virtual Evals® system, complete
Evals Information Sheet and submit it to the PreProfessional Health
Advising Office. You also need to provide each evaluator with a Waiver
Form that must be signed and
attached to the letter s/he submits.
- AMCAS (MD schools only)
- Individual authors submit their letters
directly to AMCAS either electronically or on paper.
- The advantage is that you can custom
tailor your letters to each school.
- The disadvantage is that you have to
figure out who gets what, then track it. It's pretty hard to find enough letter
writers in a school this small to customize every application. No quality
- Paper letters received by AMCAS will be
automatically scanned and submitted to schools electronically.
- You can combine VE & AMCAS if you
want the same basic packet to go to each school but need to customize for a
specific school’s requirement.
You are responsible
for making sure your letters get either to AMCAS or to UPHAO for VE. Watch your
letters carefully as this is one of the two places where it can go really
SURE TO RELEASE INFORMATION TO YOUR PREPROFESSIONAL ADVISOR IN AMCAS. This will
help me help you to track letters.