Instructions for Requesting Recommendation Letters

  1. Download the Medical School Recommendation Letter Guidelines (PDF) or the Dental School Recommendation Letter Guidelines (PDF) and take to each of your recommenders and emphasize they are due in Professor Marolf's office no later than June 1 (early decision) or September 1 (regular decision). Provide each with a short resume and rough draft of your personal statement. Schedule a time to visit with each about your goals, why you want to go to medical school, etc. When the letter is complete, they will return it directly to the pre-health professions committee. Admission committees tend to prefer no more than four or five letters.
  2. As the letters are received by Professor Marolf, they will be added to your file and logged in on the recommendation request checklist in the shaded area. You are welcome to stop by her office or e-mail her to check on the status of your letters. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your referees.
  3. Remember to write a short thank you note to each of your referees approximately 2-3 weeks prior to their due date. This may also serve as a reminder to them if they have not already written your letter.
  4. The most useful letters of recommendation come from people who know you well, as they know your work and work habits. They have observed you interacting with others and can comment on your priorities and personality. Do NOT ask a family member, family friend, or employer outside of the field of medicine without asking Professor Marolf first. The NWU pre-health committee strongly suggests you select people in these categories:
    • one professor in your major field (natural sciences or psychology);
    • one professor in another science field;
    • one professor in a non-science field;
    • a supervisor or employer, if medically-related; or anyone who has been connected with your on-campus responsibilities. Ideas: include an administrator, faculty advisor/organization sponsor, summer employer, etc.