Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations should be provided from Georgetown professors, supervisors, or health professionals who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals and potential (no friends or relatives).  Letters should address the likelihood of success in your chosen career path in the medical field with reference to character traits or competencies that influence that assessment. If you have conducted research with a professor or mentor, a letter from him or her should be included as one of your four letters.  Medical and dental schools will look for a letter from a research mentor where applicable.  If you are applying to osteopathic or podiatric medical schools or dental schools, most admissions committees prefer to see a letter from a professional in that field.  

Each student must have 4 letters of reference:

  • Two letters from Georgetown science faculty in the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, or Human Science Departments.
  • One letter from a Georgetown Humanities or Social Sciences faculty member.
  • One letter from a Georgetown faculty member, research mentor, or an employer (preferably from a relevant work experience in the health field, research lab, etc.) The PHRC may consider a non-GU employer’s review. Non-GU references must be approved in advance by a Pre-Health Advisor. Please fill out this FORM for approval.
  • If an approval is necessary please do so before completing the recommendation provider list. 

Each student must have 4 letters of reference:

  • Two letters from Georgetown science faculty in the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, or Human Science Departments.
  • One letter from a Humanities or Social Sciences faculty member. This letter could come from a faculty member from your undergraduate institution. The PHRC is willing to consider an alternate source if it is clearly of greater relevance for our review. Post-Bac Pre-Med students may submit a letter from a non-Georgetown faculty member without prior approval.
  • One letter from a Georgetown faculty member, research mentor, or an employer (preferably from a relevant work experience in the health field, research lab, etc.) The PHRC may consider a non-GU employer’s review. Post-Bac students may submit a letter from an outside advisor or employer without prior approval.

You ask for it.  If you have not gotten to know your professors well this is a much harder task.  Be prepared to provide your recommendation writer a copy of your transcript, your resume, or a draft of your personal essay or a statement of purpose.  Some letter writers may want to meet with you before agreeing to write a letter.  Do not expect a letter writer to say yes if you make your request too close to the submission deadline. 

  • When is the best time to ask for a letter?
    It’s best to ask the letter writer in January or February of the spring in which you plan to begin your applications. Asking too early is risking a letter that will not be updated with your latest activities, and you don’t want to give your letter writer(s) extra work by asking them for letter updates. Additionally, faculty like to write letters when they know you are definitely applying, so their time is not wasted.
    You may want to keep in touch with your professors at least once per year (or better yet once per semester) by updating them on your activities in a polite email. Sending a holiday greeting is a nice way to do this. You may want to mention that you will ask for a recommendation in the future, allowing the person to take any notes on your candidacy while you are fresh in their mind.
  • You may give your recommender the “Cover Letter for Letter Writers“. This document outlines submission guidelines for the letter writer. Please indicate in the document if you waive the right to see the letter.
  • You can also provider your recommender with the AAMC’s “Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for a Medical School Applicant” document to assist him or her in formatting, structuring, and submitting the letter. 
  • Be sure your letter writer is aware that his or her letter will be submitted to all the medical schools you apply to so that he or she should not make reference to your acceptance to a medical school by name in the letter (unless you have specifically asked him or her to do so and will be submitting this individual letter to a specific school only).
  • When you meet with your letter writer you should also confirm his or her preference for submitting the letter to the Pre-Health Committee.  Recommenders may submit letters “online” or “offline.”  Though we prefer the online method, we understand that some letter writers prefer submitting letters in other ways. 

    When you complete the letter writers section in the Hoya360 PHRC application, your letter writers will automatically receive instructions and a link for submitting their letter online. If the letter writer is unable to submit via this link, they may submit their letter to the following FORM and our office will upload it to your application. Alternatively, the less preferred method is to email the letter to prehealth@georgetown.edu. Finally your letter writer may drop off a hard copy at 108 White Gravenor or mail the letter to

    Pre-Health Recommendation Committee
    Georgetown University
    108 White-Gravenor
    Washington, DC 20057

The Pre-Med Committee will only review the four letters as requested here.  You may if you wish solicit additional letters of recommendation from other faculty, mentors, or employers and submit them as individual letters on your AMCAS application. 

In addition to the letters above, you may want to receive letters from:
-Research Advisor(s)
-Physician/Dentist/Another health professional
-Employer or Coach or another professional who knows you well
-If you attended any programs such as a Master’s or Post-bac elsewhere then you should also request a letter from the Program Director.

The Pre-Health Office can only submit Individual Letters to the AMCAS application. Our office cannot submit individual letters to other application services such as AACOMAS or ADEA AADSAS. Our office can also hold your letters on file for future use. If you would like an Individual Letter submitted via the Pre-Health office to AMCAS and/or to hold on file, please fill out this FORM.