These guidelines are for writers of letters of evaluations for students applying to medical school.
The OSU Pre-medical Committee greatly appreciates your willingness to write a letter of evaluation on behalf of this applicant for medical school. Your letter will be sent electronically to medical schools. The applicant has agreed that the letter of recommendation will be confidential and has a signed statement of confidentiality which is on file with the pre-medical committee.
Letters must be printed on university, company or personal letterhead and must be signed and dated.
- Address letters to the Medical School Admissions Committee.
- A one page, single spaced letter is preferable; the maximum length is two pages.
- The applicant may have given you background information about their activities and experiences. There is no need to repeat that information in your letter.
- Only include a student's grade if you are providing context to help interpret it. Focus on the applicant rather than details about the lab, course, assignment, job or institution.
- If you make comparisons, please provide context.
Items to address in content of letter
How well do you know the applicant and under what circumstances did you have contact with him/her?
What strengths and unique contributions does the applicant offer to the incoming class?
How do you assess the applicant's motivation for medicine?
Medical schools have established Core Entry-level Competencies. See a sample of competencies.
Describe how the applicant has demonstrated any of the following:
- Critical Thinking
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Scientific Inquiry: applies scientific process to problems, research questions, hypotheses
- Knowledge of Natural Sciences: applies to problems in living systems
- Knowledge of Psychological, Social, and Biological factors that influence health and well-being
- Desire to help others and serve society
- Communications skills- written and oral
- Social skills: demonstrates awareness of others' needs, goals, feelings, nonverbal cues.
- Cultural Competence: shows an appreciation & respect for multiple dimensions of diversity
- Ethical Responsibility to Self & Others, Honesty and Integrity
- Reliability and Dependability: takes responsibility for personal actions & performance
- Resilience & Adaptability to stressful or changing environments; obstacles overcome
- Capacity for Improvement: engages in reflective practice for improvement; solicits and responds appropriately to feedback.
- Intellectual Curiosity
- Emotional Maturity
Submit your letter by June 21
Online portal (preferred)
You will receive an automated email with a link to upload your signed letter on letterhead.
Scan your letter and attach the file to your email message.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSU Premedical Committee
3029 Cordley Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
OSU students who are applying to medical school and who are using the letter collecting system at OSU have a signature form on file stating that they agree to the following statement of information release and confidentiality:
I have read and understand the above information and hereby request and authorize the OSU College of Science Pre-medical Committee to send letters of recommendation to the medical schools or medical scholarship programs which I have designated. In signing this form, I consent to the release of my academic records, including but not limited to GPA, grades, current and/or previous class schedule, advising observations, academic performance in a class, classes, or internship experience taken for credit, protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, I have waived my right to see any of the letters in my pre-medical file. I understand that the contents of any of these letters will not be available to me now or at any future time.