Letters of Recommendation
boston college committee evaluation process
Other significant elements of the composite Committee letter of evaluation are the letters from faculty and other individuals. You will be asked to submit 3-5 letters from faculty members and others who know you. Each letter is incorporated unedited into your Committee Letter. In addition, you will be asked to submit to our office on the appropriate form, a list of those whom you have asked for letters and those whom you expect to ask.
We need a minimum of three letters, including at least one from a science faculty member. A letter from a health-related reference is extremely useful as well, but not required. Others who can write useful letters are your independent work adviser, faculty in disciplines other than science, administrators, directors of studies, chaplains, supervisors of campus or summer jobs, those who have known you in volunteer positions, and those who have observed your work in elected offices.
Ideally, letters submitted to our Committee should give us a "complete profile" of you. In most cases, anyone who has observed your work closely in a hospital or other type of service work or in research should write to us, although the total number of letters should not exceed five. Since we do require three to be submitted by March 1st, it is best to ask for four.
Asking for Letters
Asking for letters from individuals can be a delicate process. Please do not make your request when you pass the individual in the hall. Make an appointment or stop by during their office hours. Come prepared to update them (verbally and in writing) on your accomplishments. Remind the professors of the courses you took with them, specifically refer to any papers (you should always keep term papers and examinations on file) you wrote in their classes, and offer to lend them copies. If their comments on your papers/exams were positive, remind them. We suggest that you consider attaching the appropriate Premedical Committee forms and/or a résumé to the Evaluation Forms that you give to these individuals.
Please give serious consideration to which individuals you plan to approach; once we receive their letters in our office, they will appear in your Committee letter. Again, we require a minimum of three and maximum of five letters. As the deadline for the letters draws near, check with the individuals to see whether they sent them to the Premedical Office. If not, gently remind them of the due date. If the letters have gone out, thank them verbally, and follow up by sending written thank-you notes.
Remember: It is your responsibility to follow up on your letter requests and to complete your file on time. Again, your letters must be in our office by March 1st. Extra Evaluation Forms can be picked up in our office.