1 Drexel Drive
New Orleans, LA 70125
- Full-Time Staff
- Quo Vadis Maria Webster, MA, LPC
- Premedical Adviser
(504) - 520-7437
- Part-Time Staff
- JW Carmichael, Jr.
- Director of Premed Program
- Professor of Chemistry
Advice For Xavier Premeds about Collecting and Sending Letters of Evaluation to Health Professions Schools, Research Programs, Summer Programs, etc. (Updated 12/21/15)
This document is one in a series designed to provide instructions to XU premedical students for collecting and/or forwarding letters of evaluation (i.e. recommendations).
The Premedical Office encourages students who are applying to summer programs and medical, dental, etc. school to have their letters of evaluation (i.e. recommendations) filed in the Premedical Office so that students can utilize the Premedical Office's service for sending evaluations to schools or programs. However, if you prefer to have your evaluators bypass the Premedical Office and send your evaluations directly to summer programs or health professions schools, you are free to do so.
Faculty members are NOT required to write letters of evaluation. Therefore, since you are asking for a favor, be VERY nice when asking AND be considerate by giving them adequate time to write the evaluations (at least 8 weeks before the evaluations are due). AND, if a teacher is not able to write a letter of evaluation on your behalf, kindly thank him/her then ask someone else.
Most summer programs and medical, dental, etc. schools require letters of evaluation from two (2) faculty members who taught you in the sciences (BCPM=Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Math) and one (1) faculty member who taught you a non-BCPM course. In addition to these required evaluations, it is okay to have letters of evaluation that are written by research mentors, volunteer supervisors, etc. forwarded to the Premedical Office to be placed in your file. Be advised that the Premedical Office does NOT write composite or committee letters of evaluation. NOTE: Some medical, dental, etc. schools will require a letter of evaluation from a clinician (e.g. physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, veterinarian, podiatrist, physical therapist, etc.). It is imperative that you periodically review the evaluation requirements for the schools that you are interested in applying to so that you can secure the required evaluations in a timely fashion.
LSU-Shreveport and LSU-New Orleans Medical School Applicants: If you requesting letters of evaluation for application to MEDICAL SCHOOL and will be applying to LSU-NO, be advised that you will need three (3) evaluations from faculty members who taught you at least BCPM LECTURE (cannot have ONLY taught you BCPM lab); additionally, if you are applying to LSU-Shreveport, your letters cannot be dated PRIOR TO MAY 1st of the year in which the application cycle starts (e.g. if you are applying in 2016 for entry in in 2017, your letter cannot be dated prior to May 1, 2016). Go to http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Admissions/Requirements.aspx for LSU-Shreveport's detailed requirements for evaluations (i.e. letters of recommendation).
When considering which faculty members you should ask to write evaluations, think about the following questions: 1) Did you make a grade of "B" or better (preferable) in the course? and 2) How would this faculty member evaluate you beyond classroom performance (i.e. observations and impressions of you based on behaviors in and outside of the classroom)? NOTE: Faculty impressions of you beyond the grade you earn in a course may impact how you are viewed as a future health professional and may therefore impact whether or not you are viewed as a favorable candidate. Always be mindful of how you perform academically AND how you behave pre-professionally. Regardless of the setting----be it a classroom at Xavier, a hospital, a research lab at a medical school----your overall demeanor, interaction with others, attendance, attentiveness, preparedness, appearance (e.g. clothing worn to class/lab), activity on social media, etc. are ALL being observed. Don't allow poor judgement to make others questions whether or not you would be a good physician, dentist, or other health professional.
If a faculty member AGREES to write a letter of evaluation on your behalf and file it in the Premedical Office, make sure you provide them with a) completed Faculty Evaluation Cover Letter , b) an updated copy of your Post-Secondary Experiences Form, and c) a copy of your career essay/personal statement (for Juniors this means the personal statement that you should be AGGRESSIVELY revising to include on your medical, dental, etc. school application). NOTE: Please be sure to CORRECTLY SPELL each evaluator's name when you complete the Faculty Evaluation Cover Letter (for Xavier faculty and staff, review the Campus Directory).
Although many program applications have special evaluation forms, most will accept a generic letter written by a faculty member on his/her department letterhead in lieu of a program-specific form. Therefore, instead of giving faculty member's multiple forms for multiple program applications, the evaluator will only have to write ONE non-specific "summer program", "research program", or "medical school" letter on your behalf. That way, once the letter is filed in the Premedical Office, the original letter will be retained and copied/scanned as needed to forward via fax, mail, or email to schools or programs at your request. NOTE: If the school or program REQUIRES the use of a special recommendation or evaluation form (paper or online), you will have to ask your evaluator if he/she would be willing to complete the form on your behalf. If the evaluator agrees, give him/her very specific instructions for completing and submitting the form to the school or program.
If the school/program gives you a special form that you'd like the Premedical Office to attach to the "generic" letter of evaluation that has been filed in the PM Office on your behalf, complete your part (i.e. the student portion) of the form and then save it to include with your completed "Send Evaluation Form"
when you request that your evaluations be sent out by the Premed Office.
If you are a FRESHMAN or SOPHOMORE who is ONLY APPLYING TO THE SUMMER MEDICAL AND DENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (SMDEP), the faculty member who agrees to write your letter of evaluation may use the SMDEP Recommendation Form in lieu of writing a letter on department letterhead. ***REPEATING***If you are ONLY applying to SMDEP, let the faculty member know that it is okay for him/her to just complete the special SMDEP Recommendation Form instead of taking the time to write an actual letter on department letterhead.
- When faculty members agree to write evaluations on your behalf, we encourage you to have them send the evaluations directly to the Premedical Office rather than the individual school or program, UNLESS a) you do not want to use the Premedical Office's letter storing and transmitting services or b) the school or program REQUIRES the completion of an online form or special paper form. If your evaluations are filed in the Premedical Office, you will receive an email notifying you of receipt; once the evaluation has been filed in the Premedical Office, you should follow our instructions for submitting the "Send Evaluation Form".
- We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE students to waive their right to see letters of evaluation that are written on their behalf. Why? First, medical and other professional schools will put little weight on evaluations that they know students have access to (i.e. the evaluator may be less prone to give an honest and thorough evaluation of a student if that student retains his/her right to view the evaluation). And second, many faculty will NOT write letters of evaluation unless the student waives his/her right to see the evaluation. If you would like to utilize the Premedical Office's letter storing and transmitting services, you must waiver your right to see any evaluations that are filed in the Premedical Office on your behalf by completing the Evaluation Waiver Form (submit only ONCE to the PM Office where it will remain in your file throughout enrollment at Xavier).
- To get an evaluation from a Xavier faculty member (you may also follow this procedure for non-faculty):
Complete and submit the Evaluation Waiver Form to the PM Office to be placed in your file (You need only submit the Evaluation Waiver Form to the PM Office ONCE...it will suffice as long as your evaluations are on file in the PM Office).
- Ask the faculty member NICELY if he/she will write the evaluation.
- If he/she agrees, download, print, and complete a copy of the Faculty Evaluation Cover Letter (copies also available in the PM Office) which...
- Thanks the faculty member for agreeing to write the evaluation,
- Gives him/her your name,
- Reminds him/her the course(s) which he/she taught you, the term(s) you enrolled, and the grade(s) you earned
- Tells him/her the date the evaluation is needed (LA Residents read special note above),
- Tells him/her the purpose of the evaluation.
- Informs him/her as to whether or not your have WAIVED your right to see the evaluation (AGAIN, we strongly encourage you to WAIVE this right!!!), and
- Gives insight as to what he/she might include in the evaluation (with a link to a SAMPLE letter of evaluation).
- Give the completed cover letter with a copy of your UPDATED Post-Secondary Experiences Form and a copy of your UPDATED Career Essay (Personal Statement) to the faculty member. NOTE: If you are only applying to SMDEP, attach the SMDEP Recommendation Form as well and inform the evaluator that he/she does NOT have to write a "summer program" letter on department letterhead.
- To get evaluations already on file in the Premedical Office sent to an enrichment or research program:
- Complete (print clearly) the "Send Evaluation Form" (copies also available in PM Office).
- If the school/program gives you a special "cover" form to include with your evaluations, complete your part and then attach it to your completed "Send Evaluation Form" so we can include it with your evaluation when we forward it to a school or program; if you are sending an evaluation that was written on department letterhead to SMDEP (as opposed to the SMDEP Recommendation Form), you must complete the student portion (i.e. 1st page) of the SMDEP Rec Form (available on your SMDEP web application) and submit it with your "Send Evaluation Form."
- Put completed "Send Evaluation Form" and any special "cover forms" you'd like attached to your evaluations in the "IN" basket in the Premedical Office.
OR (if you are not currently attending XU) send an e-mail indicating your name, which evaluations you want sent, and the complete address of the school/program to which it should be sent to email@example.com.
- SENIORS and ALUMNI---To get evaluations already on file in the Premedical Office sent to schools via AMCAS, AADSAS, AACOMAS or another application service( OR to individual graduate or post-bacc programs):
- Make sure you have completed and submitted the Evaluation Waiver Form to the PM Office to be placed in your file (You need only submit the Evaluation Waiver Form to the PM Office ONCE...it will suffice as long as your evaluations are on file in the PM Office).
- Applicants to medical, dental, graduate etc. schools should NOT use the "Send Evaluation Form" to have professional/graduate school evaluations transmitted to application services or directly to schools (where applicable); instead, you should follow our instructions (sent out to applicants who are on the appropriate email list serve when applications open in MAY) to submit your request to the PM Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Very specific instructions will be sent to medical, dental, etc. school applicants when application services begin opening in May, so it is IMPERATIVE that you have a working email address on file in the PM Office and that you are being advised with the correct application class!!!
- Advice Regarding Online Letter of Evaluation Forms: If a school or program requires the completion of an ONLINE evaluation (e.g. OptomCAS, SOPHAS, VMCAS, CASPA, PTCAS), the Premedical Office CANNOT complete such an evaluation on your behalf; instead, you will have to ask the faculty member if he/she would be willing to complete the online evaluation. NOTE: If the program will accept a letter of evaluation written on department letterhead in lieu of the online evaluation, you should follow our regular instructions for sending evaluations by email, fax, or mail.
- Special Instructions for Students Collecting Evaluations for AMCAS, AADSAS, and Other Health Professions Schools Applications: During November of junior year, prospective professional school applicants are encouraged to complete the One-on-One Letters of Evaluation Meeting with a premedical adviser to discuss which faculty they will secure medical, dental, etc. school letters of evaluation from. Click the appropriate link(s) for details regarding the process of securing evaluations for specific application services: AMCAS (MD), AACOMAS (DO), TMDSAS (MD, DO, Dental Schools in Texas), AADSAS (Dental), OptomCAS (Optometry), PTCAS (Physical Therapy), CASPA (Physician Assistant), SOPHAS (Public Health), and VMCAS (Veterinary).
- Special Instructions for Senior Premeds: Seniors who need evaluations that have been filed in the Premedical Office sent to medical, dental, graduate etc. schools should NOT use the "Send Evaluation Form"; instead, these students are given very detailed SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS via email (during the summer they apply) regarding the appropriate way to have evaluations on file in the PM Office transmitted to professional or graduate school programs.
- Finally, if you are accepted into a summer program, professional school, etc., write formal "Thank You" notes (like your mama taught you) to the faculty who wrote evaluations for you, indicating which program(s) you were accepted into. You may need to ask them for another favor later.