All letters must be submitted via AMCAS. During the AMCAS application process, there will be a section asking for your letter of recommendation information. Please note that the UW School of Medicine and Public Health cannot accept letters via any means except AMCAS.
We will accept the following letter collection formats, provided they are submitted through AMCAS. You need to choose only one of these formats.
One committee letter and one individual letter from a nonacademic source
- A committee letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to present your institution’s evaluation of you as an applicant. A committee letter may or may not include additional letters written in support of your application.
One letter packet
- This packet should include letters from three faculty members and a letter from a nonacademic source. A letter packet is a packet or set of letters assembled and distributed by your institution, often by the institution’s career center.
Four individual letters
- Three academic letters of recommendation from faculty members and a fourth nonacademic letter from a mentor. An individual letter refers to a letter authored by, or representing, a single letter writer. If you have already included a nonacademic letter within either a committee letter or a letter packet, you do not need to add a separate AMCAS letter request entry for the nonacademic letter.
Academic letters may be from faculty members in any discipline.
Nonacademic letters may be written by anyone you consider a mentor who can attest to your personal qualities and characteristics. In the past, admitted applicants have had letters written by employers, volunteer coordinators, individuals they had shadowed and community leaders, to give a few examples. Nonacademic letters should not be written by a family member or peer.
Letters written by faculty supervisors in research labs can be considered either academic or nonacademic.
It’s important to choose letter writers who know you well. Make sure you ask if a faculty member or mentor you are considering can write you a strong letter of recommendation. In their letter, they should feel comfortable commenting on the following:
- Your integrity and personal character
- Your motivation for medicine
- Your interpersonal communication skills
- Your emotional resiliency
- Your academic aptitude
For more information, download our instructions for writers of recommendation letters (pdf)
Viewing your letters
AMCAS will not provide access to your letters. Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), you are entitled to either review a letter of recommendation or to waive your right to access. Most applicants waive their right to access their recommendation letters. If you choose not to waive your right, please email email@example.com and let us know. We will provide you with a form to complete. Your letter writer will be notified of your desire to review your letter.