Committee Letter Process
If you are applying to medical, dental or podiatric school, you will need a committee letter prepared by Wooster’s Pre-Health Advising Committee. Although committee letters are not mandatory, it is in your best interest to provide a committee letter as medical schools expect committee letters from Wooster and may wonder why the Pre-Health Advising Committee did not write one for you. Having a committee letter prepared for you is one of the benefits of attending a smaller college.
The type of committee letter Wooster’s Pre-Health Advising Committee prepares is a composite committee letter that summarizes and quotes information obtained from individual letters of recommendation you solicit and includes information the committee members learned from interviewing and working directly with you. Consequently, in many ways, your committee letter is going to be as strong as your individual letters of recommendation. The official author of the composite committee letter is the Chair of the Wooster Pre-Health Advising Committee. The requirements and timeline for a committee letter are:
1. Complete and submit a Statement of Intent to the Pre-Health Advisor in Career Services no later than March 1st.
This provides us with the basic information we need to know about you, lets us know you need a letter, provides us with the names of the individuals you have asked to write letters of recommendation, and asks for a tentative list of schools. You cannot list recommenders without their permission; therefore, it is strongly recommended that you ask individuals as early as possible. If there are changes to your list of recommenders after you submitted the Statement of Intent, you need to let us know. In addition, you are asked to officially give permission for us to write and post a confidential committee letter. We encourage you to complete and submit the Statement of Intent (.pdf) as early as possible, but it must be turned in by March 1st.
2. Create an account with Interfolio no later than March 1st.
The College of Wooster has partnered with Interfolio, a premier credential service that allows you to easily store and send out documents including letters of recommendation for use in applying to graduate or professional school. Applicants who will be requiring a committee letter will need to set up an account with Interfolio. The cost is normally $19.00, but The College of Wooster is subsidizing part of the cost, therefore the cost to you will be $9.00 for a one-year plan or $29.90 for a three-year plan. Please refer to the Interfolio Guide (.pdf) for detailed instructions on how to use Interfolio. You will need to obtain the special URL and code for accessing from the Pre-Health Advisor in Career Services to take advantage of the discounted fee. Do not set up an account before receiving the special access information.
3. Request individual letters of recommendation to be submitted to Interfolio no later than June 1st.
Once you have established an account with Interfolio, you can use the system to send out requests to those individuals you have asked to write letters of recommendation on your behalf.
- You may request up to five letters, but a minimum of three letters is required.
- Three of your letters should be from faculty. We recommend two letters from science faculty, one from non-science faculty, one character reference, and ideally one from a health-care professional. If you know someone on the Pre-Health Advising Committee you might consider asking them.
- Character references could include a campus administrator, a coach, a supervisor, or someone else who knows you well. Letters from family members or friends will not be accepted.
- If applying to osteopathic medical school, you may need an additional letter from a D.O. Letters from D.O.’s are not typically included in the Wooster’s committee letter and would be sent out in addition to your committee letter.
- We encourage you to give an earlier deadline than June 1st to the individual letter writer and monitor receipt of letters to give you time, if needed, to remind the letter writer.
- To ensure the best possible letter of recommendation, you need to provide your individual recommenders with a copy of your resume, transcript and, if available, a copy or at least a draft of your personal essay.
- You may also request, at any time, any additional letters outside of what is used in the committee letter. For example, if you do some interesting summer work after the committee letter has been written, you may want to request a letter from your supervisor.
4. Interview with members of the Pre-Health Advising Committee.
Interviews, which are 20-minutes in length, are conducted in April. The purpose of the interview is to allow you the opportunity to provide information about yourself that you think would be helpful for the committee to know and give you valuable practice to prepare for interviewing. Information gleaned from the interview will help supplement the individual letters of recommendation in order to prepare a stronger committee letter. You will need to have your resume and an unofficial copy of your transcript uploaded into Interfolio by April 1st.
5. Submit your application to AACOMAS, AMCAS, or AADSAS.
We encourage you to apply as early as possible in the application cycle.
For AMCAS: As part of the application, you will be asked to provide the authors of letters of recommendation that you willl be submitting. For the committee letter, you are to indicate it is a committee letter, and the author is Paul Bonvallet using contact information below.
For AADSAS: You must include your AADSAS letter request forms along with your committee letter of recommendation. The process is otherwise like submitting to AMCAS.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
The College of Wooster
943 College Mall
Wooster, OH 44691
6. Officially request your committee letter.
Send an email letting us know you have submitted your application. Provide your AACOMAS, AMCAS, or AADSAS ID number as well as the AMCAS letter ID number. We will not write a letter unless the following materials are in your Interfolio account.
- Unofficial Wooster Transcript. Request one prior to your interview in April and then request and upload a new transcript after spring semester grades are recorded.
- Personal Essay. Must be reviewed by the Pre-Health Advisor in Career Services prior to submitting.
- Resume. Must have in Interfolio prior to your interview in April, but you can upload an updated/revised version of your resume by June 1st if needed.
- Your 3 to 5 individual letters of recommendation.
(The Pre-Health Advising Committee has access to Interfolio and will be able to view and download your documents that will be used in preparing your commtitee letter.)
7. Deliver the committee letter and any additional letters you may be using as part of your application to the schools to which you are applying.
It is your responsibility to ensure the delivery of the committee letter to the schools to which you are applying. You will be notified via Interfolio when we have uploaded your committee letter. You can request delivery via Interfolio at any point after the committee letter has been uploaded. There is a cost* of $6.00 for delivery. Interfolio stores addresses for hundreds of institutions with the vast majority of these institutions accepting electronic submissions.
AADSAS applicants will not need to use Interfolio for the delivery of the committee letter, which will be sent out by The College of Wooster directly to AADSAS. Applicants are required, however, to follow all other steps of the committee letter process.
(*Please note that for AMCAS, the majority of medical schools participate in the AMCAS letter service. For delivery to any of the participating schools, you only have to select “AMCAS” from the choice of institutions. Even if you have applied to 20 schools, if they all participate, it will only cost you $6.00.)
A downloadable timeline (.pdf) is available.