How to Get Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are an important part of the application process. You will want to obtain at least three letters from faculty members who assess your academic performance. These should include two letters from science faculty and one from a non-science discipline (there are schools which will require this). An excellent way to supplement faculty letters is to obtain one from a supervisor who supervised your volunteer or work experience in a health care setting. Another desirable letter would be from an individual under whom you have conducted research.
You will want to ask individuals who know you well and will write a substantive letter. It is advisable to ask people if they believe they can write you a strong letter. If you sense any ambivalence, withdraw your request and select another person. Access the CELS information on letters of recommendation for detailed information on how to ask for - and get - strong letters of recommendation.
Students and alumni applying to medical, dental or veterinary schools need an Interfolio account to collect letters for the Connecticut College Health Professions Advisory Committee Interview.
Note: Students applying to physician assistant, nursing, optometry, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, chiropractic or other disciplines do not need letters from the Health Professions Advisory Committee and are not required to set up an account with Interfolio.
To open an Interfolio account, first view their plans and pricing, then sign up for an account. Before signing up, pre-health students should research the centralized application service they will be using (e.g. AMCAS, AADSAS, VMCAS) and discuss the best option for their particular situation with their pre-health adviser. For example, students applying to medical school in that year may want to opt for a special deal for Connecticut College pre-health students: a $40 one-year account. This includes 20 free electronic mailing and 20 free USPS First Class mailings. If a student chooses this option, use "connpremed" in the special offer code at the bottom right of the page when signing up for an Interfolio account.
If you are using Interfolio to collect or transfer letters, you may either:
- Electronically request confidential letters from a recommender via that system, and the recommender will upload or send a digitized version of the letter directly to the system or
- Provide the recommender with a signed paper-based request (Connecticut College Letter of Recommendation and Waiver Form) waiving your right to view that letter. The writer will send the letter to the CELS office (as directed on the form) and CELS will digitize and transfer the letter to your Interfolio account so you can manage it as you wish.