As a pre-health student, you are required to obtain letters of recommendation to be
submitted as part of your application to professional schools. Recommendations can
be submitted in two ways: a committee letter from your institution and/or individual
letters of recommendation.
Committee letters are valuable to medical schools as they evaluate applicants based
on a combination of direct observation and other information provided by faculty and
others at an institution. Saint Louis University’s Committee on Evaluations is comprised
of staff and faculty members from various undergraduate degree programs and colleges.
Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, you must meet the following requirements before
Completion of a minimum of 30 SLU residency credit hours
Overall cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better
Math/science (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA of 3.2 or better
Completion of all entrance requirements by the end of the evaluation year which includes
the SLU equivalent for:
BIOL 1040 and BIOL 1060, Principles of Biology I and II
CHEM 1110 or CHEM 1130* w/lab CHEM 1115, General Chemistry I Lecture and Lab
CHEM 1120 or CHEM 1140* w/lab CHEM 1125, General Chemistry II Lecture and Lab
CHEM 2410 or CHEM 2430* w/lab CHEM 2415, Principles of Organic Chemistry I Lecture
CHEM 2420 or CHEM 2440* w/lab CHEM 2425, Principles of Organic Chemistry II Lecture
BIOL 3020, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology and BIOL 3040, Cell Structure and Function
or CHEM 3600**, General Biochemistry
or CHEM 4610* w/lab CHEM 4615 and CHEM 4620* w/lab CHEM 4625, Biochemistry I/II Lecture
PHYS 1310 w/lab PHYS 1320, Physics I Lecture and Lab or PHYS 1610** w/lab PHYS 1620,
Engineering Physics I Lecture and Lab
PHYS 1330 w/lab PHYS 1340, Physics II Lecture and Lab or PHYS 1630** w/lab PHYS 1640,
Engineering Physics II Lecture and Lab
MATH 1300, Elementary Statistics with Computers or MATH 1510, Calculus I
AP/dual enrolled credit will be accepted for all math courses.
A file will be developed for you with the following items:
An interview report: A member of the committee will interview you as a rehearsal for
the interviews conducted by professional schools when you apply. Evaluations by four SLU instructors: Two faculty evaluations from math and science
disciplines as well as two faculty evaluations from humanities disciplines are required.
A personal statement: The personal statement includes a discussion of "Why I want
to be a ____." This essay will be reviewed by the committee and will later be submitted
as part of your application to professional school. This essay represents another
opportunity for you to sell yourself to admissions committees.
Committee application: The committee application is a modified version of the electronic
AMCAS application that you will complete when officially applying to a professional
health school. This application provides the committee with detailed information that
helps to define who you are.
Outside letters of recommendation: These non-academic letters of recommendation may
come from clergy, employers, physicians, research mentors, volunteer supervisors and
other professionals. These are screened by the director of the Office of Pre-Health
and Pre-Law Studies.
Request evaluation early in your junior or senior year by attending an information
meeting held by the Office of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Studies or contact our office directly. The process begins in mid-September.
High grades are impressive but your choice of courses is important, too. Admissions
committees look for evidence that you have tried to challenge yourself and developed
critical thinking skills in your course selections.
Letters of Recommendation
A strong letter of recommendation can be very valuable when a professional expresses
their support and belief in your abilities to succeed in health care. If you don’t
meet the requirements to participate in the Committee on Evaluations process, our
office can still help you assemble a packet that includes three letters of recommendation
and a cover letter.
In addition to the four required instructor evaluations as part of the Committee on
Evaluations process, you can have up to three additional outside letters as you apply
to professional school.
Letter writers should include your name in the subject line and address the letter
to “Admissions Committee.” Letters should be written generally to all medical schools
and not to one medical school in particular or to the Office of Pre-Professional Health
Send to: Saint Louis University, Office of Pre-Health and Pre-Law, Verhaegen Hall,
Room 105, 3634 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108-3302.
Letters must be written on letterhead and include the signature of the person making
the recommendation (in ink; no electronic signatures and no emailed submissions) or
they will not be accepted.
Letters must not be from a professor unless you have worked with him or her in another
capacity, such as research.
Letters of recommendation from family members are not recommended. Give the letter writer a copy of Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for
a Medical School Applicant.
If the director does not approve a letter, you will be notified.
The Office of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Studies will upload letters even if they are
considered weak recommendations. Keep that in mind when you are asking for a letter.
For Medical Scholars, outside letters of recommendation must be received by March
15 of your sophomore year. For all other students, outside letters of recommendation
should be received by June 1 of the year you plan to apply for professional school.
Once all of your outside letters of recommendation are received, send Rita Strube a list of the schools where you plan to apply and the letter request form from AMCAS.
Once the letters are accepted and approved, they will be attached to your committee
The Office of Pre-Professional Health Studies will upload your committee letter via
an electronic service called Virtual Evals to AMCAS if the schools participate in
the AMCAS letters service.
There are a few schools that do not participate in Virtual Evals or AMCAS; if you
apply to a school that does not participate in Virtual Evals or AMCAS, the Office
of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Studies will mail a hard copy of your committee letter to
the school you have selected. AMCAS will then forward your committee letter to the
schools to which you have selected to apply.