Evaluations and Recommendations

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

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 colleges and undergraduate degree programs.

Requirements

Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, you must meet the following requirements before evaluation:

  • Completion of a minimum of 30 SLU residency credit hours
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20
  • Minimum math/science GPA of 3.20 (including classes that are listed as, or cross-listed with, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or MATH)
  • Completion of all entrance requirements by the end of the evaluation year (coursework must be taken at SLU or recognized as SLU-equivalent):

      • BIOL 1240/1245: Principles of Biology I (with lab)
      • BIOL 1260/1265: Principles of Biology II (with lab)
      • General Chemistry I (with lab)
        • CHEM 1110/1115
        • CHEM 1130/1115 - chemistry and biochemistry majors only
      • General Chemistry II (with lab)
        • CHEM  1120/1125
        • CHEM 1140/1125 - chemistry and biochemistry majors only
      • Principles of Organic Chemistry I (with lab)
        • CHEM 2410/2415
        • CHEM 2420/2425 - chemistry and biochemistry majors only
      • Principles of Organic Chemistry II (with lab)
        • CHEM 2430/2435
        • CHEM 2440/2445 - chemistry and biochemistry majors only
      • Biochemistry  and Molecular Biology (must fulfill courses listed in one bullet point below)
        • BIOL 3020: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and BIOL 3040: Cellular Structure and Function 
        • CHEM 4610/4615: Biochemistry I (with lab) and CHEM 4620/4625: Biochmemistry II (with lab) 
        • CHEM 3600: Principles of Biochemistry
      • Physics I (with lab)
        • PHYS 1310/1320
        • PHYS 1610/1620 - biomedical and electrical engineering majors only
      • Physics II (with lab)
        • PHYS 1330/1340
        • PHYS 1630/1640 - biomedical and electrical engineering majors only
      • MATH 1300: Elementary Statistics with Computers or MATH 1510: Calculus I
        • AP and dual enrolled credit will be accepted for math courses

For more information, contact Rita Strube in the Office of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Studies.

Evaluation Process

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 your future interviews with professional schools.
  • Evaluations by four SLU instructors: Two faculty evaluations from math and science disciplines, and 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 offers an opportunity for you to elaborate on your values, experiences, goals and professional motivation and allow admissions committees to get to know you.
  • Committee application: The committee application is a modified version of the electronic AMCAS application that students complete when officially applying to medical school. This application provides the committee with detailed information that helps portray who you are.
  • Outside letters of recommendation (optional): 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.

FAQs

When do I get evaluated?
  • Sophomore Medical Scholars are evaluated during the Fall , in preparation for their interview with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
  • You can choose to be evaluated during your senior year of college if you are planning a "gap year" before professional school. Seniors will be evaluated in the Fall, following the same Committee on Evaluations schedule as sophomore Medical Scholars.
  • You will be evaluated during your junior year if you entered SLU as a freshman, plan to complete your undergraduate degree in four years, and plan to enter professional school the year after your undergraduate graduation.
  • Transfer students are evaluated during the year before applying to health professions schools.
How do I initiate the committee evaluation process?

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, and associated materials are available on the Pre-Health Blackboard page.

  • You must request access to the Pre-Health Blackboard page from our office.
What else is considered in the evaluation?

High grades are impressive, but your choice of courses is important too. Admissions committees look for evidence that you have challenged yourself and refined your critical and analytical thinking skills throughout selected coursework.

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 do not 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 instructor evaluations required for the Committee on Evaluations process, you can attached up to three additional letters of recommendation to your professional school application. 

Letter guidelines:

  • Letter writers should include your name in the subject line and address the letter to “Admissions Committee.” Letters should be written generally to all professional schools and neither to one school in particular, nor to the Office of Pre-Professional Health Studies.
  • 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 or 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 Sophomore Medical Scholars applying to SLUSoM, outside letters of recommendation must be received by March 15 of the evaluation year. For all other students, outside letters of recommendation sould be received by June 1 of the year you apply to professional schools.

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 letter.

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.