If you are applying to medical, dental, or veterinary schools, the application often requests a committee letter of recommendation.
This single letter of recommendation, written by members of the Pre-Health Professions Committee, gives admissions officers a more comprehensive view of you as a student, because it is written with input from many faculty members.
How It Works
For qualifying students, you have an interview with the committee members (5 standing members of the committee, and one faculty members of your choice, usually someone not in a math/science department).
For qualifying students, the Committee together writes a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
The Pre-Health Professions Chair submits the letter for your application.
How to Qualify for an Interview & Letter
You must submit paperwork for the interview on time, or forfeit your opportunity for an interview and letter in the current interview period. See Committee Timeline for details.
For students with high GPAs: You may have an interview and a letter of recommendation written, regardless of your entrance exam scores. Talk with the Pre-Health Professions Advisor about the GPA cutoff for automatically qualifying for a letter.
For students with strong, but not high GPAs: You may have an interview, but a letter will not be written for you unless you score well on your entrance exam. Exact score cutoffs are available from the Pre-Health Professions Advisor.
What happens during the interview?
A list of common questions will be provided and you should be prepared to answer these questions, but we often veer onto other topics based on the paperwork you provide. This lets us hear about your experiences directly from you, rather than simply interpreting your paperwork.
- Why do you want to pursue the medical/dental/veterinary career?
- Your NDMU academics
- Extracurricular activities/student organizations/sports/leadership opportunities
- Shadowing experiences
- Research experiences
- Your personal statement
- A challenge you faced, and how you overcame it.
We also give you feedback about your interview style, your personal statement, and any suggestions on what to include/emphasize in your application materials. This is a great opportunity for you to practice your interview skills, talking professionally about yourself, and learning how to advocate for yourself and your future!
What about alumnae?
The committee will take your NDMU GPA, any subsequent schooling, entrance exam scores, and your continued shadowing experiences into consideration when determining your eligibility for a Committee Interview and Letter of Recommendation.
When are interviews held?
Most students will be interviewed in May, during finals week.
If you have a stellar GPA, or a good GPA and good exam scores: A letter of recommendation will be written over the summer. The pre-professional advisor will upload the letter to your application as soon as it is ready (but it may take up to 8-weeks to write).
If you have a good, but not stellar GPA, and still need to take your entrance exam: you may have a committee interview, but a letter will not be written until you provide qualifying entrance exam scores to the Pre-Professional Advisor.
For students unavailable during the May interview period, other interviews may be held in late August. Note that it still may take up to 8 weeks to write a letter, and this will mean your application will be finalized towards the end of the application cycle.
What if I interview, but don’t qualify for a letter?
You may still apply to medical school, but will need to provide individual letters of recommendation (rather than the committee letter). Note that many faculty who serve on the committee will *decline* to write individual letters.
Schools know we have a pre-professional committee, and will often prefer to have a letter from the committee, rather than the individual letters.
If you have complied with all committee deadlines and had an interview, if requested, Dr. Zordan can submit a short letter explaining the Committee’s criteria for letters, and that you met with the committee.
Dates are approximate and shift slightly from year to year. The Pre-Health Advisor will announce exact dates each academic year.
- Late fall semester – Info session about the criteria for getting an interview and committee letter
- Early February – Student Interest Form due for all students intending to apply in the upcoming application cycle
- April (4 weeks prior to May meetings) – 6th committee member form due (for May meetings)
- May (1 week prior to May meetings) – All remaining paper work due (for May meetings)
- Late May – Interviews held
- June-July – Faculty write letters for qualifying students
- July (4 weeks prior to August meetings) – 6th committee member form due (for August meetings)
- August (1 week prior to August meetings) – All remaining paper work due (for August meetings)
- Dr. Brian Christy,
- Dr. Kenneth Sossa
- Dr. Angela Sherman
- Dr. Paul Weldon
- Dr. Jocelyn McKeon (alternate)
- Dr. Charles Buerhle (alternate)