Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation serve a very important purpose in describing who you are academically and personally. You want to to choose people who know you and can speak to your abilities.

You are REQUIRED to meet with Dana Parcher before starting to collect references to be placed in your file, as all of these are done online, and you must understand the differences clearly.

UAH Pre-Proffesional Advisory Committee (PPAC) Board Requirements:

  • 3 Faculty Letters of Recommendation
  • 2 Character Recommendations
  • 2 PPAC Board Interview Evaluations

Faculty Letters

Faculty Letters speak to your academic abilties, intellectual curiosity, achievements in coursework, and classroom mannerisms.

Plan ahead: Get to know faculty members early, because the better they know you, the better the recommendation. They will not write a letter of recommendation if they do not know you. Meet them during office hours, talk to them, or work with them on research projects.

  • Letters are submitted online and coordinated between student, faculty, and Pre-Health Advisor.
    • A special, confidential link is given to the faculty member by the Pre-Health Advisor after the student has asked permission to have a letter written.
  • 2 Letters are required from Science Faculty (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math)
  • 1 Letter must be from outside science, preferably Liberal Arts Faculty who can speak to your writing or humanities academic skills

Character Letters References Pic

Character Letters speak to your qualities outside of an academic setting. These letters aim to give readers a sense of your individual qualities, desire to enter the field, and abilties to succed in the field.  We prefer these letters to be from those you have shadowed.

  • Letters are submitted online and coordinated between student, faculty, and Pre-Health Advisor.
    • A special, confidential link is given to the writer by the Pre-Health Advisor after the student has asked permission to have a letter written.
  • 2 character letters total must be collected
  • At least 1 letter must be from someone you have shadowed in the field.
  • As long as they can still address the above qualities, they may also be from a work supervisor or a volunteer coordinator or supervisor. We still prefer both letters to be from someone you have shadowed.

If you need the letter to be from someone else, the Pre-Health Advisor and you can work together on who else could be an option.

Pre-PPAC Board Interview Evaluations

Pre-PPAC Board Interview Evaluations are a little different in that they are not actually letters of recommendation, but serve as an evaluation.

These are 30 minute interviews with 2 board members, whom you do not know. The point is to get to know them and have them get to know you from an unbiased view.  This way, if they are unable to be in your board meeting, their thoughts can still be shared in your file.

This is the only part of your file not asked for by most professional schools.  This is something our PPAC asks for to enhance our process.

  • All board members have access to a special, confidential link to evaluate students and submit their evaluations online after their interview with you.
  • Students need to contact board members to set up interviews times.  Contact information of board members is arranged between the student and Dana Parcher.
  • 2 PPAC Board Interview Evaluations total are needed, Interviews are 30 mins each
  • Resumes are required at each interview session, Dress is business casual

DO NOT treat Board Interviews as "Mock Interviews." They are not, in any way, mock interviews. They are real interviews.

Asking Your Recommender

Make sure they are aware of your goals well in advance. You don't want the time you ask for a letter of reference to be the first time they hear of your dream to be a dentist, for example.

Give them plenty of time to write the letter, and then some. They have a lot going on and will need lots of notice. The Pre-Health Advisor will actually create deadlines with you at your Spring PPAC meeting, read more about that herebut it would be good to give them even more notice.

Provide them with your resume and copy of your personal statement if you have those ready to give them. If you need help with those, Dana Parcher is available!

Write them a thank you note afterward! Keep your recommenders in the loop about acceptances.


Most professional schools will require certain number of faculty or character recommendations. If you do not go through our PPAC Board Process, you will need to know the number of letters you will need for the schools you apply to. Usually, but not always, you can have your letters submitted to the Central Application Services you will be using and those will be distributed to the schools of your choice.  If you are not going through our PPAC Board Process, you may need to gain and submit these letters on your own.