Recommendation Letters

The letters of recommendation (LORs) provide information that is not included elsewhere in your application, such as descriptions of your character, professional behavior, and maturity. LORs assist the Health Professions Advisory Committee to craft their Composite Letter of Evaluation and are included verbatim as part of that Composite Letter.

You should request recommendations from people who know you and your work well.

Request the letters at least a month in advance of the March 1st campus application deadline to provide your recommenders with enough time to craft thoughtful, detailed letters.

How many LORs will you need?

The HPAC application requires a minimum of five (5) letters of recommendation, broken down as follows:

  • A minimum of three (3) academic LORs

Two (2) of these three should be from science professors who have taught you or supervised your research

  • A minimum of two (2) non-academic LORs preferably from health care professionals

Letters from coaches and deans are acceptable only when they address aspects of your character unlikely to be evident to a professor or health-care professional with whom you have worked

What should they write about?

Below is a general list of topics that should be included in the health professions LOR:

  • How long and in what capacity the recommender has known you
  • The recommender’s assessment of the quality of your work, your level of motivation, independence, and drive
  • The recommender’s assessment of your personality, intelligence, and aptitude for the study of medicine
  • Comparisons between you and others recommended in the past that the recommender believes may be helpful
  • A discussion of your work/lab/volunteer/extracurricular activities, etc. that demonstrate your ability to work unsupervised, including the depth/quality of your involvement in these activities, as well any achievements that you may have accomplished
  • Substantiated comments regarding your passions and commitment to serving others are very beneficial
  • An assessment of your oral and written communication skills.
  • An assessment of your personal characteristics including your maturity, emotional stability, concern for others and/or animals, your problem solving skills, tenacity in reaching goals, curiosity, creativity, capacity for leadership, self-discipline, integrity, etc.
  • An assessment of your interpersonal skills including your ability to handle criticism, how you relate to others, your attitudes toward supervision, and your capacity for collaborative work with others
  • An assessment of your potential and motivation/s in the field of medicine and health care including how and to what extent you demonstrate your motivation for the study and practice of medicine (broadly defined)

How should the LOR be sent?

We will only accept original, signed hard copies of LOR.
LOR must be on letterhead.
LOR must be accompanied by a completed Recommendation Release Form.
LORs must be sent via mail to the following address: Lafayette College, C/O Ms. Simona Glaus, Health Professions and Fellowships Office, 105 Scott Hall, Easton, 18042.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your letters have been received by Ms. Glaus. You may contact her to confirm their receipt four weeks after you request a letter to be written. If it has not been received, politely remind the individual that his/her letter has not been received.

How does HPAC use the LORs?

Upon receipt, the origianal LORs are placed in your application file in the Health Professions Office. HPAC reads each letter prior to your HPAC interview.The HPAC Composite Letter of Evaluation includes verbatim copies of all LORs.