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Requesting Recommendation Letters

We require a minimum of three letters of the following types for a review. Please ask that at least three letters be submitted by February 15:

  1. A professor from your major department at Holy Cross with whom you completed at least one class
  2. A professor from a laboratory science course outside of your major at Holy Cross with whom you completed at least one class
  3. A third letter from a professor, coach, advisor, mentor or supervisor who can review your academic, volunteer or professional activities. They should be able to comment critically on your personality, character and motivation

However, more letters are almost always necessary for both a comprehensive review and to write a strong composite committee letter to your health professions school. Please request at least five letters that speak to your experience in different environments including humanities classes, research, and clinical settings. We continue to accept letters until your composite letter is submitted in summer.

Instructions

  • Letters of recommendation must be on 1. letterhead, 2. dated, 3. signed by the sender and 4. emailed to hpletters@holycross.edu. If this is not possible for some reason, contact the office.
  • Instructions to request evaluation letters (PDF). Following these instructions will allow you to track the status of your letter requests. 
  • Email your ‚ÄčExcel template (XLS) to track letters to hpletters@holycross.edu. This will be shared with you through your g.holycross.edu account as a Google Sheet. Keep this sheet current by adding additional letters over time. The date a letter arrives is recorded on this sheet.
  • We cannot directly update you or letter writers when a letter is received. It may take up to two weeks to process letters during peak times. (This delay will not make a letter late.) It is your responsibility to check your Google Sheet on the status of your letters.

Recommendation Letter Frequently Asked Questions

I submitted my spreadsheet some time ago, but I asked for more letters recently. Should I edit my spreadsheet to add them?

Yes. Please do not leave that up to the Health Professions Advising Office. Any time you request an additional letter add it to your spreadsheet. We will record the date the letter is received.

Who needs to set up a recommendation spreadsheet?

All students and alumni. This is the only way we will notify you when letters are received.

Do I still have to set up a spreadsheet if I was reviewed by the committee before this new system?

Yes.

If I had letters in my file from a previous review, do I have to solicit them again?

No, any letters received by the office (PDFs or paper) will be held in your electronic health professions file for several years.

When can I find out when my letters were received?

The office will update your spreadsheet when letters are received. During peak times it may take one or two weeks to record letters.

My spreadsheet doesn't state a letter is in and the Professor/Supervisor said it was
sent.

Please wait one or two weeks for spreadsheets to be updated during peak times. If their letter is still not recorded after a reasonable time, please follow up with the letter author and ask it to be resent to hpletters@holycross.edu if necessary. (In our experience, in most cases like this, the letter author had forgotten to send the letter.)

I'm not requesting a committee review this year- should I still set up the spreadsheet?

Yes. We will maintain the spreadsheet for several years and this is the way you can track your letters over time.

I sent in my spreadsheet. Where are the updates?

Please allow a few days for updates to be made. During busy times (especially around February 15) please allow one or two weeks. Allow yourself plenty of time to get organized for spring. We suggest submitting spreadsheets as soon as you start requesting letters — even if it's summertime. If you send your spreadsheet near the committee deadline it will take considerable time for the office to process it. We will process requests on a first-come first-served basis.