Letters of Rec and ERAS

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15+ Year Member
Nov 29, 2002
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I am wondering, how late can you send in letters of Reccommendation for your ERAS application? Do you send them in all at once? Can you add them as you go? (such as when interviewing and doing sub-I's)? Can you give me dates specifically? I suppose the PDs review your files once again before they make their list together?


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Aug 15, 2003
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Well, letters of rec generally are filtered through your school's dean's office. The way it worked for me, you can print out a cover letter with your ID and other info on it, you give it to the person writing the letter, and then they send it to the deans office. Then, from there, it is scanned in and uploaded to the ERAS system.

You don't have to do them all at once, not sure where you got that idea. When the writer finishes it and it is sent in, it shows up on your ERAS "List of documents." Prior to that, you go into ERAS and tell them who you are expecting letters from, then you can assign them to whatever programs you want. Hypothetically, you can get 100 letters, and assign 3-4 of them to each program.

Personally, I had 3 letters (in addition to the deans letter). 2 of them were from my home school and I requested in may. The 3rd I got at an away elective in July/August. They were all completed by october. Some programs wait until your application is complete before offering you any interviews. Some don't wait. It's all quite variable. LORs are important though. Get good ones. PDs definitely look at them. Hypothetically, I guess, you could submit LORs late, perhaps into January, but I wouldn't recommend that. I would try to have them in before the end of October, if not sooner. But you have to account for people being slow in writing your letters.


Quantum Member
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Jul 25, 2003
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Ok, you can send them anytime but you need to have them all in by the time applications are due. Application deadlines are set by programs.

You can apply as early as the beginning of Sept. with nothing more than your Common Application File (hereafter CAF) also known as your CV. That's right, no letters, no personal statement, nothing. Most programs also want to see your Step 1 score then. Sometimes interviews start being offered with nothing more than these two pieces of information.

I recommend to my 3rd year "Mentees" that they plan on getting 2x as many letters as they need, because you never know when you might get a really great one. Generally speaking you are pushing it to be getting letters in Sept. of your 4th year. I would begin soliciting letters about this time (March) in your 3rd year.

To solicit a letter talk to the prospective letter writer AT THE BEGINNING of the rotation. That let's them know you're interested and for them to pay extra attention/give feedback. Most faculty will be straightforward about how good a letter they can write for you.

At the end of the rotation supply them with an ERAS cover letter and make sure it is signed for waiver (there is some controversy as to whether is is good to waive or not) and filled out where to send the letter to. At some point in your third year someone at your school should tell you what your AAMC ID is, once you have it put it on there too. Otherwise don't worry, the person who handles LOR's at your school will know it.

Once letters are in you have to create them in ERAS (won't open for class of 2005 until July) and then assign them to programs. You can assign different letters to different programs, delete letters from programs, and shift them around. It's very flexible for you to be sure your programs get the best letters you have. Hope this helps.