Requirements for University Recommendation and Application
The deadline for applying for the University Recommendation is February 3, 2020 at 9 PM Eastern Time for students and alumni who are planning to matriculate into medical or dental school in 2021.
The University Recommendation Application for the 2021 medical and dental school application cycle will be an online application. The online application will be available in mid-December.
While you can preview the 2021 University Recommendation by downloading a preview application, you must submit the online application form.
You must email Mary Beth Davis, the pre-health advisor, no later than Tuesday, January 28, 2020 to receive a personalized link to the University Recommendation Application. DO NOT share the link as the link is for your specific application only.
University Health Professions Committee
Eligibility for University Recommendation
- Currently enrolled as an undergraduate student seeking a bachelor's degree and who completed prerequisite sciences at Drexel. Transfer students who completed the core premedical/predental science courses at another college will be assessed on a case by case basis. Transfer students should email the Pre-health advisor to assess their individual situations.
- Alumni who completed a bachelor's degree at Drexel University and who completed prerequisite science courses at Drexel
- Students and alumni who applied in past application cycles for a University Recommendation and were not selected are welcome to re-apply.
1. Students and alumni who were selected to receive a University Recommendation in past application cycles need to re-apply for the letter for the 2021 cycle. See the FAQs below for information about the re-application process.
2. Alumni who received a University Recommendation letter from the previous Pre-health Advisor, Thomas Coyne, should contact Mary Beth Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding the process to send that letter to medical or dental schools.
Submit a completed Online Application for review by the University Health Professions Committee to the pre-health advisor by February 3, 2020 at 9 PM Eastern Time. Decisions are made after the deadline as opposed to a rolling review process. The Committee's decision will be emailed to applicants approximately three weeks after the application deadline.
Sample profile of an ideal candidate for a University Recommendation at the highest level
- BCPM Index (composed of all biology, chemistry, physics and math courses taken at Drexel and any other school) of 3.5 or higher
- Minimum of one year of volunteer service in a health care environment with direct patient contact
- Service to the general community
- Participation in the co-op program
- Research experience
- Demonstrated leadership ability from on-campus or off-campus activities
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
Note that participation in the co-op program is not a requirement for receiving the University Recommendation or for receiving any level of recommendation from the University Health Professions Committee.
What if I do not have a BCPM Index of 3.5?
You are still encouraged to complete the application if your record is close to 3.5 or if there are special circumstances affecting your academic performance. The BCPM Index of 3.5 is not an absolute requirement. Take time to reflect on your academic record and information provided by medical and dental schools about their accepted applicants.
In recent years the national average science GPA of applicants accepted to allopathic (MD) medical schools has been 3.64 (AAMC FACTS data tables on medical school admissions). The science GPA for allopathic medical schools includes courses classified by the applicant on the AMCAS application as biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses.
Osteopathic (DO) medical schools calculate a science GPA that does not include math courses but does include a wide range of science courses in addition to biology, chemistry, and physics. In recent years the national average science GPA of applicants accepted to osteopathic (DO) medical schools has been 3.45 (AACOM Data Tables on admission to osteopathic medical schools).
Dental schools calculate a science GPA includes a wide range of science courses in addition to biology, chemistry, physics and math courses. In recent years the national average science GPA of applicants accepted to dental school has ranged from 3.45 – 3.47 (ADEA Data Tables on Predoctoral Students).
Is there a minimum number of hours required in a health care environment?
While there is no formal “cutoff” in terms of hours, the Drexel University Health Professions Committee and medical schools are looking for a sustained commitment over a period of time. We believe that one year is a minimum because of the need to have a realistic picture of a career in a health professions. Note that for medical school applicants, shadowing physicians does not substitute for volunteer experience with direct patient engagement.
Volunteer experience in a healthcare setting with patient contact is an absolute requirement for anyone applying to medical school. In addition, the University Health Profession Committee will not recommend any students or alumni who have little or no experience in this area.
Dental schools generally require applicants to complete 50-100 hours of shadowing dentists prior to applying to dental school.
Is there a minimum number of hours required for community service?
No, however similar to health care experience, the University Health Professions Committee and medical/dental schools are looking for a sustained commitment over a period of time. Medical and dental schools are looking to develop community-oriented health care providers; therefore, admission committees are interested in applicants with broad exposure to people and communities as well as a demonstrated commitment to service.
What happens next if I am approved for a University Recommendation?
You will be assigned to two - three members of the University Health Professions Committee for one-on-one interviews. The purpose of these interviews is twofold: to assess your readiness for a career in the health professions (maturity, motivation, communication skills, etc.), and to help prepare you for interviews at medical and dental schools. More information about the interview process and the subsequent steps of the recommendation letter process will be sent following notification of the Committee’s decision.
Are there levels of recommendation from the committee?
Yes. There are four levels: highest, highly, recommended, and present for consideration. All levels of recommendation for the University Recommendation are confidential. If you do not waive your right to see your University Recommendation, no level of recommendation from the University Health Professions Committee will be included in the University Recommendation letter.
Is there is a limit to the total number of students and alumni selected each application cycle to receive the University Recommendation?
No, there is no quota on the number of applicants that may be selected in each application cycle. Each application is reviewed and individually considered for selection for the University Recommendation.
For students and alumni who applied for and were selected to receive a University Recommendation in a prior application cycle, what is re-application process for the Letter?
1. Students and alumni who did NOT complete their individual interviews with their assigned University Health Professions Committee members should submit a new University Recommendation application by the February 3, 2020 deadline. If reselected to receive the letter, these students and alumni will be assigned new interviewers from the University Health Professions Committee.
2. Students and alumni who completed their individual interviews with their assigned University Health Professions Committee members need to submit a re-application form, which will be available in early February 2020 by emailing Mary Beth Davis.
The re-application forms will be reviewed by the University Health Professions Committee, and applicants will be selected for receiving an update letter to the University Recommendation based on the information presented in the both the original application and the re-application. Note that the Committee will base its selection process in part upon continued academic success and continued participation in volunteer or employment activities that involve direct patient contact. The MCAT and DAT scores are not a factor considered in the selection process.
Re-applicants who are selected to receive the updated University Recommendation will not interview again with members of the University Health Professions Committee.
- For the update to the University Recommendation, a separate letter will be written with the updated information, covering what the applicant has done since the original University Recommendation was written, and the original University Recommendation will be appended to the update letter.
- For applicants who withdrew from the prior application cycle before a letter was written by the University Health Professions Committee, a University Recommendation letter will be written for the 2021 process.
If you re-apply for the University Recommendation and are not selected to receive it again, you can still apply to medical or dental school in the regular application process. In that situation you would solicit individual recommendations, adhering to the medical/dental school requirements for individual letters, and I will still serve as your pre-health advisor.
Primary Deadline for submitting the Re-Application for the University Recommendation is Monday April 20, 2020 at 5 PM Eastern Time. The update letters for selected re-applicants who submit by this deadline will be submitted to veCollect during the first week in July.
Secondary Deadline for submitting the Re-Application for the University Recommendation is June 3, 2020 at 5 PM Eastern Time. Letters for selected re-applicants who submit by this deadline will be submitted to veCollect by early August 2020.
What if I have more questions or concerns?
Schedule a meeting with the pre-health advisor.