Letters of Recommendation

What are Letters of Recommendation?

Letters of Recommendation (or also commonly referred to as Letters of Reference or Letters of Evaluation in Inspire, formerly known as AdviseStream) are individual letters you request from recommenders/evaluators who can speak to your academic, intellectual, interpersonal, and professional abilities. Letters of Recommendation are a critical component of your application because (1) they are used by the Health Professions Advisory Committee to write your Committee Letter of Evaluation and (2) they are included with your Committee Letter of Evaluation and submitted to the central application service(s) system for health professional schools to review as part of your application.  

Selecting your Letter of Recommendation Writers

Given the importance of your Letters of Recommendation for your application, it necessary to give careful thought and consideration to whom you ask to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. We encourage you to collect 3-5 letters of recommendation from the following people:
  • Professor(s) of Science
  • Professor(s) in your Major
  • Supervisor(s) from a Clinical Experience
  • Supervisor(s) from a Research Experience
  • Supervisor(s) from a Community Service or Extra-Curricular Experience
We recommend that you select writers who have observed your work, can attest to your intellectual and interpersonal qualities, and can appropriately assess your fit for the health professional programs you are seeking to enter. We also encourage you and your writer(s) to reference the Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for tips about writing your recommendation for health professional schools.

Requesting and Tracking Letters of Recommendation

After you have chosen your recommenders and asked them to write letters on your behalf, you will use Inspireso that we can collect your individual Letters of Recommendation. In Inspire, you will be able to input each of your evaluators' contact information, and they will then receive an email with a link where they can upload their letter. Inspire will also indicate which of your letters have been received and which ones are pending. If you add an evaluator to the system but later decide you are no longer in need of their letter, you may withdraw the request using Inspire as long as your evaluator has not already uploaded their letter to the system. If you are having trouble adding or withdrawing an evaluator from the system or if an evaluator has submitted a Letter of Recommendation but you do not see it in the system, please contact our office.

Important Notes:

  • In special circumstances, if an evaluator does not have the ability to access Inspire to upload a letter, the email that is sent to them once you enter their contact information into Inspire will provide them with an alternative method of submitting their letter so that our team can upload it to Inspire. If you or your evaluator has any questions about this, please contact us at prehealthdocs@barnard.edu or (212) 854-2033.
  • If you have had any previous letters sent to us and we have them on file, please contact our team so that we know to upload your Letters of Recommendation that are on file to Inspire. Once we have uploaded all of your previous letters, if you see that one is missing, please contact us. 

All Letters of Recommendation must be received and uploaded to Inspire by May 15th of the application cycle. 

For questions regarding Letters of Recommendation, please contact us at prehealthdocs@barnard.edu or (212) 854-2033.