Evaluators’ Guide to Letters of Recommendation

Thank you for agreeing to provide an evaluation for an applicant to the Doctor of Pharmacy professional program at University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy! The below suggestions are optional, and are designed to give you an idea of what our Admissions Committee looks for in evaluations. Your evaluation is one of 3 required of applicants, so don’t feel you need to answer all questions or know everything about the applicant. The committee appreciates multiple perspectives.

Content Suggestions

  • Briefly explain how you know the applicant, and how well you know the applicant.

    • How long have you known them? Are your observations of the applicant direct or indirect?
  • It is unnecessary to provide a lot of detail about a specific lab, course, job, or institution - rather, please focus on the applicant: their skills, abilities, performance, and characteristics.

  • Provide information on grades/GPA only if you are providing additional context for the admissions committee to interpret them; grades, GPA, and test scores are already available within the application.

  • If possible, share any unique contributions the applicant would bring to the class and/or the field of pharmacy. For example, obstacles the applicant has overcome, how the applicant has grown or learned from those experiences, or unique perspectives/experiences/attributes.
  • Comparisons can be helpful if context and rationale are explained.
  • Provide your perspective on an applicant's experiences, academic abilities, interpersonal skills, and/or understanding of and motivation for pharmacy.

Technical Suggestions

  • Letters are typically about one page long

  • Do not specify the name of the program - the same letter is provided to multiple schools to which the applicant is applying

  • If you taught the applicant, select the course(s) within the PharmCAS system

  • Be careful to select the right overall recommendation

  • Upload a letter! The PharmCAS evaluation questions are somewhat helpful, but do not provide you a platform to share your unique knowledge of and experience with the applicant

    • If possible, provide a letter on the official letterhead of your college/university/company

    • Address the letter to the “Admissions Committee”