The Application Process
Application to medical school consists of the following materials:
- A common application submitted through AMCAS or AACOMAS
- A personal statement or “essay” (included in AMCAS/AACOMAS application)
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
- MCAT scores
- Letters of recommendation (required) and a Committee Letter (preferred)
- Secondary application essays (following the submission of the above materials)
A Committee Letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution’s evaluation of you. Although not required for admission to medical or dental school, schools value a Committee Letter and they expect to receive one from Hamilton College. At Hamilton, the Committee Letter is a composite letter that includes:
- a two-page narrative letter written by the health professions advisor with input from the Health Professions Advisory Committee; and
- your letters of recommendation (LOR's)
The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) will prepare a Committee Letter for all students who apply to medical/dental/vet school as long as they have taken at least four semesters of science at Hamilton and follow the process for obtaining a Committee Letter. Candidates are not pre-screened and there is no minimum GPA required for consideration by the HPAC.
Alumni of Hamilton College who decide to pursue medical or dental school after graduation may also get assistance from the Health Professions Advisor and, if they have completed half of the required science classes at Hamilton, they may also request a Committee Letter.
In order to receive a Committee Letter, candidate files must be completed by May 1 of the application year. A completed file consists of a self-assessment, work and activities sheet, personal statement draft, resume, a 1 hour interview, and all letters of recommendation.
Role of HPAC:
The Health Professions Advisory Committee meets to evaluate candidates for medical/dental/vet school. Members review candidate materials and, using a rating rubric, evaluate a candidate's readiness and suitability to form a tentative rating. Materials reviewed include all of the above plus notes from your Interview for Committee Letter with the Health Professions Advisor. MCAT scores are not considered in the ratings.
Criteria on the rating rubric for medical school include:
Health Related Experiences
At the meeting, the committee will briefly discuss each candidate, identifying highlights and key experiences, and will provide a rating for each of the above categories. The HPAC assesses the extent to which candidates have demonstrated Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students in each of the above areas. Finally, committee members vote on how strongly to recommend the candidate, as follows:
Recommend with Confidence
Recommend with Reservation
For your Consideration
Following the HPAC candidate review meeting, the health professions advisor will draft a Committee Letter, a 2/3 page executive summary of your experiences/strengths which is intended to paint a positive portrait of your personal characteristics that will distinguish you from other candidates with similar credentials. Members of HPAC then provide editorial feedback before the letter is finalized and uploaded to the appropriate application service.
Current HPAC members:
Max Majireck, Chemistry
Michael Welsh, Chemistry
Wei-Jen Chang, Biology
Ian Rosenstein, Chemistry
Lisa Grimes, Fellowships and Scholarships
Courtney Hance, Health Professions Advisor & Chair of the Committee
The first documents required for obtaining a Committee Letter are due on December 1st (20 months in advance of matriculation.) Please follow the timeline for applying to medical/dental school if you wish to obtain a Committee Letter.