Letters of recommendation can be a stressful topic for premed students. They are very important and they are very much out of your control.
You have to rely on other people with busy schedules… not fun.
It’s very common for students to receive letters of recommendation mid/late summer, or even fall, due to not planning when asking for the letter. Sometimes, students are asking for letters later in the application cycle after finding new opportunities for better letters.
If you have already submitted your AMCAS application, can you still add a letter of recommendation?
In this article, we will answer this question and every question related to changing your letters of recommendation after submitting your application.
Can You Add Letters Of Recommendation After Submitting Your AMCAS?
Yes, you can add letters of recommendation after submitting your AMCAS. After your AMCAS application is processed, every letter you add to your AMCAS application will be forwarded to your selected schools as they arrive.
It’s really that simple.
So if your application is complete, submit it. Don’t wait for every letter of recommendation you requested to come in. Whether you submit your letters of recommendation before you submit your application or after doesn’t make a difference.
How Do You Add A Letter Of Recommendation After Submitting Your AMCAS?
Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to add letters of recommendation to your AMCAS application after submitting your AMCAS:
- Log into your AMCAS application and select the letters of evaluation tab.
- Add your additional letters like you would before submitting your application (remember there is a limit of 10)
- If you want this letter sent to a med school you already applied to, select the medical school tab.
- Select “edit” on the school you would like to receive the new letter and then select the new letter.
- If you want your letters sent to a new med school, you’ll be prompted to select the letters you want to be sent (including the new one) when you add the school.
- Hit the Resubmit Application button on the main menu.
And that’s it. Simple right?
But you should not stop there, here’s what you should do next…
Contact The Med Schools When You Make Changes To Your Letter Of Recommendation Submissions
If you add or remove a letter of recommendation from your AMCAS application, you should contact the med schools that will be receiving the letters.
You don’t want a med school to be waiting for a letter that isn’t going to arrive because you made the change. You also don’t know where the med school is in the review process with your application. They may have already reviewed your application and are not looking out for additional letters.
What If I Need To Remove A Letter Of Recommendation Writer From My AMCAS?
So you input a letter writer on your AMCAS who is not going to write the letter, what do you do then?
All you need to do is go back to the letter of evaluations section on your AMCAS, select the letter you want to cancel, and select the “no longer being sent” option. Then hit resubmit on your application.
Again, you want to follow up with the med schools you applied to and tell them that this letter is no longer being sent to them. You don’t want a med school to put a hold on your application because they are waiting for a letter that is not going to arrive.
Can You Add Letters Of Recommendation After Submitting A Secondary?
Yes, just like submitting letters of recommendation after you submit your primary AMCAS application, you can also submit additional letters after sending in secondary applications.
Again, you would add your letters of recommendation to your AMCAS application and hit submit. Then, you will select which schools the new letter will go to.
But there’s something very important you should consider, which brings me to my next point…
When Is The Latest You Can Send A Letter Of Recommendation?
There isn’t any deadline on the AMCAS, TMDSAS, or AACOMAS. It all depends on the med schools you are applying to. Schools have different cutoffs for letters of recommendation.
However, it’s a good idea to send them around the time you submit your secondary application (June/July timeframe). Med schools won’t review letters of recommendation until the rest of your application is received (Your primary, MCAT scores, secondary, and applicable fees).
If the rest of the application is received from a med school and meets their minimum requirements, they will probably start reviewing your application without the additional letter unless they know another one is coming. If you wait too long, the new letter of recommendation might not even be looked at.
Word To The Wise: Don’t Procrastinate On Your Letters Of Recommendation
A strong letter of recommendation takes time. You should be thinking about giving your writers about a month’s notice before you expect them to send the letter to the AAMC.
With this in mind, you should make sure you are asking for all of your letters of recommendation by end of April at the latest.
This might not be possible for everyone’s situation but keep that timeframe in mind as a goal for getting your letters of recommendation in sooner than later.
Can You Submit Additional Letters of Recomendation Outside Your Committee Letter?
Yes, this is fine. I had to do the same thing when I received a letter of recommendation from a professor in my post-bacc program.
This won’t raise any red flags unless you are submitting letters from the same university outside of your committee letter.
How Long Does It Take AMCAS To Process Letters Of Recommendation?
If your letter writer uploads the letter directly through the AMCAS letter writer application then they are immediately processed. However, if your letter writer, or committee letter, is sent through Interpolio, they can take up to 3 business days to process according to the AAMC.