PENN Committee Letter Process

What is the Penn HPAB Committee Letter?

Many undergraduate institutions offer a letter from a pre-health committee in support of medical and dental school applicants. At Penn, this committee is called the Health Professions Advisory Board (HPAB), and it is comprised of the Pre-Health Advising Team as well as University faculty and staff, to provide a holistic overview of each candidate who completes our process. Medical and dental schools value the personalized insights the letters provide.

For students participating in the committee process, the Pre-Health Advising Team writes a thorough, detailed, and individualized HPAB Committee Letter that highlights an applicant’s academic achievement, intellectual strength, non-academic accomplishments, communication skills, maturity, fit for health care professions, service orientation, leadership and community engagement.

How do I sign up to participate in the PENN HPAB Committee Letter process?

To begin the committee letter process a student must attend an HPAB Medical or Dental School Applicant Orientation customarily offered during the late fall and spring semesters.  Applicants may sign up via the Events tab on Handshake.  Applicants must also be sure to review the HPAB Manuals for Medical or Dental School.


How do I upload required documents?

All necessary documents are uploaded through the Application Management System Portal.

Committee Letter Eligibility

To receive a committee letter, a candidate must:

  • Be an undergraduate or alum from the University of Pennsylvania. (Only alumni that have graduated within the last 7 years will be considered letter eligible.)
  • Be applying to medical or dental school.
  • Attend an HPAB Medical or Dental School Applicant Orientation.
  • Participate in a Pre-Health Advisor Interview.
  • Meet all deadlines regarding paperwork and letters of recommendation.

There are no GPA requirements to receive a committee letter.

Important Steps:

You can find detailed information on all the steps of the HPAB process on our HPAB page.

STEP 1: Register via Handshake to attend a Medical School Applicant Orientation or Dental School Applicant Orientation.  Only after attending an Orientation will you be able to schedule your Advisor Interview.

STEP 2: Open your Credentials File to receive letters of recommendation.

STEP 3: Log into the Application Management System Portal to upload your documents before your Advisor Interview.


If you have questions regarding the HPAB Committee Letter process, please review the HPAB Process webpage and  HPAB Manuals for Medical or Dental School before contacting our pre-health coordinator, Becky Tamayo at