PENN Letter Process

What is the Penn Letter?

Many undergraduate institutions offer a letter from a pre-health committee in support of medical and dental school applicants. Medical and dental schools value the personalized insights the letters provide. For students participating in the Penn Letter Process, the Pre-Health Advising Team writes a letter that provides a holistic overview of each applicant and is accompanied by the letters of recommendation submitted to the Pre-Health office on the applicant’s behalf.

How do I sign up to participate in the PENN Letter Process?

To begin the Penn Letter Process, a student must attend a 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.  Once the Orientation attendance has been recorded, the applicant will automatically receive an invitation to the Pre-Health Advising: Applicant course on Canvas, which provides additional details and information.

Note: If you attended an orientation and have not received the Canvas invitation within 1 week, please email Becky Tamayo at

Penn 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 a Medical or Dental School Applicant Orientation.
  • Participate in an Introductory Meeting with a Pre-Health Advisor.

There are no GPA requirements to receive a committee letter.

How do I upload required documents?

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

Important Steps:

You will receive detailed information on all the steps of the Penn Letter Process during the Orientation session and can review the information again on the Canvas 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 receive your invitation to the Canvas page and be able to schedule your Introductory Meeting with a Pre-Health Advisor.

STEP 2: Open your Credentials File to begin to collect letters of recommendation with our office.

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


If you have questions, please contact our pre-health coordinator, Becky Tamayo at