Health Professions Recommendation Committee

Most colleges have a designated committee to evaluate applicants and prepare them for the application process. At Tufts, that committee is called the Tufts Health Professions Recommendation Committee (HPRC). 

The HPRC is a faculty committee whose role is to support Tufts students and alumni applying to health professions schools. The HPRC is composed of a variety of faculty from the Schools of Arts and Sciences, and Engineering, and is co-chaired by Diren Turner and Mitch McVey, faculty in the Chemistry and Biology Departments.

There are important updates for students applying in the 2021-2022 application cycle. Starting this year, Tufts will be providing a letter packet for each applicant, as opposed to committee letters. However, much of the HPRC process remains the same. Students will register for HPRC by April 1, 2021 and receive an interview with a faculty interviewer. Tufts will continue to collect individual letters of recommendation and submit them as a packet to the central application services such as AMCAS, AACOMAS, and AADSAS. Students will need a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 letters of recommendation. At least 2 should be from Tufts faculty who have taught you, and at least one of those should be from a science faculty member. It is your responsibility to be aware of individual school's letter requirements, as these vary from school to school. 

With these changes, we are excited to provide more resources for students that were spent related to writing composite letters. In addition to the letter packet and faculty interview, students who register with HPRC by April 1 will have access to a Canvas course, and weekly information sessions and emails on various aspects of the application process. The work you do with the HPRC is an important piece of your application process. Applicants to medical, dental, optometry and podiatry schools will come through the HPRC. Central application services for other professions, such as Physician Assistant, Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine do not typically want letter packets.

Registration

Registration for HPRC is now open. The link to the online portal is available on our website, through our Canvas course, and through Health-E News. The deadline to complete the registration and hit the 'submit' button is 11:59PM EST on April 1. No exceptions are made to this deadline. You will need to enter in the information for the individuals you want to ask for recommendations by this date. Letters or recommendation are due by May 1, 2021*, and letter writers will be able to submit letters online through a secure portal. 

*Letters for reapplicants will be due June 1, 2021. 

Interview

Each applicant will be assigned to a member of the committee and will interview with that individual. The goal of the interview is twofold: first, to give you an opportunity for the committee to know as much about you as possible, and two, to have an experience of a professional interview, much like what you will have at medical, dental and other schools. Individual committee members will begin interviewing candidates in May and finish interviewing by July. The interview can only be scheduled after you have submitted your HPRC registration form and completed your file with required materials and individual letters. Applicants will be sent a scheduling link once all their materials have been received.

Preparing For Your HPRC Interview

Your interview with a faculty member on our Health Professions Recommendation Committee is an opportunity to have a conversation with a professional who will want to get to know you. This should not be a tense or stressful meeting, but rather a nice opportunity to discuss your background, your interests, your accomplishments, your motivation, your values and your goals.  There is no need to bring anything to the interview but you should review your resume and autobiography. Come prepared to have a thoughtful conversation about you and your future as a healthcare professional. Be punctual; be respectful; be genuine.

Sending Committee Letter Packets

You will be specifying in your application (AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS) that you will be having a letter packet. Letter packets are not sent automatically; you can submit the request to the HPRC for your letters to be sent starting on July 1. Information regarding how to request your letters to be sent will be available later in the process. No requests are accepted prior to July 1.

Disciplinary or Institutional Action

You will be asked if any action has been taken by any college or university against you in your HPRC registration, in the centralized application, and by individual schools. It is critical that you respond honestly. Dishonesty or lack of full disclosure is far more serious than virtually any institutional action that may have been taken. 

Even if an action is not noted on your transcript it must still be reported. You should discuss this with the pre-health advisors. 

The HPRC cover letter that is sent with the individual letters collected addresses any disciplinary action taken or its absence. All but a couple of medical schools accept this format and do not require additional forms. If a dean's certification form or disciplinary action form is required beyond the HPRC letter, it should be submitted to the Pre-health Advising Office.