Composite Letter

What is the composite letter?

This is a comprehensive letter written by someone you choose. You can think of them as your chief letter writer. They must be from the Dartmouth community. They are the person you have the strongest connection with. The composite writer will write a comprehensive letter—a composite--that includes their evaluation, and includes quotes from supporting writers, put together cohesively to present you to medical, DO, veterinary, dental, or other health professions schools. Please read the rest carefully to know how this works.

What are you going to need for this letter?

  • 3-5 supporting writers –can combine from Dartmouth community and from other experiences
  • 1 composite writer—often a faculty member, must be from Dartmouth community (including Dartmouth, DHMC, Geisel)
  • An Interfolio account, for the supporting writers to upload their letters confidentially for you.
  • An autobiographical sketch (written by you); a resume; a transcript and citation report (if you have one).

Choose your writers in part to represent the different facets of your pre-health experience:

  • You will need two letters from faculty who have taught you in a science class
  • You should consider having at least one letter from a faculty from your major (if someone other than a science major) and/or from another class that was meaningful for you
  • Letter(s) from outside the classroom such as a research supervisor (PI); coach; internship supervisor, etc.

HPP's Role in the Composite Letter Process

The final single document that you send to medical schools and other health professions schools, is created by the Health Professions Program staff. It includes the completed composite letter, followed by the supporting letters, as one PDF. You will work closely with our office, who will create this final composite letter for you to send to the appropriate application service, e.g. AMCAS, AACOMAS (DO) or ADEAS (Dental). This is usually completed during the summer of the year you are applying, and usually after you have submitted your primary application.