CHOP - Letters of Recommendation

Who may write my letter of recommendation? Letters of recommendation may be written by current or recent teachers, school administrators, employers, mentors, academic advisors, coaches or directors of extracurricular activities. For Penn Medicine, they will require that the first recommender listed is also a STEM subject instructor.

What does STEM mean? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

How does the letter of recommendation process work?

  • Use your online account to find a section called "Who will write your letter of recommendation?"
  • Use that form to tell us who's writing your letter.
  • While you're in this section, you'll also find a template to copy and then paste into an email to your recommender to make the process easier!
  • Your recommender will use the information you've provided via email to submit their letter by email, fax or mail.
  • After we receive the letter, we'll upload it to your online account within 1 - 2 business days so that you can see it's been received.

I need to change my recommender...what do I do? Email with your full name and ask us to open your form for edits. Just remember that you'll have to send the email to your new recommender after you make changes. 

May I submit more than two letters? Unfortunately, no. You'll only have space to list two recommenders in your online account and will only be able to see when those two letters are received. 

My recommender said they "sent" their letter, why isn't it in my online account?
Please find out how they sent their letter (online form, email or fax) and when. If it was within two business days, it's just being processed by the administrative office. If it's been longer than two business days, send an email to so they can see if there's a technical issue with the submission.

May I upload my own letter? No. We must receive a letter directly from its author.

May I see the letter? To encourage greater openness and to present a more fair and honest recommendation, applicants waive their right of access to letters of recommendation. Applicants agree that the remarks made in their letters of recommendation should be confidential between the writer and the various constituencies to whom their credential file may be shown.

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