Letters of Recommendation
- Three references are required; five are allowed.
- Locate and contact your recommenders at least a month in advance of the initial submission deadline to find out if they are willing to
provide an electronic reference and to allow adequate time for them to respond.
- As soon as you enter a recommender's contact information electronically, he or she will receive an email request.
- Types of references:
- One (preferably two) reference(s) from a professor(s) or equivalent academic source who knows your work well.
- One (or more) letter(s) that speaks to your research potential is especially helpful.
- Letters from recommenders holding a doctorate (or a non-us equivalent) carry much more weight than letters without such
credentials. A letter from a public health professional with a master's degree might serve as a fourth reference.
- Letters from professors or supervisors in fields unrelated to public health, health sciences, mathematics or quantitative
social sciences carry significantly less weight.
- Letters from colleagues, as opposed to supervisors, carry very little weight.
- Do not send letters from relatives, non-professional sources, and other students.
- You are allowed to change a reference to/from electronic upload to postal mail, if requested by the recommender, by deleting the
recommender and re-adding him/her with the correct delivery method.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure references are submitted by December 15. The application submission deadline is
Specialized Reference Required for UW Postdoc Fellows
- A UW postdoc fellow (or potential fellow) must provide a reference from his/her fellowship director and research or lab mentor
certifying that the applicant will be allowed release time to attend class on a regular basis. This requires flexible clinic/lab schedules
because core course times vary depending on the quarter. The first year requires class attendance 5 days/week.
Send your Recommenders the Following Information:
- Also send them a scanned copy of your transcripts and your electronic resume or CV.
For Recommenders of Applicants to the Epidemiology Department, University of Washington:
- Each recommender will receive a system-generated email request to submit an on-line reference (much preferred to paper) so he or she
should make sure that the request is not discarded as spam.
- Recommenders should comment in detail about the accomplishments, training and experience that qualify the applicant for a degree and
career in epidemiology and public health. Evaluation of the applicant's health science research experience is especially helpful, if
applicable. Clinical residency or fellowship references are inadequate, as are references that are only general in nature.
- The Receipt Deadline for references is December 15.
- A recommender may receive a system-generated email that says the deadline is December 1. The Graduate School application system is
programmed that way, so the Epidemiology Department cannot correct it.
- Late references may prevent consideration or reduce admission chances for the applicant.
- A recommender is strongly encouraged to upload a pdf letter to the system because otherwise the software that joins all the
application pieces together will not work properly.
- Although the application system allows a recommender to type in plain text, paste a letter written in unformatted plain text (e.g. from
Notepad), or upload a MS-Word letter, the recommender should not do so.
- If the recommender insists on using postal mail, the mailing and express courier address is below:
Epidemiology Program Office, UWBox 357236
F263 Health Sciences Building
1959 NE Pacific Street
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7236
Phone: 206-543-8226 or 543-1065 or 685-1762
Application Submission Instructions