Enter up to 4 evaluator names on your PTCAS application. Review the PTCAS Directory to determine the number and types of evaluators required by each institution.
The reference requirements vary across programs, and not all programs require references. Review the PTCAS Directory to determine the number and types of evaluators required by each program. PTCAS will not determine if you have met the reference requirements for a particular program.
As stated in the Checklist, enter the contact information for your evaluators on the application soon after you create your account, so these individuals have adequate time to submit a reference on your behalf before the deadline. You are encouraged to contact your evaluators in advance to confirm they are willing to submit a letter of reference on your behalf and to obtain their preferred email address. Alert your evaluators to watch for an email from PTCAS that describes how they will login to the PTCAS Reference Portal and the 2-part reference process. Paper and emailed references are not accepted.
PTCAS emails are sometimes caught in spam or junk email folders. Advise your evaluators to change their email security settings to permit messages from firstname.lastname@example.org.
After your evaluators create a PTCAS Reference Portal account, they will complete a 2-part process:
Enter up to 4 references (evaluators) on your application.
Some programs will accept a committee letter, a composite letter representing a compilation of letters, or a single letter with the collective thoughts of a group. If a program to which you are applying does accept such references, the individual who uploads the committee or composite reference letter must also respond to the question on the PTCAS Reference Portal. PTCAS will accept a college pre-health profession advisor in lieu of the evaluators. All reference letters must be submitted via the PTCAS Reference Portal.
Enter the evaluator’s first and last name and email address.
Specify the date by which you need this reference to be submitted to PTCAS. You are advised to use a date no later than your earliest program deadline.
You may use this text box to enter a short personal note to your evaluator regarding the reference request that will be included in the PTCAS Reference Portal email.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives applicants the right to access written letters of reference, unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting a reference from an evaluator, you are required to indicate whether you wish to waive your rights. PTCAS will release your decision to waive or not to waive access to your evaluator and your selected programs. Programs may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see them. If you retain access, you must contact the evaluator or the admissions office directly to view the references, and you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during the interview(s).
Your waiver decision on the PTCAS application serves the same purpose as a legal signature and is binding. If you decide to change your waiver decision, you must login to your PTCAS application to edit your selection online. Once your reference is received, you cannot make changes to your waiver decision.
For PTCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statements: “I hereby give permission to contact this reference via email to request the completion of the reference form and letter of reference. If my reference does not submit an online reference form in response to the email request, it is my sole responsibility to contact the reference directly to ensure all references required by my designated schools are received by the deadline.”
For PTCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statement: “I understand that the schools to which I am applying may contact the reference either to verify the information provided and/or for further clarification of the information provided, and I hereby give permission for the schools to do so.”
Your evaluators will respond to the following questions through the PTCAS reference portal:
Evaluators must upload a letter of recommendation on institutional or organizational letterhead via the PTCAS Reference Portal. Accepted formats for uploads are .pdf, .doc (Microsoft Word), .rtf (Rich Text Format) or .txt (ASCII Text File) files only. Uploaded letters must be less than 5MB in size.
PTCAS will automatically email you after each reference is received. After you submit your application, login to check the real-time status of your references. PTCAS will not notify you about missing references.
Arrange for PTCAS to receive all of your references by the earliest program deadline. Programs might not consider applicants who submit late materials; however, PTCAS does not enforce reference deadlines and will release your references to your selected programs, even if they arrive late. You can submit your application before all of your references are received.
If 1 or more of your evaluators is unresponsive or declines your invitation to submit a reference on your behalf, you may request a reference from a new evaluator. You cannot delete a reference once PTCAS receives it.
Do not submit more than 4 references to PTCAS. Send any additional references directly to your designated programs, if the program requires them. Unless required, programs might not consider extra references.
Last Updated: 6/7/2017