If you apply to medical and/or other programs in early summer and decisions may not be made until the following spring, you may wish to update your application. Sending an update is not a requirement and it should be done only with great thought and care. Do not send an update if a school asks you not to send additional information. If it’s unclear whether they will accept or welcome updates, contact the Admissions Office to ask.
Here are some things to consider:
- You may provide an update when something significant has happened, e.g., you have won an award, published a paper, begun a new job with relevance to health care, or gained more clinical experience.
- You might provide an update if there was a significant weakness in your application and you have now addressed it.
- You can also write if you have gained a new perspective on their school and your fit for it, perhaps through new experiences or by researching the school further, by meeting someone affiliated with the school, etc.
- You might also include one additional letter of recommendation if a school will accept it, particularly from a current student or alumni from that school.
If you send an update:
- Your update should be clear, written with a professional tone, and it should be concise – no more than a page long. Be sure to thank the Admissions Committee for considering your application or update.
- Check the dates for when a school would like an update and the manner in which an update should be sent; updates are often sent through the school's portal.
- Schools that accept on a rolling admission basis will be exceedingly busy in early October and November; for these schools you might wait to send the update after October 15 or November 15.
- Keep copies of everything you send.
- Note that sending an inappropriate update or frequent updates with little content may not only be an inconvenience to the school but also affect your candidacy. You should judge for yourself if your update would be seen as overly eager and annoying vs. useful and appropriate.
Letter of Interest and Letter of Intent:
These letters are different than updates as they should be sent only after an interview has taken place. If you have not heard back from your interview or have been placed on a waitlist, you might send a Letter of Interest to a school, telling them of your continued interest. Explain why you are attracted to their school, how your background might fit their program, and any other pertinent information. The goal is to remind them of the strengths of your application and to perhaps help you stand out from other applicants on the waitlist.
If you have had an interview and/or have been notified that you are on a waitlist, and if this is the school you most want to attend, you can write a Letter of Intent. This letter should tell the school that they are your first choice, why this is, and that you would accept their offer if they extend one. You should send a Letter of Intent to only one school. Although these letters are not binding, it is unadvisable (and possibly unethical) to commit to attend more than one school in this way, even prior to May 15.