The Dean's Letter is a letter prepared after completion of the third year of medical school that provides a summary of the student doctor's achievements across all aspects of their medical education. At UMDNJ-SOM, the Dean's Letter includes specific information from the student's academic record including both didactic and clinical courses. Clinical faculty's comments on evaluations, scholarships, awards and community service, and information about COMLEX are also specified.
Academic Affairs at UMDNJ-SOM will process the Dean’s Letter, which will be sent to the programs you designate via the ERAS Post Office from our office. (See the ERAS section for more information.)
Please note that only one Dean’s Letter is prepared for each student, and once it is signed, it will not be edited to add or delete information. After graduation, a cover letter is attached to a copy of the Dean’s Letter when it is sent to programs. The cover letter includes the name of the graduate/year of graduation and the date the original Dean’s Letter was signed. No additional information or comments regarding the student is included in the original Dean’s Letter or cover letter.
- The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for preparing Dean's Letters.
- Dean's Letters are written after completion of the third year.
- Plan ahead! A minimum of six weeks from submission of all required materials to issuance of completed letters is standard procedure. Letters will be written in order of receipt of materials. Requests for additional letters are processed in chronological order.
- Before your Dean's Letter is written, the following information should be provided to Academic Affairs:
- Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean's Letter) Authorization and Release form
- Your curriculum vitae, electronically submitted to Gina Murphy, Academic Affairs Staff Assistant, at email@example.com.
- The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean's Letter) Authorization and Release form and your curriculum vitae must be submitted before your Dean's Letter may be written.
- A Dean’s Letter includes specific information from your academic record including didactic and clinical records. Clinical faculty’s comments on evaluations are included. Scholarships, awards and community service are also specified. Providing fine points of your education, employment, leadership and service on your curriculum vitae will aid in creating a detailed Dean’s Letter.
- Current UMDNJ-SOM students: All requests for Dean’s Letters must be made in writing, and include the program contact name and title, phone number, e-mail address, and the complete name of the program and address. There is no charge for Dean’s Letter requests for currently enrolled students.
- UMDNJ-SOM graduates: All requests for Dean's Letters to be sent to residency or fellowship programs must be made in writing by completing the SOM Graduates Dean's Letter Request form, which is available on the website and in the Academic Affairs department. Please include the program contact name and title, program name and complete mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. There is a $5.00 processing fee for each letter sent to each program, made payable by check.
Forwarding Your Dean's Letter to EFDO and MIDUS - The ERAS Fellowship Document Office (EFDO) is now offering Medical Institution Document Upload Service (MIDUS), to streamline the process of getting your fellowship applicants' MSPEs (Dean's Letters) and medical school transcripts into the ERAS system. The benefits of using this system include reduced processing time, from upwards of 4 weeks to only 1-2 weeks. However, this is an optional service. You may send your documents to the EFDO in Philadelphia using regular mail if you wish.
If you will be using MIDUS to apply for Fellowship programs:
- Contact the programs where you will be applying to confirm the school is participating in EFDO.
- Please contact Gina Murphy in Academic Affairs (856-566-7133 or firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding your request to forward your Dean's Letter, or Regina Wilmes in the Registrar's Office (856-566-7055 or email@example.com) regarding your request to forward your transcript before you complete your request through MIDUS.
- You will need to complete and sign the SOM Graduates Dean's Letter Request form for all Dean's Letter requests that are sent by regular mail or uploaded electronically through MIDUS. You will also need to complete and sign a Transcript Request form for all transcript requests.
- For Dean's Letters, it is $5.00 per request for each program you apply to if the Dean's Letter is sent by regular mail. If it is scanned through EFDO MIDUS, there is a $5.00 flat fee. Please contact the Registrar's Office regarding fees for transcript requests.
Example - if you are applying to 10 programs that are all participating in the EFDO, there will be a $5.00 flat fee for uploading into the MIDUS system just one time. If only a few of the programs you are applying to are participating in EFDO, and the remaining requests need to be sent by mail, then there will be a $5.00 fee for the document scanned into MIDUS - plus an additional $5.00 for each Dean's Letter that is mailed to each program that is not participating in EFDO/MIDUS.
For more information about MIDUS:You may review the description of MIDUS on their Web site. If you have questions about the tool, please contact the EFDO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-966-3940.
What is a Dean's Letter?
The Dean's Letter is a letter of evaluation prepared during your last year of medical school. Unlike a letter of recommendation, which advocates for your suitability for a career in a particular specialty, the Dean's Letter provides a summary of your achievements across all aspects of your medical education. Your Dean's Letter includes specific information from your academic record including both didactic and clinical courses. Clinical faculty's comments on evaluations, scholarships, awards and community service, and information about COMLEX are also specified.
Why do I need a Dean's Letter?
Regardless of specialty, a Dean's Letter is generally required as part of the application process for postgraduate training (internship and/or residency). The Dean's Letter may also be requested later in your medical career, as part of the application process for a medical license, hospital privileges or insurance participation.
What materials do I need to submit so my Dean's Letter can be prepared?
The Office of Academic Affairs prepares Dean's Letters. Before a Dean's Letter can be prepared, you must provide Academic Affairs with the Authorization for Release of Information and an up-to-date curriculum vitae. We strongly encourage students to sign the Authorization for Release of Infromation waiving the right of access to the Dean's Letter because it enhances the impact of the Dean's Letter. The more information you provide on your CV, the more complete the letter we can prepare. Authorization forms are available in Academic Affairs, or you may print a copy by following the link below. Required information must be submitted before a Dean's Letter is written.
How do I request copies of my Dean's Letter once it is written?
Provide Academic Affairs with a typed list of addresses, including the name of the person(s) to whom the letter(s) is to be addressed and his/her proper title. If applicable, include a check made out to UMDNJ-SOM for the appropriate amount (see next FAQ).
Will the Dean's Letter cost any money?
Current UMDNJ-SOM students: All requests for Dean’s Letters must be made in writing, and include the program contact name and title, phone number, e-mail address, and the complete name of the program and address. There is no charge for Dean’s Letter requests for currently enrolled students.
SOM Graduates: Dean's letters requested by graduates are $5.00 each.
How long does it take to generate a Dean's Letter?
A minimum of four weeks from submission of all required materials to issuance of completed letters is standard procedure. Plan ahead! Letters usually are written during July and August after the completion of your third year. Dean's Letters are prepared in order of receipt of the required materials. Once the letter is written, requests for additional copies of your Dean's Letter are processed in chronological order.
Will another Dean's Letter be written after I've graduated?
Only one Dean's Letter is prepared. If additional letters are required after graduation, a cover letter containing no additional information or comments is attached to the original letter.
Where can I get help in preparing my curriculum vitae?
Latin for "life's course," your curriculum vitae (also called a vita or C.V.) will summarize your academic, employment, and professional experience. You will be adding to your C.V. throughout your professional career so now is a good time to write one if you have not already done so.
Among the resources available to assist you in preparing your C.V. are:
- Samples included in the packet of information about applying for internship/residency that will be provided to your class.
- Susan Ireland's The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume (2nd edition), Alpha Books, 2000 (see chapter 15, "When You Really are a Brain Surgeon: Curriculum Vitae"
- "CV Writing" at www.cvtips.com provides information and links to examples and resources including software and books (links to www.amazon.com selections).
- You may also make an appointment with Jacqueline Giacobbe in Academic Affairs to review your C.V. prior to submitting it for your Dean's Letter.
Jacqueline Giacobbe, MSEd, MA
Phone: (856) 566-6980
Fax: (856) 566-6341