*Express your pleasure at having the opportunity to recommend the applicant.
Indicate how long and in what capacity you have known the applicant.
*Note that you would recommend this student specifically for dental school.
Explore how this applicant compares in intellectual ability to other students you have
encountered this year or in previous years.
*Evaluate the student’s potential in the field of dentistry. How has the student
demonstrated a commitment to dentistry? Does he/she strike you as a compassionate
individual who will make a good dentist some day? Does the student seem familiar with
*Discuss a few of the student’s strengths that you know well and wish to highlight.
*Intellectual ability, such as capacity for critical thinking, the ability to understand,
analyze, and synthesize information, problem-solving skills, and teaching or research
*Interpersonal skills, including ability to collaborate and get along with peers, response
to criticism, leadership, and attitude toward supervision.
*Personal qualities, such as maturity, compassion, responsibility, empathy, creativity,
self-awareness, demonstrated judgment, and initiative.
*There might also be special strengths or abilities that warrant mention; while not
obviously relevant to the student’s interest in dentristry, such talents make the
candidate unique and help dental schools distinguish between applicants.
What to Avoid
* Don’t speculate. Be as specific and factual as possible. Give concrete examples to
illustrate your characterizations of the student. Base your statements on observations and
information obtained through direct contact with the student or their school record.
*Avoid discussing an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual
orientation, citizenship status, or marital status. Also avoid commenting on a student’s
appearance, family background, health, or other personal circumstances unless they are
immediately relative to their application.