Update letters

What are Update Letters?

  • Allow you to still have some control over the process even after you submit via AACOMAS or AMCAS

  • Help showcase new leadership, activities, awards, etc to continue to put yourself in a good light for admissions committees

  • Show the admissions committees that you're still working hard and trying to improve yourself as a student, person and future physician

Who do I Send Update Letters to?

  • Any school you applied to and haven't yet been accepted, rejected or waitlisted

    • Sometimes it can also be appropriate to send update letters to schools you've been accepted or waitlisted at, check specific school policies​

    • Some schools don't allow update letters of any kind so be sure to check each school's policy first

  • Usually sent in October and/or January

    • October is typically for showcasing new leadership, work, activities, etc for those who applied in June​

    • January is best for those looking to showcase academics and/or awards or who may have applied later in the cycle

How Do I Write Update Letters?

  • Open with a professional and specific salutation

    • Ex. "Dear University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Admissions Committee,"​

  • Intro Paragraph: Introduce yourself and make it known this is an update letter

    • Ex. "My name is Jane Smith and I am a current applicant for the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine's class of 2025. I wanted to provide an update on my activities and express my continued interest in your school since submitting my secondary application in August."

  • Middle paragraphs: Give your updates! (This should be the bulk of the letter)

    • Ex. "I have recently begun taking on more responsibilities in my research and was accepted to present my work at XYZ conference."​

    • Ex. "Throughout the school year I have been able to step into my new role as President of Medicus Pre-Medical Society and implement my new ideas for meeting structure and boosting attendance."

  • Last paragraph: Tell them why you love their school and are still interested in attending

    • Ex. "I recently read a research article from the University of Iowa on the development of new drugs to treat COVID-19 and I found that it renewed my passion for intensive care that I found in my volunteer work."​

    • Ex. "The dedication the University of Iowa shows to its students and community through various mentoring and strong faculty relationship it something I would be proud to be a part of."

  • Short sentence or two of appreciation

    • Ex. "Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and your continued consideration of my application."​

  • End with a professional farewell (Kind Regards, Sincerely, etc)

    • Include a signature and your AACOMAS or AMCAS ID

  • The letter in whole should be about 1 page long typed

How do I Send Update Letters?

  • Some schools allow you to send update letters through ttheir secondary application portal as an upload

  • Most schools accept update letters via email

    • It is easiest for formatting to ​send the letter as an attached .pdf to the email with the subject line "Update Letter - (Your Name)"

    • For a list of contact information for medical schools click the links below