Q: How many recommendations can I enter?
A: The applicant will provide the names, addresses and email addresses of a maximum of four (4) sources providing LORs.
Q: What constitutes a LOR?
A: The LOR requires both a rating of attributes and a letter.
Q: How and Where Do I Send My Letters of Recommendation?
A: Applicants should not send LORs directly to OptomCAS; all LORs should come directly from the Recommender to OptomCAS via the online portal. OptomCAS will not accept paper copies of references.
Enter up to four (4) evaluator names on your OptomCAS application. OptomCAS will not determine if you have met the LOR requirements for a particular optometry program. Therefore, please review programs’ individual websites to determine the number and type(s) of LORs required by each institution for which you wish to be considered for admission. The applicant will provide the names, email addresses, and phone number for of a maximum of four (4) people providing LORs. OptomCAS will send an email evaluation request to each recommender with a link to the online reference portal.
Q: Who should write my LORs?
A: Suggested sources for LORs include:
- Strongly encouraged, an optometrist who can state through documented experience that you know what the profession of optometry entails.
- A professor with whom you have done personal work (such as assisted on a specific project or served as a TA or reader), or with whom you took a course.
- An employer or extracurricular activity advisor who can comment about your maturity, diligence and conscientiousness.
- Do not send LORs from coworkers, someone you have supervised, relatives, or personal and family friends. These are inappropriate and can be detrimental to the review of your application.
Q: What is an Electronic Letter of Recommendation?
A: Recommendations are required to be completed electronically by your recommenders. It is suggested you contact the individuals writing the recommendations to confirm that they will be able to write your recommendation letter and to confirm their preferred email address. Please enter their email address and mailing address on the application. An email request from OptomCAS will be sent to the individual recommender directing them to a secured website for completion. After the individual completes the recommendation, they will submit it electronically to OptomCAS. Because OptomCAS recommendation requests may be caught by spam filters, applicants are encouraged to contact their recommenders to ask them to allow their email systems to “permit” the OptomCAS reference mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the request was not received by your recommender, contact OptomCAS Customer Service and the email will be sent again.
There are three status notifications:
- New – Recommender has been entered into the system.
- Incomplete – Recommender has logged onto the Recommendation Portal but has not submitted the LOR. Those who use the electronic LOR format will automatically receive a duplicate request one time per month until they either submit the requested recommendation or deny the request.
- Completed – Recommender has completed the LOR and has submitted it to OptomCAS.
Q: Can I have different LORs sent to individual programs?
A: No. Each LOR will be sent to all programs for which you are applying.
Q: How can I select a different person as a recommender than those I initially selected?
A: If the status is still “New” or “Incomplete,” you may delete that individual and add the new source. If the status is “Complete,” changes cannot be made.
Q: What does it mean to waive my right to access the recommendation?
A: You relinquish your access to the provided letter. If you do not waive that right, the recommender will know that you have access to read it.
Q: How can I view my LORs?
A: OptomCAS cannot allow you access to your LORs, nor can applicants view their LORs during the OptomCAS process. If you have not waived your right to access your LORs, once you have matriculated to a school or college of optometry, you may be able to then review your letters at that time and at the discretion of the institution.
Q: Can I change my waiver to view my recommendation?
A: No. Once a LOR has been received by OptomCAS, the waiver cannot be changed.
Q: Can I send a Committee Letter of Recommendation?
A: Please note some schools and colleges of optometry will not accept a Committee Letter, yet others may require it. If you are submitting a Committee Letter, be sure to check the requirements of each individual program for the types of letters they will accept.
Some pre-health advising offices compile academic/personal information and will also coordinate the collection of LORs in order to provide a “Committee Letter” for pre-optometry students. If the Committee Letter of Recommendation is a compilation from several individuals and contains one Recommendation Request Form and one letter, it will be considered as one LOR. The individual writing the recommendation completes the evaluation matrix on the Recommendation Request Form. OptomCAS will accept the name of a college pre-health profession advisor in lieu of the evaluator(s) on the recommendation form.
Q: Can I send LORs from a Letter Service?
A: Yes, college and university letter services may submit recommendations to OptomCAS, but it must be done through the electronic recommendation portal.
If you are submitting LORs through a letter service, you are strongly encouraged to have the original author(s) of the LORs complete the rating of attributes, which is Part I of the Recommendation Request Form.
Please note that while OptomCAS will accept the rating of attributes, which is Part I of the Recommendation Request Form, from a college official who is a designee for the college or university’s letter service office, applicants should also check with the individual programs for which they plan to apply to confirm that Recommendation Request Forms completed by a third-party will be accepted.
Q: Can LORs be sent using Virtual Evals?
A: Only recommendations completed through the OptomCAS online portal can be submitted electronically; therefore, OptomCAS will not be able to accept an electronic Virtual Evals.
Q: Can LORs be co-signed by a Teaching Assistant and a Faculty member?
A: Yes, a LOR from a Teaching Assistant must be co-signed or include the name and contact information of a Faculty member within the letter.
Q: Must I wait for my LORs to be complete before submitting my application?
A: It is not necessary, nor is it suggested, to wait until your recommenders have responded to submit your application.
Q: What types of letters will each Optometry school or college accept?
Please visit the Letters of Recommendation section on the OptomCAS home page for more information about what letters will or will not be accepted by each Optometry school or college.