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Before You Begin

References (sometimes called Letters of Evaluation, Letters of Reference, or Letters of Recommendation) are submitted by the references themselves; they cannot be completed or submitted by the applicant or another party on behalf of the reference. We are not responsible for verifying references' identities. If a discrepancy is found, we reserve the right to contact the appropriate individuals to investigate and to share the discrepancy with all programs.

Before getting started, consider the following:

  • All references must be submitted electronically by the references using the Standardized Reference Form located in the AAPI Online Recommender Portal.
  • Research each program's requirements. You should determine whether your programs have specific requirements regarding reference roles or relationships before listing references on your application. Many programs have strict guidelines and completed references cannot be removed or replaced. 
  • Prepare your references. Once you choose your references, be sure to inform them about the process and that they will be completing the reference electronically. We recommend getting their preferred email address and asking that they monitor that inbox for your reference request (which will come from, including any junk or spam folders.  


You are required to request at least 2 references; however, you can request and submit a maximum of 4 per program. Upon submission, it is your responsibility to indicate which letters should be sent to which programs. Please be mindful that programs may not want to receive more application materials than required. We recommend contacting your programs to determine their specific requirements and expectations. 

You can submit your application with New or Incomplete Standardized Reference Forms; however, your application will be considered incomplete all attached letters or forms are completed. 

Submit a Request

  1. Click Add New Entry.
  2. Click the checkboxes to indicate you agree to waive your right to access your reference. 
  3. Enter a note to your reference. 
  4. Click the checkboxes to indicate your permission for us (and programs) to contact your references.  
  5. Enter the reference's full name, email address, and phone number.
  6. Click Save
  7. Continue adding references as needed. Your letters of reference do not need to complete to submit your application, but you must submit the requests to your references. 

Note that if you choose to have a reference write more than one Standardized Reference Form on your behalf you must create multiple requests. For example, if you need a reference to write three Standardized Reference Forms you will need to create three requests. Be sure to identify every request with a reference file name and appropriate instructions detailed in the Notes to Reference section. After submitting the initial request, click Add Another Request for this Reference and enter all required information.