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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 references using the PhORCAS Evaluator 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. Refer to the Participating Programs Directory for more information. 
  • 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 3 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. 

Submit a Request

  1. Click Add New Entry.
  2. Enter a title. If this reference is intended for a specific program, include the program name in the title. 
  3. Enter a note to your reference. 
  4. Click the checkboxes to indicate your permission for us (and programs) to contact your references.  
  5. Click the checkboxes to indicate you agree to waive your right to access your reference. 
  6. Enter the reference's full name, email address, and phone number.
  7. Click Save
  8. 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. 
  9. Confirm with your reference that they received the request. 

Submitting Multiple Requests to One Reference 

If you ask a reference to provide more than one letter of reference on your behalf,  you must create multiple requests for this reference. For example, if you need a reference to submit three custom references, you must create three separate requests. Once you submit the first request, click the Add Another Request for this Reference link and enter all required information. Repeat these steps for each additional letter required by this reference.

Make sure each request is identified in the title (e.g., type and name of program) and appropriate instructions are detailed in the Notes to Reference section.

Monitoring Requests

Use the Status tab to monitor your reference requests. It is your responsibility to ensure that your reference requests were received and completed on time. PhORCAS will not notify applicants about missing references. 


Note that you automatically waive the right to view any references you request.