asking TA for LOR

uclakid

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    The general idea is that one of your LORs should be from a humanities professor. I have hardly taken any, so that is going to be hard. However, I just took a literature class (for med school English req) and did well in it. I got to know the TA, but I never spoke to the professor...ever...So, what's the consensus on asking a TA for a LOR? Is it fine?

    thanks
     
    Certainly it's fine, but I doubt it will carry any weight with an adcom. Generally unless the letter is from at least an assistant professor, it's pretty much going to get thrown in the old "circular file."

    Not all schools will want a humanities letter, especially if you're a science major. It's better to get some strong letters from profs in your major and maybe an employer or someone who you did volunteering with.

    But, if you have all those, sure, ask the TA...couldn't hurt.....
     
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    spaz

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      Originally posted by uclakid
      The general idea is that one of your LORs should be from a humanities professor. I have hardly taken any, so that is going to be hard. However, I just took a literature class (for med school English req) and did well in it. I got to know the TA, but I never spoke to the professor...ever...So, what's the consensus on asking a TA for a LOR? Is it fine?

      thanks

      you can try, but i don't know if it'll work. i tried this w/ one of my TAs at ucla, and when i checked w/ the prof, he said he wouldn't do it b/c it wouldn't really be effective. instead he offered to write the letter himself.
       

      periodic

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        Dueteronomy is right. It absolutely should be co-signed by the professor, in which case it's perfectly great. At least, that's what my premed advisor said about one of my recs (orgo TA wrote it, prof co-signed it and added a bit about my performance relative to the class overall).

        If you can't get it co-signed, you probably do not want to use it..
         

        hamhamfan

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          Originally posted by Deuteronomy
          uclakid,

          get it co-signed by the professor and you'll be set!

          How do the ADCOMS know who wrote the letter? I'm thinking of doing this myself...but I found out that the TA I knew has lost his job and I don't know how to contact him now. :(
           

          Plastix.MD

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            I think it would be better to get a LOR from a distinguished professor or physician. Getting a LOR from a TA will carry little to no weight.

            The whole point of the LOR is to vouch for character, such as compassion, dedication, and humanistic qualities. It would mean more, in my opinion, if a professor who has seen hundreds to thousands of students to "vouch" for you and say that you would make an excellent physician.

            TA's are just students like you and I, so it would be hard to use their LOR to "completely" convince the adcom panel.

            :rolleyes:
             

            MrTee

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              It's absolutely fine to get a TA to write the LOR as long as it's cosigned by the prof. I've TA'd for 2 profs that directed lor requests to me since I had the most contact w/ the student. Schools know that it's not easy to get to know profs in big lecture classes that well to write strong letters.
               

              MErc44

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              1. Attending Physician
                Originally posted by MrTee
                It's absolutely fine to get a TA to write the LOR as long as it's cosigned by the prof. I've TA'd for 2 profs that directed lor requests to me since I had the most contact w/ the student. Schools know that it's not easy to get to know profs in big lecture classes that well to write strong letters.


                the point is to get to know the professor. It's not really that hard to go to office hours a few times and introduce yourself and ask some questions. I personally would never send a letter written by a TA. I know someone who had letters from a TA and as a result was not complete at many schools, they simply didn't accept the letters by a TA. It's foolish to ask for a letter from a professor if they don't know anything about you.
                 
                Originally posted by MErc44
                the point is to get to know the professor. It's not really that hard to go to office hours a few times and introduce yourself and ask some questions. I personally would never send a letter written by a TA. I know someone who had letters from a TA and as a result was not complete at many schools, they simply didn't accept the letters by a TA. It's foolish to ask for a letter from a professor if they don't know anything about you.

                I concur. :thumbup:
                 

                jlee9531

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                  Originally posted by hamhamfan
                  Duh. Sorry. What I meant was "How do ADCOMS know who wrote the letter?"

                  usually the author of the letter signs her name first...but generally...even if the professor did not write the letter its known that they sign it first anyway since they know what it means to the person they are recommending.
                   
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