galbijjim

2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2017
13
1
I'm going to be applying again this cycle and I have been thinking about changing up some of my letters of recommendation per some advice that I've received. Right now I'm about 1.5 years out from graduating, so I would be 2 years out by the time I submit this May. I'm wondering if anyone can help me pick my brain regarding the matter.

Letters used in previous cycles: a PI from a research internship, a PI that I had researched with for 2 years (classified as a professor), and a physics professor

Letters I am considering: Getting letters from one of the old PIs that I had used previously but refreshed, new science professor, and a doctor that I am scribing for

I have the ability to get letters from my more recent experiences since graduating, such as a hospital volunteer coordinator, nonclinical volunteering coordinator, tutoring company boss, and a doctor that I am scribing for.

I'm concerned about the quality of my letters if I email new professors from college, considering that it's been quite some time. I don't know what the general norm is because I am a non-trad now but graduated relatively? recently ago.
 

lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
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Most schools require two letters from science professors who have taught you (not sure your PI counts) and a non-science letter. I know some schools are more lenient towards non-traditional students, but that's typically people who have been out of college for 5+ years.

If I was in your position I would get a new science professor to supplement the physics professor (not replace), stay with the one or both of the letters from PIs you have right now, get a letter from the doctor you're scribing for (although MD schools don't place as much emphasis on this as DO schools), and get a non-science professor. So many schools have the non-science professor you're limiting your options if you don't have one.

You should just email your professors and see if they're open to writing you a strong letter. You might have to remind them who you are based on when you had them, but 1.5 years is not that long. Provide them with information like the grade you got, the semester they taught you, and offer to provide your transcript/resume/personal statement in helping them write this letter. This cycle, I used a letter from a business professor who taught me 4 years ago.

Alternatively, if you were to take more gap years before reapplying, you can always take more science courses. Both of my science professors were from my post-bac and I found that they were very receptive to writing me a letter, especially since I established a relationship with them early on.
 
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