10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2007
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hey guys,
I am finally ready to ask for recommendations, but my committee letter requires eight recommendations (all faculty, supervisors not included)! I find this number a bit exorbitant, and was wondering if this is common.

Of the eight I decided to ask for recommendations, I have perhaps made a strong impression/ impact on four or five. But what about the rest? These recommendations will clearly be nothing more than “she did well in my class, and was nice.” Should I go ahead with the committee letter or do separate recommendations through interfolio?

Thanks to whoever answers.


10+ Year Member
May 14, 2008
I think that is kinda crazy. Are you sure it isn't a max of eight? My school required at least 3. But I still think you gotta go with the committee letter, thought I would express your opinion to the committee. Schools may think you have something to hide, such as a judicial affairs issue or something if you forego the committee letter.
Sep 4, 2006
Inside the tesseract
Not going with the committee letter when your school provides it would be considered a red flag. I would say that eight letters is the most I've heard of and that they all need to be faculty I find extraordinary. You're liucky that 4-5 will be solid ones.

For those that don't know you as well, I'd make an appointment to discuss your career goals. Bring your CV, copy of transcript, copy of Personal Statement, and maybe a photo. Meeting with the faculty member is important so they can sorta get a feel for your personality and insert some personal observations in their letter so it looks like they know you. At the meeting remind the person of your contributions in class, insightful questions you asked, your excellent test scores, etc. At the end, ask if they feel they could write you a strong letter of support that could help you get into med school. If they waffle, say thanks for talking, and move on to someone else. Most will be happy to help you as it reflects positively on the institution to have their students accepted to med school.

If some of the letters turn out to be luke warm, it may be that the committee extracts the best comments among the letters and weaves them together into a better whole anyway, but at least you got the required number.