7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
Medical Student
I am currently in the throes of secondary applications, and much to my chagrin, I keep seeing this requirement. A handful of the schools I'm applying to want a letter from the degree granting institution, and some what a letter from the "major department". I have letters from professors and my premed advisor at my postbac program, but trying to get letters from people who taught me over 8 years ago at my undergrad institution is like pulling teeth. My applications are otherwise ready, and I hate to have them sitting around while I hunt for extra letters. Anyone else run into this? Anyone have success with asking for exception or a work-around?


I Narcanned Your Honor Student
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2011
Favorite med school on the citadel
Medical Student
Have you called and explained your situation to the specific school(s)? I had a situation like that on a certain secondary, where if you transferred during your undergrad career they wanted letters from a professor at each institution (for me that would've involved getting letters from people I was taught by 15 years ago).

I called the medical school and briefly explained what the circumstances were, and they had no problem with my writing a short explanation on the secondary just like I'd said on the phone. They said it'd be fine, it happens, especially with non-traditionals.

So I encourage you to reach out to your schools! Some may be inflexible and in that case you might have to call it a loss, but I'm willing to bet you'll find quite a few are okay with it.