Did you apply through a pre-health advisor or committee?

Phish

7+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2010
113
1
Status
Dental Student
Hey all,

Just wondering what you guys thought of applying to dental school without going through your college's pre-health advisor or committee. I just met with my advisor today for the first time, and she seemed pretty upset that I didn't come earlier. I spent most of my efforts on maintaining a good GPA (3.75), doing research, and doing well on the DATs- but I haven't volunteered or done anything like that yet, and I'm only planning on shadowing for a little bit. I have a really good relationship with a few professors, and I think they can write me really solid LORs.

My question is, on most schools' websites they say you can either have one letter from your pre-health advisor, or have three or four individual letters from professors. I've heard that some schools prefer getting the one letter from the advisor. Do you think it makes that big of a difference? I really think that if she lumped together four LORs into her own letter, she would really not be able to do a good job summing it all up, and it could be detrimental to my application. I don't really see the logic in this, how schools would prefer a letter from someone who I know for just a couple of hours vs. a professor who I've had a close relationship with throughout college. But whatever.

So, what do you guys think?
 
Aug 18, 2010
100
1
Status
Dental Student
A committee letter and a letter from the pre-health advisor are not the same thing. Definitely ask the professors who know you well to write your letters. I wouldn't worry too much about using pre-health resources or talking with advisors, at most schools they are too busy to give you really personalized advice.
 
Nov 15, 2010
12
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I think it depends on the school, but I wonder if you're talking about the committee letter? Because that will take the place of your LOR's and is different from just a letter from the adviser. At my school we're required to apply through the pre-health committee if we want our transcripts sent out (so we really don't have a choice in the matter), and we're required to submit at least 3 LOR's to them first so they can make a composite letter. I'm not sure how this compares to the separate letters though, I can't really comment on the quality of a committee letter vs. regular letters since you waive your right to see any recommendations. My feeling is if you can get a really good committee letter then it could benefit you since they may have some insider information on the application process. I know our committee does mock interviews and things for the applicants. I would look into what they have to offer you, but if they're not as involved as my school is then you might be better off without it. I doubt that schools will care that you gave them 3 really good LOR's instead of a committee letter if you're a good applicant. :)
 
Last edited:
Aug 14, 2009
38
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I decided not to have the pre-health advisor at my school write a committee or chair letter. At an info session at the dental close to my home, the chair of admissions said that his institution didn't have a preference for a commitee/chair letter over individual letters from your references directly (but unsure if other schools have a strong preference). That made the decision easier for me. I am a post-bac student, plus my brother just graduated from dental school so he was a way better resource than the advisor. I found myself making up reasons to go meet with the advisor so I could "get to know them" so they would be able to write me a good commitee/chair letter. Plus it was a hassle, and waiting for the letters to be done on time, plus fee on an already expensive process, plus the questionnaire that in my opinion was to weed out naive, uncommitted students. That is just my $.02.
 

lusity

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2009
63
0
Status
Dental Student
At my school, the committee letter is a compilation of the letters of recommendations that the applicant plans on submitting. I'm not sure whether the advisor compiling the letters includes a personal evaluation of the applicant or not. It costs $$$ with an early deadline, and they requested a lot of information: personal statement, calculated overall GPA, science GPA, resume, etc etc. In my opinion, it was worth getting the committee letter done. A lot of schools have different requirements for letters of evaluation, such as one from a chemistry professor, one from a biology professor, etc. I didn't have to worry about that because schools accept either the committee letter or their requirements of letters from specific professors.
 
OP
Phish

Phish

7+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2010
113
1
Status
Dental Student
Thanks for all your input- was really helpful! I'm leaning toward foregoing the committee letter (at the end of the day, I think that's what it would be). Around my college it's known that the pre-health advisor tends not to be so helpful. I think I'm gonna call up a few schools that I plan on applying to, making sure that there's not that big of a difference, and then continue by myself. :rolleyes:
 

peanutb123

10+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2008
1,211
8
Status
Pre-Dental
here is how mine did it. Wrote a committee letter, cover letter, then attached all the 4 recommendation letters to them. Scanned all 6 pages. Sent it to aadsas :)

in pdf.
 
Nov 28, 2010
61
0
Texas
Status
Dental Student
here is how mine did it. Wrote a committee letter, cover letter, then attached all the 4 recommendation letters to them. Scanned all 6 pages. Sent it to aadsas :)

in pdf.
same with mine, I think it depends on what school you go to because everyone is different. You should also check the dental school websites because some might prefer that you go through a committee. You don't have to get reviewed or anything, they could just compile them for you with a cover letter attached.