Difficulty securing science professor recommendation letters

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joshualander

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Due to covid and classes being online, I am having trouble securing letters of recommendation from science professors. They have stated they don’t feel comfortable writing them because we haven’t met face-to-face. What should I do about this predicament?

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In my experience the committee exists to gather/synthesize the letters you already have. I don't know where you are in your schooling ie. freshman, soph, etc, but in the future if classes continue online then you need to reach out to your professor and say - I want to do graduate school, I need an LOR - how can I demonstrate to you I deserve a letter.

The simple truth is - if you take a class, never speak to the professor, never interact with the professor then what do they really have to offer you besides your grade. "This is a student. They earned a 89 with a class average of 79 and a standard deviation of 5. I have never spoken to them." I don't disagree that this will be more difficult than if you were able to speak to them face to face.

When I went to school I thought the best letter chances were organic chemistry and upper level science. The classes had labs, they were hard, lots of office hours available to discuss - the kind of opportunities to interact and show your interest.

Good luck.
 
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In my experience the committee exists to gather/synthesize the letters you already have. I don't know where you are in your schooling ie. freshman, soph, etc, but in the future if classes continue online then you need to reach out to your professor and say - I want to do graduate school, I need an LOR - how can I demonstrate to you I deserve a letter.

The simple truth is - if you take a class, never speak to the professor, never interact with the professor then what do they really have to offer you besides your grade. "This is a student. They earned a 89 with a class average of 79 and a standard deviation of 5. I have never spoken to them." I don't disagree that this will be more difficult than if you were able to speak to them face to face.

When I went to school I thought the best letter chances were organic chemistry and upper level science. The classes had labs, they were hard, lots of office hours available to discuss - the kind of opportunities to interact and show your interest.

Good luck.
I’m a senior. I’ve gotten my physics professor to write one since I took the class before Covid but my microbiology professor who I thought would be willing to write one stated she didn’t feel comfortable because we haven’t met face-to-face, even though we’ve met over zoom three times and have spoken during exam review sessions a couple of times. I expressed interest all throughout the semester and have had several assignments featured on our class discussion forum. She’s a difficult one haha.
 
Do you have a pre-health committee at your school? If you get one from the committee and a podiatrist that should be fine.
I do but I am a “hybrid” student. I’m an online student but all prerequisites classes related to podiatric medicine have been taken in person, except during covid of course. I don’t feel as though I’d qualify for a committee letter because of this even though I’m a health science major.
 
I don’t feel as though I’d qualify for a committee letter because of this even though I’m a health science major.
pre-health committees usually have a GPA requirement. I was rejected by mine because I didn't have a 3.6 or higher
you may want to just stick with individual letters
 
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I’m a senior. I’ve gotten my physics professor to write one since I took the class before Covid but my microbiology professor who I thought would be willing to write one stated she didn’t feel comfortable because we haven’t met face-to-face, even though we’ve met over zoom three times and have spoken during exam review sessions a couple of times. I expressed interest all throughout the semester and have had several assignments featured on our class discussion forum. She’s a difficult one haha.
Boo. That sucks. You have a physics letter - that's something. Can you find something that doesn't technically meet the letter of the requirement that would still open doors for you. I went back to podiatry school years after undergrad, masters, short career etc. I had a positive relationship with a professor from my masters who - dun dun dun - declined to write a letter because it had been so long. I had worked for several years for a laboratory at my undergrad. My boss was a PhD and some other stuff and he was happy to write one for me. It had the vibe of a science type person. I'm not saying you are going to have that - I'm saying you may just need to find positive relationships where when your whole profile is put together they simply state - hey, these letters are fine even if they don't technically identically meet the listing.
 
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Boo. That sucks. You have a physics letter - that's something. Can you find something that doesn't technically meet the letter of the requirement that would still open doors for you. I went back to podiatry school years after undergrad, masters, short career etc. I had a positive relationship with a professor from my masters who - dun dun dun - declined to write a letter because it had been so long. I had worked for several years for a laboratory at my undergrad. My boss was a PhD and some other stuff and he was happy to write one for me. It had the vibe of a science type person. I'm not saying you are going to have that - I'm saying you may just need to find positive relationships where when your whole profile is put together they simply state - hey, these letters are fine even if they don't technically identically meet the listing.
I could probably come up with something🤔 I’m wondering if pod schools are being a little more forgiving on letter requirements. It might be a common thing that professors aren’t developing the relationships they might otherwise have had with a normal class therefore leading to some students not securing letters. Or it’s just me haha.
 
Semi-relevant to the thread. When I was getting a podiatrist to write me a letter for admissions the doctor I asked said: “sure I’ll sign you a letter. You just have to write it”

Never knew if it was unethical. I mean he did sign it himself, but was pretty awkward writing about myself.

I don’t think admissions usually care too much about the letters though. Just a standard hoop to jump through. They’re much more concerned about gpa, MCAT, interview. So if you really just find anyone you’re probably good. I’d mass email old professors if you’re on a time crunch and your trying to get accepted for this fall. I’d imagine most science professors who teach premed classes have a standard “fill in the name” recommendation letter.
 
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