SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Email from Michigan!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Scooby Doo, Aug 3, 2001.

  1. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    Univ. of Michigan just emailed me today.
    I thought it was wierd that they said they did not want letters of rec with their secondary. But then just today, I got an email that told me to send in 3 letters of rec. One science, one non, and one of my choice.

    Can anyone tell me if Michigan would rather have a letter of rec from a TA who knows me better, a professor who has years of research but probably did not write as strong of a letter, or just some other type? Are they mainly research oriented or primary care?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Aoshi

    Aoshi Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    Most places don't like TA written references. Some schools will let your TA write one if the professor co-signs it. But in my eyes, that's just as meaningless because if you're asking the TA to write it, the professor doesn't know you well enough to tell if the TA is lying or not. And I'm sure med schools realize that too.
    I would go with the professor if possible.
  4. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    The main problem at UC Berkeley is that the classes are really really big and it's such a pain sometimes to talk to the Professors. However, I do have a few that I should be able to use.
  5. paisley

    paisley Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Scooby, I spoke with Patti Meyers in the Carrer Center and she recommended that if you do have a TA write the letter, ask him/her to write it as if both the professor and the TA are writing the letter. For example, "WE highly recommend Scooby-Doo bla bla bla." That way, it doesn't just look like the TA wrote it and the professor signed it as kind of an afterthought. I don't know if this will help you at this point but I wish you the best of luck! Go Bears!
  6. I have about seven recommendation letters in my file at career center, and most of them were from the TAs... I doubted if the professors signed mine... I have a feeling that professors disliked premeds at Berkeley... At least, that was the case four years ago.
  7. I vaguely remember that when I was requesting a leave due to grad school interviews at MCB 110L, professors were very happy to let me take the days off while they showed a sneering look when some students were requesting a leave for med school interviews... Berkeley, back I come! I am attending an international conference in California, and I will be back to my aluma mater for some fresh weed and trying to sort out my transcript situation. :D
  8. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Scooby and others,

    I TA'd O chem lab at my school for three semesters. When a student asked me for a letter, I would email the prof for the class and set up meetings for both me and the student. The prof would meet with me to get info on the student, then meet with the student in person. In the end, most of the info on the student came from me, but the actual letter came from the prof. For those of you at large universities with huge classes, try this avenue. :)
  9. kris

    kris Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2001
    great suggestion racergirl,

    I was also a TA who warned students that my letter would not have the clout of one from a FULL PROFESSOR (read: one with tenure). Letters from just about any prof will be fine, and TA letters will do in a pinch. They're just not the BEST kind of letter you can get.

    Even better is to get one signed by the CHAIR of the biology (chem, etc) department.

    Some disagree that TA letters are less valuable, but I will share what profs tell me about why they are PERCEIVED as less valuable.

    1) TA has far less experience in evaluating students compared to a tenured prof.

    2) Prof's reputation may be at stake when they make recommendations. TA's don't yet have that kind of name recognition stuff going on yet (usually).

    This is just to say why the prof letters tend to carry more weight. This isn't to say that it's right/fair or any of those other moral comments people like to make. It's just the way things are, justified or not.


Share This Page