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How long does it take most professors to write LORS?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by [email protected], Dec 16, 2005.

  1. MEG@COOL

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    Please estimate within a window of 2 days.
     
  2. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    The PI I worked for had me write it and then filled it in with superlatives. (yeah, I think he's an ass and it totally defeats the purpose of an LOR.) It took me about a day to get it to him and he spent 2 more days sitting on it and filling in the blanks.
    I've had 2 professors who have gotten it out in 2 days - one only took a day.
    They all asked me how soon I'd like the letter. The trick is to give the professor a realistic time table - one week works well, I think. Don't make it too long, but don't make it too short.
     
  3. Avenue Q

    Avenue Q Senior Member
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    Forever.

    It is also considered extremely rude to give them less than 3-4 weeks if you haven't asked them for anything before (and they can't just tweak it and print it out). I have gotten letters for numerous reasons, and spoken with professors casually about the topic. do not give them less than a few weeks, or else they may say no/do a bad job/not turn it in.

    Professors suck at getting in LOR. Give them an EXACT DATE that you want it, and make it weeks before you actually need it. Stay on top of them - remind them when they have a month/2 weeks/1 week left.

    I would say start asking for them at the begining of March if you want them before you leave school at the end of the semester. It is a pain trying to get them over the summer because it is hard to contact them, they may be away from school or out of the country or starting their sabbatical that is the following semester.

    You still may have to pull teeth to get them. I had my pre-med committee writing 2 of mine e-mails all summer long, and i had asked them in March. And i go to the kind of school where i know them extremely well, have babysat for them - this ruined our relationships. I had to track them down from across the country. I was complete weeks later than I had hoped because I was waiting first for their letters, and then for my advisor to write the composite.

    Lots of people don't have trouble, but it is possible, and leave room for it.
     
  4. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    hello [email protected] give them about a month. some will submit them the next day, others won't write it until you give them a tap. always be thankful and understand they're busy. start asking now because winter break will be ideal for them to write and you don't want to end up completing late because LORs are holding you back.
     
  5. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    Give them 2 months if possible and give them a date that is before the actual due that, in case they're late. Ask if they'd like a reminder. Ask them if there's anything they need from you - I had one ask me for my transcript and resume, which is great because that gave him info to work with. Lots of time is important because you want them to do a good job and not resent you for getting them in a jam.
     
  6. p00psicleSTICK

    p00psicleSTICK cat's in the cradle
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    I asked about a month before and reminded them 2 weeks/1 week before the deadline. One sent his pretty quick (about a week?), one sent his out 1 week before the deadline, and one sent his like the day before the deadline. Just goes on to show you that it really depends on the person that you're asking and that you should give them ample time.
     
  7. es19

    es19 Member
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    about 1 month... not including school breaks and major holidays
     
  8. Non-TradTulsa

    Non-TradTulsa Senior Member - Resident
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    LORs take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months. Seriously, you do need to give your professor an exact date and get a commitment - and I agree that it is impolite to ask for a letter with less than 30 days' notice. But, the truth is, everybody is very happy to promise you a letter but they absolutely hate writing the darn things (I forgave my writers a little when I had to write a student evaluation for a premed friend - that sucker was stuck to my desk for days because it's such a hassle to think of fresh, nice things to say). Give them at least three weeks, but be prepared to start sending post cards and/or telephone calls (leave messages, 'cause they know why you're calling and probably won't take your call!).

    I used Interfolio letter-holding service and I highly recommend it to anyone. Not only does your letter-writer only have to send one copy of your letter to Interfolio - if you decide to add additional schools later, you don't have to go back and ask for additional copies of the letter to be sent (which can be ugly, from what some of my friends went through). Another thing that worked very well for me was that I gave each professor a 2-day express mailer to send the finished letter to Interfolio. They can just give those express mailers to the postman, but it conveys a sense of urgency.

    LORs are the Achilles heel of the entire application process. You can get your applications in early - but, if your letters are late, your app can sit in pending status for weeks or months. Once you get a commitment for a firm date, be prepared to get a little assertive - you might even have to strain the relationship a bit. But, once you've got your acceptance and go back to tell your professor that it was *his* letter that got you in, all will be forgiven. :laugh:

    The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
    Class of 2010
     
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  9. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    One of my profs took over 5 months. He told me to keep reminding him every month or so, so I diligently sent him a reminder the first week of each month. I asked in March, and the letter wasn't in until early August.
     
  10. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    maybe 2 days if they could assign grad students to the task, but a grad student couldn't even complete a task in 2 days. Maybe your professor's dissertion/grant monkey for the grad students and fund-raising could but it only produces logical statements every so often (once every 5 years).. but that's if PETA doesn't protest its working conditions or the circus does not recruit it.

    1 - 3 months is the norm from my experiences.
     
  11. nekrogg

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    sometimes i wish professors were straight up and told you how fast they would complete them and when they would start when they expect to finish. but then again this isnt utopia and the world sadly doesnt revolve around me :(
     
  12. DrKitty

    DrKitty Senior Member
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    If they are willing to write you a recommendation, I say give them at least a week. If it's anything close to a month, that is too long, and they won't start writing right away and eventually forget, you will have to remind them (this sucks). My boss wrote it in a day :)
     
  13. Sho

    Sho
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    How to remind them without making a pest of yourself?
     
  14. Sho

    Sho
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    One of my professors finished the letter in 1 week. Too quickly????
     
  15. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor
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    You need to give us at least a month, and it may take longer depending on our workload. Honestly, letters of recommendation are low priority in comparison to abstracts, manuscripts, grants, books, grading, committee work, candidate evaluation, advising, etc. Your needs do not necessarily translate into our obligations, and if the deadline is imminent, don't get huffy because we can't get it back to you immediately - your lack of preparation doesn't translate into our emergency.

    Additionally, it's good to provide supplementary materials to review - resume/CV, letters of interest/personal statements, copies of transcripts, etc. The letter of recommendation is supposed to mean something, and we put our reputation on the chopping block when we write them, so the more information we have, the better the letter we can write. Additionally, do not assume that letters of recommendation will always contain positive information. We can and do write honest assessments, including weaknesses.
     
  16. Sho

    Sho
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    I gave all of the writers 2 months.
    and I always asked whether they could write a positive letters. If they hesitated, I would've sought someone else.
     
  17. thoffen

    thoffen Member
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    I would say 2 weeks past whatever date you say you need the letter back.
     

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