how many letters to send?

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Jan 3, 2005
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im positive this has been covered before, but the lack of a search tool coupled with the constant posting has buried this topic. i have 3 solid letters (1 chem prof, 1 economics prof i did research with, 1 nurse who i did research with).

i was an economics major in college, so i was lacking in the science letter category. so, for UCSD which requires 2 science letters i am in the process of getting a letter from this bio class i am taking now as my last pre-req. the class is only half way through, but i aced the midterm and i enrolled in the class 2.5 weeks late. the class manager and the professor are impressed with me, but obviously know me very little, so i've come to understand the letter will probably be lacking on the personal character front.
i also have been working in a research lab for about 3 months and the PI there loves me and offered to write me a letter. i told her to hold off because i didnt think that at 2 months, that letter would say much to adcoms and i already had the 3 minimum.

so, here is the million dollar question. is 3 strong letters just as good as 3 strong letters+2 not as strong letters? i mean, should i send this bio class letter to the schools that arent requiring it... and should i get this research letter and just send it off?

i know im very late in the game, but this should all be done by this week hopefully.


i tell everyone who asks about LORs to get 2 from science profs, one from a major prof (if outside of science), and one from a substantial source of medical experience (aka research, shadowing, etc).

i'd say get to know your bio prof in the little time you have and make sure it is a strong LOR. send in 3+2 as meeting requirements for the schools that do require 2 sci LORs is better than neglecting that rule. for the other schools who don't have that requirement, i think sending just the 3 strong ones is fine.