how many letters?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by 777, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. 777

    777 Member

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    I was going to send 3 letters to a particular school that requires only 2, but I had heard that sending 5 letters will be better. Although I will have 5 letters available, I planned on only sending 3 because one may not be a very strong letter, and the another one may sound too religious considering its from a pastor. The letter from the pastor has not been completed either, and I know having a complete file early is important in this application process. What do you guys suggest I do? How many letters should I send? I'm leaning towards 3...
     
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  3. booie00

    booie00 Junior Member

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    777,

    Why aren't you using your pre-health counselor's recommendation? What I heard is that most med schools prefer a composite letter from a counselor rather than have several letters sent to them. Of course maybe your school does not have a pre-health advisor or maybe you have been out of school for a while and have no contacts with one... Just curious.
     
  4. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I know you didn't ask, but many schools explicitly say that they don't want letters from family, friends, or clergy. I don't know your situation, or the attitude at the schools you are applying to, but I'm not sending in any of the above type letters.
     
  5. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    If you didn't actually work with your pastor, then don't send that letter. The only school that I know of that takes letters from clergy and seriously looks at them as a "personal reference" is Loma Linda. It might even look bad, because schools can interpret that as a sign that you weren't able to get people that you worked with to write letters for you. However, if you did actually work with the pastor (ie: you worked closely with him/her as a youth group leader, or along that lines), then a letter from your pastor would be perfectly fine.

    Also, make sure that the school WILL accept more than 2 letters. Some schools are very strict about this, and will throw out any extra letters they receive. Otherwise I think 3 letters are fine, as long as they are strong letters. It's better to only send 3 strong letters rather than 3 strong and 2 weak letters, because the messages of the 3 you like would get "diluted" if you send 5.

    Remember that you can also send in extra letters after you have already send in your original application. I would recommend sending in the 3 now with your secondary, then if there are any others you decide to send later, you can send them in when you want.
     
  6. Barton

    Barton Senior Member

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    I'm not sending the same letters to every place. Some (like Pritzker) only want a pre-med advisor letter (if you have it). That sucked for me, cuz I have other letters that might carry some pretty good weight. Other schools ask for particular letters (e.g. 2 from profs-1 science), but will accept others in addition (MCW does this). My school accomodates this by keeping all my letters in a file. Whenever I want them sent, I just pick out the ones to send, write a check for $7.00, and boom- they're out.
     

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