How old of an LOR is acceptable?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

SpicyHotSauce

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
118
Reaction score
155
I apologize in advance if this question is rudimentary. I was not able to find an answer to this through searching old posts.

I am preparing to reapply this coming year.

I have an LOR from a volunteer experience written in 2022. This writer retired soon after I left this organization.

Is this LOR okay to use this upcoming cycle? A new volunteer coordinator was hired shortly after I had left this organization.

I had previously reached out to this new volunteer coordinator to ask them if they could verify my experience for AMCAS. They were happy to and also mentioned that the previous volunteer coordinator that I worked with had nothing but positive things to say about me, and that they will be happy to provide a positive reference on the organization's behalf.

Is it worth asking them to write me a new LOR despite never having met them? Or should I try to find a new LOR to replace it? I would love to keep this LOR as this previous volunteer coordinator new me well, and I feel this letter is an accurate representation of me during my time at the organization.

Edit: Thought that I should mention that I also had this experience listed as one of my most meaningful experiences on AMCAS. It also made up the most hours of my clinical experience (500+ hours)

Members don't see this ad.
 
Last edited:
A couple of years is fine. If you left the organization, there's no reason why I would expect you to update it with the new supervisor.

As long as there is a letter that you have updated that shows your continued activity during the last application cycle, you are likely going to be okay. (Check with the schools, just in case.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Thank you for your response! I apologize, but can you please clarify a little more when you say "a letter that you have updated that shows your continued activity during the last application cycle"?

I only have 2 science prof LORs from 2021 (which I am in the process of getting updated) and 1 non-science prof LOR from 2023 (which also I am planning to get updated too). In case it matters, I graduated in 2022.

Should I tell these profs to mention what I've been doing in my gap years in the letter? I can also get an LOR from a volunteering that I've been doing from end of 2022 till now (about 1.5 years) in which I've accumulated roughly 150 hours so far and then submit a total of 5 LORs (the 3 profs, 2 volunteering LORs).

I'm a little hesitant on getting an LOR from my boss at work. I don't have the best, nor the worst relationship with them (although slightly leaning on the negative side), and would prefer to ask someone else for an LOR instead.
 
Thank you for your response! I apologize, but can you please clarify a little more when you say "a letter that you have updated that shows your continued activity during the last application cycle"?

I only have 2 science prof LORs from 2021 (which I am in the process of getting updated) and 1 non-science prof LOR from 2023 (which also I am planning to get updated too). In case it matters, I graduated in 2022.

Should I tell these profs to mention what I've been doing in my gap years in the letter? I can also get an LOR from a volunteering that I've been doing from end of 2022 till now (about 1.5 years) in which I've accumulated roughly 150 hours so far and then submit a total of 5 LORs (the 3 profs, 2 volunteering LORs).

I'm a little hesitant on getting an LOR from my boss at work. I don't have the best, nor the worst relationship with them (although slightly leaning on the negative side), and would prefer to ask someone else for an LOR instead.
Check with the schools what is most important to them regarding an updated letter, or how old letters can be. For me I've always wanted to be sure that if the applicant continued with postbac coursework that if one can get a professor letter, that helps me show the applicant was still going to classes during the past cycle. Your answer will likely just be relevant to your situation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top