How strict are Harvard and Columbia about their letter of recommendation reuqirements?

DaMightyBruins

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Harvard requires
  • Three individual letters of recommnedation from faculty members, two of which must be from science professors
Columbia requires
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from science professors

Currently I have letters from:
  • Ochem professor
  • Research lab PI (I technically get class credit for research)
  • Dentist
So I only have letters from 2 professors, which doesn't meet the requirements of either school. Neither school has emailed me about needing more letters though, is that a good sign?
 
May 27, 2016
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I only have two professor letters and got an application incomplete email from Harvard the other day.


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sarriball

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I don't think Columbia sends an application complete email but I did receive one from Harvard (I had a committee letter with three letters from science professors and one from a dentist).
 

Charles_Darwin

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I don't think Columbia sends an application complete email but I did receive one from Harvard (I had a committee letter with three letters from science professors and one from a dentist).
yup, same here. They did tell me that if I was missing something they would let me know with the email and I could send an additional LOR outside of AADSAS.
 
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DaMightyBruins

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Update: Just received a application incomplete email from Harvard today. Still mum from Columbia.

Guess I got 2 months to procure another LOR.
 

nonociceptors

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I got an interview from Columbia with 2 letters of rec from science and 1 non-science. I turned down the invite so I'm not sure if it would have been a problem but I doubt it. I know people starting this year at Columbia who didn't have 3 science letters. Didn't apply to Harvard so can't help you there, but I imagine they'd require 2 science 1 non science like they state. Columbia's the only weird school that said they want 3 from science which is pretty dumb imo.
 
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togo123

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I don't know if this helps but I sent in a letter from my research PI along with two science professors and Harvard counted that as one of the three.
 

sarriball

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I don't know if this helps but I sent in a letter from my research PI along with two science professors and Harvard counted that as one of the three.
Did you take it for credit? That technically counts as a science LOR.
 

togo123

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Did you take it for credit? That technically counts as a science LOR.
Yeah, I did take research for credit. However, for Columbia I specifically got one more letter from a science professor to make sure everything was covered. So I turned in 3 science letters in all, plus my research PI.
 
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Mar 6, 2013
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I already applied but have only 2 science teachers and a biomedical ethics letter and a dentist. I don't have enough time to get a 3rd science teacher. Should I bother with the secondaries or just save a little bit of money since I already wasted it by applying in the first place
 
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DaMightyBruins

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I got an interview from Columbia with 2 letters of rec from science and 1 non-science. I turned down the invite so I'm not sure if it would have been a problem but I doubt it. I know people starting this year at Columbia who didn't have 3 science letters. Didn't apply to Harvard so can't help you there, but I imagine they'd require 2 science 1 non science like they state. Columbia's the only weird school that said they want 3 from science which is pretty dumb imo.
Do you know if Colombia still does this? Would they let me know if they needed another letter from me?
 

Ms.2:30

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Sorry to revive an old post, but anyone know what happened with Columbia in the end with the 2 science professors and 1 non-science LOR? In the same situation right now.
 
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