phonyreal98

10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2008
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MD/PhD Student
OK, so I have finished my interviews, and I'm about to write a Letter of Intent to one school that stood out among all the schools I interviewed at. I am absolutely, positively sure that if admitted to this school I would attend. Any tips on how to write the letter of intent? How long should it be (I'm thinking no longer than 1 page)? If I have significant family ties to the area, then should I mention these as well, or should I just stick to telling them about how it's a great mutual fit academically (although it would still be my top choice with or without the family ties)?
 

solitude

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2004
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OK, so I have finished my interviews, and I'm about to write a Letter of Intent to one school that stood out among all the schools I interviewed at. I am absolutely, positively sure that if admitted to this school I would attend. Any tips on how to write the letter of intent? How long should it be (I'm thinking no longer than 1 page)? If I have significant family ties to the area, then should I mention these as well, or should I just stick to telling them about how it's a great mutual fit academically (although it would still be my top choice with or without the family ties)?

Less than one page. Tell them why you love the school, that you have ties to the area, and that you pledge to attend if accepted. Don't lie.
 

K31

7+ Year Member
May 10, 2011
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Attending Physician
One paragraph. Max. They've already interviewed you, so they have all the data they need to accept or reject you. Mention that you think it would be a great fit for you academically and that you have personal connections to the area too, but do it in 2-3 sentences.

Also, don't expect a LOI to help too much, but it won't hurt.
 
Oct 26, 2012
137
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MD/PhD Student
One paragraph. Max. They've already interviewed you, so they have all the data they need to accept or reject you. Mention that you think it would be a great fit for you academically and that you have personal connections to the area too, but do it in 2-3 sentences.

Also, don't expect a LOI to help too much, but it won't hurt.
Mine was 3 paras/1 page long. I felt that I needed that much to adequately convey why that particular school was my top choice, but I probably wouldn't go over a page.
 

K31

7+ Year Member
May 10, 2011
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Attending Physician
Mine was 3 paras/1 page long. I felt that I needed that much to adequately convey why that particular school was my top choice, but I probably wouldn't go over a page.
My opinion is to keep it short. I wrote what is the equivalent of a LOI for residency applications a couple of weeks ago--it was a 2-sentence email. The longer it is, the less likely they are to read the whole thing.

Again, they already know everything they need to know about you in order to make a decision. Saying that you plan to come there if accepted isn't going to make a big difference in most cases. Plus people lie, and every program has multiple stories of people writing a LOI and then going elsewhere.
 
Oct 26, 2012
137
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
My opinion is to keep it short. I wrote what is the equivalent of a LOI for residency applications a couple of weeks ago--it was a 2-sentence email. The longer it is, the less likely they are to read the whole thing.

Again, they already know everything they need to know about you in order to make a decision. Saying that you plan to come there if accepted isn't going to make a big difference in most cases. Plus people lie, and every program has multiple stories of people writing a LOI and then going elsewhere.
You may be right. In my acceptance phone call, the adcom I spoke to mentioned my LOI very positively, so perhaps length is circumstantial. The pool of applicants MSTPs interview is relatively small, so perhaps they are less busy and more willing to read longer, more detailed letters than, say, an MD adcom is.