• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

rosemma

MSU CVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2007
194
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Since all of my science classes were so huge, I never really got to know my profs. I wish I would have gone to more office hours to do so, but I didn't and now I am stuck not really knowing any of them. However, I did take some psych classes and I had the same prof for three of them and did well in all his classes and he liked me. The three classes were intro psych and then two psych labs. Do you think that this would look bad if I got one from him since he is not a "science" professor? It's pretty much I either ask him or ask a science prof I had where I was 1 out of 1300 students and just got a good grade in the class... what do you think?
 

ri23

OSU CVM Class of 2011
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2006
937
4
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
If a school requires a letter from a professor, they usually require it to be from a science professor. I'm guessing from your posts that you are done with classes? You can always go and sit down and talk to one of your science professors about your situation. I think when you are from a big school they may understand and maybe they can consult your ta about a recommendation.
 

egghead115

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2007
34
0
Northern CA
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Veterinary
I also went to a large university where my science lectures often had 200-300 students. There was little time for professors to know my face, much less get to know me well enough to write a reccomendation.

When I applied last fall, I had one letter from a professor from one of my physiology labs (a smaller class). After I graduated I took a scientific writing course at a four year institution, performed well, and received a second academic evaluation from that professor. Looking back on it, the letter from the second professor was probably more meaningful bc she had my graded papers with her original comments to look at. Her reccomendation probably proved I could not only memorize science facts, but also communicate through writing.

I suggest taking some more science classes, maybe a microbio lab, where you can get to know the professor better and get a reccomendation. Or look to your other classes for supplemental academic evaluations. You still probably need at least one letter though from an upper division science professor.
 
About the Ads

QTkitty

CSU PVM class of 2011
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2007
211
0
CO
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Although I do know many of my science professors, I don't know any of them as well as I know my advisor. Don't quote me on this either, but I think I remember hearing that vet schools prefer letters from advisors because they've had more time to get to know you than a professor you may have taken for a semester or quarter. If you don't know your advisor I would either suggest getting to know him/her or, like some other people suggested, take another science class and make an effort to get to know your professor. The vet schools aren't going to want to see a letter of rec from a non-science professor because they can't represent you as a science student. I hope that helps! :luck:
 

Capella

OK-State 2011
10+ Year Member
Nov 29, 2006
164
0
Oklahoma
www.facebook.com
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
One of my rec letters came from a science professor, but another came from a history professor at my school. Before I switched to pre-vet I was a History major, so this professor knew me very well. He is the best writer I know (has written books, etc.) and in previous beautifully written rec letters commented on my values, character, and how I conducted myself in class. I considered it a balanced way to do my letters. I don't know if I've been accepted to any schools yet though, so who knows if it hurt me? I wouldn't think so, with all this emphasis on character nowadays.
 

wildfocus

DVM/PhD student
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2006
575
2
Rocky Mountain High
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
going against the grain, but here are my 2 cents as someone in the academic field... actually, letters of rec should come from people who really know you. admission committees have your transcripts in front of them (with your science grades), but they want to hear from a peer (science or non), to see if you have the qualities it takes to succeed as a grad student. a lukewarm letter from a science prof will get you nowhere. it would be much better to have an outstanding letter from a non-science, but close professor, one who knows both your strengths and weaknesses and will be honest about your potential.
 

KittenKiller

chop suey
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2007
180
2
Kennett Square, PA
en.wikipedia.org
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I struggled with the same question, Rosemma, then realized that basically everyone at big schools just goes to an anonymous professor and gets them to write a recommendation letter. A lot of the time, I think, the TA's actually do most of the writing, or at least provide an outline of the student's qualities, and the professor formulates it into a letter and signs it. Its pretty sketchy in my opinion, not to mention it trivializes the whole "letter of recommendation" process.

If you need a science rec, maybe get the psych professor to ALSO write you a letter of recommendation, or make sure your other two letters are very strong. Its important to have at least one or two strong recommendations, from people who knew you personally and will put their heart and into the letter. Its probably fine to have one pretty bland one if you're sure the other two are going to be great.

Then again, a lot of the vet school web sites state specifically their formulas for admission. The few I saw I think said letters of rec were 5% of the factor in the decision making process. Really great letters will probably earn you bonus points in the admissions process, but Im thinking for the most part they're looking for people to say you arent crazy and are mature and easy to work with.

Oh well, just my two cents. No clue if Im right about anything at all ;)
 

rosemma

MSU CVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2007
194
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Thanks for all those that replied to my post - I just have one more question... the schools I am applying to actually only have one stipulation and that is that ONE needs to be from a vet - they don't say I need one from a prof at all but I just figured I pretty much needed to do that - what are you opinions? Should I do that or should I just find someone else who knows me better even if they aren't a prof?
 

ZoeyBay

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2007
63
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
That was the only stipulation for the school I applied to as well - one was recommended to be from a vet. So my three were from a vet, my anatomy professor, and my old boss (from a graphic design job). I believe (could be wrong) in addition to the letters they write, there is a little ~10 q questionaire where you are ranked on certain abilities 1-10. some of those include how you handle large/small animals - so i think that is something else to keep in mind. honestly, the anatomy professor was the last person I asked to write me a letter, and think it was probably my weakest since the other two know me very well and can speak highly of my abilities. I was accepted to the school.... so that is just something to think about.
 

Sassygirl

OSU CVM Class of 2011
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2007
49
0
Pennsylvania
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Veterinary
Thanks for all those that replied to my post - I just have one more question... the schools I am applying to actually only have one stipulation and that is that ONE needs to be from a vet - they don't say I need one from a prof at all but I just figured I pretty much needed to do that - what are you opinions? Should I do that or should I just find someone else who knows me better even if they aren't a prof?

It is probably good to get one academic letter of recommendation from an academic source for balance. This person will be able to comment on your academic abilities etc. Having a letter from this person will also prove that you stood out at your large undergraduate institution. My letter of recommendation came from my advisor (who also happened to be one one of the club advisors for our pre-vet club). How well do you know your advisor? Are you in any animal related clubs where you know the advisor well?

Recommendations are tricky things. You want to pick someone who knows you well enough to write you a good letter but you also want someone who understands how vet school admissions work, what the committees want to see, etc. In my opinon, that would be the downfall of choosing a non scientist to write you a letter.
 

4theanimals

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2006
154
0
Fort Collins, CO
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I would highly recommend at least one academic letter. I think if you don't the ad coms will wonder why. If you feel iffy on whether a particular professor will ask a good letter...be straight forward and ask them. Do you feel like you enough about me to write a glowing vet school recommendation? I had one letter from a vet I worked with, one from advisor/professor/DVM and my third letter was from my old boss (an attorney). I knew my old boss would speak very highly of me and would write an excellent letter and she did. So feel free to step outside the box a little, but I say one letter from a DVM and one academic are a must.
 

rosemma

MSU CVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2007
194
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Actually I am not over with school yet, but I am done with all of my pre-vet requirements. I am in a science class right now and it is VERY small - only about 8 students. But it isn't your traditional class - it is a seminar where every week we go to the departmental meetings where people present their new research and then we write a paper explaining it. In class, we all discuss what they presented, objectively and then subjectively. I really like it and that's probably because I want to do research as a veterinarian... even though it's not a typical science class, do you think that this would be an OK option? I was also thinking I could probably ask my pre-vet club faculty advisor instead, but I am not sure which one is the best. Any opinions?
 

ri23

OSU CVM Class of 2011
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2006
937
4
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I think the professor for your seminar would be an excellent reference, especially if you participate a lot in class. I think either would work, ask whomever you think knows you better and can write a stronger LOR.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.