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Letter of Recommendation from a TA

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by angldrps, Apr 6, 2012.

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  1. angldrps

    angldrps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    One of the classes at my undergad. was taught entirely by a TA without any professor supervision. Since the TA had all the responsibilities that a professor has and our class was never introduced to a professor, I had assumed the TA was actually the professor and had her write me a letter. Recently, I found out about this and contacted the TA regarding this letter. She told me that T.A. are considered instructors in the case of this particular class. She also informed me that even though there is no professor, this class does have a course coordinator.

    This is one of my strongest letters so would hate to not be able to use it.

    Has any of you guys have experience with getting a Letter of Recommendation written by a TA and cosigned by the professor/course co-ordinator?
    any advice will be appreciated!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
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  3. angldrps

    angldrps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2010
  4. ManBroDude

    ManBroDude Half man, half bearpig 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I don't think a Letter from a TA will carry as much weight as one from the department head with a PhD who is well known in academic circles.

    Keep in mind schools call your letter writers to ask questions...
  5. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016 10+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    Any chance she is a PhD? Maybe a postdoc? In some schools, the TAs are grad students and therefore not considered science faculty. This is all speculation based on the requirements I have seen and common sense on my part, but I could be wrong. Email the schools.
  6. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually 7+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    A fly-over state
    Have the TA put in a good word about you to the coordinator and ask them for a letter.

    I would strongly recommend against using a letter from a TA as opposed to a professor with credentials.
  7. costales

    costales 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Not a great idea. TAs and RAs are the slaves of academia, and their letters will be treated accordingly.
  8. AgDoc84

    AgDoc84 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    I had a great TA that knew me and my abilities. Got her to write a letter, and I got in. To be fair, I had other weighty letters, but who knows what they even said. Yes it is a risk, but in my opinion it's better to have a strong letter from someone with a lower rank than it is to have a form letter from the dean.
  9. jinobi

    jinobi 5+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Need LORs from PhDs, not TAs. If you still need to, have the PhD cosign the letter with the TA.
  10. TheSeanieB

    TheSeanieB 2+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  11. Santorum Surge

    Santorum Surge Banned

    Apr 9, 2012
    She probably has a Ph.D which is fine. As long as she can speak to your character and abilities it's okay. I had a letter cosigned by my TA and prof since it was a huge lecture class and I knew (wink, wink) my lab GTA quite well. :) Totally worth it btw.
  12. Whosis

    Whosis 2+ Year Member

    May 31, 2011
    I had a TA and am Instructor at a community college class I took write me letters. I also had the traditional Ph.D. letters in there as well. My thought process was would they rather have a letter from someone who knows my work or someone who has graded my scantrons. Got five acceptances so it must not have been that bad.
  13. angldrps

    angldrps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    thanks to all the advice. I decided to have the course director co-sign the letter. Mostly because I know this is one of my strongest letter that truly speaks about my attributes, which is better than getting a letter from someone who barely remember me . hopefully, this won't hurt me. fingers crossed
  14. Flim Flam Man

    Flim Flam Man Graham Cracker Surprise 5+ Year Member

    I'd for sure keep the letter, some grad students are willing to ghost write the letter and have a prof sign it as if they wrote it, I think that is actually pretty common, maybe they will do the same for you? Either way it would be better to have a really good letter of rec from someone who truly knows you than a crappy vague letter from a prof that doesn't know you well. Maybe you can quick get a vague letter from another prof to offset the TA letter, that way you will have met all your requirements for LORs and still have one that is pretty strong

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