Apr 30, 2009
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I'm thinking about applying to medical school this coming summer so I have been poking around at different school's requirements. I noticed that some schools have the requirement of having two letters from science professors that you have taken classes with. So right now I have one LOR from my PI who teaches an upper division cell biology class. However, I actually haven't taken that class. I also one other science professor that I have gotten to know. So my question is... do I need to get another LOR from another science professor? Most schools seem like they just want 2 science faculty LORs but a few (namely Harvard and UC Irvine) actually want you to have taken their classes. Thanks for any insight!

Edit: I looked through search and didn't find any relevant threads. Hopefully it's not redundant.
 

TexasPhysician

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The way school's would find out is if the LOR's don't talk about your academic achievement in their class within their LOR. It does seem like a picky requirement, and they probably won't follow up on it, however, I can't tell you not to try and get a LOR from a teacher.

For example: One residency program I applied to "required" a LOR from an IM faculty. I didn't see this requirement before I applied, but I still got an interview. Now I didn't rank this program high enough to match there, but I'm fairly certain the IM letter wouldn't have held me back.

I wouldn't not apply to programs because you don't have the LOR's, but I would still try to fulfill the requirements.
 
Apr 30, 2009
9
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The way school's would find out is if the LOR's don't talk about your academic achievement in their class within their LOR. It does seem like a picky requirement, and they probably won't follow up on it, however, I can't tell you not to try and get a LOR from a teacher.

For example: One residency program I applied to "required" a LOR from an IM faculty. I didn't see this requirement before I applied, but I still got an interview. Now I didn't rank this program high enough to match there, but I'm fairly certain the IM letter wouldn't have held me back.

I wouldn't not apply to programs because you don't have the LOR's, but I would still try to fulfill the requirements.
Thanks for the input! Gah now I have to decide whether to just submit my PI's rec as one of the science professors or to get a very mediocre rec from a teacher who doesn't even know me. Also just to make sure, biological psychology wouldn't count as a science right?
 

TexasPhysician

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Thanks for the input! Gah now I have to decide whether to just submit my PI's rec as one of the science professors or to get a very mediocre rec from a teacher who doesn't even know me. Also just to make sure, biological psychology wouldn't count as a science right?
It wouldn't count in your science gpa, but I would argue myself that psychology is VERY MUCH a science.
 
Feb 22, 2010
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Hi, I'm very much in the same predicament as you. Would you like to try and compile an updated list of which schools are stringent with the 2 LORS from sci profs that you've taken a class with- rule? I too have one that is from a PI but hasn't taught me a class. It's really hard to decide, because at this point I'm looking at mediocre letters.
 

bobsmith

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Sep 15, 2008
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The way school's would find out is if the LOR's don't talk about your academic achievement in their class within their LOR. It does seem like a picky requirement, and they probably won't follow up on it, however, I can't tell you not to try and get a LOR from a teacher.
The other way that schools can find out is if, on their secondary, you have to list your Letter of Recommendation writers and which class you took from them. I can't recall off the top of my head exactly which schools required this, but I know that some definitely did.

Anyway, I would probably just send in the PI letter (and put the future class you're taking with the PI or any research unit classes you took, if any). If you really wanted to be safe, you could just get another science letter, send it to AMCAS, and then assign it to a school if/when a school decides to be a real stickler about their policies.
 
Feb 22, 2010
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So you can send in your secondary, and then if the letter doesn't meet their requirements they'd let you know and you can send again with another letter attached?