letters of rec

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Suey

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I have a question about letters of rec. Do pharm schools want lor's from certain fields? For example, I know for medicine, most schools ask specifically for 2 lor's from science professors and 1 non-science prof that have taught you. Are pharm schools the same? Generally, how many letters are a good amount?
 

ooscubaoo

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how do you go about getting letter of recommendations from science professors? The lecture classes have more than 400 students and professors don't know all their students. how do you guys get letter of recommendations from your professors?
 

VP_Pharm2004

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Originally posted by Suey
I have a question about letters of rec. Do pharm schools want lor's from certain fields? For example, I know for medicine, most schools ask specifically for 2 lor's from science professors and 1 non-science prof that have taught you. Are pharm schools the same? Generally, how many letters are a good amount?


Most pharmacy schools tell you how many they want. Some even tell you the maximum number of letters. Generally it's 4 letters: 2 from science professors, an employer, and a pharmacist.
 

LVPharm

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Originally posted by ooscubaoo
how do you go about getting letter of recommendations from science professors? The lecture classes have more than 400 students and professors don't know all their students. how do you guys get letter of recommendations from your professors?

You've gotta go to office hours and/or ask questions after lectures...make yourself known! You should see the premeds at UC Irvine do their stuff...shameless brownosers ;) Big lecture hall classes don't phase them any! They also had a program where you and a bunch of your fellow classmates can invite a professor to lunch at the residential dining hall...free for the professor, of course. It wasn't uncommon to see some of the biological science professors eating lunch with students. Engaging in undergraduate research is another way to get a letter of rec from a professor.

By the way, if you do any of your science classes at a JC, that's also an easy way to get to know your professor since the class sizes are small.

As far as what my school required, we wanted 3 LOR's:
an academic source (professor, advisor, etc.); a professional source (employer, pharmacist, other health care professional); and any source other than the applicant's significant other or relative.
 

ooscubaoo

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Originally posted by LVPharm
You should see the premeds at UC Irvine do their stuff...shameless brownosers ;) Big lecture hall classes don't phase them any! .

Whoa really? i go to UC Irvine and i've never noticed. Maybe i gotta sit in front of the class where all those people come in with their tape recorders and what not. Thanks for the tip.
 

Sukie

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Suey, it's a good idea to get letters of rec from science professors that can demonstrate your ability to do well in the type of courses that you will encounter in pharmacy school. Most schools will specify how many letters are required and from which sources. I got mine from a pharmacist that I worked with, as well as my TA for a microbiology lab class that I took. Check with the schools that you're interested in... most schools are very specific about what they want (and don't want). Good luck to you :)
 

calgal03

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my class sizes were usually around 200-400 students as well and the way I got my recommendations was through my TAs (the professors signed it). since they may know you better, they will write a more thorough recommendation (hopeful). one of my TAs even gave me a copy of it so that I know what was on it.
 

eddie269

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Hey Calgal03. when you ask your TA to write a letter of rec., how does that work? does the TA just write you one, then ask the professor to help you out? did you even talk to the prof at all or did the TA do all the work for u?

Just curious because I go to UC Davis and all of my science courses are 300-400 students. But I will go to a JC next year.:(
 

jemc2000

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I have developed a good relationship with my Chem I prof, and she will also be teaching my Chem II this summer. Would she be a good choice, or being a lower level class, would it not be as impressive? Also, since I won't be applying until next winter, and her classes are over in August, will that be too early to get a LOR?
 

shal

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Michele,
If your Chem I prof can write an excellent recommendation then go for it. I believe the important thing is to get a recommendation from a science professor. Many schools have a recommendation form that they want the professors to fill out. You can get your prof's contact info and have her fill it out when you are applying. Also, many universities have a pre-professional advisor who can write a committe letter. When I was applying, I went to see the advisor who basically interviewed me and wrote a very lengthy letter. Also, when you have a prof fill out a rec, provide them with more details about yourself. You may even want to give them a copy of your personal statement.
 

Sukie

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jemc2000, it's never too early to get a rec letter. I think this is a great opportunity for you to get a great letter from someone who knows you well. It's more important that it's from a science professor who knows you well than whether the class is upper or lower division... most colleges won't care. Be sure to speak with your professor and address your future goals and other things that you are involved in, so that she/he can write a well-rounded letter. Take advantage of this now.... it's a great opportunity!
 

calgal03

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hey eddie,

basically my TA took care of everything. she just wrote the recommendation and asked the professor to sign it. you may want to ask ahead of time so the TA has time to ask the professor.
 

Sinderella

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Have any of you ever asked a professor you had never talked to for a lor? Maybe I will ask my old chemistry professor from JC. I hope he will still remember me, it has been around 2 years since I had his class.
 
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jdpharmd?

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Originally posted by Sinderella
Have any of you ever asked a professor you had never talked to for a lor? Maybe I will ask my old chemistry professor from JC. I hope he will still remember me, it has been around 2 years since I had his class.

I can't imagine that it will be a very meaningful letter if you've never talked to them and it's been 2 years since you even had the class. The idea is to ask people who know you as more than a number. PharmCAS has your GPA, there's no need for a letter that says "so and so got an A in my class two years ago".
 

Sinderella

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I used to talk to my JC chem professor but it has been 2 yrs since I had his class and he has probably had so many students since then so I don't know if he will still remember me. I at at UF now and havn't had a chance to talk to any of my professors there. I guess I will have to go to their office hours or something.
 

jdpharmd?

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Originally posted by Sinderella
I used to talk to my JC chem professor but it has been 2 yrs since I had his class and he has probably had so many students since then so I don't know if he will still remember me. I at at UF now and havn't had a chance to talk to any of my professors there. I guess I will have to go to their office hours or something.

Even if he was completely willing to write you a letter, it would be really tough to avoid the important details, such as the class title, the date that you took it, etc. A letter that begins "I had XXXX for a student two years ago for general chem 1 at JC" isn't really the most impressive thing out there. Stop by your prof's office hours, get to know one or two by joining their club/pet project/research and get a letter from them. I know that you have good intentions, but I don't think the schools will see it that way.
 

ucdbiochem

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or write one yourself and ask if the chem professor would sign it.
 

Sinderella

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Thanks for the advice. I guess I will just do the office hours thing and see if I can't work in a professors lab or something. I will be taking physics 2 this summer so I know I will be going to office hours on a regular basis.
 

jdpharmd?

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Originally posted by Sinderella
Thanks for the advice. I guess I will just do the office hours thing and see if I can't work in a professors lab or something. I will be taking physics 2 this summer so I know I will be going to office hours on a regular basis.

I think that would absolutely be the best choice. That would be a much, much better situation. Office hours, lab work, and a relationship with the (higher lever, science) professor from the start is pretty much the perfect letter of rec. Giving them a copy of your personal statement or resume might also be helpful. If you are working in a pharmacy/hospital setting right now, get a letter of rec from your pharmacist/boss too. They aren't always required, but I think they might have the most impact. Obviously someone with a high GPA is going to have decent letters of rec from their profs. It's another deal all together to have glowing letters from an employer or pharmacist alum. :thumbup:
 

pharmel

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I find the lab is the best place to get to know a professor (our labs are with profs, not a ta). You have the opportunity to deal one on one, and it is a good time to bring up things about yourself you want the prof to know, as well as get to know him or her better. I think the prof also has a better sense of who you are- how you work with others, how you follow directions, how you communicate your thoughts, your ability to apply concepts presented in class, and overall if he thinks you are qualified to enter pharmacy school.
 

ooscubaoo

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Originally posted by pharmel
I find the lab is the best place to get to know a professor (our labs are with profs, not a ta). .

I wish i could do that, most of the labs such as chem, ochem, and physics are taught by TA's...
 

TCB

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I just took my first biologyII test, I might get an A... is it alright to ask my teacher for a letter of recommendation now ? I kind of think that it is early since it is just the beginning of the semester.
 

shal

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TCB, Its better to get a rec from a prof whom you have a good relationship with rather than one that gave you an A. So, try to make yourself more known to the prof and then ask for a rec.
 

ooscubaoo

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has anyone ever asked for a letter of recommendation from a professor they never spoke to?
 

pharmel

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ooscubaoo said:
has anyone ever asked for a letter of recommendation from a professor they never spoke to?
No. How would that individual be able to write a good rec? "I've never met this student but I'm told he/she is very qualified to enter pharmacy school. I bet they have great ethics, too."
 

N*E*R*D*

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Why would you want to get a letter of rec from a professor you've never spoken to? What's the point? They'd most likely just send out generic letter with your name attached. How will this make you stand out among the other applicants? Get involved in school. TA for your prof. If your prof does research then see if can become involved in their lab. You not only will get a better letter of rec but will also have more experiences to put on your application. You'll learn a lot too.
 

spacecowgirl

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The worst possible thing you can do is get a LOR from a person that you don't know well. That is why getting to know a couple professors really well, is so, so important. Adcoms can sniff out a generic LOR a million miles away!

Get involved in research, be a TA for a professor, get to know your boss-pharmacist, especially if that person happens to be on the state pharmacy board ;) Go to your prof's office hours, email them with questions, let them know who you are and that you hard working, but don't irritate them either with too much brown-nosing.

Adcoms aren't going to give two hoots about your 4.0 if you made no connections, did not go the extra mile (outside of studying), did not get active in your school, etc.

Also when you ask someone to write you a LOR, be sure to provide them with a complete CV and STAMPED, ADDRESSED envelopes. I know that sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised. You'll get a much better LOR from someone you haven't recently irritated by asking them two days before the due date to write a letter without providing any of the aforementioned things.
 
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