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Hello everyone,

If you guys read my last post, you know I feel insecure and worried about applying to optometry school because I don't have the strongest of grades. I am asking people for letters of recombination, but I am having a tough time.

I asked my Developmental Psychology Professor who has accepted to write me a letter of recommendation. I got an A in the course.

I am a Physics Teaching Assistant, but the specific professor I worked for wasn't directly involved with the process because there was another instructor (NOT a professor- he is the lab specialist) who was my TA instructor and he is writing me a letter. The professor refused to write me a letter because she does not know me well enough.

I have received an A- in physics 1 and I am currently in physics 2, and I asked my professor for LOR and he said you're great, but you haven't showed up in office horus enough for me to write you a strong letter. He told me to ask my Physics Teaching assistant who is pursuing his PhD. I am so bummed because I don't have the strongest grades, but al o my classes are 300+ students and I thought i have been doing a good job at forming a relationship with my professors. How weak does it look to have a TA write me a LOR and have the professor sign off on it? Everyone has been telling me its not gonna look good.

I have also asked my microbiology professor and me and him have a time to meet up in a few days. He probably doesn't remember me because I took the class so long ago. I also received a B in the class, but I did warn him why it wasnt my strongest semester.

In addition, I have asked 2 optometrist and plan on asking 1 more.
I work at a retail chain Optometrist office as an optical assistant so I was going to ask my store manager and the stores in my area's Director.

I did an internship as a public speaking consultant, so I was gong to ask that instructor as well.

I asked my Genes professor and he said I am not ace-ing the course and he only offers to write for research assistants who work in his research lab or students who receive an A. He said if I somehow do AMAZING on the final then he would consider writing one for me :/

I feel like I don't have strong LORs for people who can vouch for my performance in the sciences. I just feel so helpless and if you refer to my post asking if I will get into SUNY Optometry I feel like I am just not strong enough esepcially with my weak letters of rec.

Anyway,my main question is: How weak does it look to have a TA write my LOR?
I know schools accept it, but realistically what does it look like to them? :/


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7+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2012
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Dont have your Gene Prof write anything, typically if they give you a hard time about writing the letter they are less willing to write a good letter The last thing you want is a mediocre letter to represent you to schools. You want people who are willing to write a strong letter from the jump instead. Shadow an OD and ask them or ask another professor. A TA letter isn't necessarily bad but it shouldn't be your only letter.


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5+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2016
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I think having a TA write you a letter of rec that the prof signs off on is okay. I had one LoR from an employer, one from an OD/employer, and one from a TA signed off by a professor and my applications went well. I didn't apply to SUNY though, just the California schools.
Also, I was in office hours for that particular course on a weekly basis, so my TA felt really comfortable writing me an LoR. If you feel this TA knows you well, then go for it!
You can always ask SUNY directly what they think to be sure.

Oh, and I agree the gene prof shouldn't write anything - the LoR isn't going to be great.