DPTinthemaking15

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I am applying to both MD and DO programs. Most of the DO programs I am applying to requires one science letter, but I realize that MD programs usually requires two. Luckily, I became friends with the president of the CC I attended and he wrote a strong LOR on my behalf. Would it be classified as a science LOR? If I'm not mistaken, I believe his PhD is in Psychology, but I could be wrong.
 

DameJulie

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When it comes to science and non-science LORs, schools requires the writer to have taught you in a course and gave you a letter grade.

Professor that you met outside of class usually end up with an optional/personal character letter, since he/she wouldn't have first-eye witness of your classroom performance.

To be safe, ask only the professors who you have received a grade from.

Also, Psychology doesn't count as a science letter (more like non-science).
 
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DPTinthemaking15

DPTinthemaking15

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2016
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Medical Student
When it comes to science and non-science LORs, schools requires the writer to have taught you in a course and gave you a letter grade.

Professor that you met outside of class usually end up with an optional/personal character letter, since he/she wouldn't have first-eye witness of your classroom performance.

To be safe, ask only the professors who you have received a grade from.

Also, Psychology doesn't count as a science letter (more like non-science).
Thank you! If you don't mind me asking one last question. Does Exercise Science count as a science LOR? All of my professors agreed to write a strong LOR on my behalf (My major is in Exercise Science is why I am asking).
 
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I am applying to both MD and DO programs. Most of the DO programs I am applying to requires one science letter, but I realize that MD programs usually requires two. Luckily, I became friends with the president of the CC I attended and he wrote a strong LOR on my behalf. Would it be classified as a science LOR? If I'm not mistaken, I believe his PhD is in Psychology, but I could be wrong.
Thank you! If you don't mind me asking one last question. Does Exercise Science count as a science LOR? All of my professors agreed to write a strong LOR on my behalf (My major is in Exercise Science is why I am asking).
This is for GPA, not letters, but I believe is a good guide for what is and isn't considered science:

AMCAS® Course Classification Guide
Well according to @gonnif , what schools consider science vs nonscience may differ from AMCAS classification. Generally, the strict interpretation of science (biology and chemistry for the traditionalists) is the safest measure. Psychology is likely viewed to be nonscience (exercise science may be science).

The best thing to do is to check the school requirements and contact the schools for clarification.
 

DameJulie

2+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2016
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Thank you! If you don't mind me asking one last question. Does Exercise Science count as a science LOR? All of my professors agreed to write a strong LOR on my behalf (My major is in Exercise Science is why I am asking).
If the course is related to exercise biology or physiology, then it counts. Or, if the professor's title is under Biology department, that works too. I would recommend to double check with the instructor to see if this counts as a BPCM (aka what you would classify as science course on your AMCAS).

At my school, not all "exercise science" class are science course even though they have the same pre-fix on the transcript. Courses like PE, Writing in Exercise Science are within that category as well.
 

gonnif

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Do not use the BCPM classification on AMCAS as a guide to what a school may require and, more importantly, what an adcom will expect as science.

There are three issues here:

1) What are the requirements for an LOR/LOE?
Each medical school has specific requirements which typically fall into ONE of the following categories:

A) Individual Letters from 2 professors/instructors you have taken science classes with and 1 non-science professors/instructors you have taken a class with.
OR
B) Individual Letters from 2 science and 1 non-science faculty
OR
C) Prehealth Committee letter

This would mean, for example, that a professor you had a research job with wouldn't fill LOR requirement at schools which want A (class) but would fill B (faculty). Please note that these are typical requirements generally found at most schools; some schools have very specific and extensive letters required and it is up to you to know them.

2) For purposes of LOR/LOE, what is science?

Many applicants equate "science" with AMCAS "BCPM". This is not always accurate. Science for purposes LOR/LOE is what "normal" science would be at a college or university. This would include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, certainty. But it would also include Oceanography, Geology, or even Computer Science and Materials Sciences. Under this general theme most health and medical science fields could be considered science. What about engineering and math generally? They can actually be framed either way, which usually depends more on the background of the candidate than anything else (ie what professors has the applicant worked with.). But more on this later. You should note that there are some schools that have very specific faculty/courses that they will consider science, even if BCPM as CWRU shows

3)How can I judge if a letter writer fits a science or non-science criteria?

Applicants who need to look at this issue must do something that few seem to do: use their judgement. You can look at the degree the letter writer holds, the department to which they are faculty, and the title/position they hold within that department. Perhaps even more telling is the course that you may have taken So Dr. John Smith, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Neurosciences, Department of Psychology teaching a course -- PSYCH 402: Molecular Neurochemistry of Abnormal Psychology, would clearly be a sciences letter even though the professor and the course are from the psychology department. Another example would be Dr. Bob Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies teaching a course -- EXPHYS 340: physiological responses in sports training. Again, certainly science work even though it is an Exercise Science course and department. So use your judgement on these.

In sum, getting a letter from a professor who knows you well and can write a critical evaluation of you is much more important than the strict interpretation science but it is up to the applicant to check that he/she is fulfilling specific requirements at each individual school they apply to


Letters of Recommendation | USF Health
How many letters of recommendation are required?
USF MCOM requires applicants submit two (2) letters of recommendation.
While five (5) letters of recommendation are recommended, it is REQUIRED that a minimum of two (2) letters come from science faculty* who have taught you in a formal course: *TA is not considered faculty.
Letters can originate from basic science faculty. Science faculty includes but is not limited to: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Additional letters of recommendation can be non-science faculty letters or character letters from individuals who can speak of your abilities and attributes outside of an academic setting. Character letters should not be from a family member, peer or a relative. Character letters should corroborate your experiences in AMCAS. They should include but are not limited to: Physicians you’ve shadowed, Research Mentors, Volunteer Coordinators/Supervisors, etc.
Non-science faculty includes but is not limited to: Math, Psychology, English, Humanities, Anthropology, History, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: If you submit one (1) letter of recommendation, your application will not be complete and cannot be considered. Please check the status of your application to ensure you have completed the USF MCOM Secondary Application Requirements.

College of Medicine – Letters of Recommendation

Other Requirements
Letters of Recommendation are required for most M.D. Programs. The UCF MD program requires the following letters to complete a file:
Traditional Applicant – an applicant who will be entering the M.D. program directly from a bachelor’s degree program with less than a one year break:
three individual faculty letters – two letters from basic science faculty, and one from a non-science faculty member, or one Pre-Med/Pre-Professional Composite Committee Letter
two character letters – these letters should be from those who can tell us about “who” you are. Authors may be those who have been your supervisor, friend, neighbor, someone you have volunteered with or shadowed, someone from an organization or club that you belong to, clergy, etc. One of these two letters may be from an academic peer.
Non-Traditional Applicant – an applicant where at least one year has passed since obtaining the initial bachelor’s degree. This applicant may have completed additional academics possibly leading to another degree, or may have been away from academics for several years:
supervisor letters for the three faculty letters
two characters letters that would be the same needed for Traditional Applicants.

Admission Requirements » Medical Admissions » College of Medicine » University of Florida
Letters of Recommendation:
All letters must be submitted through AMCAS.
AMCAS accepts a maximum of 10 letters. A letter packet submitted by an undergraduate institution is treated by AMCAS as 1 letter (out of a possible 10).
The University of Florida College of Medicine requires a minimum of 3 letters. A specific distribution of recommenders is no longer required.
Applicants should select recommenders who can collectively best address the following competencies outlined by the AAMC here: https://www.aamc.org/download/349990/data/lettersguidelinesbrochure.pdf
A Pre-Health Advising Committee letter/packet will fulfill our letter requirements.
Additional recommendation letters are accepted via AMCAS up to the maximum of 10.
Make sure your letter writer includes your AMCAS ID# on the top of the letter. Have the letters sent to

http://medicine.arizona.edu/admissions/application-process/letters
Letters of recommendation options:
Option 1

1 letter from a physician or clinical sulpervisor
Licensed healthcare professional who has seen you interact with patients, family members, and other staff members
2 letters from other professionals
Option 2
1 letter packet/committee packet
1 letter from a physician or clinical supervisor must be included in the packet
How many letters of recommendation do I need?
We require at least three letters of recommendation from people who know you well, and can attest your fitness for the medical profession.

Letters of Recommendation | SOM Admissions | CWRU - Admissions - Case Western Reserve University

Q. How do we define letters from "science advisors/professors"?
A.
We will accept letters from professors or advisors in the disciplines of:
Life Sciences (Biology, Zoology, Human Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Neuroscience, etc.)
Physical Sciences (Physics & Chemistry)
Mathematics (Calculus, Statistics, Biostatistics)
Engineering Sciences (Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc.)
Exercise Science or Physiology
Nursing
We will not accept letters from Psychology, Earth Sciences (Geology, Ecology, Oceanography, and Botany), and Computer Sciences as satisfying the science letters requirement but are acceptable as additional letters of recommendation.
 
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DPTinthemaking15

DPTinthemaking15

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2016
662
569
Status
Medical Student
This is for GPA, not letters, but I believe is a good guide for what is and isn't considered science:

AMCAS® Course Classification Guide
Well according to @gonnif , what schools consider science vs nonscience may differ from AMCAS classification. Generally, the strict interpretation of science (biology and chemistry for the traditionalists) is the safest measure. Psychology is likely viewed to be nonscience (exercise science may be science).

The best thing to do is to check the school requirements and contact the schools for clarification.
If the course is related to exercise biology or physiology, then it counts. Or, if the professor's title is under Biology department, that works too. I would recommend to double check with the instructor to see if this counts as a BPCM (aka what you would classify as science course on your AMCAS).

At my school, not all "exercise science" class are science course even though they have the same pre-fix on the transcript. Courses like PE, Writing in Exercise Science are within that category as well.
Do not use the BCPM classification on AMCAS as a guide to what a school may require and, more importantly, what an adcom will expect as science.

There are three issues here:

1) What are the requirements for an LOR/LOE?
Each medical school has specific requirements which typically fall into ONE of the following categories:

A) Individual Letters from 2 professors/instructors you have taken science classes with and 1 non-science professors/instructors you have taken a class with.
OR
B) Individual Letters from 2 science and 1 non-science faculty
OR
C) Prehealth Committee letter

This would mean, for example, that a professor you had a research job with wouldn't fill LOR requirement at schools which want A (class) but would fill B (faculty). Please note that these are typical requirements generally found at most schools; some schools have very specific and extensive letters required and it is up to you to know them.

2) For purposes of LOR/LOE, what is science?

Many applicants equate "science" with AMCAS "BCPM". This is not always accurate. Science for purposes LOR/LOE is what "normal" science would be at a college or university. This would include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, certainty. But it would also include Oceanography, Geology, or even Computer Science and Materials Sciences. Under this general theme most health and medical science fields could be considered science. What about engineering and math generally? They can actually be framed either way, which usually depends more on the background of the candidate than anything else (ie what professors has the applicant worked with.). But more on this later. You should note that there are some schools that have very specific faculty/courses that they will consider science, even if BCPM as CWRU shows

3)How can I judge if a letter writer fits a science or non-science criteria?

Applicants who need to look at this issue must do something that few seem to do: use their judgement. You can look at the degree the letter writer holds, the department to which they are faculty, and the title/position they hold within that department. Perhaps even more telling is the course that you may have taken So Dr. John Smith, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Neurosciences, Department of Psychology teaching a course -- PSYCH 402: Molecular Neurochemistry of Abnormal Psychology, would clearly be a sciences letter even though the professor and the course are from the psychology department. Another example would be Dr. Bob Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies teaching a course -- EXPHYS 340: physiological responses in sports training. Again, certainly science work even though it is an Exercise Science course and department. So use your judgement on these.

In sum, getting a letter from a professor who knows you well and can write a critical evaluation of you is much more important than the strict interpretation science but it is up to the applicant to check that he/she is fulfilling specific requirements at each individual school they apply to


Letters of Recommendation | USF Health
How many letters of recommendation are required?
USF MCOM requires applicants submit two (2) letters of recommendation.
While five (5) letters of recommendation are recommended, it is REQUIRED that a minimum of two (2) letters come from science faculty* who have taught you in a formal course: *TA is not considered faculty.
Letters can originate from basic science faculty. Science faculty includes but is not limited to: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Additional letters of recommendation can be non-science faculty letters or character letters from individuals who can speak of your abilities and attributes outside of an academic setting. Character letters should not be from a family member, peer or a relative. Character letters should corroborate your experiences in AMCAS. They should include but are not limited to: Physicians you’ve shadowed, Research Mentors, Volunteer Coordinators/Supervisors, etc.
Non-science faculty includes but is not limited to: Math, Psychology, English, Humanities, Anthropology, History, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: If you submit one (1) letter of recommendation, your application will not be complete and cannot be considered. Please check the status of your application to ensure you have completed the USF MCOM Secondary Application Requirements.

College of Medicine – Letters of Recommendation

Other Requirements
Letters of Recommendation are required for most M.D. Programs. The UCF MD program requires the following letters to complete a file:
Traditional Applicant – an applicant who will be entering the M.D. program directly from a bachelor’s degree program with less than a one year break:
three individual faculty letters – two letters from basic science faculty, and one from a non-science faculty member, or one Pre-Med/Pre-Professional Composite Committee Letter
two character letters – these letters should be from those who can tell us about “who” you are. Authors may be those who have been your supervisor, friend, neighbor, someone you have volunteered with or shadowed, someone from an organization or club that you belong to, clergy, etc. One of these two letters may be from an academic peer.
Non-Traditional Applicant – an applicant where at least one year has passed since obtaining the initial bachelor’s degree. This applicant may have completed additional academics possibly leading to another degree, or may have been away from academics for several years:
supervisor letters for the three faculty letters
two characters letters that would be the same needed for Traditional Applicants.

Admission Requirements » Medical Admissions » College of Medicine » University of Florida
Letters of Recommendation:
All letters must be submitted through AMCAS.
AMCAS accepts a maximum of 10 letters. A letter packet submitted by an undergraduate institution is treated by AMCAS as 1 letter (out of a possible 10).
The University of Florida College of Medicine requires a minimum of 3 letters. A specific distribution of recommenders is no longer required.
Applicants should select recommenders who can collectively best address the following competencies outlined by the AAMC here: https://www.aamc.org/download/349990/data/lettersguidelinesbrochure.pdf
A Pre-Health Advising Committee letter/packet will fulfill our letter requirements.
Additional recommendation letters are accepted via AMCAS up to the maximum of 10.
Make sure your letter writer includes your AMCAS ID# on the top of the letter. Have the letters sent to

http://medicine.arizona.edu/admissions/application-process/letters
Letters of recommendation options:
Option 1

1 letter from a physician or clinical sulpervisor
Licensed healthcare professional who has seen you interact with patients, family members, and other staff members
2 letters from other professionals
Option 2
1 letter packet/committee packet
1 letter from a physician or clinical supervisor must be included in the packet
How many letters of recommendation do I need?
We require at least three letters of recommendation from people who know you well, and can attest your fitness for the medical profession.

Letters of Recommendation | SOM Admissions | CWRU - Admissions - Case Western Reserve University

Q. How do we define letters from "science advisors/professors"?
A.
We will accept letters from professors or advisors in the disciplines of:
Life Sciences (Biology, Zoology, Human Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Neuroscience, etc.)
Physical Sciences (Physics & Chemistry)
Mathematics (Calculus, Statistics, Biostatistics)
Engineering Sciences (Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc.)
Exercise Science or Physiology
Nursing
We will not accept letters from Psychology, Earth Sciences (Geology, Ecology, Oceanography, and Botany), and Computer Sciences as satisfying the science letters requirement but are acceptable as additional letters of recommendation.
Thank you guys so MUCH!!! I contacted the school today and they accept a pre-med advisor LOR, in lieu of the two science LOR's. Luckily, I work for my pre-med advisor. Here is a question I have though... Is there a way to expedite the process of getting a LOR? My pre-med advisor had me to write the letter for them (it has been almost two months since I wrote it) and they still haven't sent it to interfolio. I have asked them multiple times, but it is like squeezing blood from a turnip. I'm trying to get my application finished as early as possible, but I don't want to annoy them in the meantime *rant over*.
 

AttemptingScholar

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2016
621
542
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you guys so MUCH!!! I contacted the school today and they accept a pre-med advisor LOR, in lieu of the two science LOR's. Luckily, I work for my pre-med advisor. Here is a question I have though... Is there a way to expedite the process of getting a LOR? My pre-med advisor had me to write the letter for them (it has been almost two months since I wrote it) and they still haven't sent it to interfolio. I have asked them multiple times, but it is like squeezing blood from a turnip. I'm trying to get my application finished as early as possible, but I don't want to annoy them in the meantime *rant over*.
1. Give a deadline
2. Submit without letters and add them later.
 
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DPTinthemaking15

DPTinthemaking15

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2016
662
569
Status
Medical Student
1. Give a deadline
2. Submit without letters and add them later.
Thank you. I have given them multiple deadlines, but apparently it isn't working :bang: So I will just submit everything in the next few days. Will my application be considered complete without the letter?
 

AttemptingScholar

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2016
621
542
Status
Pre-Medical
Thinking logically, there are two options:

Option 1: Schools will not review your application until your letters are in. There is no harm nor benefit to waiting for letters to be done to submit secondary (except maybe scheduling: by not putting it off you are less likely to feel overwhelmed or even to forget about a secondary as you are sending all of them in later)

Option 2: Schools will review part of your application now and the rest when it arrives. This moves you up in the queue and lets you send in another part later, having the same effect as an update letter (keeping you fresh in their minds) without the uselessness of an update letter. There is a benefit to submitting secondaries without a letter.

It will either do nothing or help. I don't foresee any option where it hurts. I say do it.
 
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