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Junior Member
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Jun 3, 2006
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  1. Pre-Medical
If two of the professors I'm planning on asking for LOR's aren't teaching this semester, and thus have no scheduled office hours I can drop by in, what's the proper etiquette for asking them about the letters? I've heard about asking in person as the way to go, but I don't know how to go about doing that given the circumstances. The way I see it I could:

a) send each an e-mail asking to meet with them, without really specifying why (which would seem to me the more proper etiquette, but might be a bit weird if I don't really tell them why I want to meet).

b) send each an e-mail asking about the LOR directly, and asking to meet with them in person about it

note: I go to a big public university, so I don't have the type of super personal relationships that might be the norm at a private university, so this might be a factor in the way I approach the situation.

Anyone with more experience here have any idea which option is more appropriate here? If you have any completely different strategies I'd also appreciate your input there. Anyways, thanks a bunch for the help in advance!


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2007
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i wouldn't beat around the bush. semd an email to them. if you know them better then be more personal in that email. but either way indicate what you have been up to, that you want to go to med school for so and so reason, and that you were hoping to meet with them to discuss and ask for a letter. attach your CV to the email, and possibly even your personal statement. this way that person can make as good a judgment as possible without really knowing you. that professor should then be straightforward and let you know if he/she will write the letter, or would be willing to talk further.


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Aug 24, 2006
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  1. Medical Student
The other day on my google page there was this How To for letters of rec. Do a search on google and maybe you will find it. I never read it but I imagine it is useful since google is useful.
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Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
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  1. Attending Physician
Go with B. I don't think there's a real need to be overly delicate about requests like these. Professors get asked for them all the time and after a while, most grow to think of them as part of their job description.

That's not to say to feel a sense of entitlement, just that you don't need to be overly diplomatic about it. Good luck!
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