heeseop

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I'm thinking about asking my English teacher (who is a grad student working on her PhD) for a non-science recommendation. At my university, many of the lower english courses are taught by graduate students. They do everything that a normal professor would do except they don't have their PhDs yet.

Normally, getting a LOR from a graduate student does not carry any weight due to the fact that they're (usually) TAs that have minimal impact on your grade.

Do you think med schools will accept her recommendation to satisfy the "non-science letter"?
Anyone else have the same problem?
 

dsh

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My brother did this when he applied. In his case, hiis TA wrote the letter, signed his name, and then had his boss, an English professor, sign and endorse it. You should contact a handful of schools and just ask them if they'd be cool with it.

I imagine that some schools would accept it, but that it would hold less clout than from a professor. Personally, I would prefer to have an excellent letter from a grad student who knows me well, than from some professor that taught me Psych 1 with 400 other students.
 

Dr. Pepper

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I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a LOR from a grad student. However, I do agree that getting the signature of a professor wouldn't hurt.

If anything, you might want to have the grad student explain that she taught the class (and that she wasn't a TA or anything like that). That way, her letter ought ot hold as much weight as a PhD-accredited professor.

For the most part, it's not necesarily who you get the letter from that is important, but rather what exactly is written. Assuming that the grad student writes a unique and distinguished LOR, then she'll be a fine choice as a recommendor.

Best of luck,
-Dr. P.
 
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Wookey

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Many schools have grad students teaching their writing courses, so most med schools won't have a problem with getting an LOR from a grad student teaching writing. My writing instructor wrote me a great LOR. I didn't bother to ask for the prof to sign either. I was never asked about it.
 

sleepy_dwarf

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I'm going to play devil's advocate on this one. While it is important to have good letters of recommendations, it is also important that the letters come from people in the position to judge your ability to become a competent and effective physician. Most grad students have a modest amount of teaching experience, and probably no experience comparing the performance of a particular premed's student.

That being said, a stellar letter from a so-so letter writer is still better than a mediocre letter from somebody famous and a leader in their field.
 

nibrocli

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have the grad student write and sign the letter, and ask him/her to have a full professor co-sign. best of both: someone who knows you well wrote the letter, with the sig of someone with clout.
 
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