May 31, 2009
146
0
Toronto
Status
Pre-Medical
I am currently in a Master's 2-year program (started in Sept 2008 will finish by summer 2010).

Most schools I am applying to have no additional LOR requirement for Grad students and require the same number/type of letters as undergrads. However, few (Dartmouth, Boston, EVMS and like) specifically ask for a letter from graduate/thesis advisor.

I have not yet told my supervisor that I am applying to med school (I know I know I should let her know and I soon will when the time is right). So that letter won't be in for a little while.

However, I do have two LORs from graduate faculty who taught me courses and was wondering if I could use them for now.....

I know the best option is to call the school and ask but from their description in the secondaries they sound pretty strict about it. Will I be okay if I do not send that letter?
 

scattun

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2007
225
0
Status
Pre-Medical
If schools specifically asked for a thesis adviser then they probably specifically want a thesis adviser. Of course, like you said, asking them is going to be the only way to find out exactly what is ok.
 

Longshanks

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2009
2,805
5
New York
Status
Medical Student
I am currently in a Master's 2-year program (started in Sept 2008 will finish by summer 2010).

Most schools I am applying to have no additional LOR requirement for Grad students and require the same number/type of letters as undergrads. However, few (Dartmouth, Boston, EVMS and like) specifically ask for a letter from graduate/thesis advisor.

I have not yet told my supervisor that I am applying to med school (I know I know I should let her know and I soon will when the time is right). So that letter won't be in for a little while.

However, I do have two LORs from graduate faculty who taught me courses and was wondering if I could use them for now.....

I know the best option is to call the school and ask but from their description in the secondaries they sound pretty strict about it. Will I be okay if I do not send that letter?
If it asks for your mentor's LOR, you're going to need to get that. Some schools also ask for a letter from the dean of your graduate program. I believe this is true for AECOM.
 

BerlinDude

7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2009
528
5
Status
I am currently in a Master's 2-year program (started in Sept 2008 will finish by summer 2010).

Most schools I am applying to have no additional LOR requirement for Grad students and require the same number/type of letters as undergrads. However, few (Dartmouth, Boston, EVMS and like) specifically ask for a letter from graduate/thesis advisor.

I have not yet told my supervisor that I am applying to med school (I know I know I should let her know and I soon will when the time is right). So that letter won't be in for a little while.

However, I do have two LORs from graduate faculty who taught me courses and was wondering if I could use them for now.....

I know the best option is to call the school and ask but from their description in the secondaries they sound pretty strict about it. Will I be okay if I do not send that letter?
It looks extremely suspicious if you don't have a letter from the faculty member who knows you best, has worked with you the most, and is most accessible to you. A lot of schools will not even accept your secondary without a letter from your adviser. Imagine if someone applied for a job to work with you but can't get a reference from his most recent employer of two years?

Basically, don't bother submitting your application without a letter from your thesis adviser. Even if you have to wait two months for the letter, I recommend you wait.
 
OP
musicaldna
May 31, 2009
146
0
Toronto
Status
Pre-Medical
It looks extremely suspicious if you don't have a letter from the faculty member who knows you best, has worked with you the most, and is most accessible to you. A lot of schools will not even accept your secondary without a letter from your adviser. Imagine if someone applied for a job to work with you but can't get a reference from his most recent employer of two years?

Basically, don't bother submitting your application without a letter from your thesis adviser. Even if you have to wait two months for the letter, I recommend you wait.
You mean for the schools that require such letter right? Or for every school?
 

BerlinDude

7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2009
528
5
Status
You mean for the schools that require such letter right? Or for every school?
It'll hurt your chances significantly at every school if you don't have that letter. Even if not explicitly stated, the letter is expected. Like I said, imagine if someone wanted a long-term job with you but couldn't get a recommendation from his employer of two years. Would you hire him?

Not that it's any of my business, but why wouldn't you just go and ask? I'm in a similar situation, and my adviser immediately agreed and had the letter sent out within a day (the only faculty member I didn't have to harass for it).
 

PermanentWaves

10+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2006
83
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Part of the reason why some schools ask for this letter is so that they can be sure that the supervisor is aware of the student's intention to matriculate to medical school the following year, and thus, that all necessary graduate work will be completed. Medical schools (especially those in Canada) are VERY strict regarding the completion of the graduate degree prior to matriculation to med school. After I told my supervisor that I would be applying to med school in the Fall, he sat down with me and we drew up a strict timeline to ensure that everything (including defense) would be complete by June of 2010, so that there would be NO possibility of extending my work into the fall of 2010. Your supervisor needs to be aware of your intentions, otherwise if you spring it on her last minute, she'll be scrambling to get you ready and done by the summer. I know that, in my program, the average MSc takes about 24 months to complete. So trying to finish in 20-21 months takes some extra planning.

Good luck!
 
OP
musicaldna
May 31, 2009
146
0
Toronto
Status
Pre-Medical
Part of the reason why some schools ask for this letter is so that they can be sure that the supervisor is aware of the student's intention to matriculate to medical school the following year, and thus, that all necessary graduate work will be completed. Medical schools (especially those in Canada) are VERY strict regarding the completion of the graduate degree prior to matriculation to med school. After I told my supervisor that I would be applying to med school in the Fall, he sat down with me and we drew up a strict timeline to ensure that everything (including defense) would be complete by June of 2010, so that there would be NO possibility of extending my work into the fall of 2010. Your supervisor needs to be aware of your intentions, otherwise if you spring it on her last minute, she'll be scrambling to get you ready and done by the summer. I know that, in my program, the average MSc takes about 24 months to complete. So trying to finish in 20-21 months takes some extra planning.



Good luck!
Yep I agree with this. This is the reason I am relying mostly on US schools so that I can perhaps get a deferral if I can't finish on time. I do not mind one extra year.

I am planning to let her know in the next couple of days. Hopefully it goes well.

I do have a good standing letter from the chair of the department. Though not necessarily an LOR, it says that at least the chair knows what I am up to. I have sent it to all the schools.
 

PermanentWaves

10+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2006
83
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yep I agree with this. This is the reason I am relying mostly on US schools so that I can perhaps get a deferral if I can't finish on time. I do not mind one extra year.

I am planning to let her know in the next couple of days. Hopefully it goes well.

I do have a good standing letter from the chair of the department. Though not necessarily an LOR, it says that at least the chair knows what I am up to. I have sent it to all the schools.
I know from experience that not all US schools require completion of the MSc degree before matriculation. If you need more info, PM me.

Also, if some schools are really nitpicky regarding your completion date, you can always fax a Committee Meeting Report if you have one. My supervisor did not indicate my completion date in his LOR, and a couple of schools contacted me regarding this. So, for these schools, I faxed a copy of this report, which was was filled out at my last committee meeting. It indicates my date of completion, and was signed by my supervisor and committee. It was readily accepted at these schools.