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Max number of letters of rec

talkalot24

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If your undergrad does not have a committee, the school says two letters must come from professors, and that other letters can be submitted, but they PREFER no more than 3 total letters be submitted. However, I have at least 5-6 that I want to submit. I have been out of undergrad for 4 years, so I think some good letters about what I've done are very important too.

Would that be too many? Could it somehow hurt me to submit that many? If it matters, the particular school that I'm talking about is UNC.
 
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alwaysaangel

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If your undergrad does not have a committee, the school says two letters must come from professors, and that other letters can be submitted, but they PREFER no more than 3 total letters be submitted. However, I have at least 5-6 that I want to submit. I have been out of undergrad for 4 years, so I think some good letters about what I've done are very important too.

Would that be too many? Could it somehow hurt me to submit that many? If it matters, the particular school that I'm talking about is UNC.

If they prefer no more than x letters than you should pick out the x letters that are best sent to that school (eg research letter to research school, community service letter to school known for underserved work).

You can use your letters for other schools, but typically if they're giving you a maximum you should listen to it.
 
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alwaysaangel

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Yeah. But I would think that if it were absolute, they would say no more than 3 letters can be submitted, instead of that they prefer no more than 3 be submitted.

Ultimately its your decision. Some schools will give a finite limit. To me saying they "prefer no more than 3" is a polite way of saying don't send more than 3. Do you really want to annoy them with more materials than they want?

Again, it ultimately comes down to how you read it and what you want to do, but I never sent more than the recommended amount when I applied 2 years ago. They have thousand of applications and are trying to limit the amount of stuff they have.
 
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iduwanna

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I agree with what others are telling you. If they don't prefer you send more than three, don't.

Plenty of schools will let you send your 5 or 6.

Also, it's ironic that your screename is "talkalot" and you want to send more letters than they prefer. Perhaps you should tone it down a bit.
 
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STXGregor

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Yeah, since you have no committee I would definitely stick with their "requested" amount. I sent 6-7 through the TMDSAS, but I have a committee at my school, and what they do is make a letterhead that compiles the high points from each of my letters, and this is I believe what the schools read (I doubt they have time to even read 3-4 full letters per applicant). So like others have said, I would pick your best and send those.

Oh, and depending on what your grad experience has been, making look at your schools individually and see what they look for in applicants, ie research, volunteering, work experience, etc., and send the letter that best represents you in that light.
 
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justdoit31

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I sent 6-7 through the TMDSAS

I thought TMDSAS said only send 2 academic letters... I only sent the 2 that they requested and was accepted- I had others I could have used for them but I always stuck to the limit stated...

I had 5 in my portfolio- 3 academic, 1 physicians, 1 community service...
I also had to have a personal reference letter written by my employer for one school...

I would personally stick to number recommended because most adcoms don't want to read 6+ letters for every applicant!
 
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Rabbit36

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I had 5, one non-science, 2 research, 2 other science. I would say no more than 5 (I had to make a choice to keep it at 5). With so many letters, only send in those you know will be GREAT. School's won't appreciate getting 6 meaningless form letters, but 5 incredible letters cannot be ignored.
 
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magikdoc

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My school's Career Center forced me to send a "letter packet"... which meant I basically had to send all 6 of my letters to all the schools I applied to... to this day, I still do not understand why they have to be so rigid with their system.

I got a few interviews anyway so I guess they don't really hold it against you.

On a side note, one of my interviewers basically read my recommendations in front of me during the interview.... His advice for me was never to ask science professors for LOR, because they always write meaningless junk!?? Well.... the school required letters from science faculty.... I guess he meant its better to have a few good non-science faculty letters too, especially from the English/History/Anthropology departments.

Sorry for the ramble, hope this helps.
 
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linguini

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You guys are right. I talked with someone at the school and she said it's a hard and fast rule and only 3 letters will count.

Maybe you can use those extra letters later on. For example, if you decide to write a letter of interest or letter of intent, I believe it's acceptable to attach an extra LOR.
 
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