reese07

10+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2007
516
18
251
Status
Pre-Medical
So I emailed two professors, both of which I did AWESOME in their classes, asking them for a letter of recommendation and it's been a week now and I still haven't gotten a reply back. I didn't really talk to them when I took their classes so could that be the reason? How can I remind them of how well I did without being annoying? Or is it just because of the fact that I didn't form a "bonding" relationship with them is why they completely ignored me...
 
Aug 21, 2009
113
0
0
Status
Medical Student
you should go to their office hours and ask in person, that way they can't ignore you and you can find out instantly if they're willing to write you one or not
 

Melicopter

10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2009
241
1
0
Status
Medical Student
Very true. I didn't email anyone - asked them all in person. Some then asked for an email reminder, or an emailed CV, but you should ask in person.
 

Appless

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
5,091
1
0
Status
So I emailed two professors, both of which I did AWESOME in their classes, asking them for a letter of recommendation and it's been a week now and I still haven't gotten a reply back. I didn't really talk to them when I took their classes so could that be the reason? How can I remind them of how well I did without being annoying? Or is it just because of the fact that I didn't form a "bonding" relationship with them is why they completely ignored me...
These 2 phrases are key. LORs that are good are somewhat personal and they can speak outside of your academics. LORs that say student X was top of my class mean nothing really. Everyone is top of their class basically who goes to med school. Many have 3.8+ GPAs so they dont learn anything special about you. I would recomend not getting LORs from these people or when you ask them, ask if they can write a strong letter. The key for a letter is again, going to office hours or somehow getting to know your prof. Its hard with huge classes (i know this my classes were 450+), but you have to at least talk somehow. A standard general LOR is useless
 

reese07

10+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2007
516
18
251
Status
Pre-Medical
Should I be like, "Yeah I'm the dude that you ignored", or just act like it's my first time asking them?
 

AH3

Mar 3, 2010
215
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I emailed a professor to ask her if I could meet with her to talk about my plans for applying to medical school (pretty obvious that I was going to ask for a letter, but still not outright asking for it in the email). I didn't hear back from her for almost a week and tried to go to her office, but she wasn't there. The receptionist suggested I re-send the email- that it may have been overlooked or lost in a spam folder. I did that and she was happy to write a strong letter.

Long story short- don't freak out about it. The professor may be busy or may have not gotten it. Even so, it's better to make sure you're getting a strong letter. If they don't really want to write it, I'd ask someone else. Try going to their offices though for now.
 

NYR56

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2008
632
5
151
Status
Medical Student
If you can't take the time to see them in person, why should they bother writing a LOR for you? Also, I don't know how good of a LOR you're going to get from a professor you never spoke to. Your transcript shows your grades, the LORs aren't just for saying "oh yeah he got an A".
 

Melicopter

10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2009
241
1
0
Status
Medical Student
LOL...

Unless you want a letter saying you're a sarcastic and disrespectful *&^#....

No, just kidding.

You could either say you are just following up since you know they are busy, and seeing if they need anything else from you, or you could act like you are asking for the first time. I think either one would be fine, just not the option where you mention being ignored...
 

combatwombat

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2008
273
1
141
MA
It happens all the time, don't take it personally.

Also, try to get letters from the ones who know you best, or at least seem interested in you. Somebody who is blasé about the prospect of writing you a letter probably isn't going to write a stellar one.
 
Jan 17, 2010
550
1
0
Status
If you can't take the time to see them in person, why should they bother writing a LOR for you? Also, I don't know how good of a LOR you're going to get from a professor you never spoke to. Your transcript shows your grades, the LORs aren't just for saying "oh yeah he got an A".
+1

A lot of profs won't do an LOR when they don't know you. And if they agree to do the LOR, it may not be one you want to have.
 

SweetRain

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2009
243
0
91
Status
Pre-Medical
You should go talk to them in person and let them know that you did email them. I don't think it really helps that you didn't know your writers very well. Remember, there are always people in class who do awesome every year so it won't make you stand out. At least to your writer.

If your writer is a pretty big person at your institution, your email might have gotten just filtered because they literally get about a hundred emails a day. Just go ahead and talk to them in person.
 

Drexon

10+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2007
138
3
241
Southern California
Status
Medical Student
haha one of my professor/mentor is super open / frank about their opinions.
he tells me that he gets like 30-50 requests every year for a letter of recommendation and that students try and get close (go to office hours and chat with professors) with him in order to get a letter of rec.

so bottom line don't be discouraged by the lack of email reply. to be honest these professors get a lot of emails every day and your letter of rec email didn't register with him or her because they probably didn't know you very well. ultimately go talk to your professors you wish to seek a letter of rec from in person and then email afterwards to thank them for writing you a letter... assuming they said yes.

don't be shy asking for these letters because these professors understand that students wishing to talk to them during class may in fact be seeking a letter of rec in the future ( my mentor said this ). be straight with your professors for writing a letter of rec. explain to them why you want to be a doc (or pharm or dentist etc) and ask to see if they could help you along that path by endorsing you with a strong letter of rec.

best of luck!
 

bravofleet4

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2009
730
0
91
Status
Medical Student
this is really normal. they're probably waiting for you to show up and ask in person so they can match a face with the e-mail. don't be afraid. the worst they can say is no.:)
 
Dec 18, 2009
641
0
0
under the sun :)
Status
Medical Student
although its not normal that you barely spoke to these profs and still want a letter of rec from them even though your face may not even be familiar.... It is normal for them not to respond right away. Two of my letter writers had to be emailed more than once..and they knew who I was. Don't give up. Go to their office hours and I would phrase it something like "Do you think you'd be comfortable writing me a strong/good letter of recommendation?" That way you're giving them an opening to say no, in case they are not comfortable doing so. This way, you make sure that you're asking for good, not just average/mediocre/whatever.