Non-science faculty LoR

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Feb 3, 2020
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Hey guys,

I have 5 LoR but only 2 are science faculty and no non-science faculty (I do have one from an advisor but I'm assuming this means a non-science professor). I looked into SDN and some people say they emailed the schools asking for a waiver and they were given them but I'm kind of confused how it works. Can I ask now before schools get my app? I don't want to spend money submitting the primary if I don't even have the appropriate letters. Do I have to give a reason for not obtaining the letter? Do I have to include something in the app saying I have a waiver?

Thank you!
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I'd like to add the question. Why is a non-science LoR necessary/what value it holds/why do adcoms want to see this? What do adcoms want to hear from the non-science LoR? I mean a science LoR should be capable of vouching for the ability to preserver through med school. Is it to give an observation of what type of people we might be?

(I mean like what if LoR is coming from a wine-tasting course if you get what I'm asking.)


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2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2019
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Sidney Kimmel (Jefferson) is the school that comes to mind when asking for LoRs; they request one from chem, bio, physics and humanities. A lot of students have a hard time satisfying all 4, so I think that's why they ask for a waiver.

I think a non-science LoR adds a lot of value, as yes, while medicine is a scientific field, there are different ways of seeing a patient. A student trained in the sciences will see a patient in a certain light, compared to a student trained in the humanities. Both perspectives are equally important, as the science pre-med might focus on primarily the objective data (lab reports, scans etc), but the humanities trained pre-med will likely care more about the subjective aspects. (Yes, I know these are big assumptions and people might disagree. But, I'm just want to explain my idea of what non-science LoR holds).

It is also important to get letters from non-professors too (i.e. teacher you worked for at camp, coordinator who knows you very well as a hospital volunteer etc)!

Just my .02.
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