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Non-Science LOR Requirement

seven87

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Do non-science letters have to be from professors? I was planning on using someone I know through volunteering (not at a hospital) for that...

If they have to be from profs, would an introductory engineering class count or is that considered science? I always thought science meant "hard science" as in Bio/Chem/Physics...

I've never seen it said that it was required to have a non-science prof write a letter but after browsing here I seem to be wrong. What schools require this anyway?
 
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Alvarez13

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I'll write you one if you do a good one for me. I'll say we were in the peace corps together and you saved me from a run-away tank. You also helped me get back on my feet after I lost my apt due to a gambling problem. Good times...
 
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alwaysaangel

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non-science = anything except for a science course. Can be lab PI, non-science class, work, volunteer, girlfriend, etc
This is not always true. In fact, I applied to 20+ schools and it wasn't true at any of them.

When a school asks for a non-science LOR they are asking for an LOR from a professor who taught you in a class that wasn't science. A humanity professor that actually taught you. So no engineering will not cut it - thats science.

Its not that common but some schools require it - I'd say about 1/4 of the schools I applied to asked for one.

Many will ALSO ask for non-academic letters from work or volunteer or research - so you definitely should still get that volunteer letter. But you need to find a humanity prof to get one from too.

The most common requirements I saw when I applied was 2 science (science CLASSES people who actually taught you not just your research PI), 1 non-science (humanity prof) and 1 other. Some allowed you to add more than this but this was the most common pattern I saw for actual requirements.
 
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Pedsbro

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This is not always true. In fact, I applied to 20+ schools and it wasn't true at any of them.

When a school asks for a non-science LOR they are asking for an LOR from a professor who taught you in a class that wasn't science. A humanity professor that actually taught you. So no engineering will not cut it - thats science.

Its not that common but some schools require it - I'd say about 1/4 of the schools I applied to asked for one.

Many will ALSO ask for non-academic letters from work or volunteer or research - so you definitely should still get that volunteer letter. But you need to find a humanity prof to get one from too.

The most common requirements I saw when I applied was 2 science (science CLASSES people who actually taught you not just your research PI), 1 non-science (humanity prof) and 1 other. Some allowed you to add more than this but this was the most common pattern I saw for actual requirements.

This is pretty accurate. Non science doesn't mean non-academic... So a non-sci LOR should be from a professor who actually taught you in a non-science class...like humanities, social science, foreign language, etc. I would think engineering is considered a science, so pick something else just to be safe. Most schools require 2 sci LOR, 1 non-sci LOR, and 1 other (which can be anything). One more thing...doomknight, tell me you were joking when you suggested getting a letter from a girlfriend!:laugh:
 
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Pedsbro

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LORs from 2 science profs, and 1 non-science prof will cover your but at 90% of the schools you apply to. A committee letter also bypasses most strict school requirements (though the committee usually has rules of its own).


Good point. A lot of schools prefer a committee letter. My ug school didn't have a committee unfortunately, but if the OP's does, then I would go for that.
 
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seven87

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The thing is, I can't find this requirement on most schools. My mdapps has the schools I'm going to apply to but most of the ones I have thoroughly researched don't say anything about a non-sci prof...

Anyone know of some schools that for sure require it?

I'm an engineering major and have taken very few gen-eds so getting a non-science prof LOR is going to be very difficult...
 
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ADeadLois

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The thing is, I can't find this requirement on most schools. My mdapps has the schools I'm going to apply to but most of the ones I have thoroughly researched don't say anything about a non-sci prof...

Anyone know of some schools that for sure require it?

I'm an engineering major and have taken very few gen-eds so getting a non-science prof LOR is going to be very difficult...

I don't remember which schools specifically require it, but I do remember that about 3/4 of the schools I applied to required a non-science academic letter.

Also, why are you applying to so many state schools out of state?
 
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seven87

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I just spent some time going through the website of schools I'm applying to, and there was only one that specifically stated a non-science professor LOR...

Do the schools state it somewhere I'm not looking??

My state of residency, IA, has only one allopathic school and one osteopathic school. U of Iowa is my #1 choice, but I want to apply to schools that are:
A) nearby-- in surrounding states
B) near family
C) in interesting locations -- CA, NYC, FL that have >=20% OOS
 
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ADeadLois

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I just spent some time going through the website of schools I'm applying to, and there was only one that specifically stated a non-science professor LOR...

Do the schools state it somewhere I'm not looking??

My state of residency, IA, has only one allopathic school and one osteopathic school. U of Iowa is my #1 choice, but I want to apply to schools that are:
A) nearby-- in surrounding states
B) near family
C) in interesting locations -- CA, NYC, FL that have >=20% OOS

On a second look, the schools I applied to differ from yours. You're probably ok if few of them require it.

Most state schools (particularly FL) have a strong preference for in-state applicants. It's generally not advisable to apply to many, since the odds are very much stacked against you.
 
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Pedsbro

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I just spent some time going through the website of schools I'm applying to, and there was only one that specifically stated a non-science professor LOR...

Do the schools state it somewhere I'm not looking??

My state of residency, IA, has only one allopathic school and one osteopathic school. U of Iowa is my #1 choice, but I want to apply to schools that are:
A) nearby-- in surrounding states
B) near family
C) in interesting locations -- CA, NYC, FL that have >=20% OOS

Save yourself money, the headache, the stress, etc....don't apply to Cali state schools if you are an OOS. Same with Florida...nearly all the state run schools there have either strong preference to in-state, or only in-state are accepted. I understand your motives, but you have to be realistic, and unless your stats are in the top 5% of all applicants, you need to rethink those schools. Hell, a good number of Cali residents don't even get secondaries from Cali schools, let alone acceptances
 
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seven87

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For CA I planned on Stanford and USC. I realize I have little to no shot at Stanford given my 31 MCAT but did some summer research there and will have a letter of rec from my PI there, so I figure I might as well give it a try. USC has ~26% OOS so I figure I'd give it a try. Again, realistically I doubt I'll get an interview but I really enjoy LA so I might as well apply.

I know that any of the UC's would be a waste of time for me.

The FL school is Miami-miller which has ~30% OOS so again, figured I'd give it a shot.

Again, my main focus is midwest schools but I want to apply to a few elsewhere that aren't a total waste of time (like UC's or other state schools that accept <5% oos).
 
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Pedsbro

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For CA I planned on Stanford and USC. I realize I have little to no shot at Stanford given my 31 MCAT but did some summer research there and will have a letter of rec from my PI there, so I figure I might as well give it a try. USC has ~26% OOS so I figure I'd give it a try. Again, realistically I doubt I'll get an interview but I really enjoy LA so I might as well apply.

I know that any of the UC's would be a waste of time for me.

The FL school is Miami-miller which has ~30% OOS so again, figured I'd give it a shot.

Again, my main focus is midwest schools but I want to apply to a few elsewhere that aren't a total waste of time (like UC's or other state schools that accept <5% oos).

Ok, yeah those are all private schools, so you should have just about as much of a shot as anyone else. Stanford is tough, but you should apply to one or two "reach" schools anyway...you never know. USC is nice...I hope you can speak a little spanish...i've heard that's an "unofficial" requirement. (it certainly would help in your rotations at County-USC hospital).
 
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