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Non-trad Humanities Majors & Letters of Rec?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by freaker, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. freaker

    freaker Senior Member
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    I've been writing medical schools as of late (who seem to in general have terrible websites that lack vital information) about letters of recommendation, and it seems some schools require that you have two letters of rec from science professors. Um, yikes.

    I've been out of college for three years now. I took my last science course four years ago. And I majored in art history and English with a minor in French. How am I supposed to come up with decent letters of recommendation with that kind of background?

    How did some of you handle matters? Or did you take post-bach classes?
     
  2. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    Hey freaker,
    I'm an Eng major but not a non-trad, so I don't know how much help I can give for your particular situation; but I assume if you're getting ready to apply, then you've taken all the science pre-reqs, either in u-grad or as a post-bac? If it was the former, I'd contact the profs you took your pre-reqs from whose classes you did well in, explain your situation and ask them to write you a LOR. Offer to meet with them (if possible) or at least schedule a phone interview, and send them all your info (CV, personal statement, transcripts), and maybe a photo to help jog their memory of you, so they can write a more personalized letter despite the time gap; I'm sure that at least a couple will be willing to help you out. If you haven't taken all your pre-reqs yet, or you have but for whatever reason don't think you can get a letter from one of those profs, then your best bet would probably be to take a couple of upper-division science classes and make sure you ace them and that the profs know who you are so you can ask them for a LOR at the end of the class, providing them with all the same info as above. If it's been 4 years since your last science class, this might be a good idea anyway, as med schools like to see recent work demonstrating your academic ability, especially in the sciences. If all else fails, you could also contact the med schools you are thinking of applying at and ask for their opinion; I think they will sometimes accept letters from employers in lieu of prof recs for non-trad students, but I'm sure people with experience can answer that one better. Good luck!
     
  3. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Ditto Mistress S.

    I went back to my school and got a LOR from my chem prof - I took his class in 1989. I applied in 2002. No one had a problem with it.
     
  4. UseUrHeadFred

    UseUrHeadFred Oh no! It's a Wumpus!
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    If worse comes to worse, take a fun bio class. Yes, they do exist. Also, if you have any interest at all, take astronomy. That class alone made Physics 2 worth it.

    The idea is, just take a class or two for fun, if you can, and get letters from those guys. Two birds with one stone.
     
  5. roja

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    go and dig up your proffessors and get the letters. I am a nontrad and have a degree in Cinema. If you have a committee through your school (they consolidate your letters thus allowing letters from science and humanities) this works even better. You don't usually have to be an active student. simiply an alum. (I was taking my premed recs at one school but used my undergrad schools premed committee as several of my letters were from there) It worked out well.
     
  6. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I am a non-trad and have a few from undergrad professors in political science and one from law school. I also have one from work experience. I returned to a post-bac program and have a number of LORs from science faculty. I have even heard it recommended to have at least one from bio, one from chem and one from physics if you did well in these classes. Right now, I have 3 from Biology, 1 from Physics, 1 from Chemistry. I will get at least one more from Chemistry and add 2 from my volunteer work.

    I would speak to your college and ask them about the classes you have taken. I know our adviser mentioned that if we have been out a few years, many medical schools like to see recent coursework and that classes more than 5 years ago are frowned upon. I had chemistry in college 10 years ago and am retaking it.

    If you are applying for the class starting in Fall 2005, you may be late in getting these LORs. A lot of professors take a long time to do LORs. Moreover, a lot of schools have deadlines for their pre-med committee letters and if a school has a pre-med committee letter and you do not get one when you apply, it may send up red flags (even though it is merely a deadline issue).

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  7. TexasRose

    TexasRose Gotta run
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    I had to go and ask professors I hadn't seen in several years to write me an LOR. They were all very understanding and accomodating. I gave them a copy of my resume and personal statement to refresh their memories and let them know what I had done since I finished the coursework. No problems.

    The only jerk who gave me grief about the letter (promised to do it and then never delivered) was a prof I had taken a class from the previous semester!
     

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