*~*~*~* Official Letters of Recommendation Questions Thread 2019-2020 *~*~*~*

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Disclaimer: This post was not written by me, it has been passed down through the ages over a campfire.

This thread is for 2020 applicants (those who will be entering medical school in 2020) to ask questions about letters of recommendation.

Any separate threads in Pre-Allo dealing with this topic will be merged into this thread.

Before asking a question, PLEASE READ THE FAQ, both here in this thread AND on the AMCAS website! It is quite possible that your question will have already been answered. If you think that you have a different take on a question in the FAQ, acknowledge this in your question; everyone in pre-allo will be much more likely to help you out if they think you've done due diligence.

LINK TO LAST YEAR'S THREAD

Also, each thread has a search function. Please use it before asking your question by clicking the "Search this Thread" button near the top of the page.

This thread is brought to you by the Pre-Allopathic Volunteer Staff. Ask away, and good luck!!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kinds of letters do I need to apply to medical school?

For most schools, you need a MINIMUM of two letters from science professors, and 1 letter from a non-science professor. If you have done research, a letter from your PI is also recommended, especially at research-intensive schools. (If you know of any exceptions to this rule, feel free to post in this thread with citations and I will add them). Other letters that may be helpful: a letter from an employer who knows your skills well, a letter from a physician you shadowed/worked with who knows your skills well, a letter from a volunteer coordinator who knows your skills well. The key is that the letters be exceptional. A detailed letter that can give clear examples of why you are an excellent candidate for medical school will generally trump a tepid letter from a famous person. Every school is different. Please check each school's individual letter requirements by visiting their website.A copy of an XLS spreadsheet from 2010 is attached to this post. The accuracy of this spreadsheet is unknown so be sure to check individual school websites! Keep in mind that a committee letter usually overrides any specific school requirements listed on the spreadsheet.
1a. But doesn't every school have different letter requirements?
Yes, they do. Do your homework, buy an MSAR (I hear from this thread that the way to go is to buy online access because the hard copy is not as useful:http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=811023), and look at the school websites. Also, AMCAS has a link to every school; use it and figure out what you need for the schools you're applying to. https://www.aamc.org/students/applyi...ating_schools/You can get a rough idea from the attached XLS spreadsheet but check school websites to confirm.
1b. But do I really really have to get X type of letter? (2 non-science, 1 science, a letter from my PI)
The short answer: yes. The long answer: Maybe...it depends on the school. No one on SDN can answer this for you. But the general rule in medical school admissions is do what you are told. Get the two science letters. If you can't...call the schools you're applying to and see if they will make an exception. But be aware that the answer may be no.

2. I am a non-traditional student and have been out of school for awhile. Can I get around the letter requirements?
The simple answer is probably no. If you are a non-traditional student, this doesn't mean that you have an easier time getting into medical school; the same hoops still need to be jumped through. Being out of school for awhile is likely a problem in itself; schools want to see recent evidence that you can handle the coursework necessary to get through medical school. Take some classes, form relationships, and get the letters you need to. If you must, you can contact each school individually to see if they would be ok with you submitting alternate letters, but be aware that the answer may be "no".

3. My school has a medical school admissions committee, and they produce a committee letter. But the letter won't be released until really LATE! (August, September, October). Can I just skip the committee and collect my own letters?
The general wisdom on this topic is that if your school has a committee, USE IT! If you don't, you will be asked why and will need a very good reason. You are circumventing the committee at your own risk.

4. How/when can I submit letters of req to AMCAS?
Once the application opens in May, you may begin submitting letters to AMCAS. Before you can mail a letter in, you must "create' the letter in your AMCAS application. This involves you telling AMCAS who the letter writer is and naming the letter in AMCAS. AMCAS will then give this letter an ID number. It is important for you to give your letter writer both your AMCAS ID number and the Letter ID number to avoid any snafus with lost letters. Your letter writer can then mail the letter into AMCAS with these two pieces of information, and the letter will be uploaded to your file and will be available to assign to any school you wish. I am told that while AMCAS will accept documents without your AMCAS ID on them, you MUST have the Letter ID or AMCAS will not accept it. I don't have firsthand knowledge of whether or not this is true.

You can create and submit letters at any time, including after you submit your application and after you are verified. This is one of the few parts of the application you can edit after submission.

5. Do I have to know which letters are going to which school when I first submit my AMCAS application?
NO! You can submit your application without assigning letters. Again, this is one of the few parts of the application that can be altered later. HOWEVER, once you assign a letter to a school, you CANNOT un-assign it. If the letter is present in AMCAS, and you assign it to a school, it WILL go to that school. However, if you "create" the letter in AMCAS, assign it to a school, but your letter writer never sends the letter in, you can notify AMCAS (and the school, through the AMCAS application) that the letter will no longer be sent.

6. How many schools use the AMCAS Letter service?
This year, it looks like all but 4 schools that participate in AMCAS are participating in the letter service. Those non-participating schools are:
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicinein Shreveport
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans
Universidad Central Del Caribe
University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

The participating schools can be found here: https://www.aamc.org/students/applyi...ating_schools/

7. Is it in my best interest to have my letter writers write different letters for each school?
Probably not. AMCAS can only hold a maximum of 10 letters for you. If you need a minimum of 3 letters for each school, these slots will be used up rather quickly.

8. What are letter services such as Interfolio, and why do people use them?
Interfolio and other companies provide secure online letter holding services. You can have your letters uploaded to these services at any time so that you're not scrambling at the last minute (or during the summer!) to get letters into your application. This can be especially beneficial when you are 9 months or so out from your planned application cycle, but know the professor you have NOW will write you a great letter. You can have them write the letter, upload it to a letter service, and then many months later have the letter sent to AMCAS once the application opens. When you do this, you have the ability to add on both your AMCAS ID and the Letter ID to the letter. All your letter writer needs to do is upload the letter (or mail it in) on letterhead and with a signature. These sites are secure and they do not allow you to read the letter beforehand.

9. What else about letters do I need to know?
Your letter must be SIGNED, and should be on OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD whenever possible. This is something that holds people up every year. Some schools will even hold up your application because of this. Also, AMCAS has a beautiful FAQ dealing with letters here: https://www.aamc.org/students/applyi...ding_page.html

10. How should I ask someone for a letter of req?
On this one, I will give my own experience. For each letter writer, I prepared a packet. In the packet I had:
A list of all of my science grades (or non-science grades for a non-science prof)
A copy of my resume
A rough draft of my personal statement
A guide to writing medical school letters (which can be found by googling), a reminder that the letter needed to be signed and on letterhead.

Before handing them this (because who wants all that before they even say yes!) I asked them point blank if they "would feel comfortable writing me a strong letter of recommendation for medical school". Always do this in person!!! If they hesitate...walk away. Seriously. You don't want this person writing your letter.

When they enthusiastically said yes, I pulled the packet out of my backpack and gave it to them.

Because I used Interfolio, I did not need to provide them with my AMCAS ID or Letter ID, but instead told them that they would get an email from Interfolio that evening with instructions on how to upload the letter. Give them a FIRM deadline (2-4 weeks seems to work best) for when you need the letter. Don't ask at the last minute. Don't ask when you think a billion other people will be asking. Do offer to provide them with any other supplementary information they would like. And do give them a thank-you note (and maybe a Starbucks card) when they submit the letter.

11. OMG! My letter writer has not written my letter!!! It has been minutes/hours/days/weeks/months and I'm freaking out!! What do I do!?
First, stop by or email and gently remind them that you need the letter by X date. If this doesn't work, I have given them a premature Thank-You note with a small token, and this seems to light a fire. I recommended this method to someone on SDN last year and it apparently worked like a charm.

If this isn't working....you do the same thing you do whenever something goes awry - find a plan B. Ask someone else...two other people even, just in case this person does not come through. You can't have too many letters. But you can have too few.

12. Do I have to waive my right to see the letters?
No. But if you don't schools might not see them as letters that carry much weight. Waive your right. If you know the person well enough, you should have a pretty good idea of what they are going to write.

13. If I apply this June, and I have given every school my 5 chosen LOR's with committee letter through AMCAS virtual evals upload by my prehealth office, and then I get anther LOR over the summer/fall and want to send it to all schools in December, do I have to have the prof mail it to all 25 schools or will AMCAS distribute it?

or, tl;dr: Can I submit my application without the letters?

You can add a letter at ANY time in AMCAS, have it sent to AMCAS, and AMCAS will distribute it.
You may want to shoot an email to each school letting them know to expect another letter just in case. They should be updating your file continuously (they will want your current contact info, and often people change their addresses mid cycle) but they may not always do it in a timely manner.

Please send me a PM if you know of additional questions suitable for the FAQ.
 

gonnif

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NOTE: links verified and updated for 2019-2020 cycle

Here are some additional useful and official links from AAMC/AMCAS on letters, including a school by school policy on letters and guidelines for what information your letters writers should include. These guidelines, which are both linked and attached as files should be give to each of your letter writers when requesting a recommendation. Survey evidence has shown this helpful to the writers when preparing letters for you. Additionally, you may want to attach links to the AAMC Letter Service and/or Letter Service tutorial when requesting a letter. Anything that makes a writers task easier is alway appreciated. Also linked below are information and various tasks that applicants ask about frequently .
AMCAS Medical Schools Letter of Evaluation Policies (update Oct 2016)
AAMC Letter Writers Guide (PDF)
AAMC Letter Service for Advisors/Writers
AAMC Letter Service Tutorial for Advisors/Writers
AAMC Survey on Guidelines
AMCAS Section 6: Letters of Evaluation
AMCAS Letters FAQ
Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students
Ask Admissions Webinar: How to Select Letter Writers and What Admissions Committees Learn About You
 
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acer370915

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Hello, I have a question about letters of rec! 2 of my letters are coming from NASA employees (I did about 1000 hours NASA work at Jet Propulsion Lab in LA and an additional 800 hours of NASA research here in Houston). However, NASA has a very strict policy against using NASA letterhead for personal letters of recommendation. This makes sense b/c that letterhead is used for space policy, business exchanges, and public announcements. Each of my writers will place a "disclaimer" at the bottom of their letters saying they cannot use official NASA letterhead.

Will this hold me up in the TX application process? I don't want my letters to get rejected before they're even read b/c they're not on official letterhead, but I also am not willing to give up my NASA LOR's. NASA knows me best, and I know these letters will be very strong. Advice? Thanks :)
 

gonnif

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Hello, I have a question about letters of rec! 2 of my letters are coming from NASA employees (I did about 1000 hours NASA work at Jet Propulsion Lab in LA and an additional 800 hours of NASA research here in Houston). However, NASA has a very strict policy against using NASA letterhead for personal letters of recommendation. This makes sense b/c that letterhead is used for space policy, business exchanges, and public announcements. Each of my writers will place a "disclaimer" at the bottom of their letters saying they cannot use official NASA letterhead.

Will this hold me up in the TX application process? I don't want my letters to get rejected before they're even read b/c they're not on official letterhead, but I also am not willing to give up my NASA LOR's. NASA knows me best, and I know these letters will be very strong. Advice? Thanks :)
Your letters will NOT be accepted by TMDSAS and will prevent your application from being processed.

TMDSAS Medical: Application Instructions

Is it required that my letters of evaluation be on official letterhead and signed?
Yes. Your letters of evaluation must be on official letterhead and must include the author's signature.
 
Jan 30, 2018
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Hi, I need help deciding my two best options for science letters.

I have a letter from a chemistry professor who taught me Intro to Drug Discovery. His letter is personalized and I am assuming will be the strongest of the science letters. Because it is not a hard science (i.e. chem/orgo, etc), will this count as a science LOR?

I am also able to obtain letters from Advance Biochemistry I (grade: A, possibly generic/weak letter), Analytical Chemistry (grade: A, possibly generic/weak letter), or Biomolecules (B+, better LOR).

*fyi, chemistry major, only took bio 2 and cell bio; cannot get letter from orgo professors; chem 1 professor, quit and left the the country, physics 1 and chem 2 professor would be weaker than above; physics 2 also left and went MIA.
 

gonnif

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Hi, I need help deciding my two best options for science letters.

I have a letter from a chemistry professor who taught me Intro to Drug Discovery. His letter is personalized and I am assuming will be the strongest of the science letters. Because it is not a hard science (i.e. chem/orgo, etc), will this count as a science LOR?

I am also able to obtain letters from Advance Biochemistry I (grade: A, possibly generic/weak letter), Analytical Chemistry (grade: A, possibly generic/weak letter), or Biomolecules (B+, better LOR).

*fyi, chemistry major, only took bio 2 and cell bio; cannot get letter from orgo professors; chem 1 professor, quit and left the the country, physics 1 and chem 2 professor would be weaker than above; physics 2 also left and went MIA.
if the drug profs title and/or dept are chemistry its fine
 

speedwalker

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I asked for three prof letters. One in december and two in january. Told them I'll be collecting them May 1. They were all happy and they said the time frame was great for them. One said I'd be the first he writes a letter for, for this cycle. Reminded them last month and they said they'd be getting it done. Still have zero letters from them. The semester is coming to a close so I'm not sure if I should send a reminder this week (final exam week, probably very busy) or later. One of them teaches the summer term a week after finals week, another teaches end of june, and another doesn't teach at all during summer term. So I'm kind of nervous some of them will go on a remote European vacation for the summer.
 

gonnif

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I asked for three prof letters. One in december and two in january. Told them I'll be collecting them May 1. They were all happy and they said the time frame was great for them. One said I'd be the first he writes a letter for, for this cycle. Reminded them last month and they said they'd be getting it done. Still have zero letters from them. The semester is coming to a close so I'm not sure if I should send a reminder this week (final exam week, probably very busy) or later. One of them teaches the summer term a week after finals week, another teaches end of june, and another doesn't teach at all during summer term. So I'm kind of nervous some of them will go on a remote European vacation for the summer.
send them a reminder go visit them in office
 
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May 24, 2018
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Fairly certain this isn't an issue but to make sure: My non-science professor is no longer affiliated with the university she taught at. She's opened her own company. I told her that official letterhead from her company is fine and to just clarify that she taught me at said university. Am I correct that this isn't an issue with AMCAS, TMDSAS, or any school?
 

Fruitjuice

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Does this count as a non-science letter? - I took a Cultural Studies course and my professor has a PhD in a biological science and ran a lab that did molecular biology research. The course itself is under a non-science department and there is no "science" in the course. The professor has retired from research but still teaches.
 

gonnif

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Fairly certain this isn't an issue but to make sure: My non-science professor is no longer affiliated with the university she taught at. She's opened her own company. I told her that official letterhead from her company is fine and to just clarify that she taught me at said university. Am I correct that this isn't an issue with AMCAS, TMDSAS, or any school?
Happens all the time. Letterhead Company A with introduction that writer was formerly Prof at School B
 

gonnif

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Does this count as a non-science letter? - I took a Cultural Studies course and my professor has a PhD in a biological science and ran a lab that did molecular biology research. The course itself is under a non-science department and there is no "science" in the course. The professor has retired from research but still teaches.
The department is non-science
the course is non-science
the professor is faculty of non-science

does the prof title say "Professor of Biology" or "Professor of Cultural Studies"
(look at school's bio online of prof)
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Hello! My forgetful self did not ask my recommenders to write in official letterhead and sign their letters, however, they are being submitted to a committee packet and not individually. Would they be accepted or should I send an apology email and ask to resubmit?
 

gonnif

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Hello! My forgetful self did not ask my recommenders to write in official letterhead and sign their letters, however, they are being submitted to a committee packet and not individually. Would they be accepted or should I send an apology email and ask to resubmit?
1) the letter requirements you need to meet are whatever the committee requires
2) most writers should know to put it on letter
3) But I am sure you sent request to the recommenders along with the AAMC Letter Writer’s Guide, which will remind them
 
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1) the letter requirements you need to meet are whatever the committee requires
2) most writers should know to put it on letter
3) But I am sure you sent request to the recommenders along with the AAMC Letter Writer’s Guide, which will remind them
I see, I did send the Letter Writer's Guide, just didn't spell it out explicitly in my email. Thank you so much for the answer!!
 
Dec 25, 2018
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@gonnif @Matthew9Thirtyfive

Sorry if this is a redundant question being asked, but is there a benefit to adding more letters than the committee letter?

At my school, the committee letter is made from 2 science professors and 1 non science professor. If I wanted to add a letter from my PI and my boss (people who have known me well for 3+ years and can speak highly of me), what is the best way to do this?

Do I collect their letters through Interfolio and send them to AAMCAS separately? Would this change my letters of recommendation from a committee letter to a letter packet? I want to do what med schools prefer but will also give me a chance to submit great LORs.
 

gonnif

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@gonnif @Matthew9Thirtyfive

Sorry if this is a redundant question being asked, but is there a benefit to adding more letters than the committee letter?

At my school, the committee letter is made from 2 science professors and 1 non science professor. If I wanted to add a letter from my PI and my boss (people who have known me well for 3+ years and can speak highly of me), what is the best way to do this?

Do I collect their letters through Interfolio and send them to AAMCAS separately? Would this change my letters of recommendation from a committee letter to a letter packet? I want to do what med schools prefer but will also give me a chance to submit great LORs.
1) ask if your premed committee will accept and add a letter from your PI and Boss to be part of their process
2) If you do get these additional letters, you would create individual letter entries in AMCAS and have them uploaded that way. They would not, repeat, not be part of a letter packet
3) The issue that arises from doing this is how does any individual school interpret what letter requirement you are trying to fill and to act on what they receive.
--Most schools will see the letters assigned in AMCAS and wait for them before moving file on in processing
--some schools will say committee letter fulfills all requirements, as soon as they get that, they may consider the file complete, move it into evaluation without noting or considering any other letters submitted.
--Some schools will see 2 individual letters and the school requires 3 to fulfill the requirement, it may wait for a third individual letter as a committee letter is a different category.
4) In your case, it is low risk for these appropriate letters
 

Fruitjuice

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The department is non-science
the course is non-science
the professor is faculty of non-science

does the prof title say "Professor of Biology" or "Professor of Cultural Studies"
(look at school's bio online of prof)
I did a Google of the professor and did not find her in any departmental webpage, she retired from research many years ago and just teaches this class for fun. The most I found is a page offering career support for soon-to-be PhDs in the field of biology.
 

gonnif

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I did a Google of the professor and did not find her in any departmental webpage, she retired from research many years ago and just teaches this class for fun. The most I found is a page offering career support for soon-to-be PhDs in the field of biology.
Then ask the professor and explain your concern.
 
Mar 2, 2018
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Hi, I have two questions.

I have asked 10 professors to contribute to the committee letter. I know that the committee letter itself only counts as 1 letter, but I was wondering if it's overkill to have that many letters in the packet?

Also, I just took biochemistry and did well in the class. The professor has agreed to write a LOR, but I have only known them for 1 class and 1 semester. Would it weaken my application if they wrote a letter for me since they haven't known me for a long time?
 

gonnif

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Hi, I have two questions.

I have asked 10 professors to contribute to the committee letter. I know that the committee letter itself only counts as 1 letter, but I was wondering if it's overkill to have that many letters in the packet?

Also, I just took biochemistry and did well in the class. The professor has agreed to write a LOR, but I have only known them for 1 class and 1 semester. Would it weaken my application if they wrote a letter for me since they haven't known me for a long time?
1. The premed committee determines the requirements for their letter. Just because your are getting 10 letters doesnt mean the premed committee will include or refer to all letters. And even if they are all there, most adcoms will simply read the premed committee. Having said all that, 10 is way overkill. What in the world are you getting. List them

2. With all these letters wny particular reason why you are getting this biochem prof
 
May 1, 2019
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So I definitely was a bit naive in University and mostly connected with my psych professors (I was a psych major). I graduated in 2018. I have one letter of rec from a science professor secured but he's a lab professor -- will this work? He is a Ph.D (there were no TAs at my school). My other science letter of rec stopped responding to my emails. I emailed my other back up today, but she denied me as she said she had already agreed to too many and that everyone had emailed her by January at the latest (and that she would not even start any until June ....). My question is what do I do now?! I've begun emailing multiple other professors as a hail mary but I am panicking a bit. Any advice would me much appreciated!

My current letters are:
2 psych professors
1 bio lab professor
2 MD letters (I work as a scribe for these surgeons)
 

gonnif

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what courses did the psych professors teach and what were their actual professorial titles (go look at their school's bio page)
 
May 1, 2019
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what courses did the psych professors teach and what were their actual professorial titles (go look at their school's bio page)
One is titled “assistant professor” and the other as “lecturer” (their primary job is a social worker). But both are Dr’s (PhD). And it’s the school of health and behavior sciences; psychology department.

One taught health psych and research methods. The other taught social psych.
 

gonnif

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One is titled “assistant professor” and the other as “lecturer” (their primary job is a social worker). But both are Dr’s (PhD). And it’s the school of health and behavior sciences; psychology department.

One taught health psych and research methods. The other taught social psych.
Some schools will not considered either psych science. But go check each school's website you plan to apply for their specific letter requirements
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Hello - I have been out of school for four years now. Just want to be sure that I can count this a science professor:
1. My research PI and mentor. She is also a Professor of Surgery
2. The lab scientist. He has a Ph.D. and guided me from day-to-day lab activities
3. Professor of Surgery & Healthcare executive - he did not taught me but I work with him in professional capacity and shadow in the OR.

Thanks
 

gonnif

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Hello - I have been out of school for four years now. Just want to be sure that I can count this a science professor:
1. My research PI and mentor. She is also a Professor of Surgery
2. The lab scientist. He has a Ph.D. and guided me from day-to-day lab activities
3. Professor of Surgery & Healthcare executive - he did not taught me but I work with him in professional capacity and shadow in the OR.

Thanks
Have any of them actually taught you in a class?
 

gonnif

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None on all three accounts. I dont think there is a way I can get a science prof to write me one. I was not a stereotypical pre-med in college.
Some medical schools are sticklers for LOR/LOE . None of the above are faculty at an academic faculty at an institution that you attended at a student and at some schools none of these will fulfill the obligation. At some point you must have taken the basic prereqs and you need to get at least 1 letter from actual science prof from then, even if the letter simply says "was in my class and got an A". You also need to read in detail on each school's web site the specific requirements for letters as well as any alternative methods for nontrads. Lastly, you should see if you UG institution allows committee letters for alumni and allows outside letters to be part of it. Then you have removed individual letter requirements
 

gonnif

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TIP: COMMITTEE LETTER vs INDIVIDUAL LETTERS

Lets clear this up since applicants confuse it all the time: Individual Letter Requirements/Limits do not apply to Committee Letters

You follow one of the following

If you are using a committee letter, the requirements are set by the undergraduate institution
OR
If you are sending in individual letters, the requirements are set by each medical school

You do not need to follow the requirements for individual letters if you are using a committee letter. For a committee letter you follow the policy of your own undergraduate institution


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Mar 21, 2019
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I am applying MD/PhD and my university uses a committee letter system. I have met the LOR requirements with 2 science profs, 1 humanities prof, 1 club faculty sponsor, and 2 recent research mentors.

I have a 3rd research experience which started junior year of high school and continued up to the weeks before college, which (finally) resulted in a publication my junior year. I plan on listing this 3rd experience on AMCAS Work/Activities as two entries: research experience and publications. However, since this experience was several years, I am not requesting a LOR from the prof. Does anyone anticipate this being an issue? Will adcoms maybe contact the prof and ask for his opinion of me? He wrote me a LOR for college apps, and I believe he would have good things to say.
 

gonnif

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I am applying MD/PhD and my university uses a committee letter system. I have met the LOR requirements with 2 science profs, 1 humanities prof, 1 club faculty sponsor, and 2 recent research mentors.

I have a 3rd research experience which started junior year of high school and continued up to the weeks before college, which (finally) resulted in a publication my junior year. I plan on listing this 3rd experience on AMCAS Work/Activities as two entries: research experience and publications. However, since this experience was several years, I am not requesting a LOR from the prof. Does anyone anticipate this being an issue? Will adcoms maybe contact the prof and ask for his opinion of me? He wrote me a LOR for college apps, and I believe he would have good things to say.
It wont be an issue. Why dont you see if 1) he will write a letter and 2) if your committee will accept and make it part of the committee letter
 
Dec 19, 2017
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Pre-Medical
Is it possible to edit information about letters of evaluation in AMCAS? I have two letters that are already uploaded (I used Interfolio), but I wanted to go back and make a couple of small changes (adding a prefix for one of them and assigning the other one to an institution). Should I just delete the two entries and resend the letters through Interfolio?
 

sjam2

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Nov 10, 2015
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Do all letters have to be uploaded to AAMC before my application can be processed?
 

gonnif

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Do all letters have to be uploaded to AAMC before my application can be processed?
No, The AMCAS letter system has nothing to do with the AMCAS primary application.
 

gonnif

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Is it possible to edit information about letters of evaluation in AMCAS? I have two letters that are already uploaded (I used Interfolio), but I wanted to go back and make a couple of small changes (adding a prefix for one of them and assigning the other one to an institution). Should I just delete the two entries and resend the letters through Interfolio?
I do not believe you can edit. I am also unsure if you can delete in AMCAS and recreate

PS you should be able to delete entries BEFORE submission and recreate
you cannot delete entries AFTER submission
 
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Feb 21, 2019
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Does anyone know if a math professor would be characterized as a science letter or non-science letter?
 

gonnif

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Does anyone know if a math professor would be characterized as a science letter or non-science letter?
Yes

some schools or with some evaluators will be fine calling it science; at others non-science. More commonly the former.
 
Dec 15, 2017
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If I wanted to get a LOR from a professor now, but will not be applying until next cycle (not this upcoming cycle), should I let my letter writer know I am taking a gap year? Does it matter if I got the letters a year before I applied?
 

Sharknad0

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I'm going through my school list's individual requirements since I'm a reapp and my school doesn't do reapp committee letters. Some schools want 3+, but others want no more than 3 (example below). My school assembles the letter packet and I want my packet to have 3 teaching LORS (which is needed at a bunch of schools), and 2 research LORS (they can speak highly of me). I also wanted to add a gap year LOR but I might not be able to because of individual school requirements.

Will my packet of 5 be tossed out of schools with strict 3 requirements (or schools that require a health professional letter)?

USC
  • A committee letter is sufficient. Alternatively, 2 or 3 letters from professors, PI’s or work experience are acceptable. Do not send more than 3 letters!
Rosy
  • Letter packet containing 3 individual letters
  1. Please Note: No more than three individual letters, one committee letter, or one letter packet containing a maximum of three individual letters will be considered in evaluating your application. All letters must be included in your AMCAS application.
 

gonnif

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I'm going through my school list's individual requirements since I'm a reapp and my school doesn't do reapp committee letters. Some schools want 3+, but others want no more than 3 (example below). My school assembles the letter packet and I want my packet to have 3 teaching LORS (which is needed at a bunch of schools), and 2 research LORS (they can speak highly of me). I also wanted to add a gap year LOR but I might not be able to because of individual school requirements.

Will my packet of 5 be tossed out of schools with strict 3 requirements (or schools that require a health professional letter)?

USC
  • A committee letter is sufficient. Alternatively, 2 or 3 letters from professors, PI’s or work experience are acceptable. Do not send more than 3 letters!
Rosy
  • Letter packet containing 3 individual letters
  1. Please Note: No more than three individual letters, one committee letter, or one letter packet containing a maximum of three individual letters will be considered in evaluating your application. All letters must be included in your AMCAS application.
USC may not reject
Rosy can

I suggest you get 3 individual letters in addition to packet. Send indy letters to the schools that wont take packet
 

gonnif

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If I wanted to get a LOR from a professor now, but will not be applying until next cycle (not this upcoming cycle), should I let my letter writer know I am taking a gap year? Does it matter if I got the letters a year before I applied?
Get the letter now if you want and put in interfolio. Ask for update next cycle
 

Sharknad0

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USC may not reject
Rosy can

I suggest you get 3 individual letters in addition to packet. Send indy letters to the schools that wont take packet
Thanks, since I'm reapplying should I have my letter writers update the date on their eval?
 

gonnif

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Mar 27, 2019
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Hey All this is my first post on SDN!
I was wondering if my choice of letters will be sufficient. I have an unordinary non-science letter as it is coming from a PE teacher/coach. Will that work as my third letter (non-science)? The professor I was going to ask went on sabbatical after my class so I could not ask her for one. My other letters are coming from my anatomy professor, exercise physiology professor, and my PI.
 

gonnif

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Hey All this is my first post on SDN!
I was wondering if my choice of letters will be sufficient. I have an unordinary non-science letter as it is coming from a PE teacher/coach. Will that work as my third letter (non-science)? The professor I was going to ask went on sabbatical after my class so I could not ask her for one. My other letters are coming from my anatomy professor, exercise physiology professor, and my PI.
They will be okay
 

Fruitjuice

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Are we to indicate the type of letter (science faculty, non-science faculty, PI, MD, etc) anywhere, such as the name of the letter (UoX_Name_ScienceFaculty)?
 

gonnif

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Are we to indicate the type of letter (science faculty, non-science faculty, PI, MD, etc) anywhere, such as the name of the letter (UoX_Name_ScienceFaculty)?
No, as each school has their own requirements and their own standards as to what fulfill those requirements
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Pre-Medical
Hello

I took most of my pre-req science classes in a state college (chem, physics..) due to economic/financial reasons. Do ad committee frown upon if my letter writer for the science letter is a state college professor? I have a very good relationship with him and he can definitely assess my academic and personal strengths. He is now the Dean of the state college. It might be helpful. Please advice. Thank you very much for your help
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Hello -

Does a Professor of Medicine or a Professor of Surgery count as a science faculty when he/she wrote my letter of recommendation? I did not take classes with them. I worked with them through research and in other professional & academic capacities. Thank you!
 
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