Out of school for several years, how to get letters of rec.

marinehrnt

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As a non-traditional student that has been out of school for the past five years I'm struggling trying to figure out how to get a letter of recommendation from two science professors. I recently took a year of physics and the professor was kind enough to write a letter for me. Several schools where I'm applying require two letters from science professors which is making things a little tough. Beyond physics my most recent science classes were microbiology and chemistry taken in 2007. Would it be unreasonable to contact those two professors and ask for a letter even though it was five years ago and I'm sure they have no idea who I am anymore? I'm starting the application process now, taking the mcat next month and would hate to have the whole deal come to a halt because of a letter of rec. At this point taking another class is not really an option before I apply. Thanks for the input.
 

notbobtrustme

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Lots of schools waive that requirement for non-trads. Call the admissions department and ask.
 
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marinehrnt

marinehrnt

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Lots of schools waive that requirement for non-trads. Call the admissions department and ask.
Thanks for the tip. I was not aware that some schools would waive this requirement for non-trads.
 
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Lots of schools waive that requirement for non-trads. Call the admissions department and ask.
I was only out of school for 2 years before applying. I sent a letter to the dean of admissions explaining why I could only get one letter from a science professor and he waived the requirement for my application.
 

Prncssbuttercup

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Sometimes they'll use a boss as a fill-in... but basically ask the main schools you're interested in...
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I was only out of school for 2 years before applying. I sent a letter to the dean of admissions explaining why I could only get one letter from a science professor and he waived the requirement for my application.
Thanks for sharing this.

Marinehrnt, I feel your pain on this one. I've only been out 2 years, but I've been really worried about finding a non-science prof to write me an LOR. I'm currently trying to reach out to an old humanities prof I had, but in the mean time I'm going to e-mail schools and ask them if I can substitute a long-term work supervisor's LOR instead (or if they would waive the req completely). If you are curious what kind of response I get, I can try to post the general consensus ITT.
 

Girly X

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I've been out of undergrad for more than 5 years and had the same concerns. Contacted the current pre-med advisor and he agreed to informally speak to some of my old profs to see if anyine remembered me. Suprisingly one had clear and great memories. I say try it, you never know who remembers you well. It will probably be the friendliest prof you had (the one who seemed to care about the students and laughed a lot) so start from there. gl :)
 

bassvp

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I sent out a ton of emails and it only took me a couple days to figure out if schools have any exception to their requirements. It helps limit where you apply b/c there's a couple that want something like 3 letters from professors and I was already at the end of my rope trying to get 2. LoL.

I understand your anxiety over this point...but you should have it cleared up in a couple of days.
 

cabinbuilder

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I had the same issue when I was applying. Most of my letters came from physicians who were my colleagues, my nursing manager who I had worked under for 7 years who knew my determination and work ethic, and one letter from a professor I was still in contact with 3 yrs prior from a physics course retake. Most schools realize that if you have been in the work force, professors letters are not feasible. If you have been in the military get one from the commanding officer. Anyone who can vouch for your ability to succeed and be a successful professional due to smarts, wit, and determination.
 
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I am in the same boat. I have been out of school 2 years and the science professors I believe will not remember me since I came from a huge university where most of the science courses had at least 100+. However, I did find one of my non-science professors and my scholarship retention advisor to write me an LOR. Does anyone know if sending an email to the schools you are interested in admissions office was better than calling?
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I am in the same boat. I have been out of school 2 years and the science professors I believe will not remember me since I came from a huge university where most of the science courses had at least 100+. However, I did find one of my non-science professors and my scholarship retention advisor to write me an LOR. Does anyone know if sending an email to the schools you are interested in admissions office was better than calling?
I'm not sure if one is better than the other, but I'm going to use e-mail so that I can have a record of the response if they agree to a substitution/waiver.
 

doctorgator

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What are some of the Schools that you all talked to that waived the Academic Letter of Reference?