Science TA as science professor LOR?

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Deleted member 1077394

Hi all,

I go to a HUGE school where I don't have a ton of access to professors. My research PI is a Psych professor, so that's not helpful.

I have a much better relationship with my science graduate TAs. They teach the labs here so we spend a lot of time together. I feel I could get a better letter from one of them.

How literal are medical schools when they say, "science professor"? Is a grad student acceptable?

Please don't bite! I am new.

Thank you!
 
May 26, 2020
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No, this isn't acceptable in most cases. You can try to see if the actual professor is willing to cosign the letter.
 
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Deleted member 1077394

No, this isn't acceptable in most cases. You can try to see if the actual professor is willing to cosign the letter.

Thank you for your reply.

Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the bolded could be a good compromise. Usually, I know the actual professor because they teach the lecture portion, but I only see them for a few minutes every few weeks at office hours versus the TA for the lab portion of the same class that I spend about 4/hours week with.
 
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Moko

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How literal are medical schools when they say, "science professor"? Is a grad student acceptable?
Professors will often include blurbs from their TA's when evaluating a student. A letter from a grad student, no matter how well meaning, will not hold the same weight. As @Sterlinyx suggested, you can let them know the grad student who you worked closely with.
 
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Deleted member 1077394

Professors will often include blurbs from their TA's when evaluating a student. A letter from a grad student, no matter how well meaning, will not hold the same weight.

That makes sense! Thank you!
 
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Follow-up question if you have a moment, @Moko and any others:

Does it matter which science the professor you ask for a LOR teaches? The professor I have in mind for a LOR teaches my Ecology class. Is that LOR worth less than a LOR from a Bio professor who teaches an area of Biology with relevance to medicine (Physiology, Embryology, etc.)?
 
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Moko

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Does it matter which science the professor you ask for a LOR teaches? The professor I have in mind for a LOR teaches my Ecology class. Is that LOR worth less than a LOR from a Bio professor who teaches an area of Biology with relevance to medicine (Physiology, Embryology, etc.)?
The subject doesn't matter. The best letters are those that can speak highly of your abilities and character, as outlined by the core competencies.
 
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HouseJC

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Yeah, I can attest to this. I'm a current PhD student and TA, so I write letters for students which the course professors co-sign. But, to be clear, I always have a statement that "I'm aware the medical school requires a professor as a referee, but to these circumstances, the student felt that I can be a better assessor. However, the professor has agreed that the assessment is correct and has demonstrated this with his/her/their signature".
 
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