vannguyen

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I have 4 letter of recs (2 chem and 2 bio) plus the committee writes one as well. The CEO of my company also showed interest in writing me a letter. Should I send in all six letters?

I read in other threads that you can save one to send in at a later date for updates. This is my first time hearing about that. Is this what people normally do? If that's the better, option when would be a good time to send it in (2 week after I send in my secondaries? a month?)?

Lastly, does anything need to accompany a letter of rec when sending it to the admissions office directly? AMCAS ID? Official letterhead? Attention to?

I apologize for all the questions, I just want to make sure.
 
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That's bordering on a lot of recommendations (but consider that a good thing, it means people think highly of you!).

If I were you, I would not send all of those at once... perhaps sending in four recommendations (including the committee letter) to AMCAS. After interviews, I would send along the last 2 recs as part of an update package. Post-interview is usually regarded to be the best time to send an update.

Hope that helps! Good luck.
 

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Thanks Soup Nazi, it definitely helps.

So when sending an update to the admissions committee how would I handle that, since letter of recs are suppose to be private. Could I get my letter writers to seal it in an envelope and then would put THOSE in another envelope with my letter explaining any updates since my application?
 
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luckyducky87

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I have 6 rec letters and plan on sending most of it in...
- 1 committee letter
- 2 science prof letter
- 1 non-science prof letter
- 1 research PI letter (also my employer for the past 2 years)
- 1 undergrad research PI letters, mostly just for schools that require rec letter from every research you've done...

I was wondering if it was too much too, but I think I'm sending them all in.


With regards to your other question, aren't you sending your letters via AMCAS? It seems that almost all schools are using the AMCAS letter service this year... so if you wanted to send an update letter later on, I thought you just had to send your letters to AMCAS, then designate letters to schools (and then re-submit AMCAS)... and this would ensure that your letters get matched up with the rest of your application.

(If you were thinking about updating letters later in the season, post-interview for instance, then it depends on what letter service you're using... for instance, I'm using Interfolio, and it lets me mail confidential letters directly to school admissions offices)
 

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Are you sending them all in at once?

LSU New Orleans and LSU Shreveport aren't participating in AMCAS letter service. They are participating in VirtualEvals but to my knowledge only universities have access to it. My extra letter would be from the CEO of my company so he isn't affiliated with LSU.

You have to pay to use Interfolio right?
 

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You guys should just read the specific letter requirements for each school. Some schools only allow you to do a committee letter OR separate letters. Some have pretty specific criteria for what individual letters they accept. In any case, you should send all letters you have onto AMCAS right now even if you don't end up using a couple of them b/c it takes a while for AMCAS to process them. Then designate them according to each school's requirements.

If you want to send update LOR's, first ask the school if they accept those, and then ask how they want it sent. And OP, 4 science letters is a bit over the top IMHO, but whatever floats your boat. :thumbup:
 

theWUbear

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I have 4 letter of recs (2 chem and 2 bio) plus the committee writes one as well. The CEO of my company also showed interest in writing me a letter. Should I send in all six letters?

I read in other threads that you can save one to send in at a later date for updates. This is my first time hearing about that. Is this what people normally do? If that's the better, option when would be a good time to send it in (2 week after I send in my secondaries? a month?)?

Lastly, does anything need to accompany a letter of rec when sending it to the admissions office directly? AMCAS ID? Official letterhead? Attention to?

I apologize for all the questions, I just want to make sure.

You can have 1 milion LORs but as long as you're missing a non-science professor your situation is akin to applying to med school and not taking the MCAT.

Exceptions may apply to nontrads
 

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I wouldn't send six letters. It just seems overkill. Why, for example, do you need two letters for bio and two letters for chem? Seems like you would only need one from each.

You can send update letters in, but those usually include updates about things you've done or awards you've been given since you've submitted your application.
 

minerva3121

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I have 4 letter of recs (2 chem and 2 bio) plus the committee writes one as well. The CEO of my company also showed interest in writing me a letter. Should I send in all six letters?

I read in other threads that you can save one to send in at a later date for updates. This is my first time hearing about that. Is this what people normally do? If that's the better, option when would be a good time to send it in (2 week after I send in my secondaries? a month?)?

Lastly, does anything need to accompany a letter of rec when sending it to the admissions office directly? AMCAS ID? Official letterhead? Attention to?

I apologize for all the questions, I just want to make sure.

Are you sending in all of these letters as a packet with the committee letter? Because some schools count a packet as 1 letter, regardless of how many letters are actually in it. If these letters are being sent separately from the committee recommendation, then you might want to consider reducing the number if letters.

All letters should be on official letterhead. If they're not being included in the committee packet, then you need to go back to your AMCAS account and create the individualized letter form, which will include a generated letter ID.
 

vannguyen

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You can have 1 milion LORs but as long as you're missing a non-science professor your situation is akin to applying to med school and not taking the MCAT.

Exceptions may apply to nontrads

Long story. At that point, I had 2 letter of recs, both bios. I searched around for chem professors but they were busy and couldn't do it. Then the last two I asked both said they could do it. One professor was an okay one but she responded first so I said yes. Then the other professor, a professor that was on the pre-med committee said yes, so I also said yes. Now I know that was a BAD MOVE.

Too late now because they're all sent to the committee. I've contemplated asking the committee if could remove one but that would just seem weird in their eyes, and I'm afraid that might show up in their committee letter. Not to mention the professor whose letter I request to remove would feel disrespected. What do you think?
 
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vannguyen

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Are you sending in all of these letters as a packet with the committee letter? Because some schools count a packet as 1 letter, regardless of how many letters are actually in it. If these letters are being sent separately from the committee recommendation, then you might want to consider reducing the number if letters.

All letters should be on official letterhead. If they're not being included in the committee packet, then you need to go back to your AMCAS account and create the individualized letter form, which will include a generated letter ID.


But LSU medical schools aren't participating in AMCAS letter service. Would I still use the letter request form provided by AMCAS?
 

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But LSU medical schools aren't participating in AMCAS letter service. Would I still use the letter request form provided by AMCAS?

Oops, I guess not. Sorry, I didn't read your newer posts in this thread when I replied the first time.
 
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minerva3121

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You can have 1 milion LORs but as long as you're missing a non-science professor your situation is akin to applying to med school and not taking the MCAT.

Exceptions may apply to nontrads

I don't think this is necessarily true. NickNaylor didn't have a letter from a non-science professor and he did just fine in his application cycle. Granted, his stats were out of this world but I'm sure there must have been other successful applicants who didn't include a letter from a non-science professor.

OP, do you know which schools explicitly require a letter from non-science professor? If you're not applying to these schools then you should be okay.
 

vannguyen

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I don't think this is necessarily true. NickNaylor didn't have a letter from a non-science professor and he did just fine in his application cycle. Granted, his stats were out of this world but I'm sure there must have been other successful applicants who didn't include a letter from a non-science professor.

OP, do you know which schools explicitly require a letter from non-science professor? If you're not applying to these schools then you should be okay.

I know for sure LSU Shreveport doesn't require a non-science professor. LSU New Orleans is taking a long time to get back to me, and I can't find details anywhere on their website.
 

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Long story. At that point, I had 2 letter of recs, both bios. I searched around for chem professors but they were busy and couldn't do it. Then the last two I asked both said they could do it. One professor was an okay one but she responded first so I said yes. Then the other professor, a professor that was on the pre-med committee said yes, so I also said yes. Now I know that was a BAD MOVE.

Too late now because they're all sent to the committee. I've contemplated asking the committee if could remove one but that would just seem weird in their eyes, and I'm afraid that might show up in their committee letter. Not to mention the professor whose letter I request to remove would feel disrespected. What do you think?

1. Non-science means not science. Not chemistry, not biology, not physics, not math.
2. If you have many letters of recommendation you have the right to request which letters are transmitted in the packet along with the committee letter. The committee letter is written by the committee after they see all your letters, so if they want to base their thoughts partially based on a letter that was not transmitted, that is their prerogative. But you don't have to submit 8, 10 letters if your committee has so many letters for you, and the same counts if you have 5 and want to transmit 4 of them. You really need a non-science letter, and you should really ask them "which of the biology letters would you recommend i transmit to medical schools? i would like to only use 5 letters total and i need to add a non-science, therefore i would like to remove one science letter. please advise me as to which you recommend i remove"
 

vannguyen

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That doesn't seem like an admittance of poor planning (because it was)?

Also, at this point, I don't know who I would ask for a non-science letter. Unless you're referring to the CEO of my company. The company is a pharmaceutical company working on anti-cancer drugs. He has a PhD in physiology and immunology. Sounds kind of science to me, but if you think it'll give me a better chance at med school then I'm up for trying to contact the committee.
 

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I'm going to have six letters as well. Four are from my institution (two bio profs, one chem, one psych). These are going to the pre-med advisor and will all be sent as a letter packet with a cover letter. This one is going to all my schools. I also have one from a math professor at a different university that I attended years ago, and one from a job supervisor. These are going to be sent to those schools that don't mind extra letters (some schools specifically say something about this, for example Vermont does not want more than four LORs).

About the non-science thing, I originally wasn't getting a letter from the psych prof, so I thought I would have a hard time. Most places don't specify the makeup if you have a committee letter. I contacted at least one school that was ambiguous about it and they said the letters I would have would be fine. So if you're concerned about a certain school and can't find the info on their website, I would contact them. Just keep in mind that this time of year it may take them a bit to get back to you.
 
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sorry to hijack this thread, but i was wondering what ppl's opinions were on having 1 sci faculty letter from a class, and 1 independent study (that was a graded course) letter as the ONLY science faculty letters that have taught you in your letter packet of 5 letters + a committee letter. I am nontraditional though, so i have 2 letters from my current work -- these should count more right?
 

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old thread but i didnt want to make a new one...

many medical schools require 4-5 letters of rec. say person x has 6-7 letters of rec (all exceptional) and sends them to all medical schools he/she is applying to, will the medical schools read them all? or would they just pick 4-5 at random to read? how do things work when a person goes beyond what is required?
 

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old thread but i didnt want to make a new one...

many medical schools require 4-5 letters of rec. say person x has 6-7 letters of rec (all exceptional) and sends them to all medical schools he/she is applying to, will the medical schools read them all? or would they just pick 4-5 at random to read? how do things work when a person goes beyond what is required?

The advice I've heard, and which sounds pretty good to me, is to not send anything more than what they ask for unless the additional letter(s) truly add something to your application that isn't already found elsewhere.
 

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Never send more than they ask for unless it is part of a letter package through your school or through a letter sending service.
If that is the case, you should still indicate which ones you would prefer for them to read if they give you that option. I'd recommend one doctor + 1 research + 1 professor + whatever your best ones are in descending order up until their maximum number unless they have specific requirements.
 

Gust

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Never send more than they ask for unless it is part of a letter package through your school or through a letter sending service.
If that is the case, you should still indicate which ones you would prefer for them to read if they give you that option. I'd recommend one doctor + 1 research + 1 professor + whatever your best ones are in descending order up until their maximum number unless they have specific requirements.


just curious, what are the consequences of sending out more than the requirement, considering all are really strong letters and paint a picture of the applicant in a different light.
 
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earf

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I submitted around 5-6 LORs with my application to each school (unless they specifically mention a limit) and it was fine. I collected around 8 LORs because I was scared of not having enough, but ended up asking multiple willing people. My LORs included:

2 science (1 bio and 1 chem. Collected another Bio but didn't send in to any school)
1 nonscience (humanities)
2 work supervisors
1 EC advisor
1 research

Good luck!
 

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just curious, what are the consequences of sending out more than the requirement, considering all are really strong letters and paint a picture of the applicant in a different light.

It's annoying that an applicant can't follow instructions/thinks that they are above the instructions and frankly if you were a borderline interview-don't interview case it would sway me to vote to not interview. They don't have all day to review each application. In my experience with my school's adcom it's more like 30-60 seconds on your personal statement and a few more minutes on the rest of your application before the initial interview/not interview decision is made. Try to tailor your letters to fit the school's mission/personality. Maybe a little more research for the research schools, extra-curriculars for the EC loving schools, etc.
 

earf

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It's annoying that an applicant can't follow instructions/thinks that they are above the instructions and frankly if you were a borderline interview-don't interview case it would sway me to vote to not interview. They don't have all day to review each application. In my experience with my school's adcom it's more like 30-60 seconds on your personal statement and a few more minutes on the rest of your application before the initial interview/not interview decision is made. Try to tailor your letters to fit the school's mission/personality. Maybe a little more research for the research schools, extra-curriculars for the EC loving schools, etc.

I partially disagree with mmmcdowe. Gust was asking about sending more than the requirement, which is usually the minimum number of letters they need. If a school's adcom is on the fence about whether to give an applicant an interview or accept them, another strong letter that might share a new perspective on the applicant than can indeed provide that much needed affirmation of the applicant as a strong candidate.

School's have limitations for an obvious reason: they don't want any more than that. Anything below that number is fair game. Anything over it and I would have to agree with mmmcdowe as not being able to follow instructions.
 

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What if my committee sends a packet and in that packet contains more than the "required" amount of letters an individual school wants? I will have:

1 committee letter
2 science professor letters
1 academic advisor letter
1 clinical volunteer supervisor letter
1 community volunteer supervisor letter
 

earf

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What if my committee sends a packet and in that packet contains more than the "required" amount of letters an individual school wants? I will have:

1 committee letter
2 science professor letters
1 academic advisor letter
1 clinical volunteer supervisor letter
1 community volunteer supervisor letter

Not sure since my undergrad didn't have a committee, but I've always thought that you either send a committee letter OR individual letters, not both. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Post-interview is usually regarded to be the best time to send an update.
 

earf

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I read in other threads that you can save one to send in at a later date for updates. This is my first time hearing about that. Is this what people normally do? If that's the better, option when would be a good time to send it in (2 week after I send in my secondaries? a month?)?

A month. Give them time to read your secondary, be unsure about whether to give you an interview, and then hit them with an update! Sure as hell got me several interviews.
 

osprey099

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Not sure since my undergrad didn't have a committee, but I've always thought that you either send a committee letter OR individual letters, not both. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

For my school at least, they send a packet containing the committee letter and the individual letters. I believe all of this is counted as 1 letter though, because the instructions for filling out the amcas at my school says to just list our head premed advisor as our sole letter of recommendation write on the amcas app.
 

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What if my committee sends a packet and in that packet contains more than the "required" amount of letters an individual school wants? I will have:

1 committee letter
2 science professor letters
1 academic advisor letter
1 clinical volunteer supervisor letter
1 community volunteer supervisor letter

As I mentioned, this bypasses the reqs because they are lumped. However, if you are given a chance to pick the order of the letters in the packet, I would pick them in order of importance to you. If you are asked by a school to identify which letters that you want them to read, pick the most important ones to you up to the limit.
 

mmmcdowe

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I partially disagree with mmmcdowe. Gust was asking about sending more than the requirement, which is usually the minimum number of letters they need. If a school's adcom is on the fence about whether to give an applicant an interview or accept them, another strong letter that might share a new perspective on the applicant than can indeed provide that much needed affirmation of the applicant as a strong candidate.

School's have limitations for an obvious reason: they don't want any more than that. Anything below that number is fair game. Anything over it and I would have to agree with mmmcdowe as not being able to follow instructions.

Yeah I didn't catch the context of that. If you have strong letters, always send the max they allow and never more. The only reasons to send less than the max they allow is if you don't have enough strong letters.
 
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The committee packet definitely only counts as one letter. My committee requires 5 letters (up to 8), and I submitted 7. In all of my secondary applications, the requirement was X number of letters or the committee letter. My committee advisor also told me that although your other letters are attached to the committee letter, the committee letter is supposed to summarize all of the LOR that you submitted into a single page.
 
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Yeah I didn't catch the context of that. If you have strong letters, always send the max they allow and never more. The only reasons to send less than the max they allow is if you don't have enough strong letters.
If they don't have a max, but they recommend sending 3 to 4 letters, should I abstain from sending a 5th? I'm expecting it to be a very strong letter.
 

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Not sure since my undergrad didn't have a committee, but I've always thought that you either send a committee letter OR individual letters, not both. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

One of the schools I have applied to several times asks for one committee letter and two personal individual letters. The committee letter is the main committee letter plus four individual letters.
 
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Never send more than they ask for unless it is part of a letter package through your school or through a letter sending service.
If that is the case, you should still indicate which ones you would prefer for them to read if they give you that option. I'd recommend one doctor + 1 research + 1 professor + whatever your best ones are in descending order up until their maximum number unless they have specific requirements.
If they only require 3 letters, and don't have a max, you would recommend sending just 3 letters? Would 6 or 7 be too many?

You kind of already addressed this question a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to clarify what you meant in the quote.
 
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