Using a strong letter of recommendation from a Calculus I/II professor for a non-science requirement?

RipSpamilton

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May 19, 2020
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    Hi everyone!

    It's gotten to that point where I finally have my AMCAS completed and now I'm sending out applications! My question is...

    For a non-science LOR submission, will a letter from a Calc professor suffice? I have a really strong letter from my calc professor, and was hoping to use it for that requirement.

    I've read mixed opinions in the forums saying that though math is part of BCPM, it's not technically a science and other say that it is. Hoping for someone to shed some light on the matter.
     

    LizzyM

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      Calculus is math which is science. Usually the non-science letter is an opportunity for someone to address your ability to write well, participate in vigorous class discussions, and engage in ideas presented in social sciences and the humanities. As good as that letter might be, it is unlikely to address those things that an adcom that asks for a non-science letter is looking for and will leave a blank where an answer to those questions would be.
       
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      RipSpamilton

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        Calculus is math which is science. Usually the non-science letter is an opportunity for someone to address your ability to write well, participate in vigorous class discussions, and engage in ideas presented in social sciences and the humanities. As good as that letter might be, it is unlikely to address those things that an adcom that asks for a non-science letter is looking for and will leave a blank where an answer to those questions would be.

        Thanks for your insight! Also a question if you have the time. I'm about 4-5 years out of my English/Writing courses so the professors i had for the course most likely do not remember me, despite doing well in the class. Recently I've taken a wine tasting course with a very eccentric professor in another department at my University. Would it be wise to seek a letter of recommendation from him or would you recommend staying traditional in the sense of finding a humanities/social sciences professor to write me a letter? Thanks!
         
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        LizzyM

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          A wine tasting professor's letter would be interesting. Maybe he'd call you earthy, flinty, or maybe you have good legs but not at all sweet. The more I think of it, the more I think it could be fun. What the heck.

          If you want to be more traditional, dig out a paper you wrote for the most recent humanities/social science course you did well in and email the professor, attach the paper and ask for a letter of recommendation based on the AMCAS guidelines.
           
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          Chris P. Bacon

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            Being a doctor requires sound judgment. Do you feel that getting a LOR for medical school from a math professor is a good idea? What are they supposed to talk about in that letter that will help to separate your application from the next applicant?

            Get a math LOR if you want to get a Master's or Ph.D

            I would get any non-science letter from someone who can attest to your work ethic and personal qualities outside of school. Leave the academic assessments to the science LOR.

            Again, use your judgment.
             

            Rachapkis

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              Calculus is math which is science. Usually the non-science letter is an opportunity for someone to address your ability to write well, participate in vigorous class discussions, and engage in ideas presented in social sciences and the humanities. As good as that letter might be, it is unlikely to address those things that an adcom that asks for a non-science letter is looking for and will leave a blank where an answer to those questions would be.
              On Luigi Ferrando's, Carema, Rosenthal writes"...it is a wine of finesse that invites one to contemplate its character rather than celebrate its ferocity." One could do worse than have a professor write this about them. I concur with the decision to get an LOR from the eccentric professor in wine tasting.
               
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