What type of information should a professor request if they have agreed to write a LoR?

Ihave Nonamè

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2017
I've always thought that the professor should write only about their own experiences with you as a student, as a TA of theirs, or as a volunteer in their lab...but it sounds as though most professors ask to see transcripts, extracurriculars, personal statement, mcat, etc....

I can't figure what more they could add about those experiences that they did not witness. I can't imagine these professors would provide any distinct commentary - each would say "this student's transcript suggests that indeed they are a hard worker". Adcoms can see this in the application and come to this conclusion on their own.

Also, while I'm asking for LoRs, I don't expect to have a personal statement prepared yet nor do I imagine I'll feel comfortable with them looking at my transcripts (3.75 gpa at my present University but a 3.2 at CC#1 and 3.4 at CC#2). I don't want my past poor grades to change how they have perceived me as a student. I have had professors make statements about me being a "perfect" student or a very capable scientist and I don't want this opinion to change just before they write the letter.

Is it reasonable to request that they write only about their own experiences with me and to reject any requests to see personal statement/extracurriculars/transcript/etc?


Full Member
Jan 7, 2020
  1. Medical Student
This is a pretty common thing for recommendors to ask for. They're looking for anything in your transcript, ECs, personal statement, etc. that they can use to hype you up to the adcoms. Sure they can write about their personal experiences with you (which should be the bulk of the letter), but they also want to talk about how great of a student you are.


Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Attached are AAMC Letter writer guidelines developed from a 2014 survey of medical schools. The 2018 version are extremely detailed on what they would seek. This was refined and simplified in 2019. I would send these to with your request to get an LOR


  • LOR guidelines 2018 pamphlet.pdf
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  • LOR guidelines 2018.pdf
    179.4 KB · Views: 8
  • LOR guidelines 2019 .pdf
    277.7 KB · Views: 9
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