Which Letters of Recommendation would you use?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2014
Reaction score
Hey all,

I have five letters of recommendation available for me to use (1 is a physician I've scribed with for 2 years that I will use for sure). I wasn't exactly sure how many I needed but I ended up asking 4 of my professors this year that I've been in contact with over the last 2-3 years. I'll detail the situations regarding each one below.

1.) General chemistry professor, organic chemistry lab instructor (All A's/A-'s). I took his general chemistry course, and he was also my lab instructor for a year, and I also took a summer class with him. So about 2.5 years of knowing him and I frequently visited office hours. Very personal guy. I spoke with him in person about writing the letter and he seemed very eager. The letter was turned in on time. He has a masters, no PhD.

2.) Organic chemistry professor (all A's). He thought very highly of me, I always scored well on his tests. He recommended me for a organic chemistry tutoring position which I ended up doing. Frequently visited office hours. I spoke with him in person about the letter and he agreed but seemed slightly reluctant at first, although this may have been because I asked towards the end of the semester while he was writing the final during office hours -- keep in mind I took his course 2 years ago. Ultimately the letter was turned in on time. PhD.

3.) Physiology professor (A-)/pre-health advisor. He's a very supportive person and I did well in his classes, but not as well as my chemistry courses. Unfortunately, the letter was turned in 2 days late and he turned it in 30 minutes after I E-mailed him reminding him about it. He offered to write me a letter in person. PhD.

4.) Genetics professor (A-)/grant coauthor. Nice lady and an excellent writer. She no longer teaches at the university because of a new research gig so I had to ask over E-mail (about 6 months ago). Unfortunately, I had to remind her multiple times to write the letter. Ended up pushing back the due date twice after giving 3 months originally. Yet still she turned it in 3 weeks after the final due date. I E-mailed her back after she turned it in to confirm that she was able to letterhead despite no longer teaching at the university, and she confirmed she did letterhead and also wrote a very sincere apology for not turning in the letter sooner. PhD. Grant is still pending.

Which would you use?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Members don't see this ad.