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Hi everyone, as you may notice, UBC added reference letters to their DMD application this year, and at least one letter should be from a science professor in an upper level science course (300 level or higher).

This requirement is giving me a hard time because I finished undergrad two years ago. Few months after I graduated, I tried reaching out to the one and only undergrad professor who knew me well enough to be a referee, asking for a reference for my Master's research grant, he didn't reply :( I doubt if he will say yes to my new request, especially since I haven't talked to him in two years... As I now have a Master's degree, my thesis supervisor could be another option for my academic reference, and I know he would happily write me a strong reference.

However, UBC seems to strongly prefer a reference from undergraduate level. The first time I asked them if my Master's supervisor is okay, they said: "We require an Upper Level Academic Reference. If the supervisor is upper level, then yes this will be fine." But then as I emailed back asking for clarification what upper level means, they replied:"Upper-level would be as you mentioned – a faculty member who teaches or assists in undergraduate upper-level courses. It would be preferable to receive an upper-level referee. I am unable to advise any further who you should select."

Could someone please help me interpret what they meant? Are they saying NO to a graduate-level reference? Is there someone else who has been out of undergrad for a while? Do you try contacting your undergrad professors or do you go with a graduate-level referee?

 

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23 minutes ago, Bard1998 said:

Similar issue - but with the other reference letter, I haven't been shadowing a dentist because it was never a requirement and I've lived in BC my entire life..

  

  

They require you to shadow a dentist? That seems odd given that UBC specifically advises against shadowing to MD applicants.

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6 hours ago, Chaxon said:

Try approaching the undergrad professors you’ve had in person. Emails are too easy and show a lack of effort imo. Explain your situation, and they should be glad to help.

Most professors understand the difficulty of dental admission and will give valuable advice on these things.

Unfortunately, meeting in person is not an option for me, as I now live in a different province and it'd be a 10h drive :(

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14 hours ago, Bard1998 said:

Similar issue - but with the other reference letter, I haven't been shadowing a dentist because it was never a requirement and I've lived in BC my entire life..

 

 

Maybe if you start looking for a shadowing opportunity now, you still have 2 months to get to know the dentist and ask for a reference?

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On 9/11/2019 at 5:08 PM, doodobro said:

Hi everyone, as you may notice, UBC added reference letters to their DMD application this year, and at least one letter should be from a science professor in an upper level science course (300 level or higher).

This requirement is giving me a hard time because I finished undergrad two years ago. Few months after I graduated, I tried reaching out to the one and only undergrad professor who knew me well enough to be a referee, asking for a reference for my Master's research grant, he didn't reply :( I doubt if he will say yes to my new request, especially since I haven't talked to him in two years... As I now have a Master's degree, my thesis supervisor could be another option for my academic reference, and I know he would happily write me a strong reference.

However, UBC seems to strongly prefer a reference from undergraduate level. The first time I asked them if my Master's supervisor is okay, they said: "We require an Upper Level Academic Reference. If the supervisor is upper level, then yes this will be fine." But then as I emailed back asking for clarification what upper level means, they replied:"Upper-level would be as you mentioned – a faculty member who teaches or assists in undergraduate upper-level courses. It would be preferable to receive an upper-level referee. I am unable to advise any further who you should select."

Could someone please help me interpret what they meant? Are they saying NO to a graduate-level reference? Is there someone else who has been out of undergrad for a while? Do you try contacting your undergrad professors or do you go with a graduate-level referee?

 

They want someone who can comment on your abilities to tackle upper-level course work, not your research abilities. UBC has this requirement in Med as well - they don’t generally want graduate supervisors if they’ve only supervised you doing research. I have long believed that this is largely to do with the fact that not every applicant does research, and they’re trying to evaluate academic qualities on an even playing field that’s more like the type of academic setting the dental/Med program takes place in. Research potential and success in a course-work heavy program also don’t necessarily correlate. So they also don’t want letters from people who supervise students for research, but don’t teach upper-level undergraduate courses, as again, they’re technically less able to comment on the relevant points. (Although honestly I think it’s a very picky distinction).

Did you take any graduate courses in your MSc with an instructor that you might be able to use? They’d likely be able to comment on the same points as a undergraduate instructor, and would be more relevant than a research supervisor. You might be able to get that through if you have no other options?

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On 9/12/2019 at 10:31 PM, frenchpress said:

They want someone who can comment on your abilities to tackle upper-level course work, not your research abilities. UBC has this requirement in Med as well - they don’t generally want graduate supervisors if they’ve only supervised you doing research. I have long believed that this is largely to do with the fact that not every applicant does research, and they’re trying to evaluate academic qualities on an even playing field that’s more like the type of academic setting the dental/Med program takes place in. Research potential and success in a course-work heavy program also don’t necessarily correlate. So they also don’t want letters from people who supervise students for research, but don’t teach upper-level undergraduate courses, as again, they’re technically less able to comment on the relevant points. (Although honestly I think it’s a very picky distinction).

Did you take any graduate courses in your MSc with an instructor that you might be able to use? They’d likely be able to comment on the same points as a undergraduate instructor, and would be more relevant than a research supervisor. You might be able to get that through if you have no other options?

Thanks for sharing your insight! Now it makes more sense why they specifically want instructors instead of research supervisors. I did take courses during my master's. I will email the admissions and see if they are okay with a graduate-level instructor!

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On 9/17/2019 at 11:07 AM, doodobro said:

Thanks for sharing your insight! Now it makes more sense why they specifically want instructors instead of research supervisors. I did take courses during my master's. I will email the admissions and see if they are okay with a graduate-level instructor!

hey, could you let me know what they said about graduate-level instructor for reference?

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