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Academic References


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Hello! I'm applying to medical school for the first time this year and I have a question about the referees, particularly about an academic reference. Can you ask a professor whom you don't really know to give an academic reference? I don't really KNOW any professors, but is it common for students to ask a professor whose class they were in for a reference even if they don't know them? I'm getting stuck on these references! Please help!

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I wouldn't. What would they write...? "jdesj was in my class for the past year. their mark was xx%. Sincerely, Dr. who doesn't really know them." Unless you've met them multiple times and they've had a chance to see your work (like gone to lots of extra help sessions, asked good questions, etc.) someone like this isn't a great reference.

 

In terms of "academic reference" - it doesn't mean you have to have taken a course from them. I didn't have any of my professors write me reference letters. And if you don't have an academic (can include research supervisors) reference, I'd pick 3 references from people who know me well outside the academic setting who could write me meaningful letters over one from a prof that I haven't had any one-on-one interactions with.

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