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Reference Letter Selection


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Just had a relatively straightforward question about reference letter selection. I am applying to a few American schools, and so will be submitting ~6 letters to the AMCAS service.


I have laid out a rough description of my relationships with the 6 individuals. The issue is that I am not sure which 3 of the 6 to use for Canadian applications.


1. Tutoring supervisor - worked with her an hour each week and got to know her very well over the course of the year. She is an employee of the university, but not a professor


2. Alternative Spring Break Admin Leader - worked with her for a week during the ASB. Still stay in touch, and I think she could write an extremely positive reference letter, but again she is an employee of the university and not a professor


3. Current Research supervisor - working for him right now in the summer doing research, and most likely my thesis. I like him and will probably use him.


4. Previous research supervisor - different research supervisor last summer, in a different faculty than what I am currently in. She said she liked my work last summer and wrote a letter for me last year.... but I didn't have any luck in applications this year.


5. Professor - Did very well in his course, talked to him several times for a few hours and get along with him well.


6. ASB Faculty Leader - this is my non-science professor, and he is the associate dean of arts. (Probably won't use him for Canadian)


I had been thinking of using 1,2,3 for my Canadian schools. However, I am concerned about the fact that 2/3 references are not professors. My marks and MCAT are strong, so I thought it would make sense to have letters that show my "softer" side.


Any ideas/feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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If No. 2 only knows you for a week, it is a bit 'ify' to me. As long as you receive "credible and strong" LORs that cover all the territory (academic, non-academic and character, motivation, etc.), you will be fine. A tutoring supervisor and/or current/past research supervisor who knows you well is of far greater value than a prof who give you a sterile (almost no name) LOR. Follow your instincts, you will be fine.:)

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Hey, thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely take it to consideration when I start the final process.


@token: For the american schools that require 3 professors, I will be using 3,4,5 plus the others as required. My issue was more in figuring out which ones to use for the Canadian application (which has a maximum of 3 references of any type).

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