letters of recommendation

hallo everyone, just had a quick question about LORs.
How many LORs are we suppose to get? The premed office here recommends five (2 science, 1 non science, 1 volunteer/research, & 1 committee letter if applicable).
I have the 2 sciences and the 1 non science. For the committee letter, I don’t know if I qualify for it due to the number of classes I’ve taken there.
For my other letters, I have a physician at the community clinic where I volunteered for a year and then I also have my supervisor at work/research (methamphetamine clinical trials) where I have worked for almost 1.5 years. If I do get the committee letter, which person should I use for the last LOR?
Oh, at what point do we list what people are writing our LORs? Is it on the secondary? And can we submit different LORs for different schools? Thanks.

Five is a good number. Most schools ask for three or a committee letter. It seems odd to me that the premed office would recommend you have four letters in addition to a committee letter - unless they use the other four letters to write your committee letter.
I had five letters - one from a person who was my supervisor in EMS (both paid and volunteer) and had also instructed my EMT-B class, and four letters from science profs. Since all of my recent classes were science classes, I didn’t really have any non-scienc profs to ask.
I had all five LOR writers submit their letters to Interfolio prior to submitting my AMCAS. Then once I got secondary applications, I went to Interfolio’s website and chose which letters to send, depending on what the school’s requirements were. These were all confidential LOR’s, so I was choosing them based on the letter writer, not on the content. For most schools, I only sent three, but one school had no limit, so I had all five sent.
Interfolio is a great option, as your LOR writers only have to write one letter. You also know that all of your letters will be sent from Interfolio to the school at one time, so you don’t have to worry about chasing down a stray LOR in order to complete your application.
Even if you get the committee letter, it wouldn’t hurt to get the extra letter, in case one of your other LOR’s falls through.

Just one proviso: if you’re thinking about Interfolio and you have a dream school, please check ahead. There are some places that ban private letter-gathering services.

I recommend five. Schools usually require three letters, two science professors and often one non-science letter. I recommend two “enhancement” letters in addition to those three…from people who have supervised you, taught you, or otherwise know you in an academic, working, or volunteer environment. ALL of your recommenders should know you WELL. If they do not, your letters will have little significance.

Most of the schools I applied to preferred a composite letter from the pre-med advisor. Which is best?


Most of the schools I applied to preferred a composite letter from the pre-med advisor. Which is best?

I would honor their preference, if possible.

I agree…go with what the school wants. But know that some medical schools will request that the ugrad letter service also provide the “original” (copies of the originals) letters from which the committee letter was compiled. But you wouldn’t be in that loop more than likely.
When I was at Stanford, we always wanted all of the letters, not just the composite letter, and would call the sending institution to have the letters sent to us. (I don’t know if SUSM still does that or not.) Other institutions do this as well.

I was not able to get a composite letter due to not having a pre-med advisor, and my school doesn’t even write composite letters for the undergrads anyway. This was not a problem anywhere I applied; all schools have an option for applicants to send individual letters. You just have to tell them that you do not have a composite letter.
I used Interfolio and could pick which letters that I wanted to send to each school. Like a previous poster said, five letters seems to be a good number. I had two science letters, one non-academic research letter, one employer letter, and one peer letter. (My state schools here in FL require the peer letter.)

Okay, I just heard back from the pre-health advising committee. Seems like I don’t qualify for the committee letter because I haven’t taken enough classes at that campus. If I don’t need my personal statement and LORS by April now (committee letter deadline), when do I need my LORS by? Is it usually by the time secondaries roll around? Thanks for all the help.

haha sorry for the repetitive questions. After some snooping I found Amy had answered them in another post. THanks!