LOCs for non traditional older students

I am quite concerned about the letter of rec requirements I’m seeing from a bunch of medical schools. They mostly ask for LOCs to be from science professors… I am non traditional and have been out of school for several years so obtaining a letter from a professor would be impossible as both of my favorite professors from biology are both retired now and I don’t have their contact info as they are no longer affiliated with the university …. I could have many rec letters from doctors I’ve worked with over the years, and supervisors from my currents jobs - is that sufficient or do I still need a letter of rec from a professor? Has anyone else encountered this issue?


Hi Kathryn,

Since you mentioned that your professors are retired, how long ago did you graduate from undergrad? The reason I’m asking is that according to the OldPreMeds podcast (How Recent Should My Prereqs Be for Med School?), “some medical schools have started to say that they would like to see the coursework within the last 5 years.” This is to show them how you currently perform academically and can handle a medical school academic load.

You might also want to check out this episode (How to Get the Best Letters of Recommendation as a Nontrad) which addresses your question directly. If your prereqs are recent, maybe taking an upper-level science course to show them that you “still got it” may be a solution. Otherwise, it may be school-dependent on what they want, and you may have to call each one to get a clarification.

With that said, my prerequisites were a decade old, so I needed to retake them. This allowed me to get LORs from recent science professors.

I hope this helps!