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Recommendation Letters

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     A couple of the schools I'm applying to (Rush and Vanderbilt specifically) require 3 recommendation letters, but allow you to submit up to five. I have three professors, all in the SLP department, who are willing to write me letters. I have done undergraduate volunteering or research for all of them and additionally had a class with one where I went to his office hours very frequently. Should I just submit those three recommendation letters because they are the strongest I have, or submit five? I could ask a couple professors that are out of department that I have had a single class with each that liked me, or else I had a professor in the department that I took two classes with and sometimes went to her office hours. The only thing would be that she is very likely getting a ton of requests for rec letters from other undergrads right now. I also work at a nursery and could ask my supervisors to write me one (part of my personal statement will be how I want to work in pediatrics.) Another issue is that one of the professors I already have said that she will write me a general letter to send anywhere, but Vanderbilt has a small survey at the bottom of their rec letter form. I do not want to have to ask her to fill it out since she implied she does not want to have to do separate letters, so would it hurt my chances that her letter would not have the survey? 

Edited by gosparkgo
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Recommendation letters should be by people who can assess your ability to complete a grad program. I'd stick with the 3 that know you best so that you have 3 strong ones. If you want to ask your work supervisor I think that would be beneficial as well because it shows you worked and went to school, which i think would only add to your app. I'm not sure about the survey thing though.. I feel like as long as the letter addresses those topics it shouldn't matter

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So what I heard from my faculty on the ad com is that some of them will read the first 3 (your top 3) and the skip the other 2. And some of them said they will read all 5 because they all have something to contribute. So I would get more than 3 only if the other 2 are strong enough that if they're read they will add to your admissions package. If the other 2 are trepid I feel like it will be more damaging rather than helpful. My 2 cents. 

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