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How many letters of recommendation is too many to ask for from professors?

I am currently applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs, and I wanted to know how many letters of recommendation are too many to ask for from professors? #student #psychology #application #clinicalpsychology #graduateschool #professor #students #graduate


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Helene (Eleni)’s Answer

Be clear with your professors about how many schools you are applying to and even give them a summary from your personal statements so they can tailor the letters in the right way. You don't want to pile too much work on their plate, but typically they know they will probably recycle the same letter for different schools. Be transparent and ask them if they are willing to write 2 or 3 for the schools you are applying to. The more info you give them, the easier their life will be in writing these.

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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Kriti’s Answer

Hi Sabreet, I was in your shoes some time ago. Typically each school may ask for 3-5 letters of recommendation. Depending upon how many schools you are applying to, it is a simple Math :) I know your question comes from the inhibition regarding 'bothering' your ex-professors with writing multiple recommendations. It is always good to reach out to your selected professors, well in advance, and inform them about the schools you have applied to and that they will be reached out to for recommendations. This heads-up will definitely help you and your professor in the application process.

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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Sabina’s Answer

Hi Sabreet,

Don’t go above three unless you have a really good reason. It’s highly likely that you hit diminishing returns even at three, and certainly beyond three.Focus on those three to four and don’t overload the admissions committee which is composed of the department’s professors, who have better things to do.

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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Janet’s Answer

Usually the program's application process will inform you of how many letters of recommendation they want. It is usually 3 letters. It is best to have letters from a professor with whom you have taken courses that are related to the program to which you are applying. If you have done any research, it is good to have a letter from the professor who oversaw the research or who graded the paper that detailed the outcome of the research. A letter from a professor who taught a science or statistics course that you did well in would also be helpful.

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Sabreet! I agree with the previous response. In addition, most of the time, in programs there will be an outline or criteria for how many letters of recommendation is needed. There will be a minimum and a maximum. For medical school applications and I believe for most graduate programs, the minimum is 3 while the maximum is around 5. Definitely ask professors who have known you well and even taught you a class; for example for medical school it is required that 3 letters come from professors who have taught you, 2 science and one non-science. I hope this has helped and I would definitely check with each school's program you are applying to as they can vary.

Best of luck!

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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Archna’s Answer

Hi there Sabreet! It is always useful to have 2 to 3 references from your professors. Help them by giving as much information as possible upfront! Be clear and consise! The more you can help them, prepare the easier the process will be! Good luck!

Thank you for your insightful answer. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond! Sabreet D.

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