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I transferred to my current school and I am almost finished with my classes. Great! Yay ...except I don't really have a relationship with the professors since i have only taken one class with them. How do I get recommendation letters from professors?

I am a senior graduating in Spring and i need recommendation letters from professors for application to med school and/or scholarships. Don't really know how to go about it when my classes are 400+ size. senior pre-med college

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Megan’s Answer

If your professor has scheduled office hours, go to them! In my experience, it was the best way to get one-on-one time and form a relationship with them, especially with such large class sizes.

I agree with this and will add that you can find out what extracurriculars the professors sponsor. If they do then you can join to get to know them better and boost your resume. Win win! Ashley Santos

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Steve’s Answer

Hello Shelana,

Most professors/instructors have scheduled open door or office hours (perhaps now online due to COVID, but no matter). You start by attending, introducing yourself, and letting him/her know which class you are in. Come ready to ask some questions about the material, or express an interest in a particular point/subject that came up in class. If you do this on a regular basis, your professor will get to know you and and vice versa.

Do some research and find out of your professor might be an advisor to a student group or club, attends or organizes any events/functions from their department, etc. Meeting up outside of class or office hours is another great way to get a relationship started. Once you had a few conversations, consider asking them for some advice (e.g. classes, career path, internships, etc.). If the subject area is of particular interest to you, try contributing something by forwarding a link to a relevant article, book, news story, etc. If you notice that another student seems to know the professor well, ask if you can tag along on their next meet-up and be introduced.

When you're feeling comfortable that you both know each other a bit, that's the time to float the idea of requesting a letter of recommendation. Be sure to offer to provide a detailed bio and summary of your classes, activities, grades, etc. so that it's clear you're not expecting him/her to spend a lot of time researching you. Make it easy for them to say yes.

Good luck!