Your Pre-Dental Planner
Getting Recommendations for Dental School
Payoff time is here. Hopefully you have established close relationships with professors, volunteered at clinics, worked with professionals, and become friends with an advisor of an extracurricular activity. In short, you should have done everything we advised you to...or at least some brown-nosing!
You should put a lot of thought into who you would like to write your letters of recommendation. Most dental schools require at least 3 recommendations. The people that you choose should know you well, be familiar with your abilities, and understand your goals. And don't wait until the last minute. If you want good recommendations, you have to give those you select a substantial amount of time to write them. Remember that many professors will be asked to write several letters, so get in touch with them as early as possible. You should allow a minimum of three weeks for them to compose it. This means that you must make contact about a month before your application is due, at the latest.
Make sure you supply all necessary forms, addresses, due dates, and stamped addressed envelopes. It would be helpful to write down or discuss when you took their class (or worked for/with them), information about your qualifications, and any additional background that you feel would aid your recommendation. You may even want to provide a copy of your resume and transcript.
You should follow up with a thank you note a few days before the recommendation is due. Not only is your gratitude a polite gesture, it will serve as a reminder.