Question about letters of recommendation
Hi, I'm a high school junior. I have good grades in all my classes (my weighted GPA is 4.569) and am currently in 7 AP classes. I've heard that you're supposed to get letters of recommendation from two "clusters" of teachers–one letter from an English/humanities/social studies teacher and one from a STEM teacher. I'm not even remotely interested in pursuing anything STEM related. Additionally, while I'm doing well in my math and science classes, I haven't really connected with those teachers to the degree I've connected with my humanities teachers (the pandemic especially makes this hard).
Is an admissions office going to frown upon me getting both of my letters of rec from the humanities cluster? I feel like I can get really good letters from two of my humanities teachers, but only "meh" letters from my STEM teachers just based on how engaged I am in their classes.
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Unless you apply to CalTech, MIT, GeorgiaTech, or some stem-focused research university, you will not be required to submit a STEM recommendation. And I'm sure you understand the logic behind that. Also, since you are not going to be a STEM major when you apply, it will not be necessary anyway. If you want to study Chem, Bio, Env. Science, Physics, Math, CS, then it always helps to have a STEM HS teacher write one of your recommendations.
Hope that helps.
If you are not interested in a STEM career then I would consider not getting recommendations from those teachers. Get them from those teachers who may teach the major or field of study that you are looking into.
It is also important that you have a connection with them, it will benefit you both.
You will not be frowned upon for getting them in from the humanities cluster. The connection with your teacher > the context that they teach.
Only certain schools require you to receive a rec from your STEM teachers.
Please consider this, I hope it helps! :)
Always go with the teachers that can speak to the best of your abilities as a student and as a person! If you feel like you have teachers in the same subject areas that you know well and can write powerful letters for you, do that! Considering that you're weighted GPA is strong and your course load is rigorous, colleges already have a sense of your abilities as a student, these letters allow them to see more from a teacher's perspective on how you engage in their classes. Since you're not intending to pursue studies in a STEM-related field, recommendations from non-STEM teachers will be fine and shouldn't reflect negatively on you. Unless you are applying to a STEM-heavy school (e.g. CalTech, MIT, etc.), you should be just fine!
Lastly, remember to ask your teachers early! I would recommend starting to ask your teachers at the end of this school year or during the summer months, so that has ample time to think of and craft a superb letter for you. This will also give you ease of mind when application season hits its height in those late fall and winter months and you don't have to think about the recommendations because they're already finished! Hope this helps and best of luck :)
So unless a school mandates a STEM and humanities its not necessary but it is often advisable as it paints you in a light that has you not be a one-trick pony of sorts but ultimately what matters most is a positive relationship. Rec letters serve to give insight on academic career. Hope this helps!
Have you considered asking a teacher from sophomore year? That is also acceptable - perhaps you had a STEM teacher with whom you connected then?
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