Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

How Long Should You Know a Prof Before Asking for a Letter?

4 posts in this topic

Posted

How Long Should You Know a Prof Before Asking for a Letter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I don't think it's a matter of how long you know the professor, but what you think your relationship is. If you've known a professor for only a month, but you've already done work in his lab and your relationship is good, that's fine. If you've known a professor for 2 years, but you didn't do much in the lab other than wash dishes, and you rarely saw him except once a month, then that's probably not going to be a great letter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes. The question should be How WELL do you know the professor. Scratch that. It should be How well does the professor know you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not a science person, so my answer is a little different than monochrome's, as Literature students don't do lab work, and more like zapster's. I think the answer lies in how well the professor knows your abilities. When I have advised undergrads, I generally find they've taken at least two classes with the professors they ask for LOR's and in addition they've developed a significant rapport with them. However, one of my classmates asked a prof that he'd only known for a semester for a recommendation, and got a very strong one, so there is some variability here. 

 

The short answer is: your professor should know you well enough to be able to speak for your ability to complete whatever graduate degree you're applying for. Since this is the case, you should be certain this professor has seen your absolute best work and work ethic. 

 

Lastly, it is OK to ask, "Dr. So-and-so, would you feel comfortable writing me a letter of recommendation for grad programs?" That gives the professor a chance to bow out if they feel they don't know you well enough, and you'll get the added bonus of being sure of their support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0