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  1. My professor is pretty busy this month with writing/sending a lot of letters for me and many others so they are having their assistant handle the uploading portion. So they want me to send the letter writer link to the assistant's email. Is this ok / normal to do? The letter will be written and signed by the professor but I guess I'm worried that if the email associated with the letter is obviously not the professor's then that might be inappropriate. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Thanks in advance!
  2. So I have graduated my undergrad and took my time away from school for about a year. I am trying to apply for graduate programs in biochemistry/chemistry, and I have 3 professors in mind. Recommender 1 would be my research advisor, so he would be the one who could talk about my skills and accomplishments in his lab, my capability, etc. Recommender 2 is the professor whom I took upper level medicine biology class for study abroad. The relationships I have with this professor is with some conversations, and I talked with him several times asking for help to get me into the study abroad program. I recently emailed him, and he said he definitely remembers me. Recommender 3 is the professor I took a biotech class with. I don't have too much relationship with him. I went to his office hours one time, and I had a pretty good conversation in talking about my future goals, research interests, and what I want to do after graduation. It has been almost a year since I left the school, and I moved back home. I had a pretty good relationship with my research advisor (Recommender 1), and possibly Recommender 2 since I studied abroad with him. I am planning to apply for Fall 2020, so I would be starting/submitting my applications in August-October this year. How would I come about asking all three of them for LOR? I don't want to simply email bug them since that might not result in good letters. I want to travel back to campus and meet with all of them to talk about LOR. Is this the ideal, good way to ask them? If so, what time frame should I do this? I was thinking now (March/April) would be too early, and I'm afraid they might forget about me by the time application comes around. One more thing, how can I convince Recommender 2 and 3 for a strong recommendation letter? Should I provide them with lots of information of what my research interests are? I'm concerned that since I only took their lecture courses, the letters may be general without my research characteristics. Thank you for your thoughts, really!
  3. Hello. I had two professors and a supervisor at a university program I worked on write me LORs for two Ivies I’m applying to for masters. The program supervisor submitted her online LOR with her first name showing as “Self-Employed”. (She was an outside consultant for my university.) Since I waived my right to view the submitted LORs, I don’t know whether she wrote her full name anywhere else. I can just see that the universities I’m applying to received LORs from a “Self-Employed [last name]”. Her email address has her first and last name showing. But do you think this will affect my admissions in any way? I’ve already submitted them before the deadline in January and didn’t think anything of it as it seems to be such a small mistake. But now I’m just wondering. Thanks.
  4. How do I ask a professor I haven’t talked to in a decade and didn’t know particularly well to write a letter of recommendation for me for graduate school? I took an extended break after I got my art degree due to personal issues.
  5. Hi guys! I truly need your suggestions! I am now applying for a PhD program and am worrying a lot about my selection of LoRs. The thing is I talked with one of my professors in the department about my PhD plan when I was a current student and I got a A and ranked 2 in this professor’s class. He is fairly helpful to students and recommended students including me many job chances. However, he said he was reluctant to write a LoR for a current student when I asked him a LoR for the PhD application and hoped me could understand it. But he agreed to provide a reference letter if I planned to search a job. After my graduation, I talked with him again about the LoR and told him that I would apply for some PhD programs including my own law school (I was planning to put him as a potential supervisor). Now I am not a “current student” but I could still feel his reluctance (hem and haw, if I got it right). He finally said that “I could write you a LoR, but you know I can’t write my strong preference to the admission, whether you can be admitted totally depends on the committee... I can only write you a general LoR”… Although I was a quite positive student in his two courses and got two A (ranked top 3) in his class, I am now so confused with his attitude and what does a “general” LoR mean? Does it mean he would not say anything good for me? (I guess that would be horrible...) Should I still ask for LoR from him? (He enjoys a pretty good reputation in the research area that I am applying for, and I got a better performance in his two courses than others. so these are the reasons that I feel hard to give up his LoR T.T) Would the situation be better if I forward my research proposal to him? Anything can compensate this? I am worrying that I did not understand what he said correctly as an international student, and I greatly appreciate if anyone would like to give me some suggestions. Thank you again for your time and kind help!
  6. A friend of mine from the same college applied for his masters last year. He took his letter of recommendation from the same professor that I am taking from now. Since we worked on the same final year projects, our grades are the same and we attended the same class, my professor hinted she would use most of the same document from last year, but that she would add two extra accomplishments of mine. My concern is, that 90% of the document will be identical to my friend's. If any university does a plagiarism check on LOR's from a particular professor, I'm concerned that they might get the wrong impression about my profile, or about my professor's interest in my admission there. Should I ask my professor to try and change the structure of the letter?
  7. One of my LOR writers asked me to write up the first draft of the letter, so I've been trying to do so (pretty sure the "first draft" will also be the thing he directly submits). After doing a bunch of research, most resources advised doing two things: 1) Use concrete anecdotes and examples to show the student's proficiency instead of just meaningless praise. I.e. Describe how he showed he was intelligent through a specific task he completed. 2) Directly compare the student to other students. I.e. "The student distinguished himself from his peers", "One of the brightest students I've taught", "Stood out from the rest of the research assistants etc", "Top X% in his class", etc. The first is fairly easy to do since I obviously have a ton of anecdotes about myself. However, I'm not really sure how to do the second. I obviously don't know how my LOR writer sees me relative to my peers, and it seems extremely presumptuous to hand him a draft saying that I was one of the best students he's had. How am I supposed to compare myself to his other students for him? Does anyone have any advice on this? Unfortunately, I can't get another LOR writer, this specific writer is extremely important to my application. It also seems extremely important to do the comparison, almost every resource and example I found repeatedly stressed the importance of doing this...
  8. I'm going to be applying for a Masters Course at several universities (UK and the US) by the end of this year. I will be taking a recommendation letter from a professor at my current institute of study. The issue is that he would know me only for 4-6 months when he writes the letter for me. How is that looked upon by an admissions officer? Does that reduce the credibility of my LOR? I don't want my chances of getting admitted to become low because of this. Do you all know by personal experience or friends whether students have been admitted in top universities even though their letters of recommendation were written by professors who knew them for a really short period of time? Thank you.
  9. Hi, suppose I ask 4 letters for the recommendation (three required, one for safety). And as expected, only 3 letters were done in deadline. The question is: Should I leave the last pending letter request in the application system? E.g., would it look bad to have one pending letter shown in the system, in spite of three completed letters? (Thus I should cancel the pending request.) Or I can leave it there just in case the last recommender submit it, and adcom would not care about that and just pick those three for reviewing anyway.
  10. I had planned on applying to three graduate school programs for the Fall 2018 application cycle, and need two for each school I am applying to. I reached out to two professors who I thought could write me great LORs, and only one has acceded to my request. The other I haven't heard from and I'm starting to worry that it's getting too late in the game for me to ask an alternate LOR writer. I don't have this professor's direct telephone extension, so I was thinking of calling the department he works in to see if he was still in the office. Is anyone else going through something similar? How did you handle it?
  11. So, I do not plan to apply the grad school next year (2018).. Instead, I am going for 2019 and I want to prepare from now! The situation is really complicating... I finished my undergrad 2-3 years ago in US ... and currently, I am serving the air force back home in Korea.. When I finish my military service, I'd be off from the academics for almost 4 years so would it be possible for me to get 3 letters of recommendation letters from the professors? I'm worried because I wasn't the best student in the classes nor have been close to the professors. I have heard that some Graduate schools (or the graduate program) don't accept the letters of recommendation from academic field if you have been off for 5 years.. Is that true? Or should I reach to the professors for the LoR? The problem is that I can only contact with them through emails as I'm in service... Please give me some advice so I won't freak out!
  12. I got my BFA 10 years ago this Spring, and have been almost entirely away from academia since then. I decided (unfortunately, sort of last-minute - the timing has never worked out until now) that I wanted to try applying to a specific MFA program this year, and because of how long I've been out of school, I'm concerned about professor recommendations. So far, I have 1 current teacher recommendation (I'm taking a class at community college in the field I'm looking to apply for), and 1 former employer (not really related to my field, but we had a long working relationship). My third recommendation was going to be from my BFA thesis advisor. She recently replied to my request email to say that while she'd be (tentatively, from the tone of the email) happy to do it, she recommends finding someone who is more familiar with my work, and with whom I have a more current relationship. (My tendency to not keep in touch with people is now biting me in the butt.) The problem is that aside from the 2 other recommendations, I don't really HAVE anyone that fits the bill. I'm not sure what to do in this case. So far, the options I can see are as follows: -Ask another former teacher with whom I had fewer classes, but have (sort of, ish? we're friends on Facebook?) kept in touch with more over the years -Ask another former supervisor at the same job as my other former employer, so I would have 2 employer recommendations from the same place -Go with this teacher and provide really thorough supplemental materials for the application -Is there something else I'm not thinking of, here? (Besides going back in time to deal with past-me's mistakes?) Advice is appreciated!
  13. Hey all So I'm applying to phd programs in political science and generally think my profile is pretty good, my only concern is with one letter of recommendation. I've been out of school for nearly a decade and kept in touch with and have fabulous letters from two professors but my third LOR is from my employer. I know it's also a great, and very supportive, letter but am concerned that because it isn't from a university faculty member that I will be at a disadvantage. Does anyone have any insight into this? Thanks!
  14. Hey everyone, I am missing my last letter of rec three days past the deadline and my professor is unresponsive. So, I thought I'd share my story and see if anyone had additional horror tales of getting letters from professors to help me calm down. After emailing all the professors I really admired and did well with, I received some great advice. Paraphrasing, it was something along the lines of ask people in your lab, if you've done research with them their opinion matters exponentially more. It just so happens that I worked in two labs, but I had to leave one due to a huge personal crisis that took away time needed to do quality work. Although I did not think the professor liked me as a result, I decided to go for this professor so I would have 3 letters from professors whose labs I'd been in. He agreed to do it surprisingly and I sent my cv and statement of purpose to him 3 weeks prior to deadline. It's worthy to note that this professor is a sweetheart and he did like me until I had to quit. Then, 5 days prior to the deadline, I realized that the email I used for his letter of rec address online was completely WRONG, so he never received a reminder or instructions for submission. He probably thought that i went with a professor who didn't waste time training a research associate. I changed it right away and emailed him, no response. I emailed his other email with some irrelevant content, no response. I legit tracked down his class, waited for him outside his lecture two days later, ran after him, and asked about his letter the day before the deadline was. Said he'll do it this weekend and turn it in early next week. Monday morning is here I haven't heard from him in 4 days and I don't know what steps to take next, but await my miserable fate and denial letters. The horrible part is its mostly my fault. it's really impossible to get a professor to write one last minute too, and my only hope is to get grad student friends, who have offered to write one last minute because they have been there, to help. However, I just in all honesty have no idea where i stand with the last letter, so meh.
  15. Hi, I'm an international student who's applying to PhD programs in English. I'm new to this forum and not sure this is the proper place where I can ask this question, but please allow me. Yesterday, I sent out some of the links for LoRs, accidentally not waiving my right to access them. As soon as I realized this, I sent an email to the grad admissions to ask whether it's possible to undo my mistake. The upside is that I haven't completed the applications yet. The downside, however, is that all of my recommenders completed submitting their letters... I'm worried if there would be no way to undo this mistake. Has anybody had a similar experience? Would it affect the adcoms' decisions if I cannot undo it? Any comments and opinions will be appreciated!
  16. I'm stuck on who to choose to write my LOR. I was involved in helping out a grad student at the University of Michigan. I am not sure if I should ask her or her advisor for a letter of rec. She can speak much more on my behalf because I worked with her constantly and I never really got the chance to see her advisor much, but his name is much more well known in the scientific community. How much does that matter? He is a very busy man, I am a little intimidated by him, and I recently went to a conference where I saw him quite a few times and they were awkward interactions in my opinion. I'm not really sure if I should ask him or not? Also, is it a bad idea to submit 4 LOR, instead of 3? I have been hearing that an extra doesn't hurt, but that it annoys admissions and gives them the opinion that the applicant can't follow directions. Thank you!
  17. astroid88

    LOR issue

    Hi y'all, I have a question about how to handle a specific LOR. I know you all don't know this person and their specific habits, so I'm just looking for suggestions on possible avenues of action. I had a mentor in undergrad who helped me on my senior thesis. I was also a TA for this person. We had a good relationship. This person has written LORs for me in the past. Sadly this professor was just a visiting professor, and their contract ended this past summer. The university did not renew. This did not detour me from asking for a LOR for my apps this fall. Said professor usually takes a while to respond but eventually gets back (might be something like two weeks later). As they do not have an e-mail with the university anymore (I asked other professors who knew them for their new email. They did not know it.), I messaged them on FB them halfway through September, in order to give them time. I did this with all my professors, though only over FB with this specific professor. No response, though the first message is read on FB. I waited a month and then sent another. They did not even open it this time. We've communicated on FB in the past, and I knew through any medium it always takes a bit for them to respond. The messages I sent were generic: "Hey, how are you doing? I'm applying to some schools, etc". I gave them the option to say no, but I just asked they tell me that they can't do it, so I can get a definitive answer and ask someone else. I've always thanked them for their LORs. This LOR is probably my most important, as I was closest to them, they helped me on my senior project, and also taught me in language courses relevant to my research. I was hoping they would cover langauge abilities and research abilities in the LOR. What should I do? I've though of asking my other LORs (who are friends with this person) to message them. I've also debated sending a third, and final, message. I don't know if I contacted too early? My other professors responded, and I like to be courteous and give them a heads up. Any who, some suggestions might be helpful. Thanks
  18. I am applying to Mechanical Engineering PhD programs. The weakest part of my application is my GPA, which I explain in my statement of purpose was due to being a three-sport, Division I athlete (yes I know I should've spent more time on studying because it's my future and athletics is not, I know, I know). Prof 1: Been in four of his mechanical engineering classes, told me he would give his highest recommendation for me in the letter. This one is a #1 keeper for all my applications. Prof 2: Adviser for a senior design project and was in his mechanical engineering class. Also a very good recommendation, my #2. Coach: Confirm long practice time and commitment to team, varsity 4 years, captain 1 year. (Do grad schools even care about this?) Boss: Industry work consisted mostly of 3D modeling and engineering design but we also gathered data about our process and analyzed it to improve it and make it more efficient. Am slightly worried about his writing skills/this being his first letter. I gave him heavy notes on how to write the letter and suggested a lot of content but he is adamantly and engineer and openly knows he is not great with writing etiquette. Questions: For applications that ask for 2 letters: I will include the two professors. Should I include, as supplementary, the one from my coach, or boss, or both? For applications that ask for 3 letters: I will include the two professors. Which should be the 3rd? Should the 4th be supplementary? Thank you in advance.
  19. Hi everyone, I'm currently working on finalizing my personal statement and resume to send to professors that agreed to write me a LOR. Last semester I took two classes with a professor that agreed to write me a LOR because I got an A in each class. How do I remind him to write me the LORs without sounding annoying or pushy? I would rather send him an email than randomly show up during his office hours. Thank you in advance!
  20. So I'm applying to Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering Master's Programs for Fall 2018. MY question is about letters of recommendation. Most of my applications ask for 3 LORs. Should I get all 3 of my letters from professors or would it be better to get one of the three letters from an engineer that supervised me at one of my internships? If it helps, I was a mechanical engineering major and the internship was at an automotive plant. My top school, Northeastern, seems to be concentrated on giving grads co-op experience. So I was thinking to replace Professor 3 with my internship supervisor. Let me know what you guys think! LOR candidates: Professor 1: My research mentor for my conference paper Professor 2: Head of ME department; Professor of my research seminar; Head of one of the engineering clubs I was in Professor 3: The professor that I was a Teacher's Assistant for (1 year) Engineer: One of my supervisors during my automotive plant internship
  21. I'm applying to PhD programs in Industrial Organizational psychology, and a few in Human Factors psychology. I have two professors in the Human Factors department of my university who have agreed to write me strong letters of recommendation. As for my third letter, I would like to ask my graduate mentor, as I've been working with her the last few years, and she's directly overseeing my honors thesis project. The only thing her and I are worried about is that she's still a PhD candidate. She's in her fifth year, and will likely have her PhD just as the deadlines for applications are closing. Will this likely put a dent in my application? I've gotten a lot of strong, opposing opinions on this.
  22. I'm just starting the process of getting ready to apply to grad school for my masters and the requirement for the letters of recommendation has me a little worried. I haven't been a student in over 10 years, and I've been out of the full time work force for a little over 6 years. I did some consulting work part time for my old firm since I've had kids, but I've also moved since then and my company was bought out twice. I'm currently the PTO (parent teacher organization) co-chair at my kids' private preschool, but that's all I've got. Any ideas?
  23. I know grad schools usually need three recommendation letters, and I think I have a good three from my department lined up (I haven't asked yet though!). However, I could also add a 4th one, as the professor offered to write me one (more as a character reference though, and not really speaking to academics/research) - is that okay and not overkill? Some more info: the 4th recommender is outside of my university (and outside of my field), but he is a fairly recent Nobel Laureate and is a well-respected researcher in his field! Thanks very much!
  24. Hey all! I am a junior at CSU Fullerton and I'm just wondering when is the perfect time to ask for Letters of Rec? I am planning to apply for Fall 2018 (my estimated graduation date is Spring '18) and I already have 2 professors in mind to ask but I just don't know when and how to go about it. Do I ask this ongoing Spring semester? Do I ask in the upcoming Fall semester? It seems to be something that no one really talks about or explains clearly, so I'm a bit confused. Any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  25. Hey guys, I just need some opinions about choosing a final LOR writer. My first two are basically set in stone: 1) My thesis supervisor (for obvious reasons) 2) A prof for a class that was very quantitative, and I'm intending to send in my final project (expanded and with edits) to try and get it published. I'm pretty torn about the last one. I have two options, as of now: 1) A previous adviser under whom I did an undergraduate literature review with. Their work is somewhat relevant to what I intend on investigating for my graduate research. However, I haven't spoken with them since 2013/2014. 2) A joint letter of recommendation from the professor of two of my more recent courses, which involved field work and a paper, and the lab instructor for one of said courses. This would be valuable in that I TA one of her courses and work with the lab instructor. My struggle here is that, by asking my previous adviser, it would show that I was interested in my field of study for a long time. However, the second recommender would allow me to show more facets aside from research skills. Any and all advice would be appreciated.
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