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Hey guys, need some help figuring out who to ask to write my letters. I have 5 options.

1. Psych professor I have done quite a bit of research with, knows me well, has taught me in class, and went to my first choice school for his Ph.D. as well (not sure if that holds any weight). No clinical background though.
2. Psych professor (not had me in class) I've only known for a few months but have worked extensively with. I don't know him quite as well, but I know he can speak for my research experience and work ethic. Has clinical background.
3. Psych professor (not had me in class) I work with a lot, not really doing research, but helping him complete tasks such as edit the psych book he is writing. Has clinical background. Can definitely speak on my work ethic.
4. Religious studies professor. Relevant because I'm wanting to specialize in religion/spirituality. I have had him for 3 classes, talk with him frequently. He knows me very well and will definitely write a good letter. Can speak for my participation in classes/discussions and writing capabilities.
5. Supervisor for my job as a general psychology instructor. Not sure how valuable teaching experience would be.

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In order to properly answer, there are some information that you can provide:

- What programs are you applying for? (Masters v. Doctorate)

- What does the application recommend that the LOR should say about you? If they don't specify that, then what do the personal statement/statement of purpose requirements? Focus the LORs around those.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Troyyy said:

In order to properly answer, there are some information that you can provide:

- What programs are you applying for? (Masters v. Doctorate)

- What does the application recommend that the LOR should say about you? If they don't specify that, then what do the personal statement/statement of purpose requirements? Focus the LORs around those.

 

Oh! Sorry. I'm applying for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and most of them just say someone that can talk about your research experience or your personality, so that is pretty vague.

Edited by cats and psychology

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Could they also emphasize different parts of you as an applicant? I looked also for complementarity in my letters (and had one senior person in there).

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On 7/11/2019 at 8:09 PM, cats and psychology said:

1. Psych professor I have done quite a bit of research with, knows me well, has taught me in class, and went to my first choice school for his Ph.D. as well (not sure if that holds any weight). No clinical background though.
2. Psych professor (not had me in class) I've only known for a few months but have worked extensively with. I don't know him quite as well, but I know he can speak for my research experience and work ethic. Has clinical background.
3. Psych professor (not had me in class) I work with a lot, not really doing research, but helping him complete tasks such as edit the psych book he is writing. Has clinical background. Can definitely speak on my work ethic.
4. Religious studies professor. Relevant because I'm wanting to specialize in religion/spirituality. I have had him for 3 classes, talk with him frequently. He knows me very well and will definitely write a good letter. Can speak for my participation in classes/discussions and writing capabilities.

I would personally go with options 1, 3, and 4. The first one because he can speak about you in multiple different aspects, and I'm sure can write you the most wonderful letter. The second one because he has a clinical background. And the fourth one because he probably knows about your passions really well and can explain why you would be a good fit. 

I'd say #3 is actually a solid option too because he has a clinical background, but because you haven't had a class with him, nor do you do research with him, there would need to be some explanation of the relationship. Otherwise, 3 can easily replace 2 because of the unique skill set you are getting with that professor. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 9:09 PM, cats and psychology said:

Hey guys, need some help figuring out who to ask to write my letters. I have 5 options.

1. Psych professor I have done quite a bit of research with, knows me well, has taught me in class, and went to my first choice school for his Ph.D. as well (not sure if that holds any weight). No clinical background though.
2. Psych professor (not had me in class) I've only known for a few months but have worked extensively with. I don't know him quite as well, but I know he can speak for my research experience and work ethic. Has clinical background.
3. Psych professor (not had me in class) I work with a lot, not really doing research, but helping him complete tasks such as edit the psych book he is writing. Has clinical background. Can definitely speak on my work ethic.
4. Religious studies professor. Relevant because I'm wanting to specialize in religion/spirituality. I have had him for 3 classes, talk with him frequently. He knows me very well and will definitely write a good letter. Can speak for my participation in classes/discussions and writing capabilities.
5. Supervisor for my job as a general psychology instructor. Not sure how valuable teaching experience would be.

1. It could hold weight if he has a good reputation, generally speaking. Sounds like a good option. 

2. Nah... if they don't know you long enough, not worthwhile in comparison to others. 

3. I would say this person can speak strongly to your work ethic, so yes, good LOR.

4. Interesting speciality area... didn't know one could specialize in this for clinical, but cool! Yeah, I would say have this person write one. 

5. Probably not, unless you want to apply for schools where you know for a fact teaching is valued. Teaching is often seen as a means to an end, and far below research, though honestly I feel like we should care more. Anyways, enough of my soap box, probably not worthwhile is my pointt.

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