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where to get lor from "academic" source?


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I've been out of school for a while (10 years) and applying to grad school. (mpp) Problem is, some schools require 1 LOR from an academic source. What's considered an academic source?

Of course, a professor who you directly studied under is probably the easiest, but as I'm in a different country, and especially since I've been out of school for so long, it's not a realistic option for me.

I'm wondering if just any professor is okay? I know some professors I've worked with, but not studied with.. so I know them in a professional capacity, but they themselves are an academic source.. Are phds good for this too? I know some hard core researchers..

My question is, how does one go about finding an academic resource? Is the only choice to back track to undergrad and hunt down my professor who doesn't remember me?

Edited by kensuguro
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It all depends on if their area of expertise is related to the program you want to go into. If they have a Phd and you've worked with them, and if they say that they are willing to write you a strong LOR then I say go for it. If possible, you can inquire if any professors at the universities in your area would be willing to take you on as a research assistant. That way you kill 2 birds by gaining research experience and having another potential letter writer.

Edited by yaronatov
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If you don't have a realistic option to have one of your professor's write a LOR, I think a PhD or other professor would suffice. They will have credibility when discussing the necessary skills to succeed in graduate school. Ideally the recommender should be familiar with some of your (academic style) work so they can comment on your academic ability. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was in a similar situation last fall, as I had been out of school slightly longer than you. I used all three references from jobs, and it worked out just fine for me. I think the key is to make sure they are strong references from people who know you well, not academic references from people who barely remember you.

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