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Academic LOR problem


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Hello everyone,

I have been out of school for almost 8 years now and the masters program I am applying to requires 3 academic LOR.

I have been emailing all the professors I could think of but I only have 1 Letter so far. It's been months and I am running out of time.

On the Other hand, I can get very strong professional recommendations from people I worked with and that are well known my field.

What should I do? should I go ahead and submit coworker/boss recommendations instead?


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It depends, are the professional recommendations, relevant to what you what to graduate school for? If they are, and you explain it in a few sentences, then it should be fine. Especially considering its been so long since you have left school, which they will see in your application. But at the same time, I would say to ask the programs you are looking at specifically. Email the programs, explain your situation, and ask if it is ok for you to have two professional recommendations. It is very possible that if they know of the situation, even if they don't normally allow it, they might allow it in your situation.

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Even if they aren't super relevant, the professional recommendations are likely to be much stronger than a professor from 8 years ago. Given your situation I think even getting 1 letter from an old professor is good, and the admissions committee realizes you've been out of school.

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Seeing as your potential letter writers are related to your field, I think it's fine to ask them. When they state that they want an "academic" letter they mean that they want a letter that attests to your ability to excel in your chosen field. It helps that you at least got 1 recommendation from a professor, and I think they adcomms will be understanding considering how long you have been out of school ,which they can tell based on your application.

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