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Third recommender dilemma - again


maturia
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I have secured two references from two professors who know me and my work pretty well. I had chosen a third referee, but after emailing them twice, I have not heard back from them and I figure with the clock ticking, I need to ask someone else instead ASAP. I am torn between asking a prof who could probably write me a "DWIC" letter, vs asking a former boss from a summer job who might be able to discuss different things from the two profs I already have, but who isn't very familiar with academia, the procedures involved in applying to grad school, etc, and isn't in the public health field. I know neither of these sounds like a stellar option, but which would you go with? Thanks for any advice!

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What kind of program are you applying to? This might help a little in terms of what admissions is looking for. With the info you have provided, I am leaning towards the former boss; (s)he may have something different to add that may appeal to the admissions committee, whereas a "did well in class" letter won't tell them anything they don't already know from your application.

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What kind of program are you applying to? This might help a little in terms of what admissions is looking for. With the info you have provided, I am leaning towards the former boss; (s)he may have something different to add that may appeal to the admissions committee, whereas a "did well in class" letter won't tell them anything they don't already know from your application.

Thanks for your reply. I am applying to MPH programs, and specifically to the Epidemiology stream. That was my thought too - that the boss could maybe give a different view than just a DWIC letter. However, will the admissions committee be likely to look down on the fact that this person is neither in academia nor the public health field?

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Epidemiology is definitely more research-based than other public health disciplines so a letter from this prof might be a good idea anyway. Why not ask both? You never know who could decline for whatever reason, and I am sure having more than three LoRs wouldn't hurt.

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