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Can you ask non-faculty for a letter of recommendation?


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I'm looking for a 3rd person to write a lor for me. He is a lecturer that I had for a class. I got good grades in the class and did very well in the final project so I feel like they would be able to write me a decent letter. 

However, he says that he is a non-faculty lecturer. He does not have an PhD, rather just a MS, but he has been teaching for a while. Will his status affect how committees view my talents and thus admission? Or should i seek a different professor?

My stats are good, on the high end of those in who generally get admitted to the programs that I am applying to. 

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I have no experience applying for grad school (yet...), but even with scholarship applications (such as Goldwater, Udall, etc.) it is recommended that only tenured, PhD faculty write LORs.

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If the other two are from professors, I see no problem. Personally, one of my letters was from somebody completely outside of academia and she only had a BS. But, I did research under her for a job so I thought it was appropriate (we were also discussing filing a patent at the time she wrote the letter so I definitely wanted her to write for me).

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One of my LORs is from the Director of Student Life and Development. If it is the one he wrote for me back when I was a sophomore (and I think it is), then it is truly one of the best LORs I have seen on my behalf. 

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I think the consensus is a great letter from someone less "qualified" (without a PhD, non-tenure, not famous in the field, etc.) is better than an okay letter from someone who is more "qualified." So I think you should go ahead and get a letter from someone who knows your abilities and interests best and can attest to that. Good luck!

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For what it's worth, none of my letter writers were tenured PhDs, and that's even considering that I had four letters. One was a non-tenure track lecturer (PhD), one is the manager of the lab where I had been volunteering (MS), one is the PI of the same lab (PhD; tenure-track,  but not there yet), and one was an undergrad program co-director and lecturer (MS). My best guess is that those were all strong letters, and I've been told I was the top choice for admission, so don't fret too much about status. 

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One of my LORs is from the Director of Student Life and Development. If it is the one he wrote for me back when I was a sophomore (and I think it is), then it is truly one of the best LORs I have seen on my behalf. 

 

If you're seeing your LORs, the persons writing them may be doing you a profound disservice, however well-intentioned (and confidential) their disclosure may be.

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If you're seeing your LORs, the persons writing them may be doing you a profound disservice, however well-intentioned (and confidential) their disclosure may be.

How do you figure? One of my LOR writers gave me a copy of her recommendation so that I could hang onto it and use it for jobs or similar things.

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