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"Doctoral programs often prefer letters from tenured faculty"...??


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This is what UC Davis says.

 

In case of PhD applications (Computer Science), is getting LOR from 'Professor' necessary?

 

I have two assistant professors who are willing to write a good LOR for me. The third will come from an employer.

 

Is this bad that I don't have a 'full blown' professor recommending me for doctorate?  

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First of all, I think the most important thing is that whoever you choose can write raving letters, detailing specific examples of your intelligence and dedication to research. This should be prioty 1.

 

So now, does the name of the person recommending you and their job title matter? I think it does. Ideally, you want your letter writers to be professors in your research subfield, so the PIs you are interested in working with will recognize the names. A letter from a professor who they have seen speak at a conference for example is more credible than somone they dont know. A tenured professor is more likely to be known in the field. Also, a PhD is a research degree so having letters people who have proven that they are capable of producing worthy research (tenured professors) is important in my opinion. There are definitely exceptions since occasionally, an assistant professor may have been on a big, well known project in grad school.

 

Even though I think letters from tenured professors are important, I really doubt that not having them is a deal breaker. If your LOR writers know you very well, have mentored you through research, and can discuss examples related to why you will be a great reseracher then I think their letters will be better than a mediocre letter from a tenured professor.

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