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Would getting a professor I TA'ed for to act as a reference be okay?


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Hi everyone,

I'm currently wrapping up my masters, and this fall I'd like to apply to PhD programs with a hopeful start date of Fall 2016. Most programs I'm interested in request 2 references, which I should be set for, since for my masters, I had both a supervisor and co-supervisor, and got to work with both extensively. However, I run into a problem for certain programs which request 3 letters. I'm really drawing a blank for a 3rd referee that can speak about me from a research orientated point of view. I've had committee meetings with other professors, but these were only a handful of times, and I doubt they would have much to add.

I was thinking of asking a professor I TA'ed under to be a 3rd reference. Literally every TA section I was given was under this professor, meaning I worked with him for 2 years, and I  did things that went well beyond the requested hours, assisting with other course related work. Basically, the relationship was great. However, knowing that this person doesn't know me in a research capacity, I don't know if having this person as a reference would be a sort of application "suicide"? As I get more desperate, I may just ask, but I thought I'd ask you guys before doing so. Thanks!

Edited by HYHY02
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It would definitely not be application "suicide" (whatever that means!) to have this professor write one of your reference letters! It adds another dimension to your application and one which could be important if you want to be considered for TA positions as a PhD student. 

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I too ran into the challenge of who to ask for LORs and ended up asking a professor I've TAed for since I went above and beyond typical duties.  Thankfully he said yes and that he can write an excellent letter for me.  I agree with the others that this kind of LOR is very relevant and can open additional funding opportunities.  

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