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Emergency last minute LOR!


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So everything with my applications has pretty much come together, thankfully, except for one of my LORs. I knew his reputation of being a procrastinator, but I figured that it would be okay for me since I have him the links for the LORs months in advance, and he'd agreed to write me the LORs way back in June.

Lo and behold, the first deadline was yesterday and he still hasn't submitted an LOR for that school (luckily they only require two and I already had two), and he hasn't responded to any of my emails in the past couple of weeks. I even tried calling his office phone (which sadly has no voicemail), and calling the department office. I'm not in town, so I can't show up in person.... although I've considered the 2.5 hour drive....

I'm trying to remain optimistic, but I think it's wise to set up an emergency LOR because my other applications require 3 or 4 (ridic!) LORs, and I definitely need his, or a replacement.

Thus, my question. I can think of two replacements, but I'm not sure which one is better. I'm applying for Spanish programs, btw.

1. My undergraduate thesis advisor. Seems like an ideal choice, right? Eh, it's complicated. This professor did advise me, but since I had problems with my thesis (change of topics, change of focus), it wasn't your traditional advising. I met with her a few times, and she did offer help and feedback, but it was not a close relationship. I did, however, also take a class with her where I met with her about papers and presentations for the class. Finally, she's a professor in women's studies, not Spanish. I haven't spoken to her since I graduated this year (took her class my last semester in undergrad).

2. Portuguese professor. I only took one class with him, and it was language instruction, not a class studying literature or culture. However, he's fairly respected and has been around a while, although he's about to retire. I also contacted him recently about suggestions for possible programs to apply to, so he does remember me and we have had recent contact, which is a bonus because I took his class over a year ago.

I did well in both classes for these professors, so that's a plus. I'm just not sure which one would be better.... help/thoughts? I want to contact someone today, because my next deadlines are within two weeks and while I'll certainly explain the circumstances, it's still iffy to contact someone so close and during the end of a semester.


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It sounds like professor number one might know you the best, but professor number two might write you the more relevant LOR. I think you have to weigh what your other two letters would have succeeded in covering, and use the third to make up for any potential "light" areas.

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I was thinking that too, but LUCKILY I just caught the MIA Prof on the phone during his business hours, and he told me he was writing it and would send it today. Sure, a little late.... and of course his voice made it sound like he thought I was crazy... but oh well! It's covered.


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