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nghiduong90

My instructor/advisor only can only provide LoR only if I apply for Ph.D. program

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Here is my story: 

I am an international student in the U.S. with a bachelor degree in a good school and currently a first-year master student in an institute that does not focus on research and not very competitive between students.  The reasons I picked this school for my master because I want to keep my F1 status active and this school's tuition fit my pocket. 

 

About my application, I have okay GPA in undergrad (3.3), excellent GPA at the current master school (4.0, but the school is not famous), good Q. GRE score (164), but not get V. and writing. I have one published publication in U.S. conference as the 2nd author. 

Can anyone give me some suggestion what I should do now? I really don't want to finish my master in the current school because it does not provide me anything for my research career.

Thanks to those who read this post.

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Sorry, I don't understand what you are asking. You say you don't want to finish your masters in your current school, which is fine. But what do you want to do next? Do you want to apply to PhD programs (which is good, then you can use the LOR) or not (which doesn't really matter since you might not even need this LOR?)

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@TakeruK, @fuzzylogician, thanks for reading my posting. I was frustrated yesterday, so I was not clear about my situation. Sorry about that.

I want to apply to another master program because I think my application for Ph.D. at this point is not strong enough. And my advisor told me he only provides a letter for my Ph.D. application. My choices right now are:

    1. Applying for only master programs without using his letter (2 of 3 letters are not strong)

    2. Applying for both master programs (without using his letter) and Ph.D. program (to have his letters, only 1 not strong letter ) at the same department.

Which option would you think will give me higher chance to get accepted?

 

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15 minutes ago, nghiduong90 said:

 My choices right now are:

    1. Applying for only master programs without using his letter (2 of 3 letters are not strong)

    2. Applying for both master programs (without using his letter) and Ph.D. program (to have his letters, only 1 not strong letter ) at the same department.

Which option would you think will give me higher chance to get accepted?

It is too bad that your advisor will only write letters for PhD programs, but maybe they are right that applying for another Masters is not a good idea. Still, it sucks that they are not letting you make your own decision.

For places where you are interested in both PhD and Masters degrees, you should apply to the PhD program (i.e. the "option 2"). Sometimes when you apply to a PhD program, they ask if you are also interested in a Masters program. Check that box if they ask. If they do not, maybe you can ask the department if there is a way for you to indicate on your application that you are interested in both PhD and Masters programs. Maybe they will suggest you add a note to the application.

I don't think you should apply to both Masters and PhD programs at the same school because usually they don't even let you submit 2 applications to the same department. Usually the PhD program will offer Masters admission to their wait-listed candidates or if you contact them, they might tell you how to also indicate interest to Masters.

This method also has the advantage of allowing you to use your advisor's letter because you are still applying to a PhD program. If you only get admission to Masters, then you can at least say that you tried but you would like to take their Masters offer.

Then, if there are any other schools where you only want to apply to their Masters program, you can do option 1 and not use your advisor's letter. It might decrease your chance of admission though, because you are already a Masters student and not having your current advisor's letter is not good.

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