Questions on recommendation or reference letters received from faculty members when applying for graduate schools or faculty positions.

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4
votes
1answer
263 views

Does having a more successful professor write your letter of recommendation improve your chances of having your application accepted?

My question is about academic careers of a professor who would want to write a recommendation letter for someone. Some professors in my university have better academic career than others, for example ...
53
votes
2answers
6k views

How to clarify that supervisor writing a reference is not related to me even though we have the same last name?

By chance, I have the same last name as one of the supervisors of a project I worked on. If I ask him to write me a recommendation letter, will the admission committee misconstrue that we are related ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of “recommend with reservation”

In my reference my tutor has put down that he recommends me with reservation. Is that a good thing? What does "recommend with reservation" mean? Thanks everyone for your help. I spoke to my referee ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

My professor wants to know if his recommendation is helpful

Several weeks after I received the recommendation from Professor M, he sent an email to me and asked me about the result of my application to a graduate school. He wants to know whether his ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Quality of English in a college recommendation letter

Does the quality of English in a letter of recommendation matter? Should it be really good or just average English with occasional mistakes suffice as long as the meaning is clear? Is a perfectly ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

What to do when a recommender for an already-submitted PhD admissions application suddenly goes AWOL? [duplicate]

What does an applicant for admissions in a PhD program do if a recommender put down on an already-submitted application suddenly goes AWOL and does not submit his letter of recommendation? Would a ...
4
votes
3answers
399 views

How should one maintain a relationship with a professor?

So I am planning to apply to grad school sometime in the future and would need a letter of recommendation from an awesome professor who I took a time series class with. I got an A- in the class, he ...
7
votes
3answers
456 views

Sending a thank you letter to a research professor?

I had an amazing research professor I conducted research under for my last two semesters of undergrad. I graduated in December and am currently waiting to hear back from graduate programs. This ...
8
votes
2answers
424 views

Is it unusual to get an informal offer before any recommendation letters have arrived?

A person I know applied for a time-limited position (i.e. a post-doc) somewhere in western Europe. Xe gets invited for an interview. The next day, xe receives an informal e-mail, We will recommend ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

What are acceptable “relationships with referees”?

I am applying for a job and need to give referees, and their relationship with me. I am not sure how to phrase things. My referees are: A colleague in my department I publish with A previous boss in ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Will I be considered as a very rude person if I call my teacher to check an urgent email

I got three recommendation letters from three of my former school teachers (professors A, B, C). On 20th Jan, I got an email from the graduate school that I had applied to. In the email, they told me ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

How to ask my professor to write recommendation letter for me?

Now I'm in a community college and I am trying to gathering recommendation letter to apply to graduate school.(I have already got my bachelor degree). I performed well in calculus and got an A in that ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't friends or family members write recommendation letters for graduate admissions?

When browsing their web sites, I noticed that apart from those listed academic requirements by different universities, they all require at least two reference letters from applicants, but they did not ...
13
votes
1answer
161 views

Checking/Ticking all the fields on a recommendation letter as “Exceptional”

My student has given me a recommendation letter form for the studies he is applying for, and the form has a part where I should simply "tick" the options. For example: Maturity, Motivation, etc. I can ...
4
votes
3answers
401 views

What should a student do if a professor agrees to write recommendation, then retracts offer upon realizing he confused the student with someone else?

Prof. Z has taught thousands of students in my former school since 2010. In the Biology course that he taught, there were two students (A and B) with similar full names and nicknames, but their ...
6
votes
1answer
195 views

Should I let my recommendation letter writers know that I didn't submit my application in the end?

I feel guilty and not sure of if I should inform my recommenders of this issue. A school I intended to apply has received the reference letters from all my recommenders, but as the deadline was ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

How should you respond to your teacher who cannot help you with a recommendation?

I had a meeting with my former teacher in my former school. While we were enjoying our tea and pan cake, I saw Prof. Nickname, and we invited him to join us. An hour later, after the tea, Prof. ...
3
votes
2answers
286 views

Why would a professor agree to write recommendation letter, then mention in it that he doesn't know student very well?

I had a colleague who asked a professor to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf. The professor agreed and wrote 3 letters for this colleague. The colleague had an interview with one of the ...
7
votes
2answers
405 views

My adviser agreed to write a letter of recommendation, but hasn't done so

I am currently a M.Sc. student and I was planning to apply for PhD programs. I asked my adviser to write me a letter of recommendation two months ago, and he agreed to do that. However, now that the ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

How should I begin my meeting with my former teacher whom I haven't been in contact with for three years?

I am going to meet my former teacher in my former school. We have some interests and hobbies in common, but we had not been in contact for several years. I want to be careful about etiquette and ...
2
votes
2answers
585 views

Sending a second reminder to a professor about LORs, after the first reminder

As graduate school application deadlines roll around this season, I believe this site would get a lot of questions concerning letters of recommendation, including sending reminder e-mails to ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Should I ask for a recommendation letter even if I have not applied for any programs yet

I emailed some tutors from several years ago to ask for a meeting (as described in this question). I am happy to tell you that I have received another reply from my former school teacher. She had a ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How many recommendation letters should you ask a professor to write?

Say a student who wants to further her study in a specific field, so she applies for multiple programs at several universities. Each of these prospective universities requires her to submit at least ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the etiquette for making an appointment to request a letter of recommendation?

I'm currently a college sophomore looking to transfer to a university overseas, and I need a letter of recommendation from my adviser in order to apply. Usually, in order to get in touch with my ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Content of reference letter [duplicate]

I am applying for PhD and I need reference letter from my MsC professor. We made agreement that I write letter with my opinion and he will made changes later if needed. I have no other ...
4
votes
2answers
461 views

Can my recommendation letters be repeated?

For example, if I am going to apply to 3 REU programs that ask me for 2 recommendation letters each one. Can my 2 professors who I asked the recommendation letters send the exact same letters to the ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

How to write the information related to referees in an application form?

What's the best way to give information about the person who's going to give recommendation letter, in an application form? John Clark, Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics Associate Professor ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Should I send recommendation/reference letter to universities that don't require it?

Sending recommendation letter to some universities is optional, but some others don't even mention it in their required documents. Is there any point in sending recommendation letter to such ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How much duplication is permissible in letters of recommendation?

Anybody has idea, how much copying is allowed in a recommendation letter and whether they really run a copying test on the letters of recommendation?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it appropriate for a PhD student to write reference for a PhD applicant?

I am a PhD student, and was recently approached by a (very bright) student in an exercise class I teach, requesting a reference letter for his PhD application. This makes me wonder: Is it OK for a PhD ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Letter of recommendation from PhD candidate [duplicate]

I might be repeating the question but my case is a little different. I've worked with a doctoral candidate who's not from 'my' university. We have worked on a research and published together. I am ...
2
votes
0answers
135 views

Getting a letter of recommendation when the referee gave no indication about the strength of the letter

Usually when I ask for a letters of recommendation, the professor give me an indication about how strong it is going to be. I asked a professor whom I am taking a course with, and while he doesn't ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

What can I do one day before admissions deadline, if I believe my recommendation letter writer will not submit in time?

One of my professors this term promised to write me a recommendation letter for grad school. However, tomorrow is the deadline and her letter is not on the application website. She really liked me, so ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Is it unusual for a professor to submit recommendations to other universities more promptly than their own?

I am applying to graduate programs at several universities, including the one that I am currently at. My professors sent their letters of recommendations to the other universities promptly and ...
5
votes
3answers
238 views

Is it better to request a recommendation letter in person after class or by email?

I am planning to apply for a PhD program and would like to request a letter of recommendation from a professor. However, I am quite hesitant about which way is better for me to make the initial ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a single bad letter of recommendation ruin my chances of getting admitted to grad school?

I am dealing with one very mercurial professor and I had a bit of an incident with him. I think I might have offended him slightly (I told him about the deadline to submit a letter of recommendation ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to ask for a letter of recommendation on a tight deadline, from professors I haven't spoken to in years?

I am currently applying to Ph.D. programs at several universities. Since I was a transfer student in my undergraduate years, and I have great relationships with my professors at community college, I ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Should I mention in my letter of recommendation that my student has bad handwritting?

A student I taught is really a good student but writes like he is writing with his wrong hand. The college where I teach requires every one to administer a subjective final exam for 60% of the grade. ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Should I ask for generic reference letter?

As I see I should apply for multiple PhD programs, because it is difficult to get in. Some programs require reference letter from professors or supervisors. I don’t believe that profesors have time ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Selecting references for PhD applications: are industry references OK?

My background: Final year computer science undergraduate in the UK. Spent one year working in a scientific facility developing software for scientists. My colleagues had previous academic experience ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Protocol for writing a recommendation letter for someone you only know on a personal basis

I am a graduate student. A close friend of mine is applying to post graduate research position and has asked me to provide a recommendation for her. I have never written a formal recommendation letter ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Unacceptable quality of writing in a letter of recommendation

I have received a letter of recommendation which clearly has been written by my referee's assistant, rather than himself. That in itself wouldn't be a problem if it didn't contain phrases such as ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Recommendation letter from a PhD-to-be?

I am applying for Master programs in Educational and Clinical Psychology. And I am in the process of choosing people for writing my recommendation letters. I have a BA in Psychology and I wasn't much ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is a good amount of time to wait to check up on a recommender after the initial request?

So, about a month ago, I sent three requests for letters of recommendation. Since then, two of them have finished their letters and one (I imagine) is quite busy and told me he probably won't be able ...
0
votes
3answers
251 views

Is it possible to acquire a letter of recommendation without meeting face to face?

Of course it is not a good idea, preferably one would meet up with the professor to make the agreement. In my case, I've talked to the prof for a year, and then went off work for a year, now I need a ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

Can I apply for PhD without recommendation from my masters advisor?

I am currently applying for a PhD in a very competitive top tier university, which requires three references. I have two referees (my tutor and my undergraduate research project supervisor) who I am ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Letter of recommendation for grad. school application source

I am applying for admission to the Master's program next fall. However I am in doubt about the source of reference. I have two options: My mentor at a research institute who was pursuing his PhD. ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Is it appropriate to email some new information to my recommendation-letter writers on Thanksgiving if the deadline is a few days later?

I just found out one of my grad school electronic applications is having problem with a third party letter service company. So I have to ask the letter writers themselves to upload the recommendation ...
2
votes
2answers
437 views

Letter of recommendation from employer for MS in U.S. universities

Is a letter of recommendation from an employer required to be on the official letter head of the company? Also is it okay if I give the recommender's personal email?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What do profs actually think when writing a letter of recommendation for an average student for grad school

Grad school application starts now along with all the anxieties associated with it. One of the question I ask myself and repeatedly get asked by my peers is that what would the profs think when the ...