This post is related to my situation Dropping Out And Applying Somewhere Else . After explaining to my undergraduate research advisor that I withdrew from my PhD program (1 month in) and that I decided to apply to Thesis-master's program Which better fit my career goals, he told me he is not writing me a letter. I am not sure if this deems all my research work in undergrad useless. I have the work documented as a credit course on my transcript with a grade of pass and one grade of -A. So I am not sure if I should mention my work with him or just focus on work I have done in my courses.
It is fine to mention your undergraduate work. You did it and you received graded credit for it. Talk about it! (In a statement of purpose or something).
- What did you do?
- What did you learn?
- How did it inspire you?
True, yes, your undergraduate advisor would not write you a letter of recommendation. There is no need to mention that. If you have other people who are willing to write you a strong letter, you should be fine. When I sit on admissions committees, there are a few things we take into account:
- We are only seeing a portion of the student's profile. We don't know the whole story (either way).
- Sometimes professors are hard to get along with in regards to grades, authorship, LORs, etc.
- Students are going to school while life happens around them. This means that sometimes the circumstances of life will affect their decisions and opportunities relative to school.
- We do not expect a masters student to come in on day one and have the skill set of a master's student at the end of his or her degree. We are looking for potential.
Overall, I am more interested in learning about what you, not an advisor, did. If you are competent in explaining your research, that is going to bode better for you than having a LOR from someone who grudgingly has been forced into writing you a LOR. I would not spend too much time trying to make this donkey (the undergrad advisor) pull the cart (LOR) he does not want to pull.