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I'm an undergraduate senior and will soon be applying for competitive PhD programs in computer science in the US/Canada. I already have three CS professors whom I have good relationships with (as a student, TA, and RA) as my recommenders. However, I also have a music professor whom I worked closely with on a purely music research in my first two years in college. The paper from that research has been accepted to a journal but not published yet.

Some universities allow up to five recommendation letters. So, should I ask my music professor to be my fourth recommender? If so, what should I ask them to highlight in the letter?

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  • Will the music professor be able to highlight any of your particular strengths that your CS profs can't? E.g. independent research skills, while the other profs don't know you very well as a researcher, but will highligh class performance, TA performance, etc.?
    – Jeroen
    Oct 22 '20 at 7:35
  • Two of my three CS recommenders also advised me on independent research. So l'm frankly not sure if my music prof have much to add, but I'm personally closest to them and whatever they say, I believe, will be very positive. Would, let's say, a positive letter focusing on work ethics and academic writing help my app?
    – natinw
    Oct 22 '20 at 11:43
  • I think this is fine as an extra letter. It might not be if you were limited to just three and used this one. See academia.stackexchange.com/questions/156001/… Oct 22 '20 at 16:35

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