Throughout my undergrad, I was solely focused on grades, university life, and getting a job. While I did talk to professors outside of class, whether related to class work or my own 'math research' (a hobby), I don't feel I have enough of a connection with any of them to ask for a good letter of accommodation for my grad school application. I'm honestly unsure what everyone else did. Maybe I was suppose to have worked with a professor in their research/teaching? I didn't even take those courses like "Topics in __" that have a small amount of independent study in my first three years. I guess I sort of thought I was suppose really get to know the professors and perhaps dip my feet into the research world in 4th year.

Well, it's 4th year now, and it was really hard to get close to any professors with covid19 in the shadows. I have only communicated with them through email and faceless zoom chats. Is it really that bad to get recommendations from professors that don't know you that well? I do have good grades, but perhaps not good enough to scream them to the heavens in some professor's one sentence recommendation...

Edit: This is for a university in Canada

  • If you got good grades you should be able to get good letters. But it is currently December 31 of your fourth year. I recommend planning your graduate school studies a year ahead. Dec 31, 2020 at 1:47
  • I write quite a few letters of recommendations for students I don't know very well. (I'm in a math & stats department at a Canadian university.) Honestly, having talked to students outside of class about classwork and your own independent research interests puts you above the median ...
    – Ben Bolker
    Jan 1, 2021 at 22:52


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