I am trying to apply for humanities (PhD is pure humanities) graduate school in USA next year. I am going to graduate with a bachelor in computer science. The application requires three letters of recommendation, how am I supposed to get those letters of recommendations? We studied zero humanities subjects. I study in Europe.

  • 2
    Why humanities? Which field? Are you intending to use the CS knowledge in some way? It would be good to address this in your question.
    – Buffy
    Feb 28, 2021 at 13:37
  • Updated the question!
    – V_head
    Feb 28, 2021 at 13:41
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    Not really enough information here.
    – Buffy
    Feb 28, 2021 at 13:44
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    Well...Have you considered that the reason you’re having trouble finding recommendation letters relevant to study in the humanities is that you have no evidence of qualification for study in the humanities? This is not necessarily true since you’ve shared so little detail, but the generic CS graduate is no more in a position to start a doctorate on Occitan literature than the other way around. Feb 28, 2021 at 15:30
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    I think your primary concern should be providing evidence that you have the background and potential to be successful in a certain humanities Ph.D. degree program, and it's hard for me to imagine a situation in which you can provide such evidence without knowing anyone who could write such a letter. It would help if you could provide some details about your background preparation for beginning such a program. For example, I've posted several comments here about people I've known who went into completely different fields, but they were all able to strongly document having sufficient background. Feb 28, 2021 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


I suppose that you’re just going to have to work with the letters you have. You should let your letter writers know what the target program is so they can potentially tailor it to the best of their ability.

In any case, the point of the letters is mostly to indicate your research potential. This can definitely be indicated regardless of discipline.

  • Thanks, that s a good point.
    – V_head
    Feb 28, 2021 at 16:09
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    How could a CS professor indicate potential for humanities research? Mar 1, 2021 at 2:50
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    Lots of research skills are universal: creativity, diligence, ability to follow through, independence and more. If I were asked to write a letter for a non CS application that’s what I’d focus on
    – Spark
    Mar 1, 2021 at 12:13

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