I am currently doing my Master in physics in the University X. Previously, I did my Bachelor in the University Y. I am applying for a PhD positions that requires two recommendation letters. The supervisor of my Master Thesis agreed to write for me a letter.

For the second one, I could ask a professor with which I did a course and a seminar in my current university X, or I could ask the supervisor of my Bachelor thesis when I was in Y. Who do you think is better? I add some information: I finished my Bachelor in physics three years ago (I hope he remembers me). I worked around six months for the Bachelor thesis and at the end it was awarded the highest grade. So in principle I would ask him, but I do not know if it is okay for PhD applications to have letters from the Bachelor.

  • 2
    "I hope he remembers me" - That is indeed the important question. If he remembers you as a strong student, his letter would definitely be helpful. If he doesn't remember you,, his letter might not be strong, which could be detrimental to your application. The bottom line is: when you ask him, make sure to ask if he can write a strong letter of recommendations. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 9:27
  • Spend some effort to reconnect with the earlier professor. They will likely support you strongly, but might need a bit of a nudge to remember you. It is worth the effort to keep those old connections in any case.
    – Buffy
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


I'd be hesitant if you would have only recommendation letters from your Bachelor, but this is not the case.

Your first recommendation letter comes from your Master Thesis supervisor, which is good. On top of that, I would prefer to hear from someone else who has worked closely with you for an extended period of time. Hence, a supervisor from another thesis would be preferable to me over someone who taught a course and a seminar you attended (although that seminar also gives quite some insight in how you function, so I wouldn't knock a recommendation letter from that person either).

But look at it this way: two professors, from distinct universities, who both supervised you in a thesis process, with happy outcomes for all involved parties? I think that looks quite strong, actually.

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    Update: The professor of the Bachelor accepted to write a letter for me Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 13:08
  • @RubenCamposDelgado One step taken in the right direction. Good luck with the applications!
    – user116675
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 21:51

Supervisor of BSc definitely would be a stronger option than some prof from the local university course. I don't see why wouldn't they remember you, really (it depends on the personality, of course, but most would) - on top of that, they would probably be delighted to hear from you and learn that you are on a good track towards PhD. Win/win!

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