Currently, I am falling short on recommenders for my PhD applications in the United States. I don't want to ask the professors with whom I only took a few classes as I know those letters could be weak. I have done 3 research projects and all my supervisors have already submitted letters of recommendation.

My question is whether I can ask for a letter from a professor with whom I not only had some classes, but who also viewed my undergraduate honors dissertation? I presented my presentation to my supervisor and this professor. However, while explaining my relationship with her, what will she be called? Since, it was not my Ph.D. thesis, I can't call her a member of my dissertation committee.

2 Answers 2


She sounds like a great person to ask for a letter of recommendation.

I would refer to her person as "a member of your undergraduate honors dissertation committee" or "a reviewer (or reader) of you undergraduate honors dissertation".

I think it's important to include 'undergraduate', because in some places the term dissertation almost exclusively refers to work completed in pursuit of a PhD.

  • 1
    Yeah, you're right. Thank you. Dec 5, 2021 at 7:04

It is perfectly acceptable to ask for a reference from this person; she will be the one to decide if she knows enough about you to be able to give a reference. For reference purposes, you could reasonably refer to this academic as your "(honours) dissertation reviewer".

  • Thank you for your answer. Honors Dissertation Reviewer does sound good. Dec 2, 2021 at 16:46

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