I'm applying to graduate programs in mathematical finance, after finishing my undergrad degree in applied maths. I'm conflicted about who would be the best choice to write my recommendation letters: my finance professors or the professors from my machine learning and statistics classes.

The professors of machine learning and statistics are globally acclaimed with a 55-65 H-index, know me quite well, and are willing to write very strong letters. The finance professors, however, don't know me as well and are not as well-known.

Should I stick to relevance and choose the finance professors or would the weight of a recommendation from internationally known researchers hold more sway, even though their fields don't align perfectly with my study?

1 Answer 1


If you can submit more than one letter - do both. However, if it isn't an option, I'd stick with the stronger letter (the profs from the machine learning). They know you better, they are more impactful in their field overall - and the field seems to me somewhat relevant. Imo, their letter would be more personable and hold more value, than the generic "I've seen this student on campus and he should be good" type of letter. Alternatively, you could reach out to the students that have been accepted, and ask them how they got in. Best of luck!

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