I'm applying to grad school this fall for math PhD programs and I need to figure out who to ask for letters of rec. I'm doing a summer reading course which is technically under a professor, but since he is really busy it's actually under a grad student. I've seen the professor only once or twice for paperwork, but I mainly work with the grad student. At the end of the course, should I ask the grad student to write about me and give it to the professor for him to write me a letter of rec? Or is this a bad idea?

  • 2
    You really should only ask for letters from professors who can write a strong letter. So when you ask, word it that way: "Would you feel comfortable writing a strong letter of recommendation for me?" May 19, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


A question you have to consider is - does the Professor know enough about your work, work ethic, attitude etc to be able to write a strong and meaningful reference for you. A 'vague' and 'form-letter' type of reference could potentially harm your application, if it is the main reference you use.

Having said that, it would not hurt to ask and obtain a reference (if the Professor is comfortable doing so) to add to your portfolio.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .