I am a Master's student in Computer Science. In a few months, I will graduate and my grades are good. I am involved in a research project and hope to get a publication from that.

The problem is that my advisor is very apprehensive about writing me a good letter of recommendation. She does not say "no" explicitly, but she discourages me or indirectly implies that I should not go for a Ph.D. to another school. This is her way of telling things, not openly, but in the form of closed implications. I am afraid that she wants to keep me for a Ph.D. with her, and will sabotage my Ph.D. application by writing insufficient letters. She talks about extending my Master's research project in Ph.D., also note that I have not received any type of funding or money from my advisor. So, I do not feel like being falsely given her any signs of future commitments.

I am definitely not interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in my current institution. So probably, my academic experience will end after this point.

Is there something that could be done to make advisor support my application to other schools.

marked as duplicate by Nate Eldredge, Johanna, jakebeal, Peter Jansson, Mad Jack Aug 1 '15 at 16:07

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  • Get a different referee. – JoErNanO Aug 1 '15 at 15:57

If your advisor is reluctant to write a letter for you, there's no way to make her write a good letter, and you shouldn't press the issue. Whatever her reasons may be, your cause will not be helped by having a lukewarm or negative letter in your file. Admissions faculty can read between the lines of a letter that is not enthusiastic. Have you done excellent work with other faculty, in a course or lab? Maybe two of them will be willing to write for you.

It's a touchy subject.

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