I am a first-semester master's student in my field of study and I have a question about applying for funding/fellowship opportunities.

I need two recommendation letters from professors for a fellowship that I am interested in right now, which is a foreign language-related one. I only took the general courses that are needed to satify the mandatory course requirements for my major. I lacked enthusiasm in most of my courses that I took this semester, which led me to be not too close with my professors.

Should I ask professors who taught me for a semester for a recommendation letter? ALso, is it okay to ask a professor that will teach me next semester?

My spring semester begins on January 17th, and the fellowship application deadline is February 1st.

1 Answer 1


Recommendations are only helpful when they come from people that know you well. In particular, your letter writers should be able to give an informed opinion on how you meet whatever selection criteria are relevant for the fellowship, for example they should be able to comment on your academic achievements and potential. Teachers with whom you have not interacted yet, but will only do so in the near future, will not be able to do that, and will likely decline to write a letter of recommendation.

Of course you certainly would not want a bad letter. I would therefore to suggest to specifically ask your letter writers if they will be able to write a strong letter of recommendation. If they think they won't be able to do that, they will hopefully tell you to ask someone else, instead of writing a bad letter.

You must log in to answer this question.

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