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I got my MS not too long ago (Aug 2016) from an online program at University of Cincinnati. I am planning on applying to PhD programs this winter, and I am trying to figure out the best way to ask for letters of recommendation. I am attending a conference in November where I am hoping I can finally meet my professors face to face. I am planning on sending them an email in early October to ask if they are attending the conference (which I'm betting they are because it's a huge conference), and that I would love to talk to them about what I'm interested in/why I want to pursue a PhD. I've been thinking about getting my personal statement written beforehand and possibly attaching previous papers I did well on. One of my professors wrote an amazing comment on my capstone research paper, but I'm not sure if I should bring that 16 page paper with me.

How should I approach these professors when asking for a LoR? It's awkward enough that I was an online student, so I am trying to make it as smooth of a process as possible. What should I bring with me?

I'm also going to be involved in a research project this fall at another university, and I'm thinking that will be another great source for a LoR. I am actually pretty excited about the project.

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Given that every encounter you've had with your professors thus far has been online, I would suggest just biting the bullet and e-mailing asking for that letter of recommendation. I presume you built a rapport up with them during your masters programme? You could even say that you look forward to finally meeting them at the conference.

I don't think you need to worry about it particularly given, from what you said, you've done well in coursework and actually achieved the Masters. Don't worry about it, after all, the worst they can say is no, and that's very unlikely.

As for the research project: go and smash it and get yourself another recommendation so you can move confidently into a PhD programme!

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