View Full Version : Letters mainly from researchers... is there any big catch?

07-26-2007, 11:33 AM
I hope someone has a similar experiences. I think atleast two of my three LORs will be mainly from profs with whom I am doing research in the form of independent study (I dont know whether everyone's aware of this term). Whats could be the downside of this situation? I know that one thing is that they cant compare my ability with other students in a class, as these are individual researches. Whats the magnitude of this negative aspect, and what are the downsides to having letters only from researchers? I am a rising junior now, so better to ask now rather than later.

PS: My third letter will be from a prof with whom I have taken a number of classes and also doing research. Just mentioning, if this fact helps.

Golden Rule
07-26-2007, 02:19 PM
I think having 2 LORs from research jobs and 1 from the classroom is fine. While profs you RA for can't compare you to the current cohort, they can say things like "so-and-so is the best RA I've had in [X] years." Also, relative comparisons to the rest of your class should already show up pretty well in your grades. Having recommenders who can provide specific evidence of your ability to do independent research (because after all, that's what ultimately matters, more so than test-taking ability) is what matters most in these LORs, and I feel you can demonstrate this better as an RA than as a classroom participant.

[Edit: whatever I said about RAing is also true for independent study]

07-26-2007, 07:06 PM
Research work will always help you... as Golden Rule mentioned, transcript will back up your academic performance. Also individual researches will help your profs to know you lot better, unlike classes with number of students.

07-29-2007, 02:05 AM
Sounds like you're in good shape. I definitely wouldn't worry.