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Thread: Recommendation letter (need your opinions)

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Apr 2015
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    Recommendation letter (need your opinions)

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    Hi All,

    Requesting views, experiences, opinions on below dilemma:
    I'm currently in my first year (and first semester) at a top-30 PhD program in the US, but now needing to relocate to Europe for (entirely) personal, and unavoidable reasons.

    Most EU schools have a cap on the number of letters I can submit and I have to optimize on which letters I choose: do I choose a letter from my current university, so that the admissions committee do not think that I am quitting because of any bad experiences or due to failing my exams here? (Such a letter will reduce information asymmetry but it will not be as strong as my other letters because it will be built off of just 2 months of interaction with my professor, and grade A-, on his subject.

    Do I submit letters from my old professors who know me better, and can write a relatively more detailed letter. Also, I know those letters are not bad because they got me into this T-30 program in the first place!. The drawback with this strategy is that reviewers will not have any faculty's validation/assessment about my performance at current phd program. They will have my transcript though, and my SOP, where I shall clearly state my reasons for moving.

    Thanks a lot !

  2. #2
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    Re: Recommendation letter (need your opinions)

    Do send one letter from your current program. The places you are applying need to know that you are not having a problem.

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Recommendation letter (need your opinions)

    Like any industry, having an assessment from your most recent employer is an absolute necessity. In fact, I don't think you should choose one course instructor to write a letter for you, because they can confirm that you're succeeding in one course. I think you should ask the director of graduate studies to write a letter, possibly after consulting with the instructors of your courses, and provide him all the grades at the end of the semester before he sends his letter.

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