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Programs Big gap between MS and PhD?

  1. Oct 31, 2007 #1
    What do you do if you have like a 10 or 20 year gap between your MS and your PhD with respect to getting letters of recommendation? I would eventually like to get my PhD, but I'm pretty sure that a good deal of my professors will be retired by the time I'd like to go for it.

    Are you supposed to stay in touch with a few professors as long as you have further academic ambitions, or is there some other way to get letters of recommendation, say from your boss or co-workers?

    This is for a PhD in EE, and I will not be within academia at all. I'd like to just work on my PhD part-time in the future, no matter how long it takes.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2007 #2


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    I think the standard thing to do in this situation is to get your employer to be your referee.
  4. Oct 31, 2007 #3
    A reference from a co-worker would be pretty much worthless I would think.
  5. Oct 31, 2007 #4
    A reference from an engineering supervisor might be ok though, especially since he is looking at engineering graduate school.
  6. Oct 31, 2007 #5
    Yes, definitely anyone in a position of authority would be good. But, having a fellow co-worker write you a letter would probably be about the same as having a friend write a letter.
  7. Oct 31, 2007 #6

    Dr Transport

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    I have written no less than 5 letters of reference for co-workers to go to or go back to graduate school. None were turned down and I have gotten calls from the school asking if we have any other people who would like to come and get degrees because our people have been exceptional. I am not a manager in any way shape or form, so how can you say what you said above is true.
  8. Oct 31, 2007 #7
    Grad schools are looking to predict what wet-behind-the-ears undergrads will make decent researchers. Coworkers with whom you have been working on major professional projects for 10-20 years, who also hold graduate degrees...well, it's a whole different level.
  9. Oct 31, 2007 #8
    Well apparently I cannot, and I retract my statement! It is interesting to me though, that these letters are so valuable. Although I suppose if you have worked with someone for an extended amount of time, and you yourself are well established in the field, your opinion would be valued.
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