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How bad is it not to get a recommendation from an REU advisor?

  1. Jul 28, 2010 #1
    So I haven't really been having a very good REU experience. My advisor has not made himself very accessible and I probably only spend like 20 minutes a week talking to him. Most the time I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be doing so I haven't really been working very hard on my project and have made very little progress. I barely ever even see my advisor and don't feel like he knows me at all and I haven't done a very good job on my project so should I even ask him for a recommendation? Would it be worse to have a not that good recommendation from an REU advisor or no recommendation at all?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2010 #2
    I don't know much firsthand about grad school admissions, but I'm in an REU program right now, and I can tell you that in my program there are excellent advisers and bad advisers, excellent students and students who basically haven't done any work all summer. My point is that being in an REU doesn't automatically mean you should ask for a letter of recommendation from your adviser. I would think it's best to ask for letters from professors that seemed interested in you and saw you performing at your best.

    What's the point of asking for a recommendation from someone who's completely out of touch with you, especially if you haven't accomplished all that much in the REU program? Getting into an REU program isn't a sign of extraordinary talent or anything, so I wouldn't over-emphasize your REU unless it was really worthwhile.
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