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How to get good LORs for graduate school after graduating?

  1. Nov 7, 2015 #1
    Okay, so I graduated in May with a B.S. in EE and want to attend graduate school for EE with a concentration in solid state devices. I had around a 3.6 GPA and over 160 quantitative and verbal on the GRE. I took a device physics graduate course in my senior year (did well in it too) and after talking to grad students, it seems like a really interesting course of study. The only problem is, it was in my senior year when I realized that I wanted to pursue further education, and I never gave much thought to trying to get recommendations.

    I never really interacted much with any of my professors and none of them would remember me, although I did well in most of my courses. So I'm wondering, how would I get letters of recommendations to get accepted into a graduate program (either M.S. or PhD)? I also don't have much research experience, which I know is an important factor in getting accepted into a grad program, and I'm not sure how to get that now that I'm graduated.

    If anyone can offer any suggestions as to how to obtain good letters of recommendations after graduating, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    This is a bit like saying "How do we score more points?" after the game has ended.

    I think you just have to ask your former professors. Yes, they are likely not to say you are the strongest candidate for graduate school, but fact of the matter is that you are not the strongest candidate for graduate school.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2015 #3
    Vanadium, I agree with what you said about the game being over, but I wasn't clear in my first post. I realize that my professors probably won't write strong letters. My question is really 'how do I make my application stronger after graduating', and not 'how do I get my old profs to write strong letters'.

    So, I'll clarify my original question: What can I do after graduation to make my grad school application stronger, which in turn will get me strong LORs?

    Would enrolling in relevant grad courses as a non-degree student help? I work in the integrated circuit industry, is industry experience in a similar field helpful? I just want to know what I can be doing now to make me competitive in the future, and get good recommendations later on. I know I won't get into a good school now, but I'm thinking about a few years down the road.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Nov 7, 2015 #4

    phyzguy

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    What have you been doing since you graduated? You say you "work in the integrated circuit industry." Can you get a LOR from your current boss? A strong letter, extolling your work ethic, ability to learn quickly, ... etc. can go a long way to compensating for weak letters from professors.
     
  6. Nov 7, 2015 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Unless they are academics themselves, I actually don't think this is the case. Letters are written in a specific style that addresses certain things, and a letter that says "this person will succeed in graduate school" from someone who doesn't know from experience what it takes to succeed in graduate school will not carry a lot of weight.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2015 #6

    symbolipoint

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    Would tjo5112 have a better chance if he returned to school for a couple or more extra courses at either an advanced undergraduate level or any graduate-level courses?
     
  8. Nov 8, 2015 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't know how EE departments would treat this.
     
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