Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Letter of Rec/Admission in General

  1. Nov 13, 2007 #1
    Hi, time has come! I am finally applying to graduate school.
    It's been a couple weeks since I started preparing applications and so on. I never thought how much work all this is!(I'm glad that I dropped one class earlier). Anyway, I have a couple questions that I would like to get your attention to. I will be brief as possible, and I would like your honest opinion! Truth shouldn't hurt me!

    So I asked a recommendation letter to two of professors whom I've been serving as a research assistant over an year. Here's reply I got

    "It will be better if you can prepare a draft and send it to me as a template, I will be glad to go over it once this is done"

    I don't know what he means by 'template', to my optimistic interpretation, does he perhaps means that I write my own rec. letter and give it to him? Sounds weird! but that's the only interpretation I can come up with. I'm simply too scared to ask him what he meant. What do you guyz say?

    I received my junior college transcript. It's got D's and F's. Many W. Overal GPA of 3.25. Oh my....

    Anyway, I did well in my current University taking only upper level courses and have 3.7 GPA. But here comes the twist, due to 4 years accumulated credit over junior college(yope, I spent 4 years!) when I combined two years of current university credit to come up with total UGPA, I get something like 3.4. There's nothing I can do about it. But I was wondering if I should explain this on my personal statement. Back in junior college, I had to pay out of state tuition with no parent support so I had to work full time while going to school and it was hard. Then by the time I transfer, I became a legal resident of the state and didn't have to work. Should I say this on my personal statement? Or let the transcript say it all?

    Thanks for helping me out. I would love to hear your own story. Especially if there's any of you who've over come low GPA to enter graduate school!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2007 #2
    From my experience, this is not uncommon. He just wants an idea of what you would like him to say in the letter. Perhaps he could address your GPA issue, and say you are knowledgeable and hard working, and your GPA doesn't reflect this well. (But you GPA isn't bad, either).
  4. Nov 13, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    That professor is trusting your honesty in letting you tell him what you want him to write. It's not bad; he sees no major disadvantage in you personally and none professionally, but still does not know you well enough, so he wants you to help him know what to write about you. HE IS TRUSTING YOUR SELF-JUDGEMENT. You and he will probably need to revise and negotiate exactly what and how is expressed in the letter after you give him your first draft.

    The D's, F's, and W's: Maybe not too bad a situation if they were mostly in ONE subject area and if you re-enrolled and successfully gained credit. What you did about those low results may be very important in understanding your personal and professional qualities. (my opinion).
  5. Nov 13, 2007 #4
    I would not be so worried about your GPA. If your transcript shows overall 3.7 in your upper level classes that should be impressive. Why would a grad school mind a C in Calc I but an A in Real Analysis, or a C in intro to Physics but a B+ in Advanced Quantum Mechanic
  6. Nov 13, 2007 #5
    Thanks for the reply. Okay, so I started writing a letter for myself. But I ran into a problem. It's simply not possible to write three letter for myself. They all look the same. So I decided to write the letter in a template form (I now understand what he meant by this!) So it goes something like...."here, please evaluate my research ability" and so on.

    I guess, I am just too nervous about everything. Better luck for those who's applying this year.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook