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Who Should I Ask for Letters of Reference for Grad School

  1. Aug 18, 2015 #1

    EJC

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    I'm applying to grad schools and my undergrad has a very small Physics department - only 3 professors. I am having at least 2 of them write me letters of reference, but in regards to my third letter, should I ask the other professor, who I've only had a few classes with, or should I ask my mentor at my research internship I had over the summer? I feel like my mentor could speak more to my research abilities and give me a thorough and overall a good letter, but is this generally acceptable?
     
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  3. Aug 18, 2015 #2

    micromass

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    Yes.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2015 #3

    radium

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    Definitely ask your summer mentor. In fact, it is strongly encouraged you get a letter from all of your research mentors (unless you already have four letters, if you have a very strong fourth letter most schools will accept it). It is also encouraged that you get a letter from someone at a different institution (like from an REU mentor).
     
  5. Aug 18, 2015 #4

    EJC

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    This summer internship is essentially my only experience outside from my own institution, and the professor I'm doing research under there is one of the professor I already mentioned counting on for a letter. But thanks for your reply! I will move forward by asking all three of my main professors for letters, as well as my mentor at my internship.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2015 #5

    radium

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    You should only submit four letters of you know they will all be outstanding, so I wouldn't ask the professor who you have only taken classes with unless you are sure it will be really good.
     
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