I might have to ask my grandmother.
February 24, 2012 4:25 PM Subscribe
A professor I worked with last year just informed me that he cannot write me a letter of recommendation for graduate school because I didn't take a class with him. This is reasonable, but how do I respond? Also, what other professors could I ask to write a recommendation?
posted by oxfordcomma to education (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I worked with this professor in my senior year as a peer adviser. I had sent him an email two days ago asking for a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and he just sent a [really kind] message back stating that he would be willing to write the letter, but history programs are specifically looking for letters from professors that can adequately evaluate your academic performance. This makes a lot of sense to me, but how do I respond to this? I would really like to send him some sort of email thanking him. I want to write something along the lines of just "thank you" but I don't know how to do so without sounding angry or rude [i.e.: "thanks so much for your consideration"].
My other issue is that I am now struggling to find another professor who can write this recommendation for me. There were a lot of instructors who could give me a strong review based on academic performance, but I'm not quite sure if asking for these recommendations and/or including them in my application would be appropriate. So my additional questions are:
1. I would like to ask another professor- who happens to be the first Professor's wife- for a recommendation. I took a history class with her ["Immigration + Ethnic issues"] and did pretty well, and I believe that she could provide we might a really strong letter of recommendation. How should I phrase this email?
2. Can I ask a professor I had in community college? I did take four history courses with the same professor [earning all A's] and two courses with another [again, all A's]. I did talk to these professors extensively during/outside of class and I had some pretty memorable papers. These, unfortunately, were all 100 and 200 level classes. They were also either American history or general world history classes.
3. Or, can I ask professors from other disciplines? I know subjects like chemistry are probably out of the question, but would a recommendation from an Art History or Creative writing/English professor help my application?
The caveat here is that I'm quite limited in the professors I can ask, but I need three recommendations. At my transfer college, I took the vast majority of my history courses with the same professor due to my concentration [Russian History]. I've already asked this professor and another professor [who taught historiography] for recommendations. I did take a WWI course, but I only got a "B" in it. I also took an African History course where I received an "A" and an American revolution course where I earned a "B+", but I definitely didn't stand out in the class and I really doubt the professor remembers me.
Thanks so much!