Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
MrLawGun
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 12:48 pm

Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby MrLawGun » Tue May 14, 2013 12:57 pm

Hey guys! I was wondering if I could get some advice on recommendation letters.

I double majored in Communications and Film Studies in undergrad. The film studies program was pretty small (we had 6 people graduating in my class) and we had a very tight-knit community there - we knew all the professors in the program and were on a first name basis with everyone on faculty/staff (by their request, I will add). The communications program on the other hand, was HUGE, and although I was friendly with some faculty members, I'm pretty sure I won't stand out THAT significantly from the huge sea of students in the program.

I already have one rec letter down, from a professor in my film studies program who is not only a renowned scholar in his field, but also been kind of a mentor to me (he wrote one of my letters for when I got PBK). Now I'm not sure what to do about the second letter. I can probably get another great letter from someone in the film studies program, but I'm kinda worried that schools will look as it as two letters from the same department. Or I can get it from the Communications department, which will probably be just a good letter, but nothing outstanding or phenomenal... What should I do??

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Lavitz
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby Lavitz » Tue May 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Great letter from same department > mediocre letter from different department.

toothbrush
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby toothbrush » Tue May 14, 2013 1:10 pm

Lavitz wrote:Great letter from same department > mediocre letter from different department.

+1

I had a double major as well and chose to get 2 (and then a third) all from one of my majors (Philosophy fwiw.)

Go with whoever you think will write you the strongest letter. However, I will add that IF you think one of the professors from a larger pool (Communications in this case ) will write a letter saying that you are the best of XXX number of students, it's stronger than saying you are the best of 6.

Do you know what I mean?

MrLawGun
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 12:48 pm

Re: Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby MrLawGun » Tue May 14, 2013 1:20 pm

I guess that's kind of where my concerns lay. Because I think I can get a good to decent rec from one of my Comm profs, but not to the detail or individualization as one I'd get from my film studies profs. Like, I guess the letter would be like "So and so was in my top 20 students out of 300" as opposed to "top out of 6". It doesn't sound as good as TOP, but considering it's top 20 out of 300, it's better, you know??

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Vincent
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Re: Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby Vincent » Tue May 14, 2013 1:26 pm

Absolutely go with the best letters. Diversity comes second, but you also don't want your letters to be redundant.

E.g. I was Bio/Stats; my letters were from Physics, Law, Public Health, and Physics - wasn't comfortable enough asking anybody from Bio; got a Stats letter for graduate programs.

bp shinners
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Recommendation Letter Question/Advice..

Postby bp shinners » Wed May 15, 2013 4:20 pm

MrLawGun wrote:I guess that's kind of where my concerns lay. Because I think I can get a good to decent rec from one of my Comm profs, but not to the detail or individualization as one I'd get from my film studies profs. Like, I guess the letter would be like "So and so was in my top 20 students out of 300" as opposed to "top out of 6". It doesn't sound as good as TOP, but considering it's top 20 out of 300, it's better, you know??


"He was a top 20 student out of 300. I still didn't know his name."

"He was a top student out of 6. He really stood out, even in such a small setting, and we talked about X, and Y, and Z, and he participated in 1, 2, and 3."

Second sounds better.




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