Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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warandpeace
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Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby warandpeace » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:32 pm

I have one professor who has done an evaluation instead of a letter of rec for me. Should I ask for a letter, or is an evaluation fine?

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Balthy
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby Balthy » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:39 pm

Evaluations are not required and, moreover, not very valuable without comments. Letters (usually 2) are required.

bp shinners
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:53 pm

superdingle2000 wrote:Evaluations are not required and, moreover, not very valuable without comments. Letters (usually 2) are required.


Yep, most schools don't care much about the evals. They rank you from 1-10. Guess what everyone gets.

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warandpeace
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby warandpeace » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Quick follow up question, will it matter if my two letters are from 1 professor and 1 administrator/advisor (non-professor)? Or should I ask that evaluator (a professor) to write me a letter as well?

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hephaestus
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby hephaestus » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:59 pm

warandpeace wrote:Quick follow up question, will it matter if my two letters are from 1 professor and 1 administrator/advisor (non-professor)? Or should I ask that evaluator (a professor) to write me a letter as well?

I doubt it'll matter. An advisor can be a decent choice, especially if they can write a more personal letter than another professor.

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Balthy
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby Balthy » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:43 am

warandpeace wrote:Quick follow up question, will it matter if my two letters are from 1 professor and 1 administrator/advisor (non-professor)? Or should I ask that evaluator (a professor) to write me a letter as well?



So you mean administrative advisor and not someone like a thesis advisor? I've heard many adcoms say a TA or thesis advisor who knows you well is better than a prof who doesn't, but I don't know if that would extend to administrative advisors (people who just help with choosing classes, graduating on time, etc., right?).

bp shinners
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Re: Are Letters and Evaluations the Same?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:25 pm

superdingle2000 wrote:
warandpeace wrote:Quick follow up question, will it matter if my two letters are from 1 professor and 1 administrator/advisor (non-professor)? Or should I ask that evaluator (a professor) to write me a letter as well?



So you mean administrative advisor and not someone like a thesis advisor? I've heard many adcoms say a TA or thesis advisor who knows you well is better than a prof who doesn't, but I don't know if that would extend to administrative advisors (people who just help with choosing classes, graduating on time, etc., right?).


Yea, if it's the latter, that won't be too useful of a letter. They really need to be in a position to evaluate your academic work.

The exception to this would be if you were in a ridiculously difficult major and didn't shy from the hard classes, thus resulting in a lower GPA. You can sometimes get a decently effective letter written by someone in that capacity talking about the rigorous nature of your course load, comparing you to the average student/in that major. You can't say that stuff yourself, and it won't change your GPA, but it can sometimes help put things in context without you saying it yourself.




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