divXyng

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Hi,

I am taking a few classes at the university for my DIY post bacc. My number 1 objective besides doing well in these classes is to get letters of recommendation from professors however one of these class is taught over the course of the semester by 2 professors with one teaching the first half and the second teaching the latter (many of our biology/biochem classes are taught this way).

Would it make sense to even ask one of these professors for a letter of rec if I do well? I really want to take the class (Genetics) but if I can't get a letter of rec from it then I would rather change classes. Should I ask the professor up front as soon as the class starts if he will be willing to write a letter if I do well? Anyone have a similar situation or asked a prof from a class that was taught by more than 1 professor?

Thanks.
 

Bionista

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Hi,

I am taking a few classes at the university for my DIY post bacc. My number 1 objective besides doing well in these classes is to get letters of recommendation from professors however one of these class is taught over the course of the semester by 2 professors with one teaching the first half and the second teaching the latter (many of our biology/biochem classes are taught this way).

Would it make sense to even ask one of these professors for a letter of rec if I do well? I really want to take the class (Genetics) but if I can't get a letter of rec from it then I would rather change classes. Should I ask the professor up front as soon as the class starts if he will be willing to write a letter if I do well? Anyone have a similar situation or asked a prof from a class that was taught by more than 1 professor?

Thanks.

The key to getting good letters is to build a genuine relationship with the professor. This can be done even if the professor teaches for half of the course, you will just have to go to their office hours more frequently rather than throughout the whole semester. So choose one of them and try to build that relationship. It would probably be best to get to know the professor teaching the second half, that way he/she will be able to fully see how you've done during the whole semester.

I've gotten to know my professors this way and have never been turned down for a letter request. Hope this helps. :)
 
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CyrilFiggis

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Should I ask the professor up front as soon as the class starts if he will be willing to write a letter if I do well?
This is the worst thing you can do. 1) it's obnoxious and unprofessional 2) you've screwed yourself from developing a genuine relationship with the professor.

It would probably be best to get to know the professor teaching the second half, that way he/she will be able to fully see how you've done during the whole semester.
There's really no better or worse one to ask. One of my writers was the first half and I bombed his exams, but I kept going to his office hours throughout the semester and he saw my dedication and growth. Another writer was second half and knew me cause I went to his weekly review sessions. Both wrote great letters.
 
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Skiiiiiing

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Get A's, don't be a clown show, ask politely, pick people who are intrinsically generous, the end
 
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Cura_te_ipsum

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OP, good questions! I firmly believed during my DIY Post Bacc years that professor office hours were my best friend. I did well in their courses but I attended office hours preicsely to get to know them as a nontrad student, listen to their counsel and eventually get a LOR.

They all gave me letters. But I also earned them bc I made time to let them get to know me. To make things easier for them, I wrote my own letter as a template, and gave it to them as a suggestion. They edited my letter or wrote their own, but all around it was a win win situation for all involved. They got to know a motivated nontrad student and their counsel was very heartfelt. I still think about them

Enjoy the journey.
 

divXyng

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Thanks for the responses. To add to this question, if I took a class a few years ago and got an A in it would it be okay to ask for a letter of rec even if I didn't have a relationship with a professor at all?
 
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Thanks for the responses. To add to this question, if I took a class a few years ago and got an A in it would it be okay to ask for a letter of rec even if I didn't have a relationship with a professor at all?
Do you really want a LOR that reads like this:
"Dear Admissions Committee,
divXyng was my student in my ___class S/he received an A"

??????

LORs have to be earned, and not merely by getting good grades. You've been given good advice in this thread. Use it.
 
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