How much does late Recommendation Letter affect PhD application?

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bcjw5
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:59 pm

How much does late Recommendation Letter affect PhD application?

Postby bcjw5 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:33 pm

Hi All,
Just a quick question regarding the LOR. Most of the Physics PhD programs that I've applied require 3 recommendation letters. Two of my professors have already submitted the LORs long time ago (Big Thanks!!!! :D :D ), but the 3rd professor has really been procrastinating... :| Some of the programs I've applied have a deadline by January 15th, and now it's already early February, and he still didn't submit the 3rd LOR despite my repeated reminders. I've reminded him again three days ago and he promised to submit it as soon as possible. But even if he submits it this week, it's already three weeks past the deadline... :| Well, I'm wondering how much would a (extremely) late LOR affect my application? Is sending an apology email to each school's Admission Office would be of any help?
(Note: I think the 3rd professor's missing LOR is probably the least important among the three LORs. I've only worked with him as a TA teaching Intermediate Classical Mechanics for one semester. The other two professors' LORs are about a continuous two-year biophysics research and a nine-month nuclear physics project.)
Thanks a lot for anyone who have read through my post! :D :D :D

TakeruK
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: How much does late Recommendation Letter affect PhD application?

Postby TakeruK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:09 pm

You should definitely contact the school to let them know that you are trying to get this letter in. As long as it arrives before they make evaluations, it shouldn't matter. If it doesn't arrive, there is a risk that your application will be marked as incomplete and not considered at all. This depends on the school though. So definitely email each of the **departments** (not the Graduate School, yet) to let them know what's going on and whether they will be able to consider your application without this 3rd letter.

If they will still consider an application without the 3rd letter and that they already have your package then you should just continue to remind your 3rd prof.

If they say you must have all 3 letters in to be considered, then you might want to also let the Graduate School know that you're waiting for the last letter. You may also want to consider asking another prof for the 3rd letter.

bcjw5
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:59 pm

Re: How much does late Recommendation Letter affect PhD application?

Postby bcjw5 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Hi TakeruK, thank you so much for your reply! :D :D :D Yes, I will email each school's physics department and explain about the 3rd LOR. Hopefully my applications would still be considered. Thanks! :wink: :wink:

chris314
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:44 pm

Re: How much does late Recommendation Letter affect PhD application?

Postby chris314 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:49 pm

I just went through this process myself, my recommender assured me he would send his LOR but I haven't heard from him in just over a month. I emailed all of the departments and explained my situation and asked to have another person submit a letter of recommendation. Luckily I had another professor willing to submit a letter of recommendation he already wrote for me to these schools.

A few schools waived my third LOR requirement, but I went ahead and sent my third LOR anyway when they allowed it. Some schools already started the review process, and would not accept a third LOR at this point, but they were still willing to review my application.

Best of luck to us both!




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