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Recommendations - engineering or math profs?

Pravit

Active Member
Hey everyone,

Just joined the forum - looks like an active and friendly place. I'd like your advice on recommendations. I'm a senior electrical engineering student at New Mexico State University, and I'll be applying to MFE programs this year (including Baruch!). I'm pretty happy with my application so far, except for letters of recommendation.

I've read a few program websites that suggest recommendations from math professors. The problem is I don't really know any of them. Sure, I got an A in their class a semester or two ago, but never spoke to them, attended their office hours, or took more than one class with them. What could they possibly write about me, if they even agreed to do it?

On the other hand, I have a better relationship with several of my EE profs, who I've actually had more than one class with and might know me a little bit better. The classes I've taken with them are quite advanced and math-heavy. Also, I'm not sure if this would count for anything, but NMSU's engineering department is much more recognized than its math department.

So, what do you think? Should I go for recommendations from EE profs I took math-intensive courses with who know me well, or would it signal some kind of weakness if I did not have at least one recommendation from a math professor? People who've been admitted, what kind of strategy did you take with LORs?

Thanks!
 

Muting

Well-Known Member
Hey everyone,

Just joined the forum - looks like an active and friendly place. I'd like your advice on recommendations. I'm a senior electrical engineering student at New Mexico State University, and I'll be applying to MFE programs this year (including Baruch!). I'm pretty happy with my application so far, except for letters of recommendation.

I've read a few program websites that suggest recommendations from math professors. The problem is I don't really know any of them. Sure, I got an A in their class a semester or two ago, but never spoke to them, attended their office hours, or took more than one class with them. What could they possibly write about me, if they even agreed to do it?

On the other hand, I have a better relationship with several of my EE profs, who I've actually had more than one class with and might know me a little bit better. The classes I've taken with them are quite advanced and math-heavy. Also, I'm not sure if this would count for anything, but NMSU's engineering department is much more recognized than its math department.

So, what do you think? Should I go for recommendations from EE profs I took math-intensive courses with who know me well, or would it signal some kind of weakness if I did not have at least one recommendation from a math professor? People who've been admitted, what kind of strategy did you take with LORs?

Thanks!
Hi,

Welcome to this forum. Not necessarily. I dont have any recommendation from math professors. I think a high grades in your math courses should demonstrate some kind of ability in math. Plus, even some of your professors in EE might also have strength in math. One of my referees is a finance professor, but he holds a math PhD.
 

Dmytro

Well-Known Member
i agree with Muting - not having a recommendation from a math professor should not be a detriment to your application, as long as other letters of recommendation demonstrate that you possess the skills required by the programs. i heard (though not 100% sure) that some programs specifically ask for recommendations from math professors, but i'm sure your EE professors would qualify to be called mathematicians.

if you have any working experience in finance and have a good relationship with your boss, make sure to include his/her recommendation - practical knowledge and experience in finance is one of the cornerstones of a successful MFE program.

good luck with your applications!
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
My best recommendations have always been from the professors I took courses with when I came to this country. I took many courses with them, spend time working on extra-curriculum activities with them. They got to know me really well, both my strength and weakness.

Even though it's been a long time but they would not hesitate to give me recommendation. In fact, they wrote my LOR for my Baruch MFE application.

So my experience has been that the people who know you well would do a better job writing letters for you. It just happened that they are math professors and I did really well in their courses but it should apply to any discipline.
 

Pravit

Active Member
Hey, thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I guess I'll go with my EE professors, then.

some programs specifically ask for recommendations from math professors
Yep, my impression is that NYU in particular really wants recs from math profs. Fortunately, it seems many other schools have their MFE in the engineering department, so maybe they'd look on recs from other engineers better.
 
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