Next was one of my supervisors for my research project. He too was more than happy to oblige me. That's 2/3. So far so good.
And then I got to the Professor who I'd been doing research under for years. We'll call him Prof Cap.
And he told me no.
Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit here and I haven't given his explanation yet. See, he was than happy to write me one, until I told him I was trying to get into Speech and Language Pathology. Then he looked me in the eye and said, "Damian, I don't think my reference letter is going to help you get in. Your GPA isn't that competitive."
Ouch. Harsh but probably true.
Don't worry, there's more.
He goes on to tell me that he's written more than half a dozen reference letters over the last few years for students trying to get into the program. And only one got in, the one with the ~4.0 GPA. Remember that mine is at ~3.3.
Oh and it gets better. One of the people even did research with a SLP professor for a year and STILL didn't get in. If this isn't enough of an indicator that the SLP department (at least at my University) only cares about marks, I don't know what is.
I mean, I'm fairly certain that knowing that a student can properly conduct research is a better indicator of a good grad student than, I don't know, an arbitrary number on a piece of paper. Just because you can memorize definitions from a book doesn't mean you can do things in real life.
Fairly certain that the department admins look like this.
That being said, ALL of the students my prof wrote reference letters for were women. Maybe I could stand a chance by being male? You think they'd give me a special exception? Hopefully?
Either way, Prof Cap had two pieces of advice for me. Either start applying to the SLP program at other Universities in hopes that they aren't as competitive, or start looking for a different graduate program to get into. I'm definitely going to start exploring these options, I need to make a back-up plan after finals.
Oh, side note. Patt is also written at least 2 reference letters for students trying to get into the SLP program. And Prof Cap and I think we know what SLP is so popular/competitive. There's a huge demand for Speech Pathologists and it might have to do with the surge of autism in recent years. And we both think it's the new ADHD.
Autism is a real disorder, but whether or not the huge numbers of people being diagnosed with it are legitimate cases found due to better diagnostic methods, or helicopter parents being helicopter parents has yet to be determined.