I will be going for my undergraduate thesis under a professor (at a different institute than my home university) in May 2018. I will work with him from May – December 2018. I plan to apply to graduate school (for my masters) for fall 2019, so applications will be done around November 2018.
Since some professors have different policies of writing recommendations for students (for some 6 months is a short time of work to write a good letter, some have other conditions), I am thinking about asking the professor whether he would be willing to write recommendation letters for my applications during November, provided of course he is satisfied with my work.
I thought this would be better to get out of the way beforehand, so that he will know that I am willing to do substantial work during this time, and am willing to take on as much work as he feels is necessary to do before he can write a strong recommendation letter. This will also help me strategise for graduate school admissions and prevent me from being put on the spot if he refuses to write a recommendation in November.
Is this (asking about recommendation beforehand) a standard practice? I feel he shouldn’t mind because I am trying to cover all my bases and plan for my future. I feel it will be better for the both of us if we agree on all such conditions beforehand.