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General Resource : Resources for Graduate Schools >> 2. Apply for Grad Schools

  • Letters of Recommendations for applying for graduate schools
  • Submitted by Joe Wilson on 2010-01-10
  • Who do I ask for my Letters of Recommendation?
    • Graduate programs are looking for assurance of your strong academic dedication and performance.
    • Get at least one letter from a major professor in your field.
    • Look for someone who has a high opinion of you and knows your work well enough to vouch for it.
    • The recommender should be a respected peer and in a position to evaluate your performance that speaks to the Admissions Committee members.
    • You may consider other professors who know you well and are willing to give you a strong, positive recommendation.
    • If you know your advisor for student clubs, academic advisor, your dean or other administrators, these will also be good letter writers.
    • Get to know your faculty members early in your college career.
    • Work or volunteer in the department, complete undergraduate research or other activities.

    How Do I ask for my Letters of Recommendation?
    • Ask well in advance of the due date.
    • Ask cordially and formally; make an appointment to meet with the person you are seeking the letter from and take with you a brief description of your plans and the degree programs to which you’re applying. You may also provide them with a resume and your academic transcripts.
    • Provide them with all the information they need to return the letter including the full name, title, and complete mailing address. Provide them with pre-stamped and self addressed envelopes.
    • If the application asks if you agree to waive your rights to view the letter, you should always agree; not doing so may raise suspicion.
    • Send a thank you note the individuals who have taken the time to write your letters.

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