Letters of recommendation are often required for graduate programs, scholarships or fellowships.
While each program or school may have specific guidelines, most will require you to submit a number of letters of recommendation from professors, a supervisor or someone who can speak to your knowledge, skills, abilities and/or passion for the field.
When considering a person to ask to write a recommendation, make sure that the person
- Knows you well enough to speak to your abilities
- Knows your work
- Is able to speak positively about you
- Is able to write a letter properly
When asking for a recommendation
- Don’t wait until the last minute to ask. Your reference may have several other letters to write. Ask for a recommendation six to eight weeks prior to the deadline
- Find out if the program you’re applying to requires a form, a letter or both. If a form is required, make sure that you find it and give it to your recommender.
- Provide the recommender with everything they need to write a letter (e.g., forms, resumes or transcripts) at one time.
- Always write a thank-you note to the recommender.