How to Ask for a Recommendation
- Ideally, you should give at least 2 weeks notice.
- Put the deadline in the subject line of the email,
for example: "Feb 1 deadline; recommendation request"
(If you are requesting recommendations for multiple programs, put the first deadline.)
- Include the following information with your email:
- unofficial transcript
- draft of personal statement, or at least an informal paragraph or two about why you are applying to this program and how it fits into your short and long term goals
- information about the programs:
- list of URLs for the programs (if applicable)
- list of deadlines for the letters
- information about how to submit the letters (electronic submission preferred)
- PDFs of any forms that need to be filled out
- information about the competitiveness of the program would also be helpful (e.g. 1 winner out of 1000 applicants, or 50% acceptance rate, etc.)
- If there are any required paper forms, or if the forms need to be sent via snail mail, drop off the relevant paperwork and stamped, addressed envelopes in the faculty mailbox.
(Faculty mailboxes are right around the corner from the Lyman elevator.)
- You should expect a response within a day or two, acknowledging your request.
- You should expect a quick note letting you know that the letters have been submitted, or in some cases, are ready for pick-up. If you don't receive such notification, and the deadline
is approaching, feel free to send a friendly reminder.
- If you are applying to multiple programs with multiple deadlines, please get all of your info together in advance of the first deadline, so that all
recommendations can be written & submitted in a single sitting.
- It can be mind-boggling to receive multiple automatic emails requesting recommendations for different programs, spread out over several days or weeks. Please
be organized and click the web buttons to generate those automatic emails to the recommender all in one sitting, so that the recommender receives all the
recommendation requests within a short time frame. Then you can send a quick email to the recommender saying "You should have just received 5 automatically
generated recommendation requests from Universities A, B, C, D, and E. Please let me know if you didn't receive any of these."