Asking Faculty for Letters of Recommendation

  • Approach faculty who know you best, who can write specifically about work you have accomplished. If you ask a faculty member via email or phone to consider writing a letter of recommendation for you, follow up in person, if possible, to provide more information about the award and explain the reasons you think you're a strong applicant.  

  • Allow one month, if possible, for faculty to submit their letters. These letters are critical for your applications, so do not put faculty in the position of rushing their letters. Be absolutely clear about the deadline and the necessary method of submission.   

  • Provide faculty with full information on the scholarship or graduate school opportunity, a resume, an unofficial copy of your transcript, your personal statement or project statement if applicable, forms filled out as needed along with envelopes addressed and stamped as necessary, and contact information if no forms are used (to whom each letter should be addressed). If forms are provided, you should waive your right to see the recommendation and note this. Make sure the faculty member has your complete contact information.

  • One week in advance of the deadline, check in with your recommender to see if the letters have been submitted. Follow up politely until they have been submitted.

  • Write your faculty recommenders thank-you notes and be sure to let them know of the outcome.