Most graduate school programs will require two 2-3 letters of recommendation (a.k.a LOR!).  Secure letters of recommendation in accordance to program requirements.  

  • Most graduate schools are highly interested in your academic abilities.  We encourage you to build rapport with your professors to enhance your overall academic experiences. Choose professors who know you well and who can speak in some detail about your academic prowess.  Professors are preferred recommenders because they are likely the most familiar with your academic work.  However, if a teaching assistant or research supervisor is more familiar with your skills and abilities, feel free to use them over a professor.

    You might choose to have a supervisor or employer act as a third recommender along with two professor recommenders. 

  • Provide your recommender with the following;

    • A packet of materials including an updated resume, a copy of your unofficial transcript, a strong working draft of your personal statement, and copies of written work submitted for the recommender’s class
    • Your unique reasons for pursuing graduate school, the schools you are interested in applying to, and the traits you would like them to focus in the letter
    • The graduate program’s Letter of Recommendation Recommender online link or printed recommender form.  Most programs and recommenders will elect the online process
  • Approach your recommenders early—at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the date you’d like the recommendation mailed.  Be very clear about the date you need the recommendation to be submitted or mailed, and make sure the recommender understands—and is committed to—your application timeline. 

    If you find that a professor is not meeting the agreed-upon deadlines, find another recommender ASAP.

Recommendation Letter Guidelines to Send to Your Recommender

Share this letter with the person from whom you are asking the letter. This document provides an overview of the letter of recomendation process, as well as insights on how to write a great letter.