Letters of Recommendation for
Every year I am asked to write letters of recommendation on behalf of undergraduates who have either done research in my lab or have been enrolled in one of my courses.
These letters can be in support of applications to graduate school, professional school, scholarships, internships, or any other activity for which a student would like me to act as a reference. It is typical for a faculty member writing letters of recommendation to create just one letter that a student can utilize for a variety of different purposes. Thus, the more information that you can provide me about yourself and the nature of the programs/awards to which you will be applying, the easier it will be for me to assist you by writing a positive and detailed letter on your behalf.
Because graduate and professional schools generally want letters of recommendation that speak to the candidate's abilities and aptitude for postgraduate training, I need to have some degree of acquaintance with the skills, talents, and character of the students for whom I write letters of reference.
Obviously, I cannot write detailed and supportive letters for students whom I do not know well. For this reason, I generally write letters of support only for those students who have met at least one of the following prerequisites:
At this meeting, you should be prepared to concisely discuss your future goals and why you believe that I can help you accomplish these aspirations by writing a letter on your behalf. In particular, I would like you to provide me with the following materials at this meeting:
If I agree to write a letter on your behalf I promise to write a supportive letter that will facilitate your progress toward your goals. However, to maintain the integrity of the recommendation process, I generally do not share these letters directly with the candidate.
If I agree to write you a letter of recommendation you will need to send me the following materials, at least 3 weeks before the date before which you wish me to mail your letter:
Back to TopLast updated February 2007