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Letters of Recommendation

A strong, compelling letter of recommendation from a faculty member, advisor, or supervisor can be a deciding factor in the admissions process. Your choices for whom to ask, when/how to ask them, etc. should be just as thoughtful as the rest of your application.

  • Get to know your faculty, campus advisors, or supervisors early in your college career. When it comes time to ask someone for a recommendation, they should know you very well and have enough information to write an outstanding letter.
  • Ask for recommendations well before the application deadline (months, not days).
  • Schedule a time to meet with a potential recommender so you may communicate your interest in the academic programs for which you're applying and how they fit with your career goals. That will help the recommender when they begin writing.
  • Provide them with all the necessary materials to write a great letter for you...your resume, personal statement, completed application, recommendation forms, etc.
  • When you ask someone to write you a letter of recommendation, you want to make sure they feel comfortable writing a great recommendation for you. If you get the sense they won't, ask someone else who will.
  • Some schools/faculty will suggest you utilize a credential or dossier service to house confidential letters of recommendation and other documents. Interfolio is an example of an online credential service provider.