Letters of Recommendation

You sign a Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) statement for each letter.  Additionally, you are responsible for monitoring all aspects of requesting and collecting your individual letters of recommendation.

  • An ideal set of recommendations would include:
    • 2 science faculty (mandatory)
    • 1-2 non-science faculty
    • 1-2 outside of academics (e.g., supervisor, coach)

Questions to Consider:

  • Who should you ask?  Who should you not ask?
    •  Choose your recommenders carefully!
  • What if you don’t have enough faculty recs?

Your goal: To have all 3-5 letters submitted by April of your intended application cycle


Helpful Tips when Requesting a Letter:

  • Make an appointment to meet in person if at all possible. 
  • Allow the person the option of saying NO.
  • Give plenty of advance notice and time to write a good LOR (at least one month).
  • Provide appropriate materials (Resume, Evaluation Sheet, transcript—optional).
  • Be professional about reminders.
  • Write a thank you note to each recommender.
  • Follow up with outcomes and thank them again for their assistance and support. 
  • Be professional.