Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are an important part of the application process because they allow others to examine your skills and vouch for your ability to be successful in graduate school. Most schools require 2-3 recommendation letters.

Ask professors who know you on a personal and professional level, whether that is someone within your major or not. You can choose a supervisor at work too, but make sure he/she can give schools an adequate reason for choosing you for admission. Do not ask personal friends or family members; they may know you personally, but probably not professionally.

Make sure to ask professors or supervisors to write a recommendation letter at least one month in advance from when you want them to submit a letter. It also helps to fill out an English Department reference letter form that includes any pertinent information a professor or supervisor would need to write a recommendation letter. Not every professor you ask will agree to write you a recommendation letter. Have a list of professors to ask in case this happens.

After a professor has agreed to write you a recommendation letter and he/she has submitted it, write a personal thank you letter. You can do this over email or send them a thank you card to their office. This shows your appreciation and opens the door for future recommendation or reference letters.

Last Modified: 2/20/17 4:06 PM