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Requesting Letters of Recommendation

This page is designed to give graduate and undergraduate students an idea what I expect when students request a letter of recommendation from me for graduate school, law school, med school, internship, scholarship, or job. 

I expect to be contacted for a letter of recommendation at least 2 weeks prior to the due date of the letter to ask whether I would be willing to write a good letter for you. I do not say yes to all students.


Once I have agreed to write you a letter, I expect that you continue to check in with me:

  1. 1 week prior to due date,

  2. 3 days prior to the due date, and

  3. The day of the due date.

Once I have submitted the letter I will send you an email to confirm that I have submitted it. 

You want me to serve as a reference (no letter needed)? See section below

What I need from you for a letter of recommendation:

  1. CV or Resume 

    • A curriculum vitae (CV) tends to be used in academic settings. These documents are not limited in length and should include everything about you academically/professionally from the start of your post-high school career

    • Resumes are for more professional settings such as internships & jobs. These should (unless you have a very good reason) be limited to 1-page.

  2. Unofficial Transcripts from all of your grad & undergraduate institutions. Note: if you were at a school for just a few courses, no need to include this unless there is overlap in that coursework with whatever it is that you are applying for.​

  3. Link to the website for the job/internship/scholarship/grad program/etc. I want to be able to tailor my letter to that specific thing you are applying for.

  4. Application Materials. This might be a statement of purpose, a map, research and teaching statements, etc. I want to be able to connect what you said you can do with what the expectations are (see point above) in my letter so I can write the best letter possible for you.

Serving as a Reference (no letter needed)

I am usually more than happy to serve as a reference (meaning I will be contacted if you are being considered for a job and internship, but I do not have to write a letter) but I want to be informed that I have been listed as a reference so I know to expect a call or email. Simply adding my name and contact info as a reference is rude and usually will result in me missing the call or email. So please just let me know in advance. Providing more info about the thing you are applying for (see list above) is also very helpful.

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