Letters of Recommendation

What other people think of you and your capabilities is very important to admissions committees. People such as scientists, professors who know you well, your research advisor, or your undergraduate advisor are good sources for a letter. A mediocre letter is worse than no letter at all, so make sure you talk with each person you ask for a letter to make sure of a good recommendation.

A good way to ask someone to write a recommendation letter for you is to ask, “Do you feel comfortable writing me a strong letter of recommendation?”

Click here for a sample recommendation letter.

Before asking someone for a letter of recommendation, make sure you are prepared. Help your recommender by having a description of the program you are interested in, a copy of your Curriculum Vitae or Resume and details on when the recommendation is due or how it should be submitted ready before meeting with the individual. Also, if at all possible, try to meet with your recommender face to face rather than sending an email or making a phone call. Finally, make sure you always thank your recommender for taking the time to write the letter. They took time out of their schedule to help you and a little thanks goes a long way!