Letters of Recommendation

Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Faculty members are asked to write many letters each year and it can be hard to keep track of deadlines, formats, etc. To facilitate the process, please follow the guidelines below when emailing to ask for a letter.

Can I write for you? 

a. If I advised, or am advising, your thesis or dissertation, I can write for you.  If you are a graduate student applying to many jobs, please ask my staff assistant how best to convey requests.  

b. If you've taken a seminar with me, please email to ask if I would be able to write.

c. If you've only taken a large lecture course with me and I did not get to know you well, please email your TF and myself to ask if we would be able to write a letter jointly, to be drafted by your TF.  


  1. Email your request at least four weeks in advance of the letter deadline to both me and my staff assistant.  
  2. Send a separate email for each letter you need.
  3. In the email subject line note the deadline first, then the recipient (“15 November, NSF Fellowship”).
  4. To each email, attach your current CV; transcript; draft statement of purpose; and the description of the fellowship/job/grant with its specific requirements. 
  5. In the body of the email, specify whether submission is online (provide the link), by email (provide both email and street address if available), or hard copy (include mailing address). Please ask for a hard copy only if no other format is accepted.