Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Writing letters of recommendation is a responsibility that faculty take quite seriously. Supporting students in this way puts our name and reputation on the line, and, if it is to be written well-enough to contribute to your success, then we need sufficient time and materials to craft the best possible letter.

To be able to write a letter of recommendation for students applying for graduate school or other kinds of occupational or service positions, follow these steps:

  1. All requests for letters of recommendation should be made at least one month before their due date.  For internal recommendations (usually forms filled out for Study Abroad, on campus positions, etc.), we need at least three weeks notice.
  1. Only request letters of recommendation from faculty members from whom you have completed at least one semester of course work.
  1. Make the request for letters in person unless you are no longer on campus.
  1. Once a professor has agreed to write letters, you must provide them with the following materials at least one month before their due date for external recommendations and at least three weeks for internal ones:
  • Deadline for the letter (if you are applying for multiple opportunities at the same time, a list should include deadlines and addresses)
  • Transcript (unless the professor is your academic advisor). If there is anything that is unusual or if you want us to address extenuating circumstances, let us know.
  • Resume
  • Draft of personal statements or essay questions required by the institutions to which you are applying
  • Email addresses or links to fill out online applications
  • Copies of printed forms and self-addressed stamped envelopes, when appropriate
  • Any other items requested by a professor or that you think would be useful to share.
          (This could include a piece of work from a class you took with that professor of which you are particularly proud.)

If you have any questions about this process for requesting letters of recommendation, talk with any faculty member of the Department of Sociology.