You will need several letters of recommendation when applying to graduate school (usually 3). These letters should be written by professors who know you both inside and outside of the classroom. Be sure to contact faculty far ahead of deadlines when asking for a letter. You should not ask a professor for a letter if you only took a class or two with them. They should know you in other areas as well, such as work, internships, or research. Remember, a faculty member can only write a strong letter for a student that they know well enough to write about.
1. Ask first. Don’t simply list faculty without asking. They won’t give a good recommendation without being asked first.
2. Ask early. Don’t expect letters written in less than 2 weeks.
3. Provide a packet for your letter writers including the following:
a. List of schools with:
ii. Deadline dates
iii. Submission instructions (online, hard copy)
iv. Typed, addressed, stamped envelopes if necessary
b. Any forms required by the school
i. Fill out your portion first
ii. Answer whether you will be waiving your rights or not
iii. Sign it
c. Unofficial transcript
d. Statement of purpose
4. Provide friendly reminders
5. Offer time to answer any questions
6. Send thank you notes