How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

by Jason Eisner (2016)

I'm happy to write recommendation letters for graduate study (or post-Ph.D. opportunities). It's quite nice to see my students continue on in the field.

What will I write?

I'll try to find substantive things to say. The more closely we've worked together, the more informative my letter can be.

In some cases, I may be able to customize the letter to specific schools, if I think that there's a Ph.D. advisor who would be a really good match for you. Usually this doesn't seem necessary, though.

Warning: If you have only been involved with me through my classes, then my letter probably won't be enough to get you into grad school. It will just be some supporting evidence. Your main letter should be from someone who knows what you're capable of outside the classroom.

What should you send me?

As a matter of policy, I will only send a letter if it is confidential. So you should waive your right to read the letter. This assures the recipient that my recommendation will be honest.

Please give me a month's notice if possible, so that I can find a block of time to fit this in. It would be useful for you to send me the following materials as soon as convenient. We could also meet to discuss your application, but ideally you'd send me at least some of these items first.

To understand how Ph.D. applications are read (at least around here), check out my answer here.

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Jason Eisner - (suggestions welcome) Last Mod $Date: 2016/12/19 23:18:31 $