How to Get a Great Graduate School Letter of Recommendation

Students who need graduate school letters of recommendation often have questions about whom to ask, how to ask, and when is the right time to ask. Students must understand how to correctly ask for letters of recommendation because great letters of recommendation are vital to the admissions process for graduate school.


The first step to getting great graduate school letters of recommendation is choosing great writers. Writers must be able to accurately portray your potential to succeed at the graduate level. The best and most notable letters come from faculty members with whom you have developed more personal relationships because more personal letters tend to impress admissions committees.

After you have decided whom to ask, you should now approach them. Faculty members are very busy, so you should approach them at least 2 months before your letters are due. You should set up appointments to make your requests to potential writers. Be prepared to discuss your goals and intentions for graduate school to give writers a clear idea of what they will need to write.

It is important to provide your writers with the right tools to write your letters, so you should give your writers all the information and resources that you think they might need. Make sure that your writers have your contact information so that they can contact you if they have any questions. Provide your writers with a list of schools and their corresponding deadlines, which will give your writers hard deadlines by which they need to finish your letters. Present your writers with a list of points that you would like them to emphasize, which will give them a clear idea of what you want. Your resume, unofficial transcripts, and statement of purpose will give your writers additional information that they might not know about you, which will allow them to include specific details about your academics. Finally, you should give your writers stamped and addressed envelopes and thank-you notes because it is important to thank letter writers for their time.

Getting great graduate school letters of recommendation starts by having good professor-student relationships. You should develop your relationships with your professors as soon as possible and start thinking about which teachers you would ask to write graduate school letters of recommendation for you. Remember that good letters of recommendation can help you get in to graduate school.


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