How to write a good recommendation letter for graduate school

Follow Us Recommendation Letters Recommendation letters are pretty much what they sounds like — letters from people who recommend that you be admitted as a student to a graduate school. Admissions committees use recommendation letters to get an idea of the individual behind GPAs and standardized test scores, and of how well the applicant performed in other academic settings. An effective letter of recommendation has these qualities: The writer knows you as a student, colleague, employee, etc.

How to write a good recommendation letter for graduate school

Recommendation Letter for Graduate School Applying for graduate school can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, and perhaps the worst step is getting good a recommendation letter for graduate school. But the process can be survived, and I can tell you how. Unfortunately you can't write your own recommendation letter for graduate school wouldn't be ethicalbut if you get started early during your senior year of college and stay focused and organized, you will find that you can substantially influence what goes into the letters your references write, and the ultimate strength of those letters.

Why do you need strong recommendation letters? At many institutions, recommendation letters--usually three are required - are just as important in graduate school admissions process as your undergraduate GPA and your scores on the Graduate Record Examination GRE.

However, bear in mind that some graduate schools do not require letters of recommendation - you can find some examples here. When should you ask for a recommendation letter for graduate school?

You will find that many graduate schools set an application deadline in November or December. These are hectic months for professors. The semester is driving toward an end, the holidays loom ahead and term papers and final exams are streaming in, waiting to be graded and you thought only the poor students suffer end-of-semester stresses.

So, anticipate these pressures and ask for letters early - in September. Who can write the best recommendation letters for you?

Who should write my letters of recommendation for graduate school? You do not necessarily want to seek out your department's most prestigious professors to write you letters. Instead, find those who can comment specifically on who you are as a person and student.

how to write a good recommendation letter for graduate school

Schools won't recognize a professor's name, but they will recognize his or her passion for your future. How should you ask for a recommendation letter for graduate school?

E-mail your professors and request a meeting to discuss your grad school plans. Ask in a tactful but direct way, "Professor, would you be able to write a strong recommendation letter when I apply to grad school? What do your letter-writers need from you?

But First, a List of Grad Schools That Don't Require Letters of Recommendation!

Here's where you can seriously influence the contents and effectiveness of the recommendation letters. Where should copies of your recommendation letters be stored, for later use?

Once your references have finished your letter, you might ask that they send a copy to your campus "Career Services Center," where you can establish a confidential credentials file.

It can contain all your recommendation letters, a copy of your transcript and resume and other materials. Career Services under whatever name, on your campus will send out copies of your letters whenever you need them.

Well, now you owe a debt to each person who wrote a letter recommending you. Send each a Thank You note "I know how busy you are, and that your time is valuable, so I really appreciate your help This is a thoughtful gesture.

This is also smart politics.The letter is short but does a good job of emphasizing things that would be important to a graduate school admissions committee, such as GPA, work ethic, and leadership ability. Notice how the letter writer includes plenty of adjectives to describe the person being recommended.

Getting asked to write a recommendation letter can be flattering and challenging. Flattering in the sense that the requesting party trusts you enough to write the letter; however, it is still challenging because you want to make sure that you write a recommendation letter that would make the requester look good and qualified to be in graduate school.

How to Write a Grad School Recommendation Letter. by. Alicia Chang.


Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to write letters of recommendation for graduate school admissions, awards, or fellowships, too. And while it’s easy to be nervous about tackling this for the first time, don.

A recommendation letter for graduate school is a written endorsement of a graduate school candidate that is submitted with the application. Recommendations should be written by professional or academic contacts who really know the applicant and can offer a credible perspective.

Letters of recommendation are required for almost every graduate school application and are a very important part of the application process. Usually grades and test scores factor in most heavily; however, your letters of recommendation could be the deciding factor in the admission process.

By TPII editor extraordinaire, Verena Hutter ~This is a continuation of our series on the Academic Cover Letter.~ After you’ve outlined your publications and planned publications, you’ll outline your second project.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation: 14 Steps (with Pictures)