Recommendation Policy


I often write letters of recommendation for former and current students who are applying to graduate and professional school, internships, study abroad programs, fellowships, and other opportunities. If you did not earn at least an A- in my course, it is unlikely that I will agree to write a letter on your behalf. In addition, I will only write confidential letters. You must waive your right to access your letters if you would like a reference from me. I set this policy because institutions and employers generally do not value non-confidential letters.


When should you ask me?

Please give me as much lead-time as possible to write your letter.  A month or more is ideal. It is unlikely that I will be able to submit at letter with less than two-weeks notice. Ask me about recommendations over email or make an appointment to see me during office hours. Either by email, or in person, I will want to learn a bit more about the program or opportunity you are applying for so that I can tailor my letter appropriately. Depending on the application, I may be able to help you with your personal statement, writing sample, or other application materials.

What do I need to write your letter?

  1. Any forms (printed or digital) that I will need to submit your letter.
  2. Your application materials. These might include a resume, personal statement, and/or a writing sample.
  3. In some cases, I may want to revisit a paper you wrote for one of my courses. Please make a copy of the papers I returned to you with my feedback.
  4. If I need to mail any of the letters, please provide me with stamped and addressed envelopes.

As always, feel free to contact me over email or come see me if you have any questions about my recommendation policy or the letter-writing process.