If you are a student who is applying for graduate school or for a job, it is common to seek out letters of recommendation from your professors. I write a limited number of letters or recommendations for students each year. Here is a checklist so you can determine whether I am likely to consider writing a letter in support of your application(s).

  • You have completed at least two classes with me (or have completed one class and are currently enrolled in a second class). This will allow me to speak to your consistency over time and across classes. I will not write a letter for you if you are a current student who has never completed a class with me before.
  • There is something I can write beyond your grade in the class. If you merely attended my class and got a good grade, I would suggest asking another person to write your letter because mine would be bland and generic.
  • You have waived your rights to see the letter I write on your behalf.
  • You have given me at least 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline to write your letter.
  • You have provided me with other supporting documents such as GRE scores, a personal statement, or a resume/CV at least 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline. This information will help me write the strongest letter possible for you.

I get many requests from students to write letters. Even if you meet all these criteria, I still may decline to write a letter in support of your application(s).