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Requesting Letters of Recommendation

 

Graduate programs and some prospective employers will ask for letters of recommendation from professors as part of your application.  The following information will be useful to you in helping your professors write the best possible letters of recommendation for you.

Ask professors well in advance to write letters of recommendation for you; a good rule of thumb is to ask several weeks before the letters are due.  Remember that it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure the materials get turned in on time.  Part of this responsibility is giving professors sufficient time to write your letters.  Ask them if there are specific pieces of information you can provide them with to assist them in the letter-writing.

 

Provide each professor with a carefully-organized packet of information, about yourself and the programs to which you are applying, in a manila folder, with your name at the top, soon after (or when) asking them to write the letters.  It is most helpful if you can submit all of your recommendation forms at one time in a single packet.  This packet should include:  

 

*Contact information or ways of getting in touch with you in case the professor needs to contact you before the deadline for the letter; include telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, or plan to contact the professor yourself.

*A current transcript (including grades for the current term, if possible).
*Copies of GRE scores (General and Subject) or other relevant test scores, if available.
*Relevant information about your performance within your Psychology courses, such as the titles of papers you wrote and the grades you received, research you conducted as part of the course, and presentations you made in class or at conferences.
*A resume/vita, including your activities, accomplishments, honors, etc., during your time at UTC.
*A statement of why you are applying to each particular program and your career plans.
*Recommendation forms for which you have already completed your portion of the requested information.

*Envelopes that are stamped and addressed to the appropriate party.
*A list of  the programs and schools, type of degree(s) sought for each program, and due dates for the application materials.  Arrange the list chronologically by due date so that each letter can be received by the program's deadline.  You may wish to call each program a few days before the deadline and ask if they have received all of your information.  In those rare cases when the mail got lost, the professor can fax letters to the school.  

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