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Letters of Recommendation

Graduate programs, law schools, 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 -- usually several weeks before the letters are due to allow professors sufficient time to write your letters. Remember that it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure the materials get turned in on time. Provide each professor with a carefully-organized packet of information about yourself and the nature of the program/job application.  Use a manila folder and write your name and student ID on it and include all relevant materials.  The 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 address.
  • A current MyMocs report
  • A resume/vita (including your activities, accomplishments, honors, etc., during your time at UTC) and/or a list or summary of things that you have done in the Department or local community that are of relevance. Be specific. 
  • A statement of why you are applying to each particular program or job and your career plans.
  • A copy of the job description/announcement for employment reference letters and/or due dates.
  • Envelopes that are stamped and addressed to the appropriate party.*
  • Copies of GRE scores or other relevant test scores, if applicable (e.g. for graduate school applications).
  • Recommendation forms (if required) with your portion of the form completed.**

*Many graduate programs require that professors submit their recommendations online. In such cases, envelopes are not necessary.

**Most graduate programs and employment applications give you the option of waiving your right to read your letters of recommendation. You should be aware that most schools/employers take the recommendations more seriously if you waive  your right to access these records.  Some faculty may only write letters if you select this option.   [A piece of advice: if you can, TYPE the requested information onto the forms instead of printing it].
 

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