Thinking About Graduate School? (under construction)
Students thinking about graduate school should consult their faculty advisor for more information. A common question concerns letters of recommendation, and more information about this topic is provided below.
Information on Letters of Recommendation
This is not an exhaustive list, and individual recommenders may ask for specific information. Make sure that you include all information requested, so the recommender can write you the best letter possible.
What other information does my recommender need?
It is important to provide all the materials needed to write the letter. Many schools have a recommendation form that the recommender needs to fill out. Please provide that form for your recommender to use. Your recommender may have questions, so be certain to provide your contact information—particularly if you are not available through UWW during the period your recommender is working on your letter.
Recommendations are either mailed directly to the school/employer or are returned to you to mail with your application. In either case, the letter must be sealed in an envelope. Please provide all envelopes with the correct mailing information and indicate the intended recipient (i.e., the college, university, etc.). If the envelope is to be mailed, please make sure that you include postage on the envelope. If you need the letter submitted back to you, please let your recommender know, so he or she can sign the envelope across the seal. This indicates that the letter has not been altered in any way. Self-stamp the envelope if you will be away from campus when you need the letter for your application.
What should I do about the section on the recommendation form about waiving rights to view the recommendation?
You will be asked whether you wish to waive your rights to view your letters of recommendation. Students have the right to choose whether to do so or not. However, opinions differ on how to respond to this question. To be safe, you should check the with the recommender as to his or her preferences. Some feel that the recommendation is not valid unless the recommender can be completely honest about an applicant in private. No matter what you decide, remember to sign the form to indicate that you were the person who made the decision about waiving your right.
Should I remind my recommender of impending deadlines?
You should remind the recommender about a week before the letter is due.
What should I do after the letters have been sent?
Always write your recommender a note of thanks. Writing letters of recommendation is a time consuming task, and it is important to show your appreciation. Also, once you have heard back from the school or employer, let your recommender know the outcome.
Who can I talk to about letters of recommendation?
Students can speak with their faculty advisor or a professor that he or she feels comfortable with about information regarding letters of recommendation.