I’m currently a fourth year undergraduate student graduating this year. I’m taking the upcoming school year off to travel, so instead of applying to grad school during my fourth year like most students, I will be applying this upcoming September (when I will have graduated).

I worked with two professors this school year doing research, one of which I got a publication out of. I plan on asking both for reference letters for my graduate school applications.

Both profs seem to like me and are happy with my work. However, I won’t be actually applying to grad school until late this year (probably September-December), so I’m worried if I ask for a reference later in the year, they will have forgotten a significant chunk of their experience supervising me and my contributions.

I want to get a letter out of them now when I’m still fresh in their minds and can get a great recommendation out of them. I’m sure they’ll give me a positive one either way, but I feel like if I get one now it’ll be a lot stronger, where as if I do it several months in the future, considering how busy they are, I probably won’t be nearly as well remembered and my letter will be a lot more generic.

I wasn’t sure if this is appropriate to do, and how I should go about doing this, so I was hoping I could get some advice on this. Both profs work in ECE (electrical and computer engineering) and the programs I will be applying to will be a combination of ECE programs and computer science programs.

I’m an undergraduate, 3/5 years. I’ve worked in the same basic-genetics lab for three years now (mostly part time, 6 months of full-time).

I’m hoping to apply for MD/PhD programs doing computational biology, and I have a little bit of experience (an internship and some part-time industry work) with translational computational but not much.

My PI, and my most supportive mentor & letter-writer wants me to work another 6-month full-time co-op in his lab.

On one hand, I am very interested in the research we’re doing. The 6-months would be a chance for my first not-nth-author publication and could be fun. And my PI seems genuinely disappointed/hurt when I do research elsewhere, which is actually a big influence.

But I don’t want a lack of relevant experience to hinder my graduate school application. I could use that 6-month period to work with a computational lab or a hospital or industry.

I can’t be the only one to be in a position similar to this. How do I even start to make a decision?

I asked her 2-3 years ago whether she would do that for me, when I was still a BA student, she said yes. I then did not need that letter because I had personal problems, now I am out of uni for some time but would like to apply for grad school. Should I somehow remind her that she once agreed to do that, or ask whether she would ‘still’ be willing to write me a letter, or will it come across impolite?

I don’t want to be impolite, I would just like to somehow remind her that we talked about it previously and maybe remind her a little bit of who I am, since it’s been a few years and I cannot show up in person.

I am applying for MS in CS. 6+ years of work experience.

I worked for a huge, globally well known company for less than a year straight out school. This was 5 years back.

I also worked for a very small unknown company for about 3 years.

I can get letters from both, and the content of both will be about the same I think.

Which one should I use for applications? I already have 1 from my professor with whom I did research, and another from my last company where I worked. I just need to submit a 3rd one.

I am applying to several Master’s Program. In my CV, I state that I did an internship in mathematics research during the summer. The only proof I’ve got of this is in the letter of recommendation written by my supervisor( which in total is only 6 lines, 3 stating what we did during the internship and the other 3 stating that he highly recommends me).

So I wonder, is putting the letter of recommendation along with my CV (not separately) ill-advised?

I have been away from full time study for more than a year now and I was trying to see if I could get into postgraduate studies at a masters level for a non-vocational subject.

Prior to graduating, I had some reference letters written and sealed hermetically by two teaching staff as I had some intention in studying in Japan. In the end, that did not bear any fruit and although it is not easy to get admitted to full-time studies after a blank period, I am hoping to make a few applications even if it is quite a long shot.

My questions are these:

-Would it be appropriate to use these reference letters if I want to make an application for postgraduate studies in a different country? My undergraduate studies was in the UK and I am hoping to make applications there.

-Would it be appropriate to send reference letters which is more than a year old for an application for postgraduate studies?

Admittedly, I can make a request to see if they can write a new reference letter but I would rather not, as I feel it would be too demanding if I ask them to write a reference letter for someone that had already graduated.

Thank you for sharing your insights, opinions and thoughts on this.

I am completing my last semester of undergrad studies and am considering two different healthcare fields to pursue in a graduate program (nursing and occupational therapy.) Both paths can be competitive so I’d like to apply for both and decide from there based on where I get in/can afford, as honestly I can see myself in either field. I realize I am a bit indecisive, but I’m working on it ,lol…and deadlines are approaching.

How should I approach potential LOR writers with this in mind? I fear they will judge me for my indecisiveness, and writing two completely letters would probably be unreasonable to ask for. How far ahead should I request the letters, and is it ok to ask for one from a professor I took a course with a few years ago?

I am currently a Masters student adn I’m applying for an abroad research program which requires two letters of recommendation. This professor already wrote my recommendation to get into grad school (he was my professor during undergrad) and I want him to resubmit the letter to my research program. I wanted to know if this would be an okay email to send:

“Hi Professor __,

I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to reach out to you because I’m currently enrolled in a Masters Program and I found out a few days ago about a research program called ____ in Germany. I was hoping to apply for it for this summer, and I wanted to know if you would resubmit my letter of recommendation (the one which you wrote last year)? The deadline for the application is ____. Sorry for such a last minute notice, I only recently found out about this program. I completely understand if it wouldn’t be doable or if you don’t have the prior recommendation, no worries if that’s the case! Thanks again!


I’m currently enrolled in a university program and looking to switch. I know the program I’m looking to switch into is notoriously competitive, and I’m looking to improve my chances in any way I can. I have a few profs who I know quite well and I think would write good letters of recommendation for me. That being said, is it appropriate to submit multiple letters of recommendation?

My inclination to submit so much more than is required is because the application process caters to high school students rather than university students, on top of the already competitive nature of applications.

A letter of recommendation is not required for the application, but I know it will improve my standing significantly. So I assumed having multiple really good ones would put me even higher up. On the other hand, it could also seem like I’m reaching for praise, especially when no letter of recommendation is technically required. I may be completely misinterpreting the purpose of a reference letter.

In addition to that, if the answer to the above question is that only one letter of recommendation is necessary at most, then is it ethical to ask multiple profs to write letters anyways and then choose the “best one”? My gut reaction is that this is very unethical, as it is wasting the time of the profs, especially after reading this question, but I thought I’d ask it in this context anyways since it might be slightly different.