Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Asking for a Letter of Recommendation or Evaluation

It's very normal to feel anxiety about asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor. However, if you've earned an "A" in the class, then do not be afraid, you've earned a good letter! You can also be sure to network with professors at department events or CBC events so that they remember who you are and are more likely to support you with a strong letter. 


  1. Talk to the professor before the class ends. Tell them that you will be applying for medical school or graduate school or a particular scholarship and ask them for a letter of recommendation in person. Do this even if you don’t plan to apply for another year.
  2. As the date for a letter of recommendation approaches, follow up with an email to your professor. Provide the following:
    • Remind them who you are. Professors have MANY students, it’s hard to keep track of when you were in their class. Remind them of the class you took with them, the semester and year you took the course. Remind them of the grade you received. If necessary, send them a picture!
    • Help them understand WHY you want to apply for the scholarship/medical school/graduate school. A brief one or two sentences explaining what your career goals are is enough.
    • Include in this email your CV or resume AND a personal statement. The personal statement does not have to be perfect, but should be enough so that your recommender can advocate for you in their letter and also write something personal.
  3. DO NOT FORGET to tell your recommender WHO the letter should be addressed to (exact name/address).
  4. DO NOT FORGET to tell your recommender the deadline for the letter (give your professors at least ONE MONTH to prepare it).
  5. Do not be afraid to remind them to mention something personal about you. For example, you can say something like “I would really appreciate it if you could mention the fact that I still earned an A in your course despite my learning disability.”
  6. If possible, provide a resource link so that your recommender can understand what is required of a successful letter. For example, if applying to medical school, don't be afraid to include the following link.