Info for Faculty & Staff / Advising Portal

Writing Recommendations

Advisors are not obligated to write letters or provide references over the phone, but they must politely decline these requests if asked rather than leaving the student in limbo. In the event that you decide to write a recommendation letter, below are some guidelines you might find useful.


  • Since students will most likely be interviewing for positions, graduate school or employment, it would be best to meet with them so they can practice articulating their reasons for pursuing this specific opportunity. It also allows you to interact with them in a meaningful way that will enhance their letter.
  • Please ask the student to provide a resume and any supporting materials that will give you a clear picture of their qualifications and their commitment to achieving their goals.
  • If you are going to highlight some of the activities or research they are engaged in, please do not repeat what is stated on the resume. Try to focus on what sets this student apart, what makes them unique.
  • Make sure the student gives you all of the documentation needed to write a comprehensive recommendation including links to websites, where to send the letter, and deadline dates.