Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School — [Sample Included]

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You want to continue your studies and apply for graduate school? You need a graduate school letter of recommendation but don’t know how to get it? Well, this article will certainly help you out.

When applying for graduate school, you will need a variety of documents, including your CV, a cover letter, your grade transcripts, and diplomas. Most importantly, you will have to find a professor willing to write a letter of recommendation for you. That is arguably the most crucial part of your application.

What Is a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School Anyway?

It’s a letter that gives the admissions committee a better idea of who you are. Reference letters are used to highlight your strengths and achievements from another person’s perspective.

However, that’s exactly why you need to carefully consider who you will ask to write it for you. It should be a professor who knows you well and with whom you share a strong connection. Their recommendation letter will present a much more accurate portrayal of you to the admissions committee reading it.

Your instructors probably won’t refuse to write the letter for you. Still, you should know they are doing you a favor. It likely won’t be done by tomorrow or even next week.

When to Ask for a Graduate School Letter of Recommendation

You should ask for a recommendation as soon as possible. Professors are very busy juggling grading students, updating lecture content, doing their research, and much more. They are open to writing references for their students, but you should give them plenty of time to prepare.

You might be disappointed by the results if you give a short notice to your professor. They could refuse you or even write a letter that could negatively impact your application.

Still, you can assist your instructor by giving them your cover letter. This should help avoid any overlaps in content. Also, provide them with a list of topics they could cover and your CV, as well as a list of all the volunteering you have done and any extracurricular activities you have been a part of. The letter should emphasize your strengths and achievements with specific examples.

The more time and information you give your professor, the easier it will be for them to write the letter. That will, of course, increase your chances of getting a convincing graduate school letter of recommendation.

Here’s a sample letter of recommendation for graduate school

Naturally, the best way to understand what this letter looks like is to see it for yourself. Below you can find a draft graduate school letter of recommendation you could use for reference.

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Dear Admissions Committee,

It’s a great pleasure for me to recommend Amy Swift for your graduate school program. I got to know her during my Marketing 101 class in her first year at our university. Since then, she has proven to be a creative, determined, and hardworking student.

Amy has maintained excellent grades throughout her studies while engaging in student council activities of the Marketing Department at SMU. She has excelled among her peers, and I have yet to find a colleague of mine who has been dissatisfied with either her work or attitude.

Amy has, on multiple occasions, shown her qualities. She organized a charity event for the child of one of her fellow students, which was suffering from a rare disease. Her work there was extraordinary and managed to gather the required funds in less than a day.

Additionally, Ms. Swift created a video with the student council, promoting the Marketing Department of our university. Their efforts resulted in a significant increase in applications the following year. Most recently, she gave her valedictorian speech despite going through a serious personal loss.

I am confident that she could become a supporting pillar for your students as well as improve your institution to the best of her abilities. She has certainly done so for ours. Thus, I wholeheartedly recommend her to your institution.

Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Wade Wilson

Chairman of SMU

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Final Thoughts

Now you know what a letter of recommendation looks like, what it should contain, and how to make it easier for a professor to write one for you. With this newfound knowledge, you should start working on getting a recommendation right away by making a list of professors to contact. It can be a challenging process, but one well worth the effort.

When all is said and done, do not forget to thank your professor for the time they have taken to write the recommendation letter. They will surely appreciate it!

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