Summary: Professor Lee Park, Chemistry, has kindly agreed to allow us to include this handout on our website
to give you some guidance when requesting letters of recommendation from faculty members.
She would like you to be mindful, however, that others' expectations may not be the same as hers.
Letters of Recommendation
It's never too early to start thinking about letters of recommendation that you'll need for summer
jobs, med/grad school applications, study abroad applications, fellowships... Here are some
things to keep in mind.
Before you actually need a letter:
· Get to know your faculty it's very hard to write a letter for a student that I don't know very
well. Particularly in larger classes, if you don't make a point of coming to see me during office
hours or review sessions, I won't know very much more about you than whatever your final
grade turns out to be and that's not enough information to write a good letter. I need to know
more about you, what your interests are, what kinds of things you're involved with; don't be shy!
Invite me to your athletic matches, performances, or anything else that you're involved in. I
won't be able to get to everything I may not even be able to get to most things but I'll
appreciate the invitation, and it really does help me to get to know you as more than just a face in
· Let me know as early as possible that you might be asking me for letters even if it's still a few
years off. If you're planning on applying to med school, and you think you might want a letter
from me based on a class you took in your first year for instance, it's going to be harder for me if