Requesting a Letter of Reference

If I have agreed to write a recommendation for you, please email to me:

  • a copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine),
  • a copy of your personal statement (if applicable), and
  • answers to the 15 questions listed below. 

If you need a hard-copy of a letter sent, please give me a folder containing:

  • all necessary forms (please remember to fill out your part first), and
  • addressed HMC Physics Dept envelopes (see Kathy Morrison in the department office for envelopes). 

At least two weeks before the first letter is due, e-mail to me your answers to the following questions, as applicable. The more complete your answers, the better:

  1. What is your name, graduation year, and major?
  2. For what are you applying? (scholarship, graduate school, REU, etc.)
  3. List the programs to which you are applying, together with due dates for the recommendation letters.
  4. When did I first meet you (month & year)?
  5. In what capacity did I first get to know you (student in my class, research collaboration)?
  6. If you are my research student, in what year and semester did you begin working for m?
  7. List all the classes you have taken with me, and your final grades in those classes.
  8. Describe how you distinguished yourself in each of those classes.
  9. Describe the research you have worked on with me. Was it summer work, senior thesis work, other?
    1. Summarize the research project motivation and goals.
    2. When did we work on this research (what time frame)?
    3. What were your main contributions to the research?
    4. What were the biggest challenges, and the biggest rewards of the research project(s)?
    5. What were the final results?
    6. Where has this research been presented (publications, talks, poster sessions)?
  10. What are some of your academic and research accomplishments (REU's, summer research)?
  11. What are some of your nonacademic accomplishments and extracurricular interests?
  12. What are your long term goals and will this position/honor/award help? If so, how?
  13. What makes you particularly qualified for this position/honor/award?
  14. How would you describe yourself?
  15. Additional comments (interesting jobs, hobbies, anything else you would like me to know).

Please send me e-mail reminders as deadlines approach, and feel free to chat with me about other ways you can make the letter writing process go as smoothly as possible for you and your letter writers. Good luck!

Thanks to Profs. Orrison and de Pillis for the providing a model upon which this form is based.