Writing Recommendations

As a faculty member, your role in writing letters of recommendation for students applying to graduate programs is straightforward. You are writing in support of a student’s application for admission, yet how you deliver or submit a reference document will vary. Yet how you deliver or submit a reference document will vary. Most graduate programs allow online submission of references. Institutions typically request a .pdf, .docx. or txt formatted document. Your options for submitting a reference may include:

  • Directly uploading the document to a secure link from the applicant’s graduate program
  • Uploading the reference to the student’s Interfolio account, the online credentials service recommended by the Career Center
  • Completing a downloadable form from the applicant’s graduate program

Some graduate programs still accept letters via “snail mail.” You may also fax a letter directly to a graduate program or university. The student needing the reference is responsible for communicating deadlines and submission requirements and procedures.

To establish a free writer's account in Interfolio that will enable you to instantly upload confidential letters of recommendation, click here.

For general information about Interfolio, click here. (Please note: although the site is marketed towards academic jobs, any sort of recommendation letter can be sent through it.)

With permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we encourage you to access their publication on writing letters of recommendation.