Grad school recommendations

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  • #1
So, I asked for recommendations from 1) a professor with whom I do research, 2) a professor whose algebra class I took, and 3) a professor with whom I do research and whose topology class I took.

I notified them all before Thanksgiving, and finished my applications in early December. But one of my recommenders still hasn't finished with the letter. ONE of my schools already accepted me, since they only needed two letters anyway.

About a week ago I reminded the outstanding recommender that one of my applications is due early early January... and he replied that he'd do his letter electronically in a couple of days. But he still hasn't. What should I do? Another week and my dream school application will be considered late.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
1,179
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The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Politely remind him again.
 
  • #3
115
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Is the recommendation document supposed to be confidential?

Should the professor send the document directly, or pass it back to me?
 
  • #4
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It is usually good etiquette to provide a stamped and addressed envelope to your referee if the application does not provide an electronic submission option.

And don't be afraid to bother these people. They agreed to write you a letter, so they should be on good enough terms with you. You aren't annoying; sometimes professors are extremely busy and need reminders of deadlines.
 
  • #5
Is the recommendation document supposed to be confidential?

Should the professor send the document directly, or pass it back to me?
First of all, when you have a question of your own that is not similar to the original post, you should start your own thread.
 
  • #6
It is usually good etiquette to provide a stamped and addressed envelope to your referee if the application does not provide an electronic submission option.

And don't be afraid to bother these people. They agreed to write you a letter, so they should be on good enough terms with you. You aren't annoying; sometimes professors are extremely busy and need reminders of deadlines.
I'm assuming the first part was a reply to ych22...

I'm not afraid to bother him, but I also don't want to come across as calling him out on being irresponsible. Not that he's even behaving irresponsibly! (Well, maybe--my application might have been looked at already if he'd submitted his letter).
 
  • #7
201
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Just say

Hello Prof. Procrastinator,

I know you might be busy but I would like to remind you that I need your letter of recommendation within a week. Otherwise, it will be too late and my application would be rendered useless. I deeply apologize if I am rushing you.

Sincerely,
What's-his-name
Don't let anyone hold back your dreams.
 
  • #8
You aren't annoying; sometimes professors are extremely busy and need reminders of deadlines.
Basically this. It's very easy to reply and say "OK, i'll get right on it." and mean it, but then forget about it completely. These are people that a juggling dozens of emails every day, and have bursting-full diaries. I know people that are so busy they have general policies to specifically not do things on the first ask, and wait for reminders. They won't mind if you just send another reminder, just explain that your deadline is incoming.
 
  • #9
Just say
Hello Prof. Procrastinator,
I know you might be busy but I would like to remind you that I need your letter of recommendation within a week. Otherwise, it will be too late and the letter would be rendered useless. I deeply apologize if I am rushing you.

Sincerely,
What's-his-name

Don't let anyone hold back your dreams.
That was awesome. Especially the signature.
 

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