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Reference letter related email etiquette

  1. Nov 29, 2015 #1
    I've applied to a particular university for fall 2016 graduate admission. The deadline for my referees to submit the application is December 01.

    One of my referees is currently extremely busy and has asked me to request the graduate administrator to contact him regarding the reference letter deadline.

    I'm trying to think of some way to communicate this to the graduate administrator. Is the following e-mail alright?

    Dear .......,

    I am a Physics graduate applicant to the University of ....... for fall 2016 entry. My Application Number is ...........

    One of my referees, Professor .......... from the University of .........., is currently under extenuating circumstances and will not be able to complete my reference letter in time. He's asked me to contact you regarding this urgent matter.

    I would be grateful if you could contact him at his e-mail address ......@.......... , and also to kindly confirm if you have received this e-mail.

    Yours sincerely,

    Does the e-mail look proper and ready to be sent?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2015 #2


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    He asked you to have them contact him regarding the deadline, but in your email it looks like you're putting words in his mouth about "extenuating circumstances and not being able to complete the letter on time." Maybe this is what you meant to say he asked for, but you need to be sure.

    Other than that there is probably a lot of needless flowery language, and you're over thinking this way too much.
  4. Nov 30, 2015 #3


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    "extenuating circumstances"? My dictionary doen't have a meaning of "extenuating" that would fit here.
    Deadline extensions are not unusual, and the reasons are always the same, so I think you can be a bit more direct at that part. Just describe briefly what your supervisor gave you as reason.

    Sending the request one day before the deadline is a bit late.
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