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Guide to Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

How do I request a letter of recommendation?

  • Faculty have a responsibility to submit recommendations, so don’t be reluctant to ask.

  • Ask a professor who knows you best and could best speak about your qualifications for an experience abroad.

  • Ask a professor as soon as you are able to explain what you would like to do. 

  • You should ask at least two weeks before the deadline. If you are asking later than that, be apologetic.

  • Send them an email request even if you have talked with them in person

  • Email should include: (1) information about the program, (2) your specific plans, (3) deadline, and (4) link for submission.

  • We will email you to confirm the submission of your recommendation. If you have not received confirmation of receipt one week before the deadline, a gentle reminder to your recommender. 

  • Below are sample email of requests and reminders for you to work with.


Subject: Recommendation for SiSA application, due [DAY/MONTH]

Dear Prof. [LAST NAME]

I am applying to the Summer in South Asia program run by the U-M Center for South Asian Studies. The program fully funds fellows to do internships and independent research in India during the summer. 

My plan is to do an internship with an environmental NGO that deals with forests during this coming summer. 

Would you be willing to fill out a brief recommendation to support my application? 

The deadline is [DAY/MONTH] and the recommendation is to be submitted through a Google form here [INSERT LINK TO GOOGLE FORM]. 

I would be grateful if you could do this. Please let me know if you have any questions.


[To be added to a forwarded email of the original request or recommender’s acceptance]

Dear Prof. [LAST NAME]

Just a reminder, your recommendation for me for the Summer in South Asia program is due in a week [DAY/MONTH].

Here is the link for the form to be completed:  [INSERT LINK TO GOOGLE FORM].

See forwarded email below for more information.

Thank you very much!