Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Making a Request

Before requesting a letter of recommendation please make sure you have allowed between 3 and 5 weeks before the deadline for the letter. Crafting high-quality letters of recommendation personalized to each student and their desired academic program or job placement takes a significant amount of time.

No requests for a letter of recommendation will be granted when the letter must be submitted less than 3 weeks from the deadline.

Most academic references for graduate programs require professors to place a student on a scale of Top 5%, Top 10%, Top 25%, and Top 30% of all students that professor has recently taught. Because of the typical distribution of grades in my courses, students should seek another professor for a letter of academic reference if they received a grade lower than a B+.

If you meet both of these criteria, please send me a brief email at mcr6@queensu.ca to request a letter.

Please note that I will not write non-confidential letters of reference or recommendation.

Preparing Documents

If your request is approved you should prepare the following two documents:

  • a completed, signed and scanned copy of the Queen’s University’s Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information – Academic Reference Request form (click to download the PDF).

  • a 1-2 page statement of purpose in French detailing: the program/job you are interested in; the specific strengths that you possess that relate to the program/job; and specific assignments or moments in class during which you demonstrated that you possess strengths that are transferable to the program/job for which you are applying.

Both of these documents are required and should be submitted no later than 15 days before the letter is due.

Reminder emails

Contrary to what students may expect, professors appreciate emails that remind them of the deadlines to academic reference letters. 

Once you have sent your documents, please send reminder emails:

  • 7 days before the deadline
  • 3 days before the deadline

When the letter has been sent to the desired program or potential employer, you will receive a confirmation email.

Brief Thank You

Though not entirely expected, students should get in the habit of writing a brief, but heartfelt, note of thanks to those who have written them letters of support.  It is a small gesture that acknowledges the work that went into writing the letter you requested.