Graduate schools will usually request 2-4 letters of recommendation. In general, they want the majority of the letters to be from faculty members. Work supervisors, advisors or internship coordinators can also be used. Unless requested specifically, do not use relatives or friends for references.
• Always ask if the faculty member would be able to provide a strong letter of recommendation.
• Give the recommender at least four weeks to write the letter. Set the deadline for the recommender at least a week before the final deadline.
• Use specified forms and directions as requested by the graduate school.
• Provide supporting material to your references including a copy of your resume, transcript or personal statements. Share information on your career goals and aspirations.
• If letters need to be mailed provide pre-addressed envelopes and stamps.
• Check with graduate schools to confirm the letters have been received.
• Send a thank you note to those who have agreed to be a reference. Keep them informed of your application status.