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Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are required by graduate schools and fellowship programs, some internship or research programs, and some employers. Most letters of recommendation for graduate schools are written by faculty who have had direct contact with you. A good letter discusses your qualities and characteristics, using examples from your academic, work, and personal history.

When you are requesting a letter of recommendation, Dickinson’s policy requires that you complete a waiver form.

Your professors may request that your letters be waived, meaning you do not have permission to see them.  This is customary for graduate school letters of recommendation and many other opportunities. 

When requesting letters of recommendation:

Make an appointment with the person you are asking to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Give them three to four weeks (minimum) to write a letter for you.  Make sure you complete the online recommendation waiver form.  It is helpful to provide plenty of background information to assist the letter writer. 

A few things to include would be:

  • Resume
  • Courses you've taken with them
  • Related research or internship experience
  • Work experience
  • Honors and awards
  • Due date/deadline

If you have further questions contact the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development at or 717-245-1740.