Letter of Recommendation Policy

M. Nicole Horsley’s Letter of Recommendation Policy

I am happy to write letters of recommendation for students who meet the following criteria:

  • You must have fully completed at least two classes with me. I will not write a letter for a current first-time student, as I will not have an adequate sense of your academic abilities until you complete the term.
  • You should attend office hours, giving me the opportunity to get to know you beyond the classroom. To write a strong and effective letter, I need to be able to describe you holistically.
  • You should have earned a grade of an A or B in my classes.
  • I require at least three weeks to craft and submit a letter for you. I will not respond to last minute request.  Your emergency is not mine.

If I do agree to write a letter of recommendation, you have must:

  • Provide all the pertinent information:
    • Nature of your application (a description of the organization/fellowship/program to which you’re applying)
    • Deadline for the letter to be postmarked/received
    • Method by which I am to submit the letter (via email, postal mail, hard copy to you with a signature across the envelope seal)
    • Name and contact information (full names, affiliations of the person/group receiving the letter)
    • Any additional forms that I am to complete on your behalf (complete forms that require you to submit information prior)
  • Additional Information I need to write a great recommendation:
    • An unofficial copy of your transcript
    • Resume
    • Copy of the cover letter and/or personal statement that will accompany your application
    • Copy of any writing that you have to submit

If your application involves a funding request:

  • You should spend ample time developing your proposal before asking for an endorsement letter
  • I will not write a letter in support of your project without seeing the project

If you are applying to more than one program at a time:

  • Provide details and an organized list of all sites in one email
  • If you want me to focus the letter to discuss a particular ability or characteristic (e.g., fellowship states applicants should have strong organizational skills), tell me, as this will assist me in writing a personalized letter suited to your specific needs

Do not ask for a recommendation letter unless you are certain you are going to follow through with the rest of your application.