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Letters of Recommendation

Psychology faculty are frequently asked to write letters of recommendation for students that they have taught or with whom they have conducted research. In most cases faculty are happy to do so. However, letters of recommendation are generally due at the end of the year and it is not unusual for a faculty member to have send out approximately 100 letters (20 students, each sending letters to 5 schools) during the week before the holidays. In order to ensure that faculty members are able to get these letters out in a timely fashion, we ask that you do the following:

  1. Ask the professor if he/she is willing to write a letter of recommendation for you.
  2. Complete the psychology department worksheet for writing letters of recommendation. This worksheet helps faculty identify relevant experiences and credentials when writing your letter of recommendation.
  3. Provide each professor with a cover sheet listing the schools to which you have applied, the due dates for the recommendations, and any other relevant information about the recommendation (e.g. whether there is a cover sheet to completem where to send the letters). If a letter is to be returned to you (some schools prefer that all materials be sent in together by the applicant), please remember to write on the envelope the name of the school to which you will eventually send the letter.
  4. For each letter please provide the professor an addressed, stamped envelope in which to send the letter.
  5. Generally, each letter is accompanied by a form that is to be completed by the professor. Please complete as much information on the form as possible (e.g. professor’s name, address, email address and phone number – when completing upwards of 100 forms, this can take precious time away from writing excellent letters for our students). The address for each faculty member is: Psychology Department, Hope College, Holland, MI 49423.
  6. Please give faculty members at least a week to complete your letter of recommendation.