Recommendation Letters

Will I write you a letter of recommendation?

I will only agree to write you a letter of recommendation, if I can write you a good letter (lukewarm or bad letters can be worse than no letter at all). I can only do this if you meet the following requirements.

1)  I must know you well. This is usually achieved by doing research with me for at least two semesters or by being enrolled in at least two of my classes.

2) I must respect you as a student and/or researcher. This is best achieved by being an excellent research assistant during the entire duration of your time in the lab or receiving As in the classes you have with me.

If you believe you meet these requirements (or some other circumstances apply), please stop by my office hours (219 Burnett Hall) or contact me, sgervais2@unl.edu, to set up a meeting. Hard copies of materials can be placed my mailbox (238 Burnett Hall).

What do I need from you?

Please place the following materials in a 3-ring binder (let me know if you need one – I have extras) and submit the materials to me at least 3 weeks before the deadline (you can put this in my mailbox – 238 Burnett Hall).

1) Your contact information – email address, phone number, address. The types of programs you are applying to (e.g., law school, master’s program in counseling psychology, PhD/PsyD programs).

2) Please remind me of how I know you (e.g., a student in my class, a research assistant in my lab) and how long I’ve known you (e.g., 1 semester, 3 years). This may seem funny, but I write many recommendation letters and can sometimes be fuzzy on these details.

3) The forms for the schools. Please complete all of the information that you can on these forms. That includes your information as well as my contact information. See here if you do not know any of that information. Please provide addressed envelopes with my return address included. Everything should be completed (including hard copies and electronic information), except my evaluation of you.

4) Your transcript (non-official transcripts are fine). Please indicate which classes/grades you took from me.

5) Your resume/vita.

6) A one paragraph description of why you will make an excellent applicant (e.g., graduate student, medical student) for this program.

7) A list of schools, deadline dates, and specific information about submitting the letters (Is a hard copy or electronic copy needed? For electronic copies, will I receive a link or where should I e-mail the letter?).

8) You should send multiple reminder emails to me about your letters.

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