How to Request Letters of Recommendation

Requesting Letters via Interfolio:

  • You can request letters of recommendation from your letter writers directly through your Interfolio account. When you send a new request, your letter writer will receive instructions (via email or a printed form, whichever you prefer) with all the information they need to upload or mail their letter to Interfolio. Tip: If you’d like to send the request as an attachment to a personal email, and not via Interfolio, you can save the printed form as a PDF and include it with a personal note to your writer directly from your email address.

When to Ask:

  • Planning is the key! If you want someone to write a strong letter of recommendation, you will need to make an early effort to get to know them so that they can write about your academic and professional strengths.
  • Ask your writers when they still know the most about you; after you finish their class, when you finish your internship, etc.
  • Make sure to give your writer time enough time; give them at least 2 to 3 months prior to any application deadline.

Whom to Ask:

  • Professors
  • Teachers Assistants with a professor’s approval and signature
  • Employers / Internship supervisors

How to Ask:

  • Email or call first to see if the potential author would be willing to serve as a reference.
  • If so, set up a meeting during their office hours.

What to provide:

  • Go to Interfolio and fill out the New Recommendation Request Form. To ensure confidentiality at every step along the way, make sure to check the confidentiality box of the form.
  • While Interfolio will submit an email request to your writer, note that you can also print a copy to take with you for a face-to-face meeting or attach it to a personal email from yourself.
  • You will be able to include a CV and other supporting documents. You can also let your writer know if this is a general recommendation or needs to be tailored to a specific opportunity. 
  • Once you submit your request you should receive a confirmation message on your screen.


  • If you have not received a notification and your deadline is near, you will need to contact your recommender to remind them to send the letter out.
  • Write brief 'Thank you' notes to your references.