Request for Reference Letter from Faculty

Requests for Reference Letters from Faculty – Guidelines:

HES faculty are happy to support students in their academic pursuits by providing reference letters for awards, scholarships, post graduate academics etc.  This can be a time consuming endeavour as we get asked to write many on top of an already very full workload.  It is important that the student ask a faculty member who best knows them and their most recent work in order for a strong reference to be provided by a faculty member.  Please make sure you set up a meeting with the faculty member you are asking to provide a letter for you, to discuss the possibility, process and timing.  A little preparation on the part of the student can significantly help in acquiring a thorough  positive, and timely reference from faculty.

The following is a set of guidelines for students requesting reference letters from faculty members for awards, scholarships, school/graduate, employment applications:

1) confirm with the professor that they are in agreement of supporting you with a letter

2) provide details of the institution/program/award etc. to which you are applying, for the letter writer

3)  provide a list of important details and information about you pertinent to be included in the letter eg. reminder of courses taken and possible projects completed under the supervision/instruction of the professor you have asked to write the letter

4) provide the professor with a recent screenshot of your entire current transcript as well as your current CV

5) please try to make the request to the professor no later than 2 weeks before the due date (this can be negotiable); please clearly indicate the due date to the professor

6) include directions as to the delivery of the letter (eg. will the reference request be coming from the university via email and the professor will be requested to upload the letter, or is it to be mailed directly etc.)

7) if the letter is to be mailed then the student must provide envelopes already addressed neatly and with the necessary postage

8) if you have multiple requests for letters, please ask all at once so hopefully just one letter and time focus is necessary

9) provide any other information that can help the professor facilitate the student reference, such as your email and phone number should they need to contact you during the process

10)  please send a reminder to the professor a couple of days before the due date to ensure the professor is on top of it.

Even if these above guidelines are followed, the professor may still refuse to provide the letter for the student based on their time constraints, feelings that they do not know the student well enough, or are not able to provide a positive reference for the student, or for other reasons.


We hope this helps students in securing the necessary support needed to pursue their academic, employment and career goals.  Please do not hesitate to ask any of the HES faculty for help or information regarding this process . . . . .  we have all been there!