Recommendation Letters

So, you are applying to graduate school and you need a recommendation letter.  Will I write you one?  Probably.  Will I write you a good one?  I will try my best – it’s part of my job and I take it seriously – but you can increase your chances of getting a great letter from me (the kind that will actually help your application) if you meet one of the following criteria:

– You took a class (or two) from me and spent time getting to know me in office hours where we talked about your: paper, research interests, career plans, love of economics, etc.

– You took a class (or two) from me and performed in the top 10% of your class.

– You did an independent study, honors thesis, or internship with me.

– You worked for me or got to know me well in some other capacity.

A few rules of thumb: Give me as much notice as possible (one month or more is not unusual), Ph.D. application letters are harder and take longer to write so make sure you give me plenty of notice, and the best letters are from someone who knows you well so keep that in mind when compiling your list of references.

If you do decide to ask me to write a letter, I will (at some point) need the following:

-Your cv or resume

-The personal statement that you wrote for your application

-Your transcript (in some cases)

-A list of schools and programs to which you are applying, with deadlines

Whatever you decide, good luck with the application process!  I am always happy to talk to students about their graduate school and career plans.