Guidelines for Political Science and International Relations Students
Students frequently ask instructors for letters of recommendation for graduate school or for employment. Professors are willing and able to write these letters so don’t be afraid to ask. However, it is important that you understand a few things about the process.
First, be sure to ask the best person. Don’t just ask the professor who seems most approachable. Ask a professor who knows you well and has a positive impression of you as a student and as a person. Grades matter for graduate or law school, as the schools are looking for people who can speak to your academic potential.
Second, don’t ask for a letter “on the fly.” Visit the professor during his/her office hours (or make an appointment). Discuss the reasons for the letter and ask to use him/her as a reference. Another option is to email the professor with a polite request, the reasons why you are asking for the letter, and the information listed below.
Third, don’t ask for a letter to be written if you aren’t sure you will apply. These letters take time and faculty are asked to write many, many letters.
Fourth, provide all the information necessary to write a detailed letter. It is in your interest to provide the professor with all the information he or she needs to write a detailed and specific letter. This includes:
Fifth, it is not appropriate to offer or give a gift to a faculty member in exchange for or as a thank you for writing a letter of recommendation.
Finally, keep the letter-writer informed. Once the instructor has spent time writing a letter, s/he will be interested to know whether or not you were given the opportunity.
December 14, 2014
Megan Sall and Victor Cardenas named to GVSU Board by Gov. Rick Snyder.
October 07, 2014
The Johnson Center for Philanthropy is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student to assist in its community-based research and evaluation projects.
October 03, 2014
Anel Guel, Lyndia McMullen, and Jillian Zirnhelt came to GVSU to talk to students about their Peace Corps Experiences
June 24, 2014
Kathryn Phelan will be teaching English in Brazil.
May 09, 2014
PIC Corp Team wins the 2014 World Quest competition hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
Intensive and demanding, the Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of college students and recent graduates to explore national histories of discrimination and resistance—including...
The Department of Political Science and International Relations program are holding the second annual Outstanding Paper Award competition. We invite all students who major or minor (including...
Grand Valley is proud to present the screening of:Frozen Time, Liquid Memories: 1942-2012 a film by Dragan Kujundzic. Kujundzic is a Professor of Film and Media Studies, Jewish, Germanic and Slavic...