College Transfer Q&A: Who should I ask to write my recommendation letter?


We wanted to highlight a question someone asked in the forum.  It’s related to an essential component of your transfer application.  For those of you who are still working on applications for fall 2013 and have not yet finalized who will write your recommendations, be sure to read this!

Question: I already have one professor writing a letter of rec for my transfer application, but don’t know who to go to for my second letter of rec. I am undecided between two people. One is a professor who I took two classes with for my major and got A’s in both. But, I know he doesn’t know me that well. The other person I can go to is my lab TA. I had her for two quarters and did well both times. She is very familiar with my work and knows me well. However, I feel like a letter of rec from a TA isn’t going to carry as much weight as one from a professor. Whose letter will better for my transfer app? Should I go with the professor, even though he doesn’t know me that well, or the TA?

Answer: Make one of these requests to your lab TA. Decide which is the best option depending on your relationship with your TA:

– Could she write a letter and ask the professor to co-sign it?
– Could she co-write the letter with the professor?
– Could she provide information to the professor to help the professor write a letter for you?

Your recommendation letters are very important, so carefully consider who you want to ask to write them.


(Photo: State Libraries and Archives of Florida)