Professor rec letters

<p>When is the appropriate time to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation? I don't plan on applying to graduate schools for another year, but the Professor I'm planning to ask taught 2 of my classes but I won't have any contact with him this next/final school year most likely (I was a good student in his classes but I'm not really the type to just stop by and chat). Can I ask him for a recommendation now, when I'm still pretty fresh in his mind? Instead of waiting til a year from now and contacting him out of the blue?</p>

<p>I don't know what the procedure is in terms of submitting letters and confidentiality, so I'm not sure if he can just give me the letter to keep for later or if it would have to be submitted from him directly to the school I'm applying to (which wouldn't be for another year).</p>

<p>Any advice?</p>

<p>I would wait before asking him to write you a Letter of Recommendation, because you may change your mind about the schools you want to apply to next year. Also, I’m not sure how it will look time stamped a year before to admissions??</p>

<p>But in the interim, you can always keep in touch and stay relevant. If you can’t meet up with him in person, stay in touch through LinkedIn or shoot him an email every so often letting him know your progress. Also, if he doesn’t even know you’re thinking about applying to grad school you may want to start mentioning it to him now. See if he can offer you any advice, as I’m sure being a professor he has experience with applications.</p>

<p>Basically, don’t let it come as a surprise, a few months before you’re applying. Stay relevant and make sure he knows your short-term and long-term career goals. Also, some schools value a professional LOR over an educational one. Not sure what program you want to enter, but I will be applying to MBA programs next fall, and after talking with an NYU graduate student, she told me that a LOR from your current direct supervisor is a requirement. They are far more interested in a professional LOR. Hope that helps!</p>

<p>You can ask your professor now if he’d consider writing a letter for your graduate applications later. That would give him an opportunity to compose a letter now if he wants, or even just jot down a few notes to help his memory later. Then you can contact him again when you actually need the letter. He should be submitting the letters himself though. It would not be appropriate for you to ask for a copy of the letter.</p>

<p>I agree with the first two posters–let your professor know that you might want a letter, don’t formally request one until later, keep in touch with the professor, etc. I would also add that you should make sure that you keep all the graded work (especially if your professor has written comments on your graded work) and offer to let the professor look over it again if s/he chooses. If it’s been a semester or two since I had a student in class, I find it immensely helpful to look over his/her old work–my letters are better for it.</p>

<p>Just wanted to add one thought.</p>



<p>You can keep in touch without being a social butterfly. Use the opportunity to ask your professors for advice: about grad school or courses or summer research/internships, for example. I found it immensely helpful to talk to my professors about selecting graduate programs. It would have taken me forever to find a list of programs specializing in X, while they could just name 20 off the top of their head. They also offered suggestions on who would likely make good a adviser (or not), which helped me narrow down my list.</p>