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Letters of Recommendation


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Hello! If anyone sees this/has knowledge about this sort of thing, I've been working up to asking for my letters of rec (applying this fall/winter) and I have a few questions.

First of all, most advice I've seen says not to ask for the letters over email. As I'm a recent graduate that no longer lives in the city I went to school in, this is tough, and I don't really have another way of asking. I suppose I could try setting up a phone call, but it seems to me that this would be a lot more awkward and intrusive than a nicely crafted email. What do you guys think?

Secondly, applying to MFA programs is different (at least, it appears to be) than most other degrees because we have to apply to SO MANY schools. I've heard of Interfolio as a method of having your recommenders submit their recommendations once instead of to 15 different schools, but I know that some schools don't accept interfolio or other websites like it. Does anyone have experience with using a software like this? Or on the other hand, how to pleasantly ask a professor to submit a letter for you 15 times?


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1) Email is fine. Be polite. Remind them of who you are. Explain why you want to go to graduate school. You should be fine.

2) When they say yes, they know they're saying yes to submitting for multiple programs. 15 isn't more than some other fields (clinical or social psych, English, history) so don't worry too much about the number. But, keep in mind that if you decide to go the Interfolio route, they can't tailor their letter to particular programs and you will pay a fee ($6?) each time a letter is sent out on your behalf. That will add up really quickly. Some of my faculty (not MFA folks) refuse to use Interfolio for those two reasons.

Best of luck!

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