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asking for two recommendations


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Dear all,

I have completed a Bachelor's in History and now I'm doing an internship with an NGO in India that focusses on female empowerment. I want to study Conflict Management. During 2015-2016, I have studied almost exclusively conflict management courses both in the Netherlands and the UK. Now I'm applying to a wide range of universities to spread my chances. A number of them require academic letters of recommendation. The problem is that I don't have that many people who can act as referees. A lot of my former professors taught History courses and I haven't seen them in a long while nor have I made an attempt to maintain contact. The bottom line is that I need more referees than I have. So my question is would it by incredibly ill-mannered and presumptive to ask a referee to provide two references? 
To add some context; I would be asking them to fill out recommendation forms for both Johns Hopkins University's SAIS and Science Po's PSAI, which I assume are two rather elaborative forms. Adding to that, although I have good relations with these referees it's not to the degree that I can just say "Hey man, you wouldn't mind filling out two forms, would you?" Just finding other referees will be a poor alternative because I doubt I can find anyone else who knows me to the degree that he/she could provide a decent reference. 

So who has ever been in a similar situation? How was your double request received? Or did you do something else? 
I'm very much unsure what to do so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

With regards,


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I've requested recommendations for 3 different programs, after a 5 year break from undergrad. That may be a short time to you, but for me, it felt awkward, reminding my professors, unsure if my request would be met with surprise or bother. But my professors met it with graciousness, so if you had any kind of good relationship, I would mention that/how impacting they were on your decision to do whatever it is right now. Other than that, the only thing I really recall is that they needed a quick refresher of some of my materials - vitae, writing sample, statement of purpose. This fills in the gap between your time at their institution and now, letting them know fodder for what makes you sellable.

The forms may be elaborate, but most professors know what they have fill out for these types of applications. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. If it's too much, they'll let you know. 

And I'm a person of form and etiquette. So I always do something nice for them afterwards, though most professors will say it's nothing/to think nothing of it/it's their job/etc. It's just a nice touch, though it does nothing for your actual recommendation.

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My letter writers submitted 8 letters each for grad school. It's normal to be expected to fill out tons of these letters (at least in my field). November-December is a fun time because you hear undergrads complaining about grad school apps, grad students/postdocs complaining about postdoc/faculty apps, and professors complaining about all of the letters they have to write for the undergrads, grads and postdocs! Everyone is in the same boat :)

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