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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Note About Letters of Recommendation Files

Each year the department sends out letters of recommendation for students that are ABD. Continue reading for instructions on how to initiate the file and use the service.

The Department of American Studies sends out letters of recommendation for graduate students applying for jobs and/or fellowships. Typically a file consists of 3-4 letters, and you may update this file annually.
Students may initiate a file once they are ABD:

  • students should e-mail amstdy@umn.edu with the subject: Initiate Letters of Rec File. The body of this request should indicate the names of the letter writers and the total number of letters that will be submitted (sometimes a letter writer will include more than one version of a letter).

  • Students should have recommenders write letters and mail them directly to American Studies, Attn: Laura. Alternatively, you may collect letters and drop them off to the main office, but they must be sealed with the recommender's signature across the seal.

  • Once all letters have been received, Laura will notify you that initiation is complete. You can begin using the service at this time.

To request letters of recommendation service:

  • E-mail amstdy@umn.edu with the subject: Letters of Rec. The body of this request should include complete mailing address information and specific information about which letters to send (if applicable).

  • Your request needs to be made at least 5 business days in advance of the date you would like us to put the letters in the mail.

  • Laura will reply to your request letting you know the file(s) has been sent.

  • When your file is sent out, we also include a return postcard that notifies us that the institution received your file. Those postcards are kept on file in the main office so that we can verify receipt if necessary. If you would need to verify, please stop in to see Laura during regular business hours.

NOTE: Discuss with those who write letters of recommendation if they think it best serves your interest to have a "generic" letter sent from them. You may find yourself applying for a variety of jobs or fellowships that would make a single letter unsuitable for your purposes.