Requesting a letter of recommendation

How to request a letter of recommendation

Note: To protect student confidentiality under FERPA guidelines, all letter requests, per UF Policy, must be accompanied by the form linked below. If you are requesting multiple letters, you can say “see attached list”, and append a list of all the programs on a followup page. Note that in addition to checking “GPA” and “Grades”, you should check “other” and list in that field “any other relevant information to be determined by Dr. Marsiske”. That grants clearance for me to write about you. If you do not wish to list all programs, you can simply write “Anyone/all settings” in the “Name of person/business/etc.” field.

Please do this form before proceeding to the steps below.

Many of the students who volunteer in research laboratories do so, in part, because they are trying to acquire research experiences that will help them in future career goals (especially in applications to graduate school).  Dr. Marsiske agrees to write evaluation letters in support of students who work in his labs.  Because there are often many students who are requesting letters, and because each student often requests multiple letters, Dr. Marsiske asks that you stick to the following guidelines and timeline regarding letters.
1.  Make arrangements for Dr. Marsiske to get to know you.  Letter writers have to address issues like perseverance, goals, originality, creativity, dependability, interpersonal skills, etc.  If you’re interacting with Dr. Marsiske regularly during lab meetings and so forth, this will be a good opportunity for you to get to know one another.  On the other hand, if you’re not interacting regularly, please schedule a meeting with Dr. Marsiske EARLY (e.g., within a month or so of starting to work with the project) to discuss these issues.

2. About 2 months before you expect Dr. Marsiske’s first letters for you to go in the mail, let Dr. Marsiske know that letter requests will be forthcoming.  Just send a quick e-mail to Dr. Marsiske (, and let him know what to expect.  If he feels like he’ll need more information from you, he’ll get in touch with a further request.

3.  At least six weeks before the first application deadline, when you are ready to request your letters, please bring/email documentation to Dr. Marsiske.  By email, you should send (a) a draft of your personal statement (which you’ll be sending to schools), (b) a resume/c.v., and (c) and unofficial transcript (particularly of your UF work).  Your c.v. should include (i) your overall GPA, and (ii) your GPA in your major.

4.  At least six weeks before the first application deadline, bring Dr. Marsiske any necessary mailing materials.  You need to provide all your recommenders with any signed waiver/recommendation forms required by the programs you are applying to (some, but not all, programs have standard recommendation forms; these usually need to be signed by the applicant, who waives the right to read the material in the future).

5.  Fill out the recommendation forms as much as you can!  Each of the standard recommendation forms needs a boatload of information (recommender’s name, title, department, institution, mailing address, phone #, e-mail address, etc.).  You can greatly speed the process by filling this information out in advance  For institutions with fillable pdfs, you can just type this in before printing.  For other organizations, you can handwrite it in before giving it to Dr. Marsiske.  For your convenience, most of the information you might need is below.  If you have to enter information online for an online recommendation, please paste in as much of this information as possible

Michael Marsiske, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, PO Box 100165, Gainesville, FL, 36210-0165,, phone: (352) 273-5097, fax: (801) 720-5897.

6.  Fill out the form below, once for each and every letter that you are requesting.  This system provides Dr. Marsiske with accurate address/deadline information (ensuring that your letters get out to the right place at the right time), and helps him keep on top of letter requests from many sources.  Every letter you request (paper, online, etc.) should be entered into this form (even if the online system will send a separate prompt).  PLEASE TRY TO ENTER THIS INFORMATION AT LEAST SIX WEEKS BEFORE THE FIRST LETTER IN YOUR SET OF LETTERS IS DUE. When you have entered a letter request in here, please also EMAIL Dr. Marsiske ( to ensure that he has added your request to his queue.  Note that the form below will ask you (a) to detail the kind of position/program/degree you’re applying for, (b) whether you have provided Dr. Marsiske with any signed waiver forms; and (c) whether you have emailed him to let him know that your letter request has been added to the queue.

If possible, when requesting multiple letters, where possible, please enter all requests at once/all in one sitting (i.e., not in separate bunches).

The request form follows below.  You will be doing one of these entries for each letter you request.  BE SURE TO HIT THE “SUBMIT” BUTTON at the bottom of this form.  A web-page acknowledgment of receipt will follow.