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Cultivate Relationships with Professors

Cultivate relationships with at least three of your current professors before appearing at their door asking for a reference. This is not the step to request the recommendation from your professors, but rather an ongoing process of building rapport with your professors so they have enough good material to work with when they write you an excellent recommendation in the future.

Keep in mind that a good letter of recommendation reports your academic performance and achievements, while an excellent letter of recommendation will demonstrate the intimate connection between you and your letter writer. Go to our faculty page and browse the research interests of your professors. If you find something that interests you, take a class with that professor or stop by their office to find out more about their research.