Letter of Recommendation


Putting a recommendation letter on file at Mather requires two basic elements: a letter of recommendation (self-explanatory) and a recommendation waiver. The recommendation waiver directs how a recommendation letter can be used and an individual waiver is required for each letter of recommendation. You can download the waiver (click here for the PDF), or pick one up in the Resident Dean's Office. Please contact the Assistant to the Dean if you have any questions about the recommendation process.

Putting a recommendation on file

  1. Obtain a recommendation waiver & fill out your portion of the form
  2. Ask your professor/supervisor for a recommendation
    -> give them the waiver: explain what it is and where they sign
    -> the recommendation should be signed and on letterhead
  3. The recommender will mail the recommendation & waiver to the Resident Dean's Office
    -> their signature should be across the envelope's seal
    -> address: Resident Dean's Office, Mather House, Harvard University, 10 Cowperthwaite St., Cambridge, MA 02138
  4. Double check that the recommendation is received, email Maura at mauramccarthy@fas.harvard.edu
  5. The recommendation & waiver is placed in your student file

Getting your recommendation to employers/schools

  1. As a current Harvard student email the Assistant to the Resident Dean, two week in advance with:
    -> your name, social class, recommendation letter(s) requested
    -> special directions (e.g., need three copies)
    -> instructions for delivery: pick-up or mail
    -> date it needs to leave the office
  2. Harvard graduates follow the same process except allow four weeks advance notice
    *your file may come from Archives which is a time intensive process
  3. Provide an addressed and stamped envelope for each recommendation
    *the return address is the Resident Dean's Office
  4. A copy of the recommendation is placed in the provided envelope with a cover sheet, closed & signed across the seal; the recommendation is ready for delivery
  5. Double check that your recommendation reached its destination


  1. The process of acquiring a recommendation can take a long time as you are dependent on your recommender's schedule, so start early!!!
  2. Try to get to know at least one faculty member per semester. Go to their office hours, talk with them after class, invite them for a meal at Mather or to our Fall or Spring Faculty dinner.
  3. OCS has some great suggestions regarding letters of recommendation