Academic Reference Request Example

If you are a student who needs to apply for higher education or a job, you may need an academic reference letter. A reference letter is a document that your professors, supervisors, or employers write to vouch for your skills, character, and achievements. It’s a crucial part of your application that helps you stand out from other candidates. In this article, we’ll provide you with academic reference request examples that you can use to request reference letters from your referees.

Tips for Writing an Academic Reference Request Letter

If you are asking someone to write an academic reference letter for you, here are some tips to follow:

1. Start with a Polite Greeting

Address your referee with their proper title, such as “Dear Professor Smith” or “Dear Dr. Johnson.”

2. Explain Why You Need the Reference Letter

Provide a brief explanation of why you need the reference letter, such as applying for a scholarship or a job, or pursuing higher education.

3. Provide Relevant Information

Gather and provide your referees with relevant information, such as your resume, transcripts, or application materials, so they can write a more informed and specific reference letter.

4. Give Ample Time

Give your referees enough time to write a quality reference letter by requesting the letter at least two weeks before the deadline.

5. Express Gratitude

Be polite and gracious when asking for a reference letter. Thank your referees in advance for their time and effort, and offer to reciprocate the favor in the future.

Examples of Academic Reference Request Letters

Request for Graduate School Recommendation Letter

Dear Dr. Lee,

I am applying for a Master’s degree in Computer Science at ABC University, and I am wondering if you would be willing to write a recommendation letter for me. I took your course on Algorithms and Data Structures last semester, and I learned a lot from your teaching and guidance. I believe that your endorsement would significantly strengthen my application, and I would be grateful for your support.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


John Doe


Request for Scholarship Reference Letter

Dear Ms. Brown,

I am applying for the ABC Scholarship for Underprivileged Students, and I am hoping that you could provide me with a reference letter. I volunteered at your organization’s summer camp last year, and I was impressed by your dedication and leadership in empowering marginalized youth. I believe that your testimony would demonstrate my commitment to community service and my potential as a future leader.

Your reference letter would mean a great deal to me, and I promise to use my education to give back to my community. Thank you for your time and support.

Best regards,

Jane Smith

Phone: 123-456-7890

Request for Job Reference Letter

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I am writing to request a reference letter for my job application at XYZ Company. I worked under your supervision as a marketing intern for six months, and I learned valuable skills in market research, social media management, and project coordination. I believe that your reference letter would attest to my performance and potential as a marketing professional.

If it’s more convenient for you, I would be happy to provide you with my updated resume and job description. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Tom Lee


Request for Graduation Reference Letter

Dear Professor Kim,

I am writing to ask if you would be willing to write me a reference letter for my graduation from ABC College. As my academic advisor, you have been instrumental in guiding me through my major in Sociology and inspiring me to pursue graduate studies in Social Work. I appreciate your mentorship and advocacy, and I believe that your reference letter would showcase my academic achievements and personal growth.

If you need any additional information, such as my resume or transcripts, please let me know. I would be happy to provide them for you. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Best regards,

Sophie Lee

Phone: 123-456-7890

Request for Internship Reference Letter

Dear Ms. Green,

I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to you as I am applying for an internship with DEF Nonprofit Organization, and I would like to request a reference letter from you. I had the privilege of working with you as a volunteer coordinator for the ABC Fundraiser, and I was impressed by your professionalism, compassion, and teamwork. I believe that your reference letter would reflect my passion for social justice and my ability to make a positive impact.

Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to keeping in touch with you.


Amy Kim


Request for Academic Award Reference Letter

Dear Dr. Lopez,

I am writing to request a reference letter from you for the ABC Academic Excellence Award. I am honored to be nominated for this prestigious award, and I believe that your reference letter would highlight my academic achievements and intellectual curiosity. Your course on Latin American Literature has been one of the most formative experiences of my college career, and I am grateful for your guidance and encouragement.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your consideration and support.


Carlos Rodriguez

Phone: 123-456-7890

Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Reference Request Letters

What should I include in an academic reference request letter?

You should include your polite greeting, your reason for requesting the letter, relevant information that can help your referee write a more informed letter, ample time for them to write the letter, and a gracious expression of gratitude.

How can I make my reference request letter stand out?

You can make your reference request letter stand out by providing your referees with specific examples of your skills, achievements, and character traits that relate to the position or program you are applying for. You can also share your personal story or goals that motivate you to pursue this opportunity.

Who should I ask for an academic reference letter?

You should ask professors, supervisors, or employers who know you well and can vouch for your abilities and potential. It’s better to ask someone who has worked with you recently and in a related field to the position or program you are applying for.

How many reference letters do I need?

The number of reference letters you need depends on the requirements of the position or program you are applying for. Typically, you need at least two to three reference letters, but some applications may require more.

What should I do if my referee declines my reference request?

If your referee declines your reference request, thank them for their honesty and offer to seek help from other potential referees. Don’t take their rejection personally, and respect their decision.

Is it okay to remind my referee about the reference letter deadline?

Yes, it’s okay to remind your referee about the reference letter deadline, but do so politely and respectfully. You might send them a gentle email or call them a few days before the deadline to check if they need any additional information or support from you.


Requesting an academic reference letter can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s an essential part of your application process. By following the tips and examples we provided, you can write a compelling and polite reference request letter that showcases your accomplishments and potential. Remember to express your gratitude and respect for your referees, and to reciprocate the favor in the future. Good luck with your application!