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When professors are writing a letter of recommendation, do they recycle the same letter for the multiple graduate programs you are having them send a letter to?

I am in the process of requesting my professors for a letter of recommendation for the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs I am applying to. I am curious if professors send the same letter to all graduate programs you are requesting them to send a letter to. #student #graduate #professor #clinicalpsychology #psychology


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Gizem’s Answer

Hi Sabreet,

It depends on the professor and the program. Some programs supply the recommenders with their own questionnaires and templates. Sometimes the recommenders have the flexibility to submit their own letters even if there is a suggested template. For similar type of programs, most professors will write one recommendation letter and if they know you or the program really well, they might modify it slightly to make it fit better. As mentioned in the previous answers, it usually comes down to how well the professor knows you and how much time they have for writing recommendation letters. If you have a really good relationship with the professor, then you can mention them the program(s) that interests you the most and they might be able to prepare a customized reference for that specific program.

Best of luck in your applications!

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Helene (Eleni)’s Answer

Some do, out of convenience. I find it most helpful when students provide a summary of what to cover in their letter of recommendation - as well as specifics on the school, program, and focus they are applying to. If all of these are the same for each application you are submitting, it may be recycled with minor tweaks.

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Jason’s Answer

That would depend on your relationship with the professor. If you are asking professors that do not know you very well, you can expect a template style letter. On the other hand, should you have a strong relationship with a professor, it is very likely they would write you an individualistic letter. The best thing you can do is to ask.

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Dianna’s Answer

Hi Sabreet- Like Jason mentioned below, it depends on how well you know your instructor. Ideally, you will ask an instructor that knows you well to right a recommendation. In that case, most professors will look at the features of each program and write a customized recommendation detailing your strengths and explaining why you would be a great fit for the program for which you are applying. Best of luck to you in your future studies!


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