Information for Undergraduates

Requesting Letters of Recommendation from Dr. Graham


I am happy to consider your request for a letter, but please review the attached guidelines carefully. I take the writing of letters of recommendation very seriously.  Letters of recommendation are more effective if they are written by someone who knows you well. Consequently, I will only write letters for people who


(a) have taken two or more classes with me, or


(b) have worked in my lab for 9 months (3 quarters) or more.


If it is true for you, please read the guidelines below. By streamlining this process I will be able to write you a stronger, more coherent, and more effective letter.


Required Materials

The more I know about you, the more useful my letter will be. The following materials must be submitted when you request a letter:


• List of schools and the specific programs to which you are applying and application deadlines


• Stamped addressed envelope for each school requiring a paper letter of recommendation (please use my address, below, as the return address). For schools requiring electronic evaluations, this is not necessary.


• Undergraduate transcript (unofficial is acceptable) with GPA and any courses you have taken from me highlighted


• GRE scores (unofficial is acceptable) if available, or other relevant scores


• Resume or vita, including your W#, telephone, email, dates in lab, specific activities, immediate supervisors


• All the rating forms from individual schools (if applicable) in which you waive access to the letter of recommendation


• Statement of purpose (not necessary, but will be helpful in writing the letter)


Other Guidelines

• In the case of paper evaluations, please be sure to complete ALL of my contact information, including name, title (Assistant Professor), telephone number, mailing address, etc. on all recommendation forms. The only blank should be for my signature, the date, and the requested ratings.


• Make sure that the envelopes are correctly addressed with appropriate postage


• Clip together the relevant materials for each school (e.g., rating form, addressed envelope, rating form)



• All of your materials should be delivered to my mailbox in AIC about a month before the first application deadline


• Please send me one reminder, via email, that your letters are due within 7-10 days


• I will do my absolute best to meet the first deadline. I will respond to your reminder e-mail when the letters have been completed and mailed.


Sending Letters

I only send letters directly to the schools themselves to preserve confidentiality. Indicate in your list of schools if this is not allowed, and only then will I send you a letter directly.


Adding Schools to your List

My very strong preference is to receive just one complete packet of information and one email from you. I will also understand if you change your mind and decide to add another school after you submit your initial list, but please try to avoid this.


Address and Contact Information for Dr. Graham

James M. Graham, PhD


Department of Psychology

Western Washington University

516 High Street 
Bellingham, Washington 98225-9172

Office Phone: 360-650-3177



Note: These guidelines have been adapted from Dr. Thomas Bradbury’s webpages