Please follow guidelines below when requesting letters of recommendations from the following faculty.

Guidelines:

Michelle Moon and Christy Teranishi Martinez 

I would be happy to write you a letter of recommendation. It would help me greatly if you could complete the following information: 

  1. What class(es) did you take from me? When? What was your grade(s)?
  2. What program and degree are you applying for?
  3. Why are you interested in this particular program?
  4. How are you a good fit for this program?  What qualities do you have the program would want? Provide a description of the program and faculty who might be aligned with your educational and career interests.
  5. What strengths do you have that deserve mentioning?
  6. What are your weaknesses?
  7. What is your cumulative GPA and GRE scores? Please provide your student ID number.
  8. Please provide me with a copy of your vita (you probably know it as a resume that includes all volunteer activities).
  9. Have you worked on any research projects outside of those in classes? If so, who was the faculty supervisor and did it result in any conference presentations or publications?

 Please include the following in an envelope:

  1. You must provide an spread sheet that summarizes all programs you are applying for with to whom the letter should be addressed, Program Address, due date,  and other necessary information such as is it online or hard copies),
  2. If necessary a self-addressed, stamped envelope big enough to hold things that must be sent to you.
  3. Any forms that the program requires (make sure you fill out your part)
  4. A statement of purpose
  5. Please note that you must provide stamped envelopes for all letters that require mailing (please note that these must be addressed in a professional manner – i.e. typed. No hand written envelopes!)

I appreciate you giving me a minimum of two weeks to complete your letter(s) of recommendation.  If you are requesting more than one letter, please put together a packet with all of the programs you would like me to write letters for and a cover letter with all of the deadlines.  As a general rule, letters of recommendation are sealed, confidential and sent directly to the program. 

I am happy I can contribute to helping you attain your future educational and career goals.  Good luck!  Please keep in touch and let me know the outcome!

Kevin Volkan

I write a lot of letters of recommendation and can unequivocally state that the better I know the student, the better the letter. Due to the overwhelming number of letters I am asked to write (which increases every year) I have now instituted some rules regarding who I will write letters for:

  1. You need to have had at least two lecture courses, or one seminar course, or an independent study and one other regular course with me.
  2. You need to have received no less than a B+ in any of these courses. 
  3. If I do not know you well (i.e. we have not previously spoken about your career aspirations) you will need to have a chat with me about why you are applying to graduate school. 
  4. You need to make you request for a letter of recommendation 3 weeks in advance at a minimum. 
  5. You must let me know if there are additional forms that need to be attached to your letter, whether or not the finished letter is returned to you or sent directly to the graduate program, or whether the letter is to be completed online. 
  6. You must provide me with any required forms that need to accompany your letter. You must write in your information on these forms and sign them. You should check the box that waives your right to see the letter – I will send you a copy of the letter before it is sent regardless, so you will see what I write about you. 
  7. You must give me a copy of your statement of purpose. This can be a draft. 
  8. You should remind me which classes you have taken with me and when you took them, and what grades you received from me. 

If you do not know me very well and/or do not meet the above criterion but still need a letter, you should ask professors that you do know and/or the program chair. 

In a typical letter I will state how long I have known you and in what capacity. I will say something about the general high quality of our psychology program. Then I will comment on the classes you took from me and your performance in those classes. If you have some interesting and distinguishing experience – academic or otherwise – I will mention it. Finally I will close the letter by saying something nice about you as a person and give my recommendations as to how I think you will fare in graduate school. 

I will NOT write a letter for you if: 

  1. You have not met the above criteria 
  2. I have nothing nice to say about you and do not support your application to graduate school. Such as letter will not help you and is very unpleasant for me to write. 
  3. You are applying to a graduate program in clinical/counseling psychology and I do not think you will be a good clinician for whatever reason. This is not a judgment on you as a person, but my realistic assessment of how well I think you will be able to serve your clients and/or be happy with your career choice. 

If I feel that I cannot write you a letter I will tell you directly.

Guide to Applying to Graduate School in Psychology

Dr. Volkan and Dr. Moon
 Dr. Volkan and Dr. Moon