Recommendation Letter for Graduate School Applications

Updated on October 28,  2019

Every year I receive many requests for recommendation letters. I am happy to help, but I need strong evidence in order to write a good letter. Over the years, I have developed some criteria I use when I decide whether I would write a letter in support of your applications.  The criteria and procedures are different for current UCSD students, former UCSD students, and Non-UCSD students. Please read the relevant sections below. 

Current UCSD students

If you are a UCSD undergraduate, then you need to meet all of the following criterions:

  1.  You got an A in my class (Econ 120C, Econ 120CH, ...),

  2.  Your GPA is not lower than 3.5,

  3. You have given me some opportunities to know who you are. 

It is a big plus if you are a joint Math and Econ major.  Enrollment in both Econ 120C and Econ120CH is also a big plus.

If you meet the above criterions, please make your LoR request HERE. This page is accessible only via your UCSD email.  This is the first step of the whole process. No letter will be written if this step is missing. We will use the departmental system to manage the letter-writing process.  

It takes much of my time to write recommendation letters these days. Please help me write a better letter by sharing the following items about one month before the deadline.

  • Your performance in my class(es);
  • Your CV;
  • Items that can refresh my memory about you, for example, any discussion we had.

You are welcome to share a brag letter (or a paragraph or two) from the third-person point of view. However, this is totally optional and not necessary, and I may not use any information you provide.

No meeting is necessary unless instructed.

Send me an email one week before the deadline if any letter is missing.

Please note that I can only write an academic recommendation letter.  In general, I will not be able to comment on your personal traits -- such comments are often required by professional schools (i.e., business schools, public policy schools, and law schools).   Some of these schools force a letter writter to answer specific questions and do not give the letter writter the option to upload a recomendation letter.  I prefer not to be your recommender for those cases (and the department system can not handle these cases).  

Former UCSD Students

If you were a UCSD undergraduate, then you need to meet all of the following criterions:

  1.  You got an A in my class (Econ 120C, Econ 120CH, ...),

  2.  Your GPA is not lower than 3.5,

  3. You have given me some opportunities to know who you are. 

It is a big plus if you were a joint Math and Econ major.  Enrollment in both Econ 120C and Econ120CH is also a big plus.

If you meet the above criterions, please make your LoR request via email yisun at ucsd.edu.  All requests should be made about one month before the deadline. Do not make too early or too late requests.  You should send me only two email about such a request --- one at the beginning and one reminder a week before the deadline if any letter is missing.  Please DO NOT send additional email or call my office.  

If I agree to write you a letter,  please sign the form here. I will not be able to write the letter if this form is missing.

It takes much of my time to write recommendation letters these days. Please help me write a better letter by sharing the following items about one month before the deadline.

  • Your performance in my class(es);
  • Your CV;
  • Items that can refresh my memory about you, for example, any discussion we had.

You are welcome to share a brag letter (or a paragraph or two) from the third-person point of view. However, this is totally optional and not necessary, and I may not use any information you provide.

You can supply my email yisun at ucsd.edu on your application forms.  Within your capacity, please fill in the recommendation form as much as possible.  Here is my contact information:

Mailing Address:
Department of Economics
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508

Tel: (858) 534-4692     

The above information is often required on the recommendation form.  Please pre-fill the form (this will save me some time).  Please try your best to complete your applications in as few batches as possible (say, two batches). This will save me time, and I do not have to deal with letter uploading and form filling over a long period of time.

No meeting is necessary unless instructed.

Send me an email one week before the deadline if any letter is missing.

Please note that I can only write an academic recommendation letter.  In general, I will not be able to comment on your personal traits -- such comments are often required by professional schools (i.e., business schools, public policy schools, and law schools).   Some of these schools force a letter writter to answer specific questions and do not provide the option to upload a recomendation letter.  I prefer not to be your recommender for those cases.

NON-UCSD students

If you were a student in my class but you were not a UCSD student (for example, you were a visiting student from another university, or you were a student when I taught a class outside UCSD), then you need to meet all of the following criterions:

1.      You were a top five or top 5%  student in my class;

2.      You are/were ranked among the very top, say top 2%, in your home program;

3.      You are applying to Ph.D. programs; and

4.      You have given me some opportunities to know who you are.

It takes much of my time to write recommendation letters these days. Please help me write a better letter by sharing the following items about one month before the deadline.

  • Your performance in my class(es);
  • Your CV;
  • Items that can refresh my memory about you, for example, any discussion we had.

Please also include a recent picture of you, your transcript, and a proof of your ranking in your home program.

You are welcome to share a brag letter (or a paragraph or two) from the third-person point of view. However, this is totally optional and not necessary, and I may not use any information you provide.

Please note that I do not write a letter for master's programs for non-UCSD students.  A letter from me will not be as useful as that from your local professors who are much more familiar with your work.  

All letter requests should be made about one month before the deadline via email yisun at ucsd.edu.. Do not make too early or too late requests.  You should send me only two email about such a request --- one at the beginning and one reminder a week before the deadline if any letter is missing.  Please DO NOT send additional email or call my office.

If I agree to write you a letter,  please sign the form here. I will not be able to write the letter if this form is missing.  

After you sign the form, you can supply my email yisun at ucsd.edu on your application forms.  Within your capacity, please fill in the recommendation form as much as possible. Here is my contact information:

Mailing Address:
Department of Economics
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508

Tel: (858) 534-4692     

The above information is often required on the recommendation form.  Please pre-fill the form (this will save me some time).  Please try your best to complete your applications in as few batches as possible (say, two batches). I do not want to deal with letter uploading and form filling over a long period of time. It is a distraction.

No meeting is necessary unless instructed.

Send me an email one week before the deadline if any letter is missing.

 

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