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Recommendation Letters

Eligibility and Timeline

I will write a recommendation letter for students who have worked the lab for at least two semesters. I may agree to write a letter for students who have worked with us for less time. However, if you have not worked with us for long, I won't have much to say in a letter, which is why I typically only write letters for students who have worked with us for at least two semesters.

You need to request a recommendation letter two months prior to your first due date. Many graduate school applications are due December 1. That means you need to have requested your letter before October 1. Many job applications are due October 1 (some even earlier). That means you need to have talked with me about a letter before August 1.


Because I consider letters of recommendation to be confidential documents, I would like you to waive your right to view the letter (there should be a box you check to do that when you apply). This has nothing to do with the content of your letter – it is my preference because of the confidentiality of recommendation letters.

Contact Information

Please enter all my contact information on all electronic and paper forms:

Jeffrey D. Karpicke
James V. Bradley Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences
Purdue University
703 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081
Phone: (765) 494-0273

What I Need from You

I need you to provide me with the following things:

  1. The first due date
  2. A table (see example below) that includes:
    • The schools to which you are applying
    • The due dates for each school (sort the table by due date!)
    • The department and/or program at each school
    • The method for submitting the letter
      • If online is an option, I strongly prefer that
      • If I need to email the letter to someone, include the email address
      • If I need to send a paper letter, I need the address AND any additional "recommendation forms" required, filled out by you in advance
  3. Your Vita or Resume
  4. Your transcript – e.g., from myPurdue (for graduate school applicants)
  5. Your GRE scores (for graduate school applicants)
  6. Your Personal Statement (for graduate school applicants)
  7. Your Research and Teaching Statements (optional, for job applicants, if you would like me to provide feedback on your Research and Teaching Statements)

Example Table

Deadline School Department/Program Letter Submission Method
12/01/24 Washington University in St. Louis Psychological & Brain Sciences online
12/01/24 Purdue University Psychological Sciences online