Sample Request for an Academic Reference

Early College Innovation Fund
Jay Baker at Kettering, MD.

Do you need to write or request a sample reference letter from a teacher? An academic letter of recommendation is typically written by a teacher for a current or former student. The letter may serve one of a variety of purposes; it may be a recommendation for college, a scholarship, a special college program, or a fellowship.

Sometimes students also require academic recommendations when applying for jobs or internships, particularly if the job relates to their academic interests.

When high school students apply to their first jobs, they may rely on academic recommendations due to their lack of work experience.

What is an Academic Recommendation?

An academic letter of recommendation is a 1 - 2-page letter that highlights a student's academic history, character, and academic and/or career goals. The letter expands upon a student's report card or transcript, providing insight into what kind of student and/or potential employee they are.

Guidance counselors, administrators, and supervisors may also write academic letters of recommendation for students.

You can also ask for letters of recommendation before you leave your current school.  This way you have some letters ready to go, and can attach them to your resume or application right away.  Letters written ahead of time will need to be more general so they can work for more than one application.

Sample General Academic Reference for a Student
This letter can be drafted by a teacher for a student to keep in their academic portfolio for future use.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this reference for Mary Miller, a student I was fortunate to work with during her senior year at Newton College.  As both Mary’s academic advisor and professor of Children's Literature, I have watched her grow into a passionate and knowledgeable teacher.  

A natural in the classroom, Mary has worked with students in both inclusive classrooms as well as individually, focusing on their special needs in reading and writing.

Mary is a patient and compassionate teacher and is the ideal candidate for your special education graduate program.  Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have regarding Mary at 555-123-2345 or email,


Laurie Gallo
Education Department Chair
Newton College

Sample Academic Reference for a Student

Here is a sample academic reference letter from a teacher to review.

Dear Ms. Jones:

I am writing this reference at the request of Katie Kingston who is applying for the Summer Communications Program at XYZ University.

I have known Katie for two years in my capacity as a teacher at Smithtown Middle School. Katie took English and Spanish from me and earned superior grades in those classes. Based on Katie's grades, attendance and class participation, I'd rate Katie's academic performance in my class as superior.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend Katie Kingston for this academic program. If her performance in my class is any indication of how she will succeed, Katie will be a positive addition to the program. If you should need any additional information you can feel free to contact me at 555-5555 or by email at anytime.


Susan Samuels
Smithtown Middle School

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
Advice on how to write a letter of recommendation, including what to include in each section of the letter, how to send it and sample letters of recommendation for employment and academics. 

Letter Of Recommendation Samples
Reference letter and email message samples including academic recommendations, business reference letters and character, personal and professional references.

Related Articles: Academic Recommendation Letters | How to Ask a College Professor for a Recommendation | Sample Academic Recommendation Letters | Academic Recommendations