They don't want my professors' personal information, do they?
November 25, 2011 5:28 PM   Subscribe

When an online application for graduate school asks for the addresses and phone numbers of the people who are writing your letters of recommendation, do they mean their office address and phone number? I imagine this is what they want, but I'm not sure. They don't specify. I can of course call the school on Monday and ask if you think I should, but I'm trying to get as much of this done over the weekend as possible.
posted by Kutsuwamushi to Education (14 answers total)
posted by John Cohen at 5:30 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

They mean the work/professional/office contact information for your recommenders.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:31 PM on November 25, 2011

Office phone number, school email.
posted by hepta at 5:35 PM on November 25, 2011

nthing office.
posted by silby at 5:36 PM on November 25, 2011

Thank you everyone! I can proceed! I thought that was the case but this process is terrifying enough to cause doubt.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:41 PM on November 25, 2011

Your department website should have the appropriate format for the number and address, if not you can just find a paper they were the corresponding author for and that will have it.

Thoughtful, non-obvious, and non-standard questions are great for the school you are applying for, protocol questions are great for us or your advisers.

Good luck with the application!
posted by Blasdelb at 6:40 PM on November 25, 2011

It also doesn't hurt to check with your letter writers about their preferred address, just to double check that one of them isn't out on medical leave or on sabbatical in Japan.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:50 PM on November 25, 2011

They definitely mean office, but as mentioned, you want to make sure that you are giving contact information that is current and that they can be reached at. When I was applying to grad school, one of my professors was on sabbatical in Europe - so giving her office information would have been useless.

Good luck!
posted by sm1tten at 7:21 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know of any schools that don't contact you via your email address, by the way--so while all the above advice is no doubt sound, I think the only thing you really have to get dead right here is the email address. Referees get sent a link to the school's online application management system.

I'm sure there must be a few schools that still actually snail mail out a request for a letter, but I can't remember the last time I got one.

By the way, there's never any harm in calling a school and asking. You'll speak to some administrative person in their graduate office who is used to nervous prospective students with what they fear are "silly" questions. Absolutely no one will hold it against you that this--or any other part of the process--didn't seem self-evident to you.
posted by yoink at 7:43 PM on November 25, 2011

Office address, university email address, office phone. These are probably available on the departmental website anyway, so you're not communicating anything that's not public.
posted by kengraham at 7:49 PM on November 25, 2011

Sorry, Blasedelb said it first!
posted by kengraham at 7:50 PM on November 25, 2011

My should-be-obvious bonus tip: Do not have your email address be something like "".

(I'm not sure if she got admitted, but yes, that's a variant of a real applicant's email address.)
posted by wenat at 7:58 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seconding wenat: the discrimination, in graduate admissions, against people with yahoo email addresses is both inexplicable and ubiquitous ;-)
posted by kengraham at 5:43 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

My should-be-obvious bonus tip: Do not have your email address be something like "".

mom teaches a grad course for teachers who want to become principals/school admins. She's lost track of the number of times she's had to explain why isn't appropriate for resumes. It's just sad
posted by TravellingCari at 12:43 PM on November 26, 2011

« Older How high do we hang this picture?   |   Need a video monitor for my stroke ridden father Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.