I have recently asked my professor to write a LOR for my taught master program application. We are not so familiar with each other, but at least I have attended one course of him (got A grade) while my final year project literature review was also supervised by him (luckily A grade also). Originally it went quite well, the prof said yes to be my referee. But then it turned out like the application system is super weird, the LOR submission can be done by the applicant itself (simply uploading the signed LOR) or the referee can email the LOR directly to the uni. When I told my prof, he replied me like

'I have never given students LOR and I don't believe in any application handed in by applicants, so I will email the letter directly to the uni'

I am now so scared of getting him angry. Will I give him a bad image,turning out write me a negative LOR. Shld I find another referee in case somethings goes wrong at last?

  • 2
    No professor should ever write other than a positive review without first discussing it with the student and giving the student a chance to withdraw the request.
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


I don't think that there should be any issue. Your professor is right - most LORs are submitted directly by the referee to the university (to avoid the risk of falsified references). I would thank the professor again, say something like "yes, I thought that it's kinda weird that the system asked me to submit the reference. It makes much more sense that you do it" (putting you and the professor on the same page, while placing the blame on the system rather than on yourself).

Generally speaking, it would be good to have a few referees to rely on, but I don't think that this incident "burned" one of your referees.

Good luck!

  • 1
    Sorry Spark, been typing at the same time !
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 7:52

"He will email the letter direct to the Uni", that's great, he will do your reference.

This is not about if he is upset or angry with you, but he sees a relevant way of providing a reference that has not been "tampered or altered" by any one else. NOT accusing you of course, but it has been known and your prof would like to minimize the possibility.

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