I emailed my undergrad supervisor back in July asking them to write a reference letter, which they agreed to.

I had an email from the uni I am applying to yesterday stating they were yet to receive the reference letter. I then emailed the supervisor to reminded them about the reference letter and the deadline for the application on the 10th of September but they are out of the office until Monday, the 24th of August.

Should I email the uni admissions to explain the situation and say that I have re-emailed the supervisor or wait till Monday and see what happens (during my undergrad my supervisor usually need not respond to emails but I don't have anyone else I could ask at this short notice)? Any advice would be appreciated

  • 3
    Since you have until September 10, it's probably better to email the supervisor on Monday and ask that he or she confirm that the letter has been written.
    – Bob Brown
    Aug 20, 2020 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


The deadline is still three weeks away, and your letter-writer is back in the office in two business days. Emailing to let them know about a two-day delay would just be noise. In fact, I'd be somewhat surprised if anyone even saw your email response. They're just being polite and helpful. I never got any reminders from my applied-to schools!

Follow up with your letter-writer on Monday, but you shouldn't need to contact the schools you're applying to unless your letter-writer has some sort of personal emergency that means they won't be able to submit on time.


I would advise letting them know of the situation. You lose nothing by this and it might save you if you indicate that you are attending to the situation.

But on the 24th, you should also follow up with the advisor to make sure that all will be put right.

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