I am PhD applicant in mathematics. One of my recommender refuses to make an account on webpage for recommendation submission and he wants me to find a way to submit it via email.

Is this okay and possible? I know some schools require recommender to fill out the survey when submitting the letter. Will this hurt my application? Whom should I email to? a graduate program assistant or graduate program director? How can I politely ask about email submission? I know they are receiving many emails from applicant so I don't want to be another burden but want to make the process simple so that my recommender don't get frustrated again.

P.S.: also some school explicitly said on their webpage that they do not receive rec letters submitted by email. In this specific case, what should I do? I don't have alternative recommender and the deadline is approaching.

1 Answer 1


To ask such a question, just ask. Don't worry too much about "polite". Just be direct. Let them know that your potential letter writer won't create an account for this and prefers email. Ask if it is possible.

Some institutions will agree and find a way. Others will not. Then you have to consider other options. Try harder to find letter writers or find institutions that have a more compatible/reasonable application process. You have little control over either the rules of the institution or the reservations of your letter writers.

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