I’m kind of in a rut right now with my admissions for a program. I’ve requested for a LOR from a professor and they had no issue to do it for me. However, they’ll be sending it to my email. The only thing is the program that I’m applying for is asking that the LOR comes in a sealed envelope with the recommenders signature on the seal or the recommender mails it themselves. My recommender is out of the county and can’t do that at the moment (not to mention the program’s deadline to apply is in 2 weeks) and the only way I can get the letter is via email and I print it and send when I mail my application. Now I’m wondering do I just leave a note stating that I couldn’t get their sealed signature but and I did not change any of the information provided, and they can contact the recommender for verification? Or should I just withdraw my application as a whole?

2 Answers 2


Try contacting the program's admissions office first before submitting the application, and as long before the deadline as possible (so, immediately). They may offer a workaround. For example, they may provide an email address to which your professor can directly send the letter. Even if it turns out that they allow you to mail the letter yourself, you need to check with them first.

I did this once when in a similar situation, where I could not submit the recommendation letters in the usual method prescribed by the program, and was told of an alternative method on contacting them.


In addition to the good advice of GoodDeeds it might be possible for someone at your own university, perhaps a clerical person, to serve as an intermediary, preparing a sealed document from what the professor writes. They might just ask the professor for a copy of the email and seal it in a departmental/university envelope. They might need to sign it and state their (administrative) position.

  • 9
    That's exactly what happened with my reference letters back when I was applying for grad programs. Just ask the admin office to send the letter - they have access to the university postal delivery system, and they have the fancy stamps required.
    – Spark
    Commented May 8, 2021 at 19:32

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