I'm currently applying to a Chem Eng PhD in the US. One of my professors wrote me a recommendation letter, but requested me to submit it myself to the university's website using my personal e-mail, as he will be very busy with some year-end obligations.

Is it okay to do such a thing? I cannot find any information about if this is acceptable or not...

Of course, I wrote an explanation on the page right before the Recommendation Letter, explaining the situation and listing his contact information if they ever need to confirm its authenticity.

Thank you for your answers!

  • I would recommend emailing the admission person and see if you can email a copy to him/her cc'ing your reference person. Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 20:18
  • 13
    as he will be very busy with some year-end obligations — * eyeroll * It literally takes a few minutes at most to submit a letter via an online submission system.
    – Mad Jack
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 20:36
  • In a non-academic setting I usually attached a scanned copy of my last recommendation letter when job hunting and list that person as a reference. Including work phone (going via office secretary to him). I never had problems with that. Attaching/email it with good ability to have it validated though seems less optimal. So, as non-academic: yes, send it yourself and make sure they can validate that it is real.
    – Hennes
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 0:58
  • 1
    I would not do it. As @Mad Jack points, it is a matter of few minutes. I would do it in my professor chamber in front of him and on his behalf, if he is so busy.
    – Coder
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 5:50
  • 2
    Can I submit a professor's recommendation letter --- No.
    – JeffE
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


This seems like a bad idea and I would do it only as a last resort. Even with the disclaimers, it could raise questions in the reader's mind as to whether you forged the letter. I think it was not appropriate for the professor to ask you to submit it yourself.

If the letter writer isn't able to submit the letter himself, a common alternative is for some other university employee, such as an administrative assistant, to submit the letter. I would suggest pushing for something like this.

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