Letter Service - Frequently Asked Questions - Letters & Waivers

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Can my letter writer submit a letter electronically?

You can ask your writer to send your letter as an email attachment to letter@berkeley.edu.

The letter must be printed on business letterhead, have your writer’s name, contact information and signature. Your signed, waiver form must be received for this letter before you will be able to request to have it sent out.

How can my writer update a letter filed in the Letter Service?

If your writer only needs to change the date of your letter, they can request this by email to letter@berkeley.edu. They need to state your full name and request that we update the date of their letter to a current date.

If your writer needs to change any text within their letter, they need to forward a signed copy of their updated letter using proper business letterhead. Since we already have their original signature on file, they can email a PDF copy of your updated letter to letter@berkeley.edu. If your writer needs access to the Letter Service letter forms, direct them to our Letter Guidelines page.  The Letter Service will also need to receive a new waiver statement for this updated letter.

How can I send my writer a copy of his/her original letter for update?

To have a copy of an existing letter sent to your writer free of charge, select one of the 3 options below:

  1. Email – Either you or your writer can submit a request via email to letter@berkeley.edu to provide a copy by email. We will need the writer’s full name and business email address. We will email a PDF copy of their most recent letter on file.
  2. Mail – Either you or your writer can submit a request via email to letter@berkeley.edu to have a hard copy sent by campus mail or USPS. Please include your full name, the writer’s name and campus/mailing address for this writer.
  3. In Person - The writer can come by in person to request a copy. She/he will need to provide a photo ID.

How do I delete a letter or matching form from my file?

Only your letter writer can request to delete a letter from a file. If you no longer want to use a letter/form posted to your file, you can request in writing that we disable it. You need to email your request to letter@berkeley.edu and please state the letter #, letter writer name/form name and the date received.

When letters/forms are disabled, they will still appear on your "Letters" page but will not appear as an option when you make a request online.

How will I know if the Letter Service has received my letter of recommendation?

Once your letter has been received and posted to your account, an automatic email will be sent to both you and the letter writer as confirmation. Emails are sent as a courtesy, and since email reliability can be erratic, the best way to check the status of your letter is to login to your account and review your file.

How do I include matching forms when sending letters to an organization (e.g., AMCAS, LSAC, etc.)?

There are several pre-approved matching forms that we will send along with your letters of recommendation. The matching forms we currently accept include: AADSAS, AMCAS, CASPA, Interfolio Credential Transfer Request, LSAC (LSDAS), OMSAS, OPTOMCAS, PHARMCAS, PTCAS, TMDSAS, UC Berkeley Optometry School and VMCAS.

Please do not confuse these matching forms with other, individual institutions’ recommendation forms or waiver forms. The Letter Service does not have access to any of these matching forms; you must obtain these forms from the individual institution’s websites. The Letter Service will not alter or complete these forms for you so please make sure your forms are filled out before you submit them.

Completed matching forms can be mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped off in person to the Letter Service office. When you submit your request, it is your responsibility to select all your letters and their matching forms. The Letter Service will not hold your requests pending the arrival of any matching forms.

More information about AMCAS matching forms

Which recommendation form do I use?

See "Which recommendation forms do I use?" regarding using school specific recommendation forms and waiver statements.

Where's my letter?

The fastest way to determine whether a letter has arrived is to login to your Letter Service account and select “Letters”. Letters are posted in the order received and will appear in your online account immediately.

Posting incoming letters is a high priority, especially during the busy times of the year. All letters received must be on business letterhead with the writer’s signature. Both you and your letter writer will be notified by email once the letter is posted so make sure the email address listed on your letter account is current. Since email reliability can be erratic, the best way to check for letters is to login to your online letter account.

During the busy times of the year, answering phone calls or emails about the arrival of letters only serves to impede the critical process of posting letters. Letter writers may misjudge how long it takes for a letter to arrive. If you are waiting for a letter, please check your online account periodically throughout the day. If you don't see it listed, there is no additional information we have to offer.

How do I obtain a copy of a non-confidential letter?

The Letter Service will provide you an "unofficial" copy of a non-confidential letter upon request.  Instructions here.

How do I add my professor’s signature to a letter on file written by my GSI?

  1. Print and sign a new waiver statement and provide it to your GSI.
  2. Your GSI then prints out a copy of her/his letter, signs it, and forwards the hard copy to your professor.
  3. The professor co-signs and sends the new letter along with the new waiver statement to our office.

We will then post this new letter with both signatures to your file.

What does "pending waiver" mean?

All letters submitted to the Letter Service must be accompanied by a waiver statement form signed by you indicating that your letter writer is aware of whether or not you have chosen to make the letter confidential, and therefore "waived" your right to see it.

If we receive a recommendation from your letter writer that is not accompanied by a waiver form, it will be posted as “Pending Wavier” until a signed waiver is submitted. For confidential letters, you can download a waiver form (It is available as a PDF after you login to your online file - see the box titled "Letter Service Forms" on the right hand side of the screen), complete and sign it, and either email (letter@berkeley.edu), fax (510-642-4958), mail or bring the waiver to the Career Center. Once we receive your waiver, your letter will be complete and you will be able to select it when you make a request.

If a recommendation arrives without a waiver form but you would like it posted as an "open/non-confidential" letter, you must then provide your letter writer with a signed, non-confidential waiver form and have her/him submit it along with a new copy of the letter to our office.

How can my writer add a completed grid form to a letter that has already been posted?

Login to your account, and download a copy of the grid form. Your letter writer will need to complete both the grid and writer section of this form and sign it.

Since we already have this writer’s original signature on the original letter, your writer can simply email a PDF copy of the completed grid form to letter@berkeley.edu, or mail/hand deliver it to the Career Center.

She/he should include a note stating that this grid form is to be added to a letter already on file.

What does my dissertation committee chair need to do in order to review the letters in my file?

Your dissertation chair needs to email their request to letter@berkeley.edu at least 2 business days before they stop by our office. We need to know the names of the file(s) to be reviewed and approximately what day they will be coming. They will need to bring their photo ID with them.

The reason we need this 2-day lead time is because we have to pull the file(s) to make sure all letters received are in order and complete.