Who should write you a letter of recommendation?

There are a few times every year when faculty members are bombarded with requests to write letters of recommendation for students. Sadly, we do not do a good job telling undergraduate students what kinds of relationships they should be building with faculty to ensure that when the time comes (e.g., applying for graduate school or medical school), there will be two or three different faculty who feel comfortable writing a recommendation letter.

A good recommendation letter must do much more than just verifying a grade in a class. Students applying…