10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 9, 2008
Hello All-
I have a friend who wants to apply to a graduate program (not mine) in 3 years. One of his favorite graduate programs is at my current university and closely tied with mine (they take a few courses together, faculty all know each other, and I know many of the faculty in the program he's apply to as well).

In 2.5 years, I'll have my PhD from said university. I've known this guy for 9 years (friends in undergrad) so I cant write a letter for him, can I?

He hinted at it, and I didnt lead him on. That said, I do know him very well, and I know he is capable of achieving a lot. Further, the people on the admissions committee know me and I always hear they think very highly of me as well. I even work with one of them (a psychologist) on a day to day basis. So I guess on one hand, it could do him a lot of good if I wrote him a letter, but it could also be considered unethical. Help with the boundary is appreciated.
Sep 29, 2009
If you're worried about it, couldn't you always voice your opinion to someone on the admissions committee rather than writing a formal letter? My guess is that since your friend sounds very competent, he/she will most likely have many research/clinical mentors or professors who are willing to attest to that.


10+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2009
I agree with the above post. My friend applied to a program where the post doc at her work received his Ph.D. from that program. While she did have close working experience wit him, I believe she just had him put in a good word for her at the university and received letters of rec from others (ie boss, profs, etc).