My Recommendation Letter Policy

This is my public policy for writing “recommendation letters” for students at Ecole Polytechnique, who are applying to a M2 in France or abroad, or a complete Masters program abroad – regardless of which M2 or Masters program – or for a recommendation for an internship.

The initial contact for letters of recommendation MUST be by way of this form which is accessible only from computers with an on-campus IP address.

I will not, under any circumstances, write a letter of recommendation for a student, for whom either of the below applies:

  • The student has never been in a class that I have taught (surprisingly, it is necessary to call this out explicitly!); OR
  • The student has obtained a grade below B in any class I’ve been teaching; OR
  • The student has done a “rattrapage” (re-exam) in any class I’ve been teaching – except where medically excused, of course; OR
  • The student has done more than one  “rattrapage” (re-exam) while at Ecole Polytechnique – except where medically excused, of course; OR
  • The student has “compensated” any failing grade in 3A/M1 (3rd year at Ecole Polytechnique, 5th year of studies after high-school) by an A/B, in order to validate a semester; OR
  • The student has an average of B or below in 3A/M1 (3rd year at Ecole Polytechnique, 5th year of studies after high-school).

I am likely to write a letter of recommendation for a student, for whom all of the below apply:

  • The student has obtained an A in all the classes I have been teaching; AND
  • The student has obtained no more than one single B in all the classes followed during 3A/M1 (3rd year at Ecole Polytechnique, 5th year of studies after high-school); AND
  • The student has obtained no grades below B through the totality of his or her studies at Ecole Polytechnique; AND
  • The student has had a “career counseling” meeting with me, during which we have discussed both the targeted school, program, and motivation for following it.

For students who are not excluded by the “I will not, under any circumstances” criteria, but who do not satisfy the “I am likely to” criteria, may exceptionally write a letter of recommendation. This remains rather exceptional, though, and is usually conditioned on the student having shown exceptional potential/tenacity/motivation/ethics, and having justified and convinced me that (for example) a 2nd B or a single C was an accident.

Either way, the initial contact for letters of recommendation MUST be by way of this form which is accessible only from computers with an on-campus IP address.

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