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Personal, Academic Issues - Work Related

I need an academic letter of reference.
You may need a reference letter for a scholarship, a summer job, for graduate school applications, etc. Professors are often asked to write references for students, so feel free to ask. Try to choose professors who know you fairly well; if all they can say about you is that you were one of 150 students in the class and you got a B+, it won't help you much! To ask a professor for a reference, give as much notice as possible, at least two weeks, and provide as much information as you can. You may want to include your resume, information about yourself and for what you are applying (job, study exchange, etc.). You may want to also include your (unofficial) transcript. Be as specific as possible so as to help your prof write a good letter for you. Even if you have a great rapport, your professor has a lot of students and may not remember every detail of every student.


I would really like to work on a research project for a professor in my major.
Check out the research programs of professors in the area in which you’re interested. Check online, department web pages or department bulletin boards.

Talk to the department Chair or administrative assistant to find out if any professors are hiring. 

Approach a professor about possible research opportunities (see next question).  You may need to volunteer for a semester before you can be hired as a research assistant. You could also try to do an applied study.

There are some scholarships available for summer research jobs: Undergraduate Student Research Assistantships (USRA) in the sciences, and Chinook Awards for all areas of the university. Application deadlines are in early January, so plan ahead! You need a project and professor lined up, and the professor will help you with the applications. Online information is available from Office of Research Services at

Also access Career and Employment Services for job search workshops and their job board.


My prof suggested I talk to Dr. X about her research butI don't know how to approach her.
The easiest way is via email. Introduce yourself ("I am a 2nd year student majoring in _____), describe what courses you have done, and mention that Professor Y recommended you contact her. Be polite, and address the email “Dear Dr. X.” If you really want to impress and you'd like a research job, attach your resume. You might want to include your (unofficial) transcript. Ask if you can make an appointment to meet and provide times you are available. If you prefer to connect in-person, try to find a time when Dr. X is not in or dashing to class. Use the Campus Directory if you don’t have Dr. X’s email address.


I want to find a job at the U of L.
Try Career and Employment Services (CES). In addition to tips on how to find a job, they have an on-line job board available only to students as well as links to on-line job boards.

The Students’ Union lists available jobs.

You can also ask the professors in your major department if they are looking for research assistants.  Or ask the administrative assistant in your major department if any of the professors are hiring. 

Talk to professors from whom you've taken courses that had a TA or tutor and ask if they are hiring. 


Can I get course credit for volunteer work or for paid work?
It’s possible to do an applied study course based on your volunteer or paid work. Check with your Faculty academic advisor to see how it will fit into you program, then make an appointment at the Applied Studies office to find out how to set one up.

The U of L and Volunteer Lethbridge have partnered to create a program that enables students to access volunteer opportunities and to track their volunteer hours. Find out more at UVolunteer


I want to find out about independent and applied studies.
An independent study is a course you design with a professor. Speak to a professor with whom you would like to work, or speak with an academic advisor.

An applied study is somewhat similar to an independent study. It provides an opportunity to earn course credit for a volunteer or employment experience with a significant learning component. There are various options available so talk to an academic advisor to see if there is room in your program, or talk to someone in the Applied Studies office.

Check out UVolunteer to access volunteer opportunities and to track your hours.


I want to find out about co-ops (co-operative education) and internships.
Co-operative education and internships are available to students in many programs in humanities, social science, science, fine arts, health sciences, management, and graduate studies. Look here for general information about co-op and which degree programs they fit into: It’s a good idea to meet with someone in the co-op office even if you do not think you will do a co-op for another year or two.

You could also explore exchange programs.