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Many students will require letters of recommendation from faculty to support applications for jobs, professional schools or graduate schools. One advantage to a small major like Microbiology is that your advanced classes will generally be small (especially the lab courses), and you will get to know faculty well enough that they can write a strong letter of recommendation for you.
While faculty can freely write about their personal impressions of a student, the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) forbids faculty from releasing information from the student’s academic record without the students written permission. Protected information includes your GPA, what grade you got in a course, and what your major was. This information will be a necessary part of most good letters of recommendation.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, please download, fill out, and sign the FERPA release, and give it to the faculty member. This will enable them to write the most informative and strongest letter possible for you.