What Is a Recommendation Letter for Graduate School?

A recommendation letter for graduate school endorses a candidate for admission to an advanced degree program. Its intended audience is the admissions committee at a college or university, and it can influence the committee’s admissions decision. Academic leaders, such as professors, deans, and academic advisors, can be among the professionals who write letters of recommendation. Supervisors can also serve as references by discussing a candidate’s qualifications in the workplace context. The contents of a letter of recommendation can bolster the candidate’s application materials.

Benefits of Recommendation Letters

What would you want to witness in a letter containing a personalized recommendation? The positive things said about you are what you would prefer to hear. All effective cover letters provide a distinct sense of what the recruiter needs to know about the candidate to conduct a productive interview.

Offering information about the candidate: It is essential to include all relevant details about the applicant or candidate. There must be no room for ambiguity in the recruiter’s mind regarding any of the strengths or flaws, preferable. Additionally, the committee members of the recruiter’s organization will be able to know about the candidate thanks to this information. Assisting in constructing the interview sheet and elevating it as a result.Providing information about the applicant’s relationship: It is the core of any recommendation letter. Whoever is supplying the recruiter with a letter of recommendation should describe in detail how he became acquainted with the applicant. How long and for what purpose he has known the applicant must also be included in the recommendation letter. Classwork, community service proposal, research, or any other context in which the applicant and the person writing the letter of recommendation became acquainted.Demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the applicant: This type of information is used to learn more about the applicant passively. It plays a much larger function than could be deduced from a resume. For example, actions and incidents unique to this relationship and ultimately more credible than what could be gleaned from a resume should be mentioned.Bring to light the applicant’s specific objectives: The writer must highlight the applicant’s commitment to bringing a specific topic of interest to public attention. In addition, the applicant’s crisis management skills should be considered thoroughly. While composing a letter of recommendation for a recruiter, the writer must highlight the applicant’s positive qualities.Discussing the applicant’s superiority to other candidates: Writing all conceivable reasons why the applicant is superior to other candidates is required. The writer must list why employing them would benefit the company they wish to work for. The writer must exemplify the applicant’s personal qualities in a positive manner using relevant, specific examples.Specifying how this position is related to past performance: The writer must provide the recruiter with ample information regarding the applicant’s performance over the past few years. Indirectly paving the path and serving as a link between the applicant’s past and future versions, they must also provide information regarding the course or studies the applicant has mastered.

Tips to Request a Recommendation Letter for Graduate School

You should provide as much info about yourself as feasible so that those you ask can write comprehensive recommendation letters. The following stages will guide you in delivering your reference with the correct information to compose an outstanding letter:

1. Choose the Recipient of Your Correspondence

Most graduate programs need two to four letters of recommendation per application, with some requiring letters only from professors, employers, or both. Consider compiling a list of individuals with whom you interact closely in college or the workplace, such as a professor, research supervisor, internship director, or work supervisor. You may ask a few professors or an academic advisor to write your recommendation letters if you are an undergraduate. If you are no longer enrolled in college, you may request that your manager and a colleague write your letters. Consider also asking for recommendations from a volunteer organizer or club president.

2. Make a Formal Proposal

Before submitting a formal written request for a recommendation, it is a professional courtesy to speak with the individual. Ask your chosen reference in person if they are prepared to compose a letter of recommendation on your behalf. If it is not likely to meet in person, you can inquire over the phone or send a brief email before following up with additional information. Next, you must send an official request for a letter of recommendation via email. This maintains professional courtesy and gives them information to assist them in writing a recommendation.

3. Provide Information to the Writer

Requesting a recommendation letter from a professor or manager is an opportunity to demonstrate that you value their opinion of your abilities. You can also explain to your reference why you requested a recommendation from them. For instance, presume you have asked your accounting professor to write a recommendation letter for applying to the Master of Business Administration program. In this case, describe how their classes motivated you to pursue a graduate degree. Consider including specific examples of the advice they provided to demonstrate its significance.

4. Allow Time to Write the Letter

Inform your reference of the date you must submit the letter to satisfy the school’s application deadline. Give them sufficient time to consider your qualifications and compose a recommendation carefully. Submit your formal request as early as feasible, preferably one month before the application deadline. To give yourself ample time, you can give your reference a deadline for the letter of recommendation before the application deadline. Remember the number of responsibilities your reference currently has. If your coworker, manager, or professor is managing an increase in workload or is occupied with midterms or finals, giving them more than a month may be prudent.

5. Write a Letter of Gratitude

Consider penning each reference a letter of appreciation. This acknowledges the time the writer has taken from their busy schedule to support your pursuit of higher education and professional development plan. Thank them for their time and express appreciation for vouching for your qualifications. You can also inform them of your graduate program acceptance and future intentions. This additional gesture is a professional courtesy that will likely strengthen your relationship with the reference, which can be advantageous if you need their recommendation again.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

You have chosen graduate school as the next stage in your career progression. No matter what form of program you intend to register in, you will be required to submit letters of recommendation for admission. You’ve been here before. When applying to college, you requested recommendation letters from your high school instructors, advisors, and coaches. But how are graduate school recommendation letters different? What do you require to know to set your finest foot forward and enhance your chances of admission to graduate school? Consider the purpose of your graduate school recommendation letters. Follow these steps to compose a compelling letter of recommendation for a prospective student applying to graduate school:

1. Collect Additional Information about the Institution

The academic institution may have specific letter of recommendation submission requirements. For instance, you may be required to limit your letter to one page or submit it by a particular date—request information from the candidate regarding the school’s application procedure. You can decide when to write the letter and ensure you adhere to the instructions so the student remains qualified. Also, it may be beneficial to request additional candidate information. Request an updated copy of their resume, portfolio sample, and transcript to learn about their accomplishments. Consider researching the degree program, including its curriculum and admission requirements, to be inspired to write about the candidate’s compatibility. For example, if a student hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public relations, the institution may require a high GPA for admission forms. In your letter of recommendation, you can mention the student’s outstanding performance in the public relations courses you taught.

2. Describe Your Identity to the Reader

The first portion of your letter introduces yourself and explains why you are writing to the university. Include a heading with your name, job title, phone number, and email address at the document’s start. The following line may contain a personalized opening salutation to a university representative. Explain in the first paragraph why you recommend the candidate for admission to the degree program. Describe your association with the applicant and the length of time you’ve known them. You may also concisely summarize the credentialing checklist that qualifies them for the position.

3. Discuss the Candidate’s Pertinent Characteristics

Use the substance of your letter of recommendation to convince the admissions committee to accept the student. Discuss pertinent characteristics, such as course grades, class participation, and skill demonstration. Utilize the candidate’s collected materials to guide the direction of your writing. To keep your letter concise, prioritize information pertinent to the degree program. For instance, if the prospect is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, you could discuss their positive contributions to a company as an employee.

4. Provide Specific Illustrations from Your Experience

Specific examples can increase the candidate’s credibility in your eyes. You can enable the reader to visualize the skill set a pupil with an advanced degree can utilize. Recall instances in which the candidate exhibited academic distinction or quality work performance. You can describe a time when you witnessed the candidate acquire a new skill or surmount a challenge, demonstrating their ability to adapt and meet deadlines in a rigorous curriculum. Consider providing examples showing personal values that align with the university’s requirements. For instance, if the school is looking for dedicated students, you can describe a time when candidates devoted themselves to achieving their objectives. Collaboration is also essential for program success; therefore, you may include instances where the student mentored a classmate or participated in a productive group project. Your recommendation letter can be more engaging with a story about the candidate.

5. Reiterate Your Support for the Candidate

Dedicate the final paragraph of your letter of recommendation to a powerful conclusion. Accentuate your support for the candidate’s desire to continue their education and state that you believe they would aid the program. Additionally, you can praise the school representative for reading the letter.


How do you write a strong letter of recommendation?

Choose precise, powerful adjectives over vague terms or tropes. Consider what the reader of the letter might want to know. Include information and insight that sometimes appears on a resume or application. Your letter should introduce the recipient to the individual you are recommending.

How do I choose my recommenders for graduate school?

A more academic program may request two educational and professional recommendations. In addition to being a professor, other potential recommenders include the lead researcher of a project you worked on or the manager of a non-profit organization where you routinely volunteer.

What Is the Best Introduction for Recommendation?

In the first paragraph of a letter of recommendation, you should introduce yourself. Indicate who you are recommending and for what role. Include any personal, professional, or academic experience that helps establish your credibility and how you know the candidate.

Some writers believe that the same letters of recommendation for graduate school, reproduced for two or more students with only minor changes to essential details, are admissible. This needs to be corrected and may jeopardize the opportunity and future career plans of your students. Preparing a Recommendation Letter for a Student demonstrates laziness and a need for familiarity with the student.