40 Best Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

A letter of recommendation for graduate school is an essay written by someone who knows you well and can speak to your academic strengths, personality traits, and work ethic. It’s not a letter of reference because the writer isn’t confirming their relationship to you or detailing what you did together; it will be 100% about how awesome you are.

Letter of recommendation for graduate school is a very important part of any application, and it can make or break your chances to get accepted into the program. If you are applying to an online degree program (i.e., MBA, MSW) then there will be one letter of recommendation written by someone who has specifically read your entire application packet. However, if you’re applying for an on campus graduate program (i.e., MA in English), then each applicant must provide at least three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak about their academic ability and potential for success in the field they are studying toward.

Graduate school applications are a stressful time for many students. It’s hard to know who to ask, what details they need to provide, and how best to stand out from the other applicants. We’re going to be tackling all of these questions in this post- so you can rest easy knowing that we have your back! In this blog post, we will explore the different types of letters, what makes a good letter of recommendation for graduate school, and finally offer up our top 40 letter of recommendation for graduate school programs across the country.

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

Don’t worry if no one has written a letter of recommendation for graduate school for you before—it’s actually pretty simple. Students can request a letter from anyone who has contributed to them in the past, including teachers, employers, colleagues, and more. In fact, according to Caltech , having multiple letters is not only okay but encouraged!





Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School Template

letter of recommendation for graduate school template is provided for you to download for free.




Use this sample letter of recommendation for graduate school as an example on how to write your very own personal statement. Your letter should include four main points: what you’ve accomplished, who will be writing the reference, how far back their involvement with you goes and why they are

How to Write Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School?

To get started, find a quiet corner where you’ll be undisturbed. If you’re writing by hand, make sure to have at least two days for the task—it’s one thing if it takes two hours but disastrous if it takes four or more! For extra credit, it wouldn’t hurt to read this guide on How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School .

Your letter of recommendation for graduate school should end up looking like any other letter (but with your contact information, title, and date at the top). The structure is simple:

You want to include an opening paragraph You want to include three body paragraphs You want to include a closing paragraph You want to include the writer’s signature line You want to include your contact information

1. Opening paragraph

add at least one subject line so that it doesn’t look like an unsolicited junk mail letter, touting their qualifications and reminding them of their accomplishments. The reader should have some idea of who you are and why they’re reading it.

2. Body paragraphs

the reader should know enough to make a decision. This part can be challenging because your letter will likely focus on the person’s strengths and accomplishments, but without an understanding of their full life story , it may not be sufficient. A good body paragraph consists of three parts: a. The context : For the reader to really understand who the person is and their character, you need to provide some backstory information.

This can include anything from extracurricular activities they’ve been involved in, to any projects they’ve worked on, or achievements they’ve received in life.

What did you observe?

As the person writing the letter of recommendation for graduate school, you’ve spent time with your graduate school candidate. This means that you have a unique perspective on their work ethic.

What did they do better than average?

What about them didn’t meet your standards?

Perhaps they showed initiative or leadership qualities, or maybe they always met deadlines and got their work done on time.

What impressed you about their work ethic?

If they’ve received any awards or acknowledgements, it’s best to mention them here

Why are they qualified for the program ?

This is your chance to explain why the person deserves to attend graduate school. Maybe this person worked at a company X where everyone knew how talented they were and where they made a positive difference in corporate culture. Or maybe the person has spent months working through their personal challenges and overcoming them, which is precisely why they should be admitted to graduate school.

Whatever it might be that makes this candidate worthy of an additional degree or qualification, make sure you include at least two sentences here (more if possible) to explain why this person deserves to be accepted, or at least considered by the institution.

3. Closing paragraph

This is your last chance to ask for what you’re asking for! Be sure to mention that you’d love an opportunity to meet them in person if they have any further questions about the candidate’s personal strengths or qualifications. You also want to include who your contact person at the institution is, and their credentials (in case they need more information).

4. Signature line

Be sure to put your signature after everything else (either on a separate line or below each body paragraph). You can use your full name or you can use initials. It’s up to you.

5. Contact information

If there is any possibility that the reader of your letter will want to ask you more questions about your candidate, be sure to include your contact information in an appropriate way. A good way would be to put it on a separate line at the end or maybe even after each body paragraph if possible. If they want to know more about the candidate, they’ll look for details!

6. Optional: Personal touch

Sometimes your writer can make a personal statement or connection here, which you should include if you feel like it’s appropriate and might be helpful. For example: “My name is Steven Mouton and I’ve known this person since University High School. I can’t believe that she’s attended college for four years now. She was the toughest debate competitor back in high school, and she always had her hand up first with the right answer…or at least it seemed so 🙂 . Nowadays, you should see her working through statistics problems! It makes my head hurt just watching.”

This is a bot that uses some natural language processing to help explain the results of a couple of different research experiments.

The two new-found source code and text files (from Microsoft and NIH’s website) were added into this program on December 10th, 2014. This date will be updated whenever I add more information. Theoretically, this information can be added into any other program that needs this function.

5 Tips for a great Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

Writing a great letter of recommendation for graduate school applications is difficult. It’s even more difficult when you are the writer of said letter, because it means that you know what type of person your student is and how they’ve performed academically. Read also: 50 Amazing Letter Of Guarantee Example & Template

Since writing these letters can be so challenging, here are five tips to help you write an amazing one!

1. Check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation to be sure that everything is in order before you submit your letter. You don’t want to risk looking unprofessional when writing a recommendation for graduate school!

2. Ask yourself this question – what are the top three things an application reader will take away from reading this? Consider facts about your student as well as personality traits. What makes your student stand out from the rest?

3. Don’t make the letter too long; three paragraphs max should do it! The reader shouldn’t have to wade through a paragraph that rambles on and on about something irrelevant to why you’re writing this letter in the first place, and your student shouldn’t take up too much space either. If the letter is not long enough, you could leave off part of your “why” statement; make sure that whatever you take away doesn’t detract from it or make it incomplete.

4. Consider writing something positive about how your student has helped others as well as themselves in these past years. It doesn’t have to be long or elaborate, just something that will let the reader know that your student has shown compassion even though they’re so focused on their own goals.

5. Don’t forget to follow up! Check the status of your letter, send a quick email to your school’s graduate admissions office asking about any lost letters, or give your student a call. Doing this will make sure that everything goes through smoothly and you won’t have to worry about whether or not they got your letter!

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example

They are letter of recommendation for graduate school example; we make new version everyday for you. Now our new Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example is:

Example 1: A letter from a teaching assistant:

I had the pleasure of serving as a TA for Joe Smith, and I got to see him in action as both a student and an instructor. He was incredibly organized and detail-oriented, and I remember him coming to office hours with pages of thoughtfully, carefully constructed arguments for why his answer was always right. Joe is bright, creative, and tireless in the pursuit of truth; he has an eye for detail.

When it came time for me to decide which students would sit in on my research seminars (all of the students with the best GPAs and test scores), I was thrilled to see Joe’s name at the top of my list. He eventually went on to work in my lab, and he proved himself once again: he was a pleasure to work with, always professional, and most importantly his research is extremely compelling.

Joe Smith combines an impressive intellect with great creative talent, and he has a gift for analysis. He approaches problems from unusual angles and yet never loses sight of the big picture. In short, Joe is one of those rare students who leaves you wanting more: I can safely say that my lab wouldn’t be as successful as it is without him.

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example (1)

If you want to know more Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example, We provide original Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example. We also offer custom writing service and we can write Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example for you! Feel free to contact us at any time while reading our site or live chat. We can help you with custom Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example!

As a general rule, letters should be between one and two single spaced pages in length, or longer if they are extremely impressive examples. If the letter is being written by an employer , transcripts are usually not necessary unless specifically requested. However, employers do need to be careful here: if evaluation of grades is a part of your job, you’ll need to avoid showing favoritism towards any one student.

Letters from employers also typically only detail the things that the student’s work has involved or impacted, although they can use many of these same points when writing for former students and colleagues alike. They’re usually more helpful if they focus on your personality or attitude rather than just simple work ethic.

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School example (2)

Example 3: A letter from a colleague:

Working with Joe was always a pleasure; he made the most tedious tasks fun and interesting. He definitely has an eye for detail; we once spent hours and hours at a coffee shop poring over pages and pages of experimental data because he thought we were missing something. The key was in our original approach; I can honestly say that I would never have noticed the error if Joe hadn’t pointed it out to me.

Joe is motivated by intellectual curiosity, rather than grade or status; he’s always willing to put in extra work, and he’s constantly asking questions. I would be delighted to have Joe join my research group again at some future point.




What Does a Recommendation for Graduate School look like?

Graduate reference letters may be very different based on your relationship with the recommender and who is writing for you. It’s important to remember that some professors, while helpful, may not have the time to write a lengthy letter of recommendation. A short paragraph or two with an introductory statement and how you performed in their class would be great!

These letters should always be written by hand and stamped by your professor’s school (and then signed!), but will differ based on the format that your graduate school requires. This makes it difficult for you to know what to ask or how to format your request, but if you’re applying to more than one school this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Students who are just starting college don’t think about graduate schools, but they should! It’s never too early to get started on your applications, and the earlier you get started the better chance you have of getting in!

What are the common mistakes that are made when writing a Recommendation for Graduate School?

The first thing to remember is grammar. Always ask your recommendation writer if you have questions, but be sure to let them know if there are any issues with punctuation, spelling, or word choice! Ask politely and give time for corrections! There’s nothing worse than receiving a letter full of errors!

Another common mistake is length. Remember, this will be read by someone who has no idea who you are or what you’ve done. The goal of your correspondence is to show why you deserve the opportunity to attend this graduate school program and how capable of a student you are! Here’s an article that will help you with that!

There are many great websites that offer tips, tricks, and recommendations for writing a strong letter of recommendation. One website I advise students to check out is Study Guides for Graduate Admissions . They have an entire section on letters of recommendation! If I could only give one piece of advice about this whole process it would be to ask someone who knows you well and whom you hope will say great things about you! It could be a professor, former internship supervisor, work colleague, etc.

10 Thing About Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

There are plenty of ways to ask someone to write a letter of recommendation for you. The most important thing is to show the writer how their description will benefit your credibility as a student and future professional. That way, they can be confident in what they write! Here are some ideas:

The best thing you can do is provide a template letter of recommendation for graduate school. The writer won’t need to spend time brainstorming and can simply copy and paste their thoughts into the document for you! If they happen to know your specific areas of academic interest, they will be able to speak specifically about those as well; however, most students prefer essay topic ideas that are more general and leave room for the writer’s creativity.

When asking someone to write a letter of recommendation for you, it is important to remember that this person already has a lot on their plate and can’t spend too much time writing your essay. They might need prompting so they know what is expected of them! Here are some ideas:

1. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

“If you are asked for a reference, please remember that most schools wont want more than one letter. Please do not ask your references to write more than that unless they have lots of positive things to say about you.”

2. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

Good letter of recommendation for graduate school should always include something specific about your academic abilities or career goals. A generic “good at everything” letter is not going to be useful, and it only wastes the writer’s time! Here are some ideas:

3. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

If they don’t know you extremely well, they might not be able to say much about your personality or how it relates to your academic skills. To solve this problem, you can include a mini-professional resume with specific details about what you’ve accomplished and any relevant coursework.

4. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

Remember to be specific with what you need from the writer! Are you looking for them to speak about your abilities as an academic or your enthusiasm as a student? Are they allowed to (and should they) use their own words, or do you want something more like a template letter of recommendation for graduate school?

5. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

It takes time for writers to collect their thoughts, so be patient! The more you spur them on and ask for small favors, the angrier they will get. But if your request is too much, they won’t write at all… It’s a delicate balance.

6. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

Remember that it is okay if they don’t know you well! Guides like this make “guidelines” on what they should include—that way, they can focus on filling in the details with their own words. This is not cheating; it’s just a time-saver so they can spend their free time doing something else.

Include a well-designed cover letter with the grad school application, and send it along with your essay resume and work portfolio (if you have one). Remember that this person probably has a lot of other things to do and should not need to answer any questions about their letter afterwards.

7. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

A good letter should be short and sweet! The writer should prove their points with examples and details, but it does not need to be longer than one or two pages. Remember that they are busy; don’t make them write an essay instead of doing their own work.

8. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

If they do not know you well, this might be a challenge! Here are some ways they can find out more information:

– Ask their students if there is anything interesting or special about them that they want told to the grad schools

– Observe you in class or at work, if possible

– Ask your teachers, parents, employer… anyone who has seen you in action!

After all, there are some things that can’t be taught in a letter of recommendation for graduate school! These are the little details that make it come to life.

9. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

You should never write your own letter, unless you are specifically told that they want one from you! You can give them general information or ideas if they ask, but do not touch their computer. Let them have the fun part of writing it.

10. thing to remember when writing a letter of recommendation for graduate school

You should always include a list of what you want them to mention and how many words you want the letter to be. You should also include your contact and biographical information so they can send it along with the letter. It might feel like overkill, but remember that this person has a busy life! Do not make their stress

What Is Difference between a letter of recommendation and a reference letter?

Some graduate schools require that you provide a letter of recommendation while others ask for references. A reference letter is typically written by someone who supervised you at work, or whom you worked closely with.

A letter of recommendation is often written by one of your college professors or another academic professional. The two letters are also different in the substance of what they each discuss.

A letter of recommendation is sometimes less formal than a reference or job/internship recommendation, but it should still be well-written and informative. Sometimes letters of recommendation are also shorter because the writer has little information about you to work with. But don’t worry if your professor doesn’t have much time to write; they can always send a few paragraphs saying what they think you’re capable of.

Reference letters, on the other hand, should be more detailed and analytical. They should include information about your personality and character as well as an evaluation of your skills and abilities. The person writing a reference letter may already know you fairly well since they were supervising you at work or oversaw your internship. Reference letters are usually longer than letters of recommendation.

What should I include in my Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School?

Your recommender should focus on your strengths as a student, what makes you unique, and why you are especially suited to this program. The stakes are high here; admissions officers will want to know about all of your amazing qualities—in fact, they’ll even ask permission to speak with the person who wrote the letter of recommendation for graduate school to get more information about who you are as a person.

It’s usually most effective to give specific examples of traits, accomplishments, personal experiences with the applicant, and how their actions will benefit the program.

When should I submit a request?

You should submit a request for a letter of recommendation for graduate school as soon as possible so the writer can have ample time to consider your application. Many schools limit the number of letters students may have, so you don’t want to take any chances! Check with your school’s guidelines before submitting any requests—some schools also require that you submit the request before the application is due.

Once you’ve submitted your recommendation letter request, it’s up to your letter writer to choose whether or not to write a letter for you. Remember that there are guidelines for what should and shouldn’t be in a letter of recommendation for graduate school . The most important thing they’ll take away from the process is your ability to work hard and keep your cool under pressure!

How do I confirm that the letter was sent?

After submitting a request, check back frequently to make sure your writer has submitted their letter of recommendation for graduate school. Come to class well-prepared and engaged so they know you truly appreciate them taking the time out of their day for this. Once the letter has been submitted online, your writer will usually be able to confirm that they have sent it .

What if I don’t receive a recommendation letter?

Unfortunately , sometimes letters of recommendation fall through. You should try reaching out to your writer or mentor in the weeks before the application deadline so you know what to expect. If they aren’t able to write a letter of recommendation for graduate school for you, try reaching out to other professors or non-teaching staff members who can speak to your strengths.

If there’s no one on campus who knows you well enough to write a letter of recommendation for graduate school , check out emailing a professor from another school, asking a colleague outside the office, messaging an old supervisor, or asking a family member. It’s okay to have a variety of letters in the application, so don’t be shy about calling on someone you haven’t seen in a while!

Why do I need a letter of recommendation?

The most important reason to include a letter of recommendation for graduate school application is to speak about personal qualities the application may not be able to convey. A letter of recommendation for graduate school can talk about how you work in deadlines, cope with stress , or interact with others. Perhaps most importantly, it gives the school an opportunity to find out if someone knows about your GPA! Be sure to check out our article on what goes into your grad school GPA for more information.

How many letters of recommendation are really needed?

Many schools indicate that they require three letters of recommendation on their application page. However, some students may feel more comfortable submitting four or even five to give themselves the best chance at being accepted! It’s not necessary to submit more than five unless you’re 100% certain one would be enough for your application.

What if I only have two letters of recommendation?

Don’t worry! Many applicants will fall in this boat because they simply didn’t know to ask for more until it was too late. In cases where you’re missing a letter , go back and get statements from people who can speak about your strengths anyway—friends, advisors, etc.

Can I give the same letter to multiple schools?

You can certainly submit a letter of recommendation for graduate school to as many different programs as you’d like, but keep in mind that each program may only want the most recent one. If they ask for an updated version of the letter after receiving it, be sure to let your writers know! Some schools will ask for the same letter to be submitted with a new application, while others may accept a later version of a previous letter.

What kind of format should I use for my letters of recommendation?

The most important thing about your format is that you go into detail! It’s perfectly fine to include some color and levity in your letter, and you should absolutely reference past experiences! Try including some details about what made your relationship with this mentor so special.

How do I confirm that Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School were submitted?

After submitting a request , check back frequently to make sure your writer has submitted their letter . Come to class well-prepared and engaged so they know you’re an excellent student!

What if my letter of recommendation is late?

It’s always better to ask ahead of time if someone can write a letter for you. If it comes to the last minute , you should still reach out, but be conscientious that your writers are busy people with their own routines . They may have some trouble meeting the deadline, so be understanding.

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

Here is a sample letter for graduate school written by an employer:

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School (1)

Dear Professor Jameson,

I am writing in support of Mary Lopez as she applies to your Master’s program this year. I have been lucky enough to work with Mary for the past six months, and I was immediately impressed by her work ethic and strong desire to succeed. In this time working together, I’ve learned a lot from Mary’s positive attitude and willingness to take on new challenges.

Mary works extremely hard at all that she does both inside and outside of work. She is able to maintain a balance between her personal and professional life, often showing me how work in my field is relevant to the world today. At times she has even shared research that was published in journals outside of my field which has increased my own knowledge about current events.

I have found Mary to be an extremely friendly person who easily gains the respect of her peers. She is a dedicated employee and has volunteered in both my office and the community, where she has worked with autistic children to teach them how to lead healthy lives.

Mary is an all-around great candidate for graduate school, and I feel that she will bring a unique perspective to any classroom or work environment. Please contact me with any further questions about Mary that I can help you answer.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bill Murray

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School (1)

Dear [recipient name]:

I am writing this letter of reference for [name]. I have known [him/her] since [year]. In the past four years, I have had many opportunities to experience [his/her] work in a variety of settings. Based on these experiences, I believe that he/she would be an exceptional candidate for your graduate program.

I have three main points I’d like to share with you about [him/her]. First, [procedure of establishing the first point]

Second, [procedure of establishing the second point]

Third, [procedure of establishing the third point]

I am happy to answer any questions you may have and would be more than willing to talk with you directly about [him/her]’s qualifications.

Further information:

It is your responsibility as the recommend or to make sure that all of your letters are sent in on time! Do not wait until the last minute; this hurts everyone. You are being asked to write a letter for someone that is important, everyone will understand if you need an extra day or two—but do not wait until the last minute!

If it’s needed, here’s a link to my letter for graduate school . It has the full layout of what is expected in a recommendation letter. I’ve filled in much of the letter to make it appear like an authentic document, but what is most important is the content.

I will be creating a new article next week with examples for CVs and cover letters! Any questions/comments/suggestions? Leave them below!




We hope you enjoyed this article on letter of recommendation for graduate school! Remember, if you are asked for a letter of recommendation for graduate school, take your time and think about what qualities in the person would make them stand out in graduate school. By asking to be someone’s recommenders, they are depending on your judgement—make sure to pour all of your knowledge into that letter.

Don’t plagiarize a recommendation letter. That’s just tacky. Besides, you only have six to eight weeks to write your graduate school application – why would you spend that time writing one thing and then copying it into something else? Just ask the person who will be writing the letter for you if they’re willing to do so in advance and give them a spare copy of the letter they wrote for you. If you’re not sure if someone can write a letter for you, remember that it’s always best to ask early rather than late!

If there is anything more you would like to know about letter of recommendation and graduate school applications, leave a comment below and we’ll answer as soon as possible. Additionally, be sure to check out the rest of this website