What are Letters of Recommendation for Graduate School Admission in USA?
I still remember my late college years, when I was trying to figure out whom should I get recommendation letters from ? How to collect sample recommendation letters ? Each university I applied to had different process….It was a lot of work and I am glad my professors and lecturers helped me out. Let me share some of my experiences about What are Letters of recommendation for Graduate School admission in America and some of their basics in this article.
What are Letters of Recommendation (LORs) for Graduate School ?
A Letter of Recommendation is nothing but a letter given by someone, who either taught you a class or supervised you, describing your abilities, skills and leadership qualities. It can be given by anyone who interacted with you closely and got a chance to either manage you or monitor you.
Some basics of Letters of Recommendations for MS or MBA in US :
- Most of the graduate schools either for MS or MBA programs require two to three recommendation letters. Again, it depends, some schools do not require them.
- Depending on the school, they are typically sent in confidential sealed envelopes.
- Typically, letter of recommendation have to prepared by the Professor describing your abilities…Although, depending on the school and the country you are from, some professors ask that you to write up a recommendation letter and they would just sign it for you… If you are in US and were to be asking a professor a recommendation letter from a US institution, the Professor will write the recommendation letter and give it to you, but would not let you write a LOR on his behalf. LOR is a big deal in US schools.
- Every school has its own process for recommendation letters. Below are few scenarios:
- Some schools ask professors to fill up recommendation letters’ forms online.
- Some of them ask professors to post (or mail) them directly to school.
- Few schools ask professors to fill out a standard recommendation form and them mail it to school.
- Some schools ask professors to write a recommendation letter and seal it in an envelope by them with their signature on it.
- Few schools do not care, they just say include recommendation letters with the application packet.
The point is, every school is different process and you cannot really generalize saying that I have to send standard letter of recommendation with my application. You will have to check with the department and graduate school for the exact forms of LOR and process.
In the next articles, I will write about the importance of recommendation letters, whom to ask recommendation letters and other stuff with some samples. Stay tuned.
Do you have any questions about basics of Letters of Recommendation for MS or MBA ?
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