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Letter of recommendation

What is a graduate school letter of recommendation?

Like professional references during a job search, letters of recommendation help support your graduate school application by providing a third-party view of your ability to perform well in graduate school.

You will be asked as part of your application for graduate admission to provide the names and contact information for individuals who can write and submit a letter of recommendation for you. Many academic programs ask for three letters of recommendation, and some will indicate the backgrounds they want your recommenders to have (e.g., a current or former professor). You will see this information in the application, but you can also review it in Degree Search.

When you submit your application and application fee, your recommenders will receive notification that they have been asked to electronically submit a recommendation letter. Let your recommenders know that they should expect an email from ASU — you don’t want the email to end up in their spam or junk folder.

You will be able to monitor the status of the recommendation through My ASU and prompt any recommenders who have not submitted their recommendation to do so. You will be able to change a recommender if necessary.

Advice for letters of recommendation

Frequently asked questions about graduate school letters of recommendation

Can I submit more than the required letters of recommendation?

It is suggested that you closely follow the guidelines outlined by your program’s application process and submit only the number of letters of recommendation that it asks for.

Must all letters of recommendation be submitted online?

Letters of recommendation should be submitted online. If one of your recommenders is unable to submit their letter of recommendation online, contact your program to arrange for special accommodations.

Can I add or change recommenders after their letters have been submitted?

No. You can only change recommenders if one of them is not responsive to the request for a letter of recommendation or to your prompts.

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