Importance of The Letter Of Recommendation In Getting an Admit for MS

    Updated on: 06 Sep 2023

    As the name suggests, a letter of recommendation is a letter issued by a professor or teacher you’ve worked with and who can vouch for you. One may be aware that there are many factors that contribute to the selection of a candidate in securing the final admit for MS in the US and a Letter of Recommendation is one of the crucial requirements. It shows the credibility of the candidate. It reflects how well you’ve worked and also emphasizes the skills you possess and your hunger and zeal to learn and grow. 

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    Why is it Needed?

    Think about it this way, academia don’t know you. All they get to analyze and know you are through the various factors like SOP, LOR, GRE score, TOEFL, Projects, etc. Each of these has its own importance but a Good Letter of Recommendation adds much more value than what students think and is often underestimated. LOR’s often come from an unbiased source and thus the university considers it a better parameter to judge a student. They are one of the best parameters to review the student.

    Read more about: What Constitutes A Good Letter Of Recommendation?

    Who Should Write It?

    A very important factor for the LOR is to get it written from a professor who has mentored you before and who is close to you as he/she can share a few experiences vouching for your work, your commitment, diligence, ethics, and so on. On the other hand, if you are working, you can even get a LOR from your project manager or someone who can add value. 

    What Should Be In the LOR?

    To ensure you get the best letter of recommendation, as a student you can remind him/her of your previous accomplishments, projects and other work. Try to ensure that the Letter of Recommendation is on the official letter-head as it shows that the person carries authority. The Letter should contain your achievements, your character traits as a person and how will it develop along the course. The letter should have a mention of the extra-curricular and co-curricular achievements which ensure that you can contribute to their university in various fields as well. 

    Many times, the university may contact the recommender (the person who writes your Letter) regarding something in the letter, so ensure that they know all that is in the Letter and also the fact that the review committee may contact them later on. Always mention the referee’s contact and email so that if wanted the university can get in touch with them. Keep in mind that universities have a software, which can help them see if the LOR is a sample one online or has been curated for the student. Many times, the LOR is a set of questions in a form-based format asking about your strengths as well as weaknesses. Hence it is important that the recommender is well aware of your shortcomings as well. 

    In the end, just ensure your Letter of Recommendation is genuine and pertaining to you and is unbiased.

    How Many LORs are Required For MS?

    Most universities offering MS require at least 2 to 3 LORs.

    What Makes a LOR Good?

    A good Letter of Recommendation should not be of more than one page or 500 words. Use positive language throughout. A good LOR comprises

    • An Introduction
    • Acquaintance
    • Positive attributes
    • Academic achievements
    • Specific skills
    • Work and research experience
    • Psychological maturity
    • Recommendation
    • Positive closing

    When Should You Get Your LOR?

    You must ask for the LOR at least a month before your college deadlines. If you have applied to many colleges with different deadlines, ask for LOR four weeks before the earliest deadline.
    All the best!

    Explore More US Universities Check Here

    First published date: 05 Apr 2018


About author

Aishwarya Bhatt
A bookworm who transforms into a web-usability evangelist, when her favorite blend of coffee is flowing in her veins. Happiest in a bookstore and when she is painting with words on paper!

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