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Graduate School Letter of Recommendation Examples 2022-2023

letter of recommendation phd candidate

Grad school recommendation letters are an essential part of every graduate school application package–even in this (almost) post-COVID era of remote work and Zoom classes. Nearly all applications to graduate school still require at least two recommendation letters from individuals who can discuss your abilities, competencies, and personal character in a coherent way and recommend you for admission to graduate school.

Many referees have difficulty writing these recommendations themselves (for language issues or simply because they are busy) and some rely on the applicant to pen the draft of the letter and receive confirmation before submitting it to the graduate school. But regardless of who is writing the letter, there are a few key elements the recommender needs to include to craft a stellar recommendation for their graduate candidate.

Who should write a recommendation letter for graduate school?

Choosing which professors, supervisors, or advisors to request a graduate school recommendation letter from can be somewhat overwhelming. Should you choose someone who does not know you personally but who has connections to your target graduate school? If a famous professor writes you a grad school recommendation letter, will this automatically give you an advantage with the admissions committee? 

In general, graduate recommendation letters should come from people who know you well, who respect you enough to say glowing things about you as a student and researcher, and who hold positions in school or work that are above your own. At least one letter of recommendation should be submitted from a past or current professor or academic advisor. 

Another could be from someone in a slightly different role, including an employer, a research adviser, a senior colleague, or a professor from a different department or kind of class (e.g., a discussion class professor instead of a lecturer). No matter who it is, the recommender should know the applicant and recognize their accomplishments. It also helps if the recommender understands some details about the program to which their candidate is applying.

Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing who to ask for letters of recommendation for graduate school. Select someone who:

  • Knows you well and can answer positively. Choose an individual who you have spent time with outside the classroom if possible. They should also be familiar with your career goals and hold a favorable view of you. 
  • Has known you for quite a while. A recommendation letter for graduate school carries more influence if the person has known you for months or years instead of months. If you can, find someone who knows you from various contexts, such as a professor who is also your advisor. 
  • Can speak to your strengths in relation to your graduate program. Choosing a finance professor to write your recommendation letter for an MBA program would be a good idea because they can write about the qualities that will aid you in pursuing an MBA (qualities you can also include in your MBA essay ) and a broader career in business. 
  • Has substantive stories to share about you. Who was fortunate enough to see you succeed in an academic, extracurricular, or professional setting? Having someone write your LOR who has good stories to share about you is certainly going to benefit you more than someone whose class you took with two hundred other students. 

How to Request a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

Knowing how to request a letter of recommendation for graduate school can directly impact the quality of the letter your referee writes for you. Show respect and consideration for the time that your recommender is taking to write a glowing review that will get you into graduate school and positively impact the rest of your life. 

With this in mind, it may seem obvious that the very best way to ask for a letter of recommendation for graduate school is to do so in person. While this isn’t possible for all students (due to availability or schedule), it is the best route if you want to ensure that your LOR is not only written on time, but includes all the positive information about you that admissions committees want to see in a graduate candidate. When you cannot ask in person, sending an email is an appropriate second-best option. But remember to always be cordial and polite when making this request. 

What information should be included in a graduate recommendation letter?

Your referral letter should cover a range of skills, from academic abilities to research experiences, to applied experiences in and out of class. As the recommender, your letter should clearly answer some specific questions:

Your letter of recommendation should cover a range of skills, from academic abilities to research experiences, to applied experiences in and out of class. As the recommender, your letter should clearly answer some specific questions:

  • What is your relationship with the student?
  • Why should the graduate faculty listen to your opinion? (include your status, title)
  • What makes this student special? (discuss their characteristics, qualities, traits)
  • What specifically did this student do to impress you? (discuss their accomplishments, habits in class)
  • What makes this student qualified for graduate school and for this program? (include specific courses or interests of the student in addition to abilities and traits)
  • What do you know about the program the student is applying to?

What information does the LOR recommender need from me?

The recommender should be given sufficient time to write (and/or confirm) the letter. If it has been a while since you were last in contact, sending a background information file will make things easier. Include the following information so that the recommender can use a few details to bolster their letter:

  • Classes the student has taken with the recommender
  • Experiences you have shared
  • Transcripts
  • Research experience and internships
  • Awards and achievements
  • Academic/career goals
  • Relevant professional experience

In addition to background information, make sure that the recommender has the necessary information to plan the writing in a timely manner and target the letter as much as possible:

  • Graduate program application due date
  • Copy of recommendation forms (if applicable)
  • Instructions for submitting LORs (hard copy, soft copy, or direct to school)
  • Details about the program and school the student is applying to

What style of writing should be used in a recommendation letter?

Although the letter of recommendation is more informal than academic writing, you should make sure that your language has no grammatical or mechanics errors and that it is of an academic level that reflects the author’s educational level and qualifications. Apply the following standards to the writing and the essay-drafting process:

  • Make your language more personal in tone than research writing.
  • Use the active voice and first-person point of view more often.
  • Write chronologically, starting from important traits and then moving on to actions and achievements.
  • Use lots of details—list course names, scores, and specific achievements of the student.
  • Edit your letter before submitting it to the graduate admissions faculty.

How to Write a Grad School Letter of Recommendation Letter: LOR Outline

A well-structured recommendation letter (like any organized essay) will guide the reader logically towards an understanding of why this student is worthy not only of praise but of admission to graduate school. Grad school requires quite a few high-level scholastic attributes that not all students possess, and therefore it is important to focus on both the achievements of the candidate and on their personal character and potential to thrive in a difficult academic environment.

Use this outline as a letter of recommendation template in which to input your candidate’s achievements, skills, and traits. Note that the flow of information moves the reader into greater detail, using form phrases and transitions that increase the readability of the letter.

1. Greeting to the recipient

Dear {Name}, or To Whom It May Concern, To the graduate faculty of the {University / Department}

2. Opening paragraph: position; relationship to the applicant; general assessment of the applicant

It is my absolute pleasure to recommend {Name} for admissions to {Program} at {University}… I am a professor of {area of study} in the department of {department} at {University}.

recommendation letter for grad school example 1

3. Second paragraph: positive skill or trait; evidence of trait or skill; anecdotes demonstrating this skill

Jane has excellent communication skills. Her written work is both clear and concise, as well as interesting to read…

recommendation letter for grad school example 2

4. Third (up to fifth) paragraph: Other skills or traits; evidence of character and skills; detailed anecdotes

At a personal level, Jane is a well-disciplined, industrious student with a pleasant personality. She went well beyond the course expectations…

recommendation letter for grad school example 3

5. Final Paragraph: clear recommendation of the candidate to the specific school or program.

Jane is unquestionably an exceptional candidate for graduate study in {Program Applying for}. Jane’s work in “Developments in Anthropology” suggests that she would greatly benefit from the opportunities for intellectual development provided by a sustained period of graduate study…

recommendation letter for grad school example 5

6. Closing line: polite offer to be contacted if needed

If I can be of any further assistance, or provide you with any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

recommendation letter for grad school example 6

Letter of Recommendation Template and Useful Phrases

Admission essays often contain template phrases or “form phrases” that allow the writer to plug in their specific information while not spending too much time deciding how to compose every single aspect of the writing. This can be especially useful for ESL authors because conventional expressions used in academic and essay writing can be difficult to learn and memorize. Use the following form phrases to help craft a more professional letter of recommendation.

Introducing yourself

  • My name is  {Author}  and I have been a Professor of Math at  {University}  since  {date} .
  • I write to you today to proudly express my support for  {Student}  in applying to your prestigious university.

Discussing your relationship with the applicant

  • I first came to know  {Student}  while teaching him/her in my  {Course Name}  course…
  • I was  {Student} ’s thesis advisor during his/her senior year.
  • I have known  {Student}  for several years now and can attest to his/her strengths and quality of character.

Discussing the student’s general positive traits

  • {Student}  has excellent communication skills and displays them regularly in class discussions.
  • He/She is a highly intelligent and competent student who excels in many areas.
  • Not only is  {Student}  hard-working and thoughtful, but he/she also demonstrates kindness and generosity towards his/her peers.

Demonstrating evidence of student’s character and skills

  • She/he has shown herself/himself to be a true leader who is able to successfully develop plans and implement them in his/her work.
  • {Student}  demonstrated his/her independence daily, completing difficult lab exercises by researching outside of class.
  • During his/her internship,  {Student}  consistently managed his/her work responsibilities diligently and learned quickly. For example…

Discussing the school/program the student is applying to

  • As  {University}  is renowned for its  {Program} , I believe this is an ideal place for  {Student}  to solidify his/her abilities and cement his/her knowledge of  {area of study} .
  • The learning environment that  {University}  is famous for creating excellent opportunities in which  {Student}  to apply his/her skills.

Final endorsement and offer to be contacted

  • For the above reasons, I am confident that  {Student}  will make an excellent addition to your graduate program, and I wholeheartedly support him/her for admission to your program.
  • Thank you for your time and attention in reading my endorsement.

Further Tips for Writing Admissions Essays

  • Highlight your self-motivation, competence, and potential in this essay
  • Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in the active voice.
  • Demonstrate through examples; don’t just write that you are a “persistent person”—show it!
  • Approach every topic with continuity and focus.

The Final Step: Editing Your Recommendation Letter

As any good writer knows, it takes more than one draft to create a strong and compelling work of writing. After you have written your recommendation letter draft, there is still a lot of room for revision. One way to ensure that grammar mistakes and style errors do not get in the way of a strong letter is to let the admissions experts at Wordvice’s Admissions Editing Services edit and proofread your (of your candidate’s) letter of recommendation or other application essays, raising the chances that your candidate will be admitted to the program of their choice.

With a full suite of professional proofreading services , we edit thousands of admission documents each year for all kinds of authors of academic and admissions documents just like you. Furthermore, our application essay editing services , recommendation letter editing services , personal statement editing services , CV editing services , cover letter editing services , and SOP editing services are tailored to the needs of your specific admissions essay.

For more articles on writing and editing your essays and academic work, visit Wordvice’s Academic Resource page . 

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Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for PhD Students (with Sample) - Need, Parts, Qualities

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Students: For PhD students, a letter of recommendation is a crucial component of the application documents. While other admissions materials, like transcripts and test results, are factual, a letter of recommendation for PhD students integrates the plans and facts of a CV and statement of purpose. A résumé is a summary of your accomplishments, transcripts are evidence of your achievements, and an SOP describes the significance of the course and your readiness for it. A reference letter for a PhD is an unbiased opinion on everything mentioned above. TOP EXAMS : IELTS | TOEFL | GRE | GMAT Country Guide : UK | Ireland | Australia | Canada

Why the need for a letter of recommendation for PhD students

Select the right person for the lor, letter of recommendation for phd students: qualities to focus on, parts of a lor for phd students, elements of letter of recommendation for ph.d. students.

Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for PhD Students (with Sample) - Need, Parts, Qualities

A PhD application usually requires at least two letters of recommendation for students from their professors. This gives the admission committee an opportunity to know the applicants as people with skills that would otherwise be difficult to know from their resumes, transcripts and SOP. A letter of recommendation for PhD students should mention at least three qualities of the applicant – a social quality and at least two technical or subject-related qualities. Moreover, as a PhD is an advanced specialised programme, the subject-related quality should be focused on projects carried out and specialised courses that will aid his/her PhD research. Read the complete article to know all the details about PhD letter of recommendation, PhD reference letter samples, and more.

A recommendation letter for PhD student from professor holds much more importance than those applying for undergraduate or master's courses. Grades and GRE scores play a big role in receiving admission from a university. The recommendation letter for PhD admission is usually the deciding factor when choosing between candidates with similar credentials. Go through the key points to be included in the reference letter for PhD students from the professor to gain an understanding of what it is before you ask your professor to write a PhD reference letter for you.

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Before asking someone for a recommendation letter for PhD application, you should know whom to ask. PhD is purely an academic degree and therefore you need to have a recommendation letter for PhD from those who can vouch for your academic inclination and strengths. Referees should be academicians with whom you have worked or someone who has supervised or taught you. If you are aspiring for a PhD programme or want a LOR for post-doctoral research, you should ideally ask your master's project guide or PhD guide to be one of the referees for your letter of recommendation for PhD students. Your faculty must go through a sample recommendation letter for a PhD from a professor before sitting down to write one recommendation letter PhD for you. Other letters of recommendation for PhD. students from teachers and professionals can be taken from persons who are from the same field or specialization in which you intend to do your PhD. You can also take your recommendation letter for doctoral programs from your supervisor who has an understanding of your academic capabilities.

Friends and relatives are not supposed to write your LOR for PhD students for a number of reasons; first, they do not have first-hand information about your academic capabilities. Second, as they have not professionally or academically worked with you, they would not be able to present relevant information about you to the university. Also, the recommender might not have in-depth knowledge of the discipline you intend to do a PhD. Last but not least, relatives cannot be objective about your qualities. That's why it is not a great idea to take your student recommendation letter from them. So a letter of recommendation for PhD students from teachers, professors, supervisors, coaches, etc., is only applicable.

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The person who is writing a letter of recommendation for PhD students would be a professional who has known the applicant academically for no less than one year. The recommender should not only know you as one of the students in the department, but they should also know you as a person, your capabilities as a student, as well as your control over the subject they have been teaching. They should also be aware of your future plans.

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Recommendation letters for Ph.D. students from supervisors, and professors are very subject-specific. Referees should speak of strong subject knowledge as well as analysis traits. Reference letter for PhD student should show the student as possessing positive qualities like intelligence, self-motivation, responsibility, and amiableness. Emphasis should be given to passion and dedication as well. Advanced study like a Ph.D. is often a challenging and demanding program. Therefore, the applicants should also display perseverance, competitiveness and the ability to work independently. Courses and knowledge related to PhD programme-related packages, extra courses, and statistical analysis techniques should be exemplified in the letter of recommendation for the Ph.D. program.

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A student recommendation letter for a PhD will typically be between one to two pages. The document should be well differentiated into 5–6 paragraphs. The LOR should begin with an introductory paragraph about the recommender and his/her association with the applicant. You must read a PDF of the recommendation letter sample before you ask your recommenders to give you one.

The next 3 to 4 paragraphs should outline the different academic and social qualities of the applicant with suitable substantiation. No quality should be mentioned without a suitable example. Finally, the concluding paragraph will sum up the above with a line recommending the applicant for the programme.

Also Read, Best Country to Study Abroad for Indian Students

Sample Recommendation Letter for PhD from Professor

Like there is a letter of recommendation for PhD students from professors, you can also read about PhD reference letter sample pdf, sample LOR for graduate school from coworker pdf, letter of recommendation for PhD in computer science, sample recommendation letter for employee, etc which will give you a fair idea what a recommendation letter is all about.

A recommendation letter for PhD students from a professor or supervisor gives a human touch to the applicant’s profile. A reference letter for PhD student from a professor is the only document that can present the applicant’s social side to the admission committee. Therefore, choose a referee who can not only substantiate your academic strengths but also cite appropriate examples of your social qualities in your recommendation letter for PhD students.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

It is crucial that the person writing your recommendation letter is someone who is familiar with your academic abilities. The most frequent writers of letters of recommendation are academics; professors or supervisors, but, other experts who are familiar with you and have overseen your academic or research work may also be suitable candidates.

The reference letter should be 1-2 pages long with 5-6 paragraphs.

PhD suggestions are highly specialised. Referees should emphasise both analytical skills and in-depth topic understanding. Letters of recommendation for students should highlight their intelligence, initiative, responsibility, and interpersonal skills.

Yes, PhD, postdoc, and scholarship applications typically require two to three letters of recommendation. These letters should come from professors who know your work and can detail your possibilities.

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Data Administrator

Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records. Individuals who opt for a career as data administrators ensure that data is available for users and secured from unauthorised sales. DB administrators may work in various types of industries. It may involve computer systems design, service firms, insurance companies, banks and hospitals.

Bio Medical Engineer

The field of biomedical engineering opens up a universe of expert chances. An Individual in the biomedical engineering career path work in the field of engineering as well as medicine, in order to find out solutions to common problems of the two fields. The biomedical engineering job opportunities are to collaborate with doctors and researchers to develop medical systems, equipment, or devices that can solve clinical problems. Here we will be discussing jobs after biomedical engineering, how to get a job in biomedical engineering, biomedical engineering scope, and salary. 

Operations Manager

Individuals in the operations manager jobs are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of each department to acquire its optimal goal. They plan the use of resources and distribution of materials. The operations manager's job description includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts, and performing administrative tasks.

Remote Sensing Technician

Individuals who opt for a career as a remote sensing technician possess unique personalities. Remote sensing analysts seem to be rational human beings, they are strong, independent, persistent, sincere, realistic and resourceful. Some of them are analytical as well, which means they are intelligent, introspective and inquisitive. 

Remote sensing scientists use remote sensing technology to support scientists in fields such as community planning, flight planning or the management of natural resources. Analysing data collected from aircraft, satellites or ground-based platforms using statistical analysis software, image analysis software or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a significant part of their work. Do you want to learn how to become remote sensing technician? There's no need to be concerned; we've devised a simple remote sensing technician career path for you. Scroll through the pages and read.

GIS officer work on various GIS software to conduct a study and gather spatial and non-spatial information. GIS experts update the GIS data and maintain it. The databases include aerial or satellite imagery, latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, and manually digitized images of maps. In a career as GIS expert, one is responsible for creating online and mobile maps.

Database Architect

If you are intrigued by the programming world and are interested in developing communications networks then a career as database architect may be a good option for you. Data architect roles and responsibilities include building design models for data communication networks. Wide Area Networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs), and intranets are included in the database networks. It is expected that database architects will have in-depth knowledge of a company's business to develop a network to fulfil the requirements of the organisation. Stay tuned as we look at the larger picture and give you more information on what is db architecture, why you should pursue database architecture, what to expect from such a degree and what your job opportunities will be after graduation. Here, we will be discussing how to become a data architect. Students can visit NIT Trichy , IIT Kharagpur , JMI New Delhi . 

Ethical Hacker

A career as ethical hacker involves various challenges and provides lucrative opportunities in the digital era where every giant business and startup owns its cyberspace on the world wide web. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path try to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber system to get its authority. If he or she succeeds in it then he or she gets its illegal authority. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path then steal information or delete the file that could affect the business, functioning, or services of the organization.

Data Analyst

The invention of the database has given fresh breath to the people involved in the data analytics career path. Analysis refers to splitting up a whole into its individual components for individual analysis. Data analysis is a method through which raw data are processed and transformed into information that would be beneficial for user strategic thinking.

Data are collected and examined to respond to questions, evaluate hypotheses or contradict theories. It is a tool for analyzing, transforming, modeling, and arranging data with useful knowledge, to assist in decision-making and methods, encompassing various strategies, and is used in different fields of business, research, and social science.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails thoroughly analyzing the details of a financial budget. The budget analysis aims to better understand and manage revenue. Budget analysts assist in the achievement of financial targets, the preservation of profitability, and the pursuit of long-term growth for a business. Budget analysts generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a closely related field. Knowledge of Financial Management is of prime importance in this career.


An underwriter is a person who assesses and evaluates the risk of insurance in his or her field like mortgage, loan, health policy, investment, and so on and so forth. The underwriter career path does involve risks as analysing the risks means finding out if there is a way for the insurance underwriter jobs to recover the money from its clients. If the risk turns out to be too much for the company then in the future it is an underwriter who will be held accountable for it. Therefore, one must carry out his or her job with a lot of attention and diligence.

Finance Executive

A career as a Finance Executive requires one to be responsible for monitoring an organisation's income, investments and expenses to create and evaluate financial reports. His or her role involves performing audits, invoices, and budget preparations. He or she manages accounting activities, bank reconciliations, and payable and receivable accounts.  

Investment Banker

An Investment Banking career involves the invention and generation of capital for other organizations, governments, and other entities. Individuals who opt for a career as Investment Bankers are the head of a team dedicated to raising capital by issuing bonds. Investment bankers are termed as the experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the current financial and investing climate. Students can pursue various Investment Banker courses, such as Banking and Insurance , and  Economics to opt for an Investment Banking career path.

Treasury analyst career path is often regarded as certified treasury specialist in some business situations, is a finance expert who specifically manages a company or organisation's long-term and short-term financial targets. Treasurer synonym could be a financial officer, which is one of the reputed positions in the corporate world. In a large company, the corporate treasury jobs hold power over the financial decision-making of the total investment and development strategy of the organisation.

Product Manager

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Welding Engineer

Welding Engineer Job Description: A Welding Engineer work involves managing welding projects and supervising welding teams. He or she is responsible for reviewing welding procedures, processes and documentation. A career as Welding Engineer involves conducting failure analyses and causes on welding issues. 

Transportation Planner

A career as Transportation Planner requires technical application of science and technology in engineering, particularly the concepts, equipment and technologies involved in the production of products and services. In fields like land use, infrastructure review, ecological standards and street design, he or she considers issues of health, environment and performance. A Transportation Planner assigns resources for implementing and designing programmes. He or she is responsible for assessing needs, preparing plans and forecasts and compliance with regulations.

Construction Manager

Individuals who opt for a career as construction managers have a senior-level management role offered in construction firms. Responsibilities in the construction management career path are assigning tasks to workers, inspecting their work, and coordinating with other professionals including architects, subcontractors, and building services engineers.

Environmental Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as an environmental engineer are construction professionals who utilise the skills and knowledge of biology, soil science, chemistry and the concept of engineering to design and develop projects that serve as solutions to various environmental problems. 

Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is a professional who designs, produces and repairs safe and sea-worthy surfaces or underwater structures. A Naval Architect stays involved in creating and designing ships, ferries, submarines and yachts with implementation of various principles such as gravity, ideal hull form, buoyancy and stability. 

Field Surveyor

Are you searching for a Field Surveyor Job Description? A Field Surveyor is a professional responsible for conducting field surveys for various places or geographical conditions. He or she collects the required data and information as per the instructions given by senior officials. 

Highway Engineer

Highway Engineer Job Description:  A Highway Engineer is a civil engineer who specialises in planning and building thousands of miles of roads that support connectivity and allow transportation across the country. He or she ensures that traffic management schemes are effectively planned concerning economic sustainability and successful implementation.

Conservation Architect

A Conservation Architect is a professional responsible for conserving and restoring buildings or monuments having a historic value. He or she applies techniques to document and stabilise the object’s state without any further damage. A Conservation Architect restores the monuments and heritage buildings to bring them back to their original state.

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and Prosthetists are professionals who provide aid to patients with disabilities. They fix them to artificial limbs (prosthetics) and help them to regain stability. There are times when people lose their limbs in an accident. In some other occasions, they are born without a limb or orthopaedic impairment. Orthotists and prosthetists play a crucial role in their lives with fixing them to assistive devices and provide mobility.

Veterinary Doctor

A veterinary doctor is a medical professional with a degree in veterinary science. The veterinary science qualification is the minimum requirement to become a veterinary doctor. There are numerous veterinary science courses offered by various institutes. He or she is employed at zoos to ensure they are provided with good health facilities and medical care to improve their life expectancy.


A career in pathology in India is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing over the past few years as people are getting more aware of different diseases. Not only that, but an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The pathology careers provide an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist. If you want to know more about a career in pathology in India then continue reading this article.


Gynaecology can be defined as the study of the female body. The job outlook for gynaecology is excellent since there is evergreen demand for one because of their responsibility of dealing with not only women’s health but also fertility and pregnancy issues. Although most women prefer to have a women obstetrician gynaecologist as their doctor, men also explore a career as a gynaecologist and there are ample amounts of male doctors in the field who are gynaecologists and aid women during delivery and childbirth. 

An oncologist is a specialised doctor responsible for providing medical care to patients diagnosed with cancer. He or she uses several therapies to control the cancer and its effect on the human body such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and biopsy. An oncologist designs a treatment plan based on a pathology report after diagnosing the type of cancer and where it is spreading inside the body.


The audiologist career involves audiology professionals who are responsible to treat hearing loss and proactively preventing the relevant damage. Individuals who opt for a career as an audiologist use various testing strategies with the aim to determine if someone has a normal sensitivity to sounds or not. After the identification of hearing loss, a hearing doctor is required to determine which sections of the hearing are affected, to what extent they are affected, and where the wound causing the hearing loss is found. As soon as the hearing loss is identified, the patients are provided with recommendations for interventions and rehabilitation such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and appropriate medical referrals. While audiology is a branch of science that studies and researches hearing, balance, and related disorders.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Cardiothoracic surgeons are an important part of the surgical team. They usually work in hospitals, and perform emergency as well as scheduled operations. Some of the cardiothoracic surgeons also work in teaching hospitals working as teachers and guides for medical students aspiring to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. A career as a cardiothoracic surgeon involves treating and managing various types of conditions within their speciality that includes their presence at different locations such as outpatient clinics, team meetings, and ward rounds. 


Job is quite challenging for a physiotherapist but is profitable too. Moreover, they are qualified to perform a physical examination and conduct assessments to detect a diagnosis process. Students can pursue Physiotherapy courses to become physiotherapists. Individuals who opt for a career as a physiotherapist can also have their own clinic or they could attend to their patients by visiting them at their residence.

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages.

Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Talent Agent

The career as a Talent Agent is filled with responsibilities. A Talent Agent is someone who is involved in the pre-production process of the film. It is a very busy job for a Talent Agent but as and when an individual gains experience and progresses in the career he or she can have people assisting him or her in work. Depending on one’s responsibilities, number of clients and experience he or she may also have to lead a team and work with juniors under him or her in a talent agency. In order to know more about the job of a talent agent continue reading the article.

If you want to know more about talent agent meaning, how to become a Talent Agent, or Talent Agent job description then continue reading this article.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.


Careers in videography are art that can be defined as a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than a simple recording of a simple event. It would be wrong to portrait it as a subcategory of photography, rather photography is one of the crafts used in videographer jobs in addition to technical skills like organization, management, interpretation, and image-manipulation techniques. Students pursue Visual Media , Film, Television, Digital Video Production to opt for a videographer career path. The visual impacts of a film are driven by the creative decisions taken in videography jobs. Individuals who opt for a career as a videographer are involved in the entire lifecycle of a film and production. 

Multimedia Specialist

A multimedia specialist is a media professional who creates, audio, videos, graphic image files, computer animations for multimedia applications. He or she is responsible for planning, producing, and maintaining websites and applications. 

An individual who is pursuing a career as a producer is responsible for managing the business aspects of production. They are involved in each aspect of production from its inception to deception. Famous movie producers review the script, recommend changes and visualise the story. 

They are responsible for overseeing the finance involved in the project and distributing the film for broadcasting on various platforms. A career as a producer is quite fulfilling as well as exhaustive in terms of playing different roles in order for a production to be successful. Famous movie producers are responsible for hiring creative and technical personnel on contract basis.

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. 

Ever since internet costs got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, a career as a vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the Vlogger eligibility, roles and responsibilities then continue reading the article. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Advertising Manager

Advertising managers consult with the financial department to plan a marketing strategy schedule and cost estimates. We often see advertisements that attract us a lot, not every advertisement is just to promote a business but some of them provide a social message as well. There was an advertisement for a washing machine brand that implies a story that even a man can do household activities. And of course, how could we even forget those jingles which we often sing while working?


Photography is considered both a science and an art, an artistic means of expression in which the camera replaces the pen. In a career as a photographer, an individual is hired to capture the moments of public and private events, such as press conferences or weddings, or may also work inside a studio, where people go to get their picture clicked. Photography is divided into many streams each generating numerous career opportunities in photography. With the boom in advertising, media, and the fashion industry, photography has emerged as a lucrative and thrilling career option for many Indian youths.

Social Media Manager

A career as social media manager involves implementing the company’s or brand’s marketing plan across all social media channels. Social media managers help in building or improving a brand’s or a company’s website traffic, build brand awareness, create and implement marketing and brand strategy. Social media managers are key to important social communication as well.

Quality Controller

A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

Production Manager

Production Manager Job Description: A Production Manager is responsible for ensuring smooth running of manufacturing processes in an efficient manner. He or she plans and organises production schedules. The role of Production Manager involves estimation, negotiation on budget and timescales with the clients and managers. 

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A Team Leader is a professional responsible for guiding, monitoring and leading the entire group. He or she is responsible for motivating team members by providing a pleasant work environment to them and inspiring positive communication. A Team Leader contributes to the achievement of the organisation’s goals. He or she improves the confidence, product knowledge and communication skills of the team members and empowers them.

Quality Systems Manager

A Quality Systems Manager is a professional responsible for developing strategies, processes, policies, standards and systems concerning the company as well as operations of its supply chain. It includes auditing to ensure compliance. It could also be carried out by a third party. 


A career as a merchandiser requires one to promote specific products and services of one or different brands, to increase the in-house sales of the store. Merchandising job focuses on enticing the customers to enter the store and hence increasing their chances of buying a product. Although the buyer is the one who selects the lines, it all depends on the merchandiser on how much money a buyer will spend, how many lines will be purchased, and what will be the quantity of those lines. In a career as merchandiser, one is required to closely work with the display staff in order to decide in what way a product would be displayed so that sales can be maximised. In small brands or local retail stores, a merchandiser is responsible for both merchandising and buying. 

Procurement Manager

The procurement Manager is also known as  Purchasing Manager. The role of the Procurement Manager is to source products and services for a company. A Procurement Manager is involved in developing a purchasing strategy, including the company's budget and the supplies as well as the vendors who can provide goods and services to the company. His or her ultimate goal is to bring the right products or services at the right time with cost-effectiveness. 

AWS Solution Architect

An AWS Solution Architect is someone who specializes in developing and implementing cloud computing systems. He or she has a good understanding of the various aspects of cloud computing and can confidently deploy and manage their systems. He or she troubleshoots the issues and evaluates the risk from the third party. 

Azure Administrator

An Azure Administrator is a professional responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Azure Solutions. He or she manages cloud infrastructure service instances and various cloud servers as well as sets up public and private cloud systems. 

Information Security Manager

Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

ITSM Manager is a professional responsible for heading the ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) or (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) processes. He or she ensures that operation management provides appropriate resource levels for problem resolutions. The ITSM Manager oversees the level of prioritisation for the problems, critical incidents, planned as well as proactive tasks. 

.NET Developer

.NET Developer Job Description: A .NET Developer is a professional responsible for producing code using .NET languages. He or she is a software developer who uses the .NET technologies platform to create various applications. Dot NET Developer job comes with the responsibility of  creating, designing and developing applications using .NET languages such as VB and C#. 

Corporate Executive

Are you searching for a Corporate Executive job description? A Corporate Executive role comes with administrative duties. He or she provides support to the leadership of the organisation. A Corporate Executive fulfils the business purpose and ensures its financial stability. In this article, we are going to discuss how to become corporate executive.

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How (and Who) to Ask For a Letter of Recommendation

Published on October 30, 2020 by Lauren Thomas . Revised on June 1, 2023.

Letters of recommendation often make or break a graduate school application . It’s important to think carefully about who to ask and how to do it.

Ideally, you should approach former supervisors who know you and your work well, and can advise you. Different programs require different types of recommendation letters, but the process of requesting them is similar.

Follow these five steps to guarantee a great recommendation, including program-specific tips and email examples.

Table of contents

Step 1: choose who to ask, step 2: reach out and request a meeting, step 3: ask for a letter of recommendation, step 4: share your resume and other materials, step 5: remind your recommenders of upcoming deadlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about recommendation letters.

Your first step is to decide who you’ll ask to write a letter for you. Ideally, this should be someone who you worked with outside of just the classroom context—for example, a former professor who supervised your research.

It’s important to ask someone who knows you well, even if they are less well known than other professors at your institution. Graduate admissions committees want to get a good sense of your ability to perform well in their program, and this is difficult to accomplish if your recommender only knows you as a face in the crowd.

Who you should ask also strongly depends on the type of program that you’re applying to. Different programs prefer different qualities in their admitted students, and thus weigh types of recommenders differently. Take a look at the program-specific tips below.

For research programs (MPhil, DPhil, PhD , Research Master’s), graduate admissions committees are looking for evidence of your potential as a future researcher.

Since this is tricky to assess from test scores and transcripts, letters of recommendation are often the most important part of a graduate research program application.

Your letter should thus be from someone who can speak to your skills as a researcher. This could be, for example, a professor who supervised you on an independent research project, or the head of a lab that you worked in as an undergraduate.

If you worked as a full-time research or lab assistant after undergrad, ask your managers, who are usually full-time researchers themselves and therefore experts on what makes a good researcher.

Unlike most graduate programs, business schools are less interested in your undergraduate academic performance. Instead, they try to assess your potential to succeed in the workplace, particularly in managerial or leadership positions. The same applies to public policy and other professional programs.

Ideally, your letters of recommendation should come from current supervisors at your work. If this isn’t possible, you should ask coworkers who are senior to you and know your work well.

Although business schools normally prefer candidates with several years of experience, current undergraduates sometimes apply as well. In this case, you should ask internship supervisors or—as a last resort—professors who know you well.

Medical schools look for evidence that you are academically prepared for the study of medicine and that your character is well-suited to becoming a doctor. Admissions committees in medicine prefer academic references, but they also require a few extra steps.

Firstly, while graduate programs usually require two or three recommendation letters, medical schools often ask for more—you may have to submit up to six letters, some of which should be from former professors in the natural sciences.

In addition, many schools recommend that you submit a letter from the premedical advisory committee at your undergraduate institution, which summarizes your overall suitability for medical school. Be aware that deadlines for materials for these letters are very early—often the spring of the year before you are due to start medical school.

Finally, if you’ve worked on any research projects, you should submit a letter from your supervisor. Medical schools view research competence as a plus.

Law school letters of recommendation should mostly be from former professors or other academic supervisors.

You should only use non-academic recommenders if they can directly speak to your suitability to study law—for example, if you regularly work with lawyers, or if your job involves skills like critical reading or research that are relevant to legal practice.

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The next step is to get in contact with your potential recommender. If you haven’t talked to them in a while, begin your email with a quick reminder to jog their memory. Be friendly, direct, and concise.

If possible, it’s best to plan a meeting to discuss your request. However, if this isn’t practical (for example, if you’ve moved far away from your undergrad institution), you can skip this step and head straight to the third.

Hi Professor Smith!

I hope that everything is going well with you and that you’re still enjoying teaching your seminar on the post World War II international order. I thoroughly enjoyed taking it with you last year as a junior.

I’m currently thinking about what I want to do next year, which will hopefully involve graduate work in political science, and was hoping to meet with you to discuss your thoughts on graduate school. Do you have any time over the next few weeks to meet?

Make your request during your meeting or, if necessary, via email. Let them know what sort of programs you are applying to and when the deadlines are. Make sure to give your recommenders plenty of time!

Instead of just asking for a recommendation letter, specifically ask if they can write you a strong recommendation . This allows your recommender an “out”—for example, if they don’t feel they know you well enough. A bad or even lukewarm recommendation is the kiss of death for any application, so it’s important to ensure your letters will be positive!

If they say they can’t give you a strong recommendation, don’t panic. This gives you the opportunity to ask someone else who can provide you a better recommendation.

Hi Professor Jones!

How are you? I hope everything is going well and you’re still teaching Introduction to Labor Economics to eager students!

I’ve been out of school for a year now, working as a full-time research assistant in New York City. Come this fall, I’m hoping to apply to a few programs for graduate school, mostly doctoral programs in Economics.

Since I took two economics classes with you (Introduction to Labor Economics in Spring 2018 and Industrial Organization in Fall 2019), I was hoping that you might agree to serve as a letter writer for my graduate program. I wanted to highlight my work in labor economics, since that’s what I’m hoping to study in graduate school. Also, since I loved your classes, I thought you might be a good person to ask!

The letters of recommendation would be due to each individual program’s website in December. I understand, of course, if you’re too busy this summer or if you don’t feel that you would be the best fit to write a letter. My goal is simply to paint as complete a picture as possible of my undergrad career at Western. If you’d like, we can also discuss this on the phone.

I look forward to hearing back from you!

You should send your resume or CV to your recommenders, along with any other material that might jog their memory or aid in their recommendation.

For instance, you may want to send along your statement of purpose or writing sample if one is requested in your application. Admission committees are looking for a cohesive story that the letters of recommendation, personal statement , and CV work together to tell.

You should also check whether the school provides any prompts or guidelines for recommenders. Many programs want your recommenders to comment on your potential to serve in the specific role the graduate program prepares you for. See the program-specific tips below.

Finally, you should send an email to your recommenders a few weeks before the letters are due, reminding them of the deadline and asking if there is anything else you can send them to assist in writing the letter.

If any materials are late, programs will often reject your entire application, so it is imperative that your recommenders get their letters in on time. However, you should also keep in mind that your letter writers are probably quite busy, so don’t send too many reminders!

Dear Professor Jones,

Hope the semester is going well! Thank you again for agreeing to serve as my recommender. I just wanted to send you a quick reminder that recommendations for Program X, Y, and Z are due in two weeks, on December 15. Please let me know if you need anything else from me, and thank you again!

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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Choose people who know your work well and can speak to your ability to succeed in the program that you are applying to.

Remember, it is far more important to choose someone who knows you well than someone well-known. You may have taken classes with more prominent professors, but if they haven’t worked closely with you, they probably can’t write you a strong letter.

This depends on the program that you are applying for. Generally, for professional programs like business and policy school, you should ask managers who can speak to your future leadership potential and ability to succeed in your chosen career path.

However, in other graduate programs, you should mostly ask your former professors or research supervisors to write your recommendation letters , unless you have worked in a job that corresponds closely with your chosen field (e.g., as a full-time research assistant).

It’s best to ask in person if possible, so first reach out and request a meeting to discuss your graduate school plans.

Let the potential recommender know which programs you’re applying to, and ask if they feel they can provide a strong letter of recommendation . A lukewarm recommendation can be the kiss of death for an application, so make sure your letter writers are enthusiastic about recommending you and your work!

Always remember to remain polite. Your recommenders are doing you a favor by taking the time to write a letter in support of your graduate school goals.

Cite this Scribbr article

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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

How to write a letter of recommendation for grad school

When someone asks you to write a graduate school letter of recommendation , it demonstrates that they value your opinion, trust you and believe in your writing skills.

But as flattering as it is to be asked, there is also some pressure associated with crafting an effective and convincing letter of recommendation. After all, the applicant is counting on you to influence the admissions board and highlight their accomplishments, strengths and skill sets.

The good news is, writing a graduate school letter of recommendation is more intuitive than you think. Below, we’ve rounded up all the tips you need to write the perfect letter for anyone in your sphere.

What Is a Letter of Recommendation?

First off, let’s go over what a letter of recommendation is.

A letter of recommendation is a brief, written endorsement needed for certain jobs, programs or schools that details a person’s qualifications for whatever they’re applying for.

It’s written by a trusted and valued source: usually a past employer, teacher, mentor or colleague. In a letter of recommendation for graduate school, the writer describes the person’s skills, their personality and why they’re the right fit for the program. This is all so the institution has confirmation of the applicant’s ability to succeed in the program.

If you don’t believe you’re the right fit to write a student’s recommendation, that’s OK, too. You can politely decline and explain to the student why. You can also offer to help them find someone else who’s a more appropriate choice.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Letter of Recommendation for Grad School

Once you’ve decided to accept and write the letter of recommendation, take a moment to consider some key questions before you begin crafting your statement.

  • What is your relationship like with this person?
  • What do you think of their work you’ve seen? How would you describe it?
  • What are significant memories you have with them?
  • What qualities or strengths does this person have?
  • What would you specifically want somebody to know about this person?
  • What value would this person bring to this grad school program, and how would they thrive in the field after the program?

What to Ask From Someone Before Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Of course, there is some student information you’ll want to obtain before starting your recommendation. To ensure you’re addressing all the right points and representing them in the best light possible, make sure you ask them the below questions.

The basics . First off, you should find out where this letter is going, to whom it should be addressed, what the deadlines are and how they’d like you to submit it (mail, email, etc.).

Why they want to go to this program and why they are drawn to this school . It’s important to know the motivation behind their graduate school studies: Is it for the love of learning? To get a better job? To switch fields altogether? This will help inform what you write in the letter. Similarly, it’s good to know why a specific school is calling them as well.

Any strengths or qualities they want highlighted . Each person will have different qualities they want you to discuss in their letter of recommendation. If the strengths they mention are ones you agree with and seem relevant to the degree program, definitely include them. You should also ask about what achievements they’ve made that will help them stand out from the crowd of applicants.

Their resume . No one can memorize a person’s entire job and education history. A resume can help remind you of special projects and exemplary work they’ve accomplished in the past, which you can then emphasize in your letter.

What to Include in a Letter of Recommendation for Grad School

There are specific things you should always include in a letter of recommendation for graduate school to make it shine and improve the applicant’s chances of admission.

These are the points that you must undoubtedly touch on throughout your recommendation:

How do you know the applicant? It’s important to describe who you are and how you know the applicant, as well as how long you’ve known them. Personal anecdotes are a must, and they boost your credibility.

Why are they a good fit for the program? Include an explanation for why you think they would specifically thrive in the program. Avoid being vague or general. Dive into why the school would be the perfect fit, and vice versa!

What are their most shining accomplishments? Describe their achievements, especially the ones you’ve personally witnessed. In addition, reference their top strengths and qualities. Again, avoid generalities and use vivid anecdotes.

Can you explain any gaps or discrepancies? A letter of recommendation is often a good time to clear up any troubling parts of the student’s resume or work history — perhaps there was an employment gap or grades dip because they were caring for a sick relative, for example. If you’re aware of any weak spots on their resume from extenuating circumstances, this is the time to note it.

What sets the applicant apart from the rest? Be sure to conclude on a strong note with a very clear, concise recommendation. Highlight what sets them apart from other people, so the program can clearly understand why they should admit this candidate into their college or university.

How to Format and Structure a Graduate School Letter of Recommendation

As for structure, letters of recommendation should not be longer than a page. Start off with a greeting (“Dear [Name]” or “To Whom It May Concern,” if you don’t know the recipient). In the opening paragraph, explain who you are, the nature of your relationship with the student and your overall impression of them.

Within the body of the letter, you can expand on their personality, skills and achievements — along with personal anecdotes — before wrapping up with a final strong and clear recommendation for the applicant.

Then, feel free to add in a polite offer to contact you if they need more information and a formal parting signature. Double-check for spelling and grammar, too, as any mistake could weaken your credibility.

Once you’ve proofread the letter, all you have to do is submit it as instructed and patiently wait for an update from the applicant. Best of luck!

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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (Template + Tips)

Learn how to write a letter of recommendation, including tips on what to include and when to say no.

[Featured image] A professor writes a letter of recommendation on her laptop in an office filled with bookshelves.

A letter of recommendation is a letter written on behalf of an applicant by someone who can vouch for that person’s educational or professional performance. This letter is typically sent to an admissions officer or hiring manager considering a candidate for admission, employment, or a scholarship.

Letters of recommendation help round out an application. They do this by offering insight into an applicant’s personal qualities like integrity, intellectual curiosity, or leadership potential. Writing a strong letter of recommendation as a teacher, counselor, manager, or co-worker can help give an applicant an edge over their competition.

Letter of recommendation template

Use this template to get you started on writing a properly formatted recommendation.

Letter of recommendation sample

Here’s an example of a strong recommendation letter written using the template above.

Image of a letter of recommendation with black text on a white background

How to format a letter of recommendation

Different organizations have different recommendation letter requirements. Be sure to ask the requester about any specific guidelines. In general, a letter or recommendation can be broken down into the following sections:

Recipient Name

Recipient Title

Recipient Address

Greeting: Address the recipient by name if possible (Dear Ms/Mr).

Personal introduction: Begin the body of your letter by introducing who you are and your relationship to the applicant.

Recommendation: What makes the candidate a good fit? Offer specific examples of skills or qualifications that match the role.

Anecdote or example: Include a personal anecdote about what it’s like to work with the candidate. Include any workplace or people skills you’ve observed them to possess.

Closing: Give an overview of why you’d recommend this person.

Contact information: Provide your email address and phone number so the recipient can follow up.

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Tips for writing a strong letter of recommendation

If you’re writing a recommendation letter, you likely want the candidate to have the best chance of getting a positive result. Here are some tips for writing a good letter that may stand out to admissions officers, potential employers, or anyone else reviewing the letter.

Do your research.

Find out what exactly the candidate is applying for. Ask them to provide:

A copy of the job description or academic program requirements 

Their resume

Any particular skills, achievements, or qualifications they’d like you to highlight 

This will help you focus your letter on the skills or qualifications that are specific to the role the candidate is applying for. 

Be specific.

Please feel free to use a template (like the one above) to guide your writing, but remember to make it personal. Use examples and specific details to illustrate why this person is the best candidate. Choose strong, accurate adjectives over general terms or cliches. 

Think about what the person reading the letter might want to know. Include details or insight that wouldn’t necessarily show up on a resume or application. Your letter should help the recipient get to know the person you are recommending. 

Read more: How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation (Template + Tips)

Stay positive.

Your recommendation should confirm that this candidate is a strong contender for whatever they’re applying for. Demonstrate honest enthusiasm, and avoid any comments that could be construed in a negative light. If you can make a superlative comparison between this person and others you’ve worked with (e.g. “she’s one of the best student aides I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my career as a professor”), do so.

Keep it formal and concise.

Use a business letter format using a twelve point font size in either Arial or Times New Roman. Write your letter on your business or organization letterhead if possible. The recipient likely reads dozens if not hundreds of letters, so keep yours concise and to the point. Aim for at least one page but no more than two. 

Don’t be afraid to say no.

If you feel like you’re unable to offer a glowing recommendation for a candidate, it’s okay to say no. A mediocre endorsement can often do as much damage as a negative one. While it may feel uncomfortable, it’s perfectly acceptable to respectfully decline a request.

Follow the instructions.

You’re vouching for this person. Be sure to follow any specific submission guidelines carefully, and get your letter in on time (or early). If your letter makes a good impression, that will carry over to the candidate you’re endorsing.

How to ask for a letter of recommendation

Chances are that you’ll be asked to provide letters of recommendation as part of an application you’re submitting sometime during your education or career. This is particularly true when you’re applying for graduate programs. One or more letters of recommendation are almost always part of the application process.

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  • 20 July 2020

Writing the perfect recommendation letter

Andy Tay is a freelance writer based in Singapore.

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Undergraduates need them for graduate-school applications; PhD students and postdocs use them to apply for fellowships and jobs; senior scientists often have to have them to apply for awards and promotions. But writing an effective and personal recommendation letter can be time-consuming, especially for academics who must juggle grant applications, manuscripts, teaching and student supervision. And some might struggle to say the right things to support a former employee or student in their career move, while sounding original and unique.

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Nature 584 , 158 (2020)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02186-8

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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Sample Recommendation Letter for Graduate School

How a Well-Worded Reference Can Give Your Application a Boost

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Whether you're applying to business school, medical school, law school, or another program, scholarship, or fellowship , most graduate school applicants are going to need two to three letters of recommendation that will be submitted to the admissions committee (along with your undergraduate transcripts, standardized test scores, essays, etc.) as part of the application process .

Not every school requires letters of recommendation. You can often get by without one at some online schools and even brick-and-mortar schools that have more relaxed admission requirements. However, schools with highly competitive admissions processes (i.e. the ones that get a lot of applicants but don't have classroom space for everyone) use recommendation letters, in part, to determine whether or not you are a fit for their school.

Why Graduate Schools Ask for Recommendations

Graduate schools seek recommendations for the same reason employers require career references. They want to know what people who have seen your work and experienced your efforts firsthand have to say about you. Nearly every other resource you provide to a school is a first-person accounting. Your résumé is your interpretation of your career achievements, your essay answers a question with your opinion or tells a story from your point of view, and your admissions interview includes questions that, again, are answered from your point of view. A recommendation letter, on the other hand, is all about someone else's perspective on you, your potential, and your accomplishments. 

Most graduate schools encourage you to choose a reference who knows you well. This ensures that their letter of recommendation will actually have substance and won't simply be full of fluff or vague opinions about your work attitude and academic performance. Someone who knows you well will be able to provide well-informed opinions and concrete examples to back them up. 

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Grad School

This is a sample recommendation for a graduate school applicant was written by the applicant's college dean, who was familiar with the applicant's academic achievements. The letter is short but does an ample job of emphasizing things that would be important to a graduate school admissions committee, such as GPA, work ethic, and leadership ability. Notice how the writer includes plenty of adjectives to describe the person being recommended. There's also an example of how the subject's leadership capability has helped others.

To Whom It May Concern:
As the Dean of Stonewell College, I have had the pleasure of knowing Hannah Smith for the last four years. She has been a tremendous student and an asset to our school. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Hannah for your graduate program.
I feel confident that she will continue to succeed in her studies. Hannah is a dedicated student and thus far, her grades have been exemplary. In class, she has proven to be a take-charge person who is able to successfully develop plans and implement them.
Hannah has also assisted us in our admissions office. She has successfully demonstrated leadership ability by counseling new and prospective students. Her advice has been a great help to these students, many of whom have taken time to share their comments with me regarding her pleasant and encouraging attitude.
It is for these reasons that I offer high recommendations for Hannah without reservation. Her drive and abilities will truly be an asset to your establishment. If you have any questions regarding this recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Roger Fleming
Dean of Stonewell College

As positive as this letter is, it would have been even stronger if the writer had provided additional specific examples of his student's achievements, or had pointed to quantifiable results. For example, he could have included the numbers of students the subject had worked with or detailed specific instances in which she had helped others. Examples of any plans she'd developed, how she implemented them, and what the outcome was once they were put to use would have been useful as well. The more detailed the letter, the more likely it is to tip the admissions scale in your favor.

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Letter Of Recommendation for PhD – Sample, Format & How to Write

Updated on 08 december, 2023.

Anupriya Mukherjee

Anupriya Mukherjee

Sr. content writer.

Anupriya Mukherjee

A letter of recommendation or LOR for a PhD is an important document required for admission into PhD programs at foreign institutions if you are planning to study abroad . While scores, transcripts, and other vital documents are mostly factual, the LOR is an independent objective analysis of applicants. PhD courses usually require two to three recommendations. These provide committees with an overview of the applicant’s core strengths, skills, and accomplishments.

Table of Contents

Lor for phd : guidelines:.

  • Academic LOR:
  • Professional LOR:


Conclusion:, popular guides to simplify your study abroad journey, sample lor for phd:, important tips to write lor for phd, download country guides (free pdfs).

The vital part of writing a LOR is choosing the right recommender. For a PhD SOP, the recommender should be someone who can endorse your candidature and provide an unbiased application essay. Since all the other documents are self-prepared, they are likely to be biased. LOR provides an external perspective, which entirely depends on your recommender. It is unique because it is your assessment from an external viewpoint. Your recommender for PhD should be someone who can be described as follows:

  • One who has a good rapport.
  • Who understands your personality, achievements, and capabilities.
  • With whom you have shared your academic and professional experiences and journey 
  • Who is aware of your current research ideas
  • Who supports your research ideas.

Types of LOR for PhD

International universities offering PhD require two to three LORs depending on your academic and professional experience. Two academic LORs are needed, and one professional LOR is required if you have work experience. Basically, the LOR for PhD is classified into two categories:

Academic LOR: 

Academic letter of recommendation is provided by the professor of your educational institution. Most commonly, you are asked to provide two academic LORs for PhD in an international university. In such LORs, professors need to highlight the applicant’s capabilities and achievements. It should reflect the recommender’s perspective about you and your research ideas.

Professional LOR: 

The applicant’s professional letter of recommendation is asked if they have any work experience. Only one professional LOR is needed in that case. It is provided by your immediate supervisor or employer. It should reflect the recommender’s perspective on your professional ability to work within a team.

How to write a LOR for PhD?

When your recommender is willing to write your LOR for PhD, you should share your research ideas, achievements, capabilities, objectives, and relevant information. The format of the LOR should consist of the answers to several questions related to your suitability for a PhD. The LOR, whether academic or professional, written by your recommender should sound realistic and authentic. The standard LOR format for PhD should have the following details:

This part of the LOR should include the details regarding the recommender. It is a brief introduction of the recommender with their current designation and professional experience mentioned in the LOR. They also need to mention their relationship and duration of association with the applicant. The details of the recommender’s association and guidance must be mentioned in the LOR.

It includes the details of the applicant’s technical skills, certification, internship work, research ideas, research outcomes, research goals, capabilities, qualities, work experience, presentations, seminars, extracurricular activities, etc. It is quite crucial to add all the relevant information required to consider the applicant’s candidature and future undertakings. 

This last part of the LOR format summarizes the applicant’s desire for the PhD program. The closing part of the LOR essay application includes the recommender’s signature and contact details.

An excellent sample LOR for PhD highlights at least three attributes of the aspirant – a social attribute and two subject-linked or technical attributes. Here are some notable guidelines:

  • The LOR should be 1-2 pages long with 5-6 paragraphs. 
  • Recommenders should start the LOR by introducing themselves and the aspirant.
  • Recommenders should also discuss how and from when they are professionally related to the applicants in the first paragraph. 
  • The following paragraphs should be divided into three segments, each highlighting aspirant’s particular skill or quality.
  • Recommenders should emphasize analytical abilities, subject knowledge, time management skills, dedication, responsibility, research abilities, etc. 
  • The conclusion will sum up the qualities of the aspirant while ending with a solid recommendation to the university for accepting the application.

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The following sample LOR for PhD is one of many ways of writing it.

I am pleased to get the chance to recommend (name of applicant) for the PhD position in (course/study area name) at your institution. I have taught (name of applicant) for the last (tenure in years) in the areas of (subject areas). I will be delighted to witness him/her excelling in this particular field.

The topic (title) proposed by him/her is vital for the modern-day scenario and needs extensive research. It will be beneficial for all the industry stakeholders in the (sector name) and also academicians who can access real-time insights on the subject.

(Name of applicant) has completed a research project over a period of (duration) on (name of project) under my supervision. I have witnessed his/her work efficiency, critical thinking abilities, and inquisitiveness regarding various findings. He/she also has brilliant communication skills and the ability to mentor and guide peers.

(Name) has a down-to-earth nature and respects others while adhering to rules and regulations. His/her independent or group work on research projects and studies has been immensely satisfying. He/she is an analytical thinker and is stimulated by new academic challenges. This trait makes him/her strive for innovative solutions to real-world problems with a strong desire to improve the world around.

Hectic timelines, various constraints, tough work conditions, multitasking, and dealing with multiple people along the way, are things that he/she can tackle with ease while delivering work seamlessly. With these positive abilities, he/she will be an asset to any institution.

(Name) has improved consistently every year and is a deserving candidate for an opportunity to work in the field of (topic name). I would be delighted if my recommendation helps him/her obtain admission in the (course name). 

If you have any queries regarding research, academics, or other areas pertaining to (applicant name’s) candidature, please feel free to reach me at the following phone or email address. I am usually available on the phone between Monday and Friday from (time to time, i.e. 11 am to 4 pm).

(Name of Referee)


Phone Number:

Following important tips should be considered while writing a LOR for PhD:

  • The selection of the right recommender is crucial. Choose your recommender carefully who meets the specifications mentioned in your PhD application.
  • Choosing your recommenders with finer academic and professional qualifications is of utmost importance.
  • Stay in contact with your potential recommenders and maintain good communication with them in advance.
  • Share your research proposal, goals, and achievements with your recommenders.
  • Your LORs for PhD should differ from each other.
  • Your LOR should showcase your qualities, capabilities, and strengths. 
  • Online recommendation forms should be submitted much before the deadline.
  • The letter should be realistic and unbiased.
  • The relationship between the recommender and the applicant should be demonstrated clearly.
  • All the information stated in the LOR should be genuine, authentic, and accurate. Ensure that no information is false or exaggerated.

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Anupriya Mukherjee is a passion-driven professional working as a Content Marketer and earlier worked as a Digital Marketeer. With around 6 years of work experience, she has experience creating high-quality, engaging content for websites, blogs, news articles, video scripts, brochures, and ebooks.

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Sample Reference Letter

Reference letter for a phd candidate.

A successful application to a PhD program almost always requires letters of recommendation from former university lecturers and professors. They are the main point of reference when it comes to assessing an applicant's qualification for a PhD program. The letter below is a good example for a former MSc student, who now wants to pursue a PhD in the same field. It is already somewhat specifically addressed, as it directly refers to a doctorare degree in Linguistics.

Dear Sir or Madam,

it is my pleasure to acquaint you with one of my most outstanding students, Ravi Egilsson, who is keen to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics at your esteemed institution.

I have known Ravi since 2010, when he enrolled into the Master of Science in Speech Analytics here at Oxbridge University. As part of this programme, Ravi took my course on Automated Speech Processing and joined my practical seminar on Pattern Processing. I also supervised him for his thesis project, a smartphone app that can translate a range of simple infant phonetisms into spoken language.

Ravi presented outstanding commitment to his studies, and finished his degree within the top 10% of his class. He was a quite remarkable student with a strong research interest. Among his peers, he stood out by always being up-to-date with currently topical discussions even within niches of linguistical research. The quality of his research work on his thesis project was compelling, and he managed to find beautifully simple solutions to very challenging problems.

With his multicultural background and fluent proficiency of English, Swedish and Hindi he was able to approach many scientific questions from different angles. During the courses, he always made many valuable contributions to group discussions. Finally, it should not be left unmentioned that Ravi is a very pleasant person to work with.

I respect Ravi's decision to further pursue his specific research interests at your university, and I am confident that he will be a highly valuable addition to your PhD program, where he could develop and apply his extraordinary talents. Furthermore, I am certain that he would qualify for any means of financial aid that you could offer him, and I also strongly recommend him for a position as a teaching or research assistant. Should you have any questions with regards to Ravi Egilsson, I will be pleased to answer them.

Klemens Rapper

Professor Oxbridge University

Please note: Users of Reference-Letter.com must agree to the Terms of Use .

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from Guide to the PhD on Nov 27, 2022

How to write (self-)recommendation letters for PhD admissions.

Writing recommendations is tough, both when you're bragging about yourself and when you're writing one for others. What goes into such a letter? What should I emphasize? Turns out, admissions committees are looking for very specific phrases, and few letters include them.

Writing recommendations is difficult all around, and here's the best part: The longer they take to write, the odds are, the less meaningful the letter's contents are. It's all too easy to end up writing a long series of platitudes, empty remarks, and statements the recommender only half believes anyways. This becomes even tougher when you're ghost-writing your own recommendation letter draft 1 .

This letter is more important than you might think; for PhD admissions, reviewers are instructed to look first at the letters of recommendation. In particular, reviewers are looking for a particular few pieces that help rank or compare the candidate to others. In the following sections, I'll break up recommendation-writing into three sections: The less important part of the introduction, the part that reviewers really need, and the body of the letter.

Step 1 - Summarize the working relationship.

Describe the working relationship with the recommender. Admissions is looking for evidence that (a) the working relationship was sufficiently long for the recommender to know the candidate and (b) that the working relationship was in a relevant setting. Here are examples of different working relationships and durations, as well as what they tell the reviewer.

This is the weakest working relationship. Top 1% is certainly impressive but a semester-long course is neither long enough nor substantial enough for the recommender to know the student well, especially in a 1000-student course. A smaller course is better but not by much. The recommendation is effectively useless if there's furthermore no ranking provided.

This is the next best — it's much clearer that the recommender and candidate worked closely together. This unfortunately is not the most relevant, as this recommender couldn't comment on the candidate's research ability. However, since teaching is one component of being an academic, this is still helpful, especially if the recommender can vouch for the candidate's teaching effectiveness.

This is the best working relationship, as it is both relevant and clearly substantial in length. Research internships or summer fellowships would qualify as well — even though not as long, they're clearly relevant. Note that industry experience in a relevant field is also strong, such as the following.

The introduction should also cover a few more points related to the qualities we mentioned above:

  • Is the candidate interested in an academic career?
  • Does the candidate have relevant experience that the letter won't cover? For example, the candidate may have given technical talks internally at a company or lab.

In short, the introduction should do the following 2 :

  • Describe the working relationship — include how long and what kind of mentorship occurred.
  • Mention long-term academic aspirations and any relevant experience outside of research.

Here's an example of the above; this was an actual recommendation I co-wrote with my adviser. The duration is short but the impact is clear.

Step 2 - Compare the candidate.

Surprisingly very little of the recommendation letter matters. One of the key items that we're instructed to look for is comparisons. The recommender should include these comparisons as early as possible in the letter. To get an idea of several successful comparisons that the reviewer will take note of, here are examples of a few notable phrases:

  • John Doe is the best students I've had in the last X years.
  • Of the X+ researchers I've mentored, Jane Doe ranks in the top x%.
  • John Doe is similar to past mentee Jane Doe, who was accepted to your program last year.
  • I would be more than happy to continue working with Jane Doe myself.

These are of course phrases that the candidate can't write in a self-recommendation, but if you're writing a recommendation for others, make sure to include comparisons anywhere you can. Here's an example of the above, again from a recommendation letter I co-wrote.

Step 3 - Espouse candidate qualities and give proof.

As the title implies, there are two portions to the body of the letter. The letter at this point should list research qualities that the candidate demonstrates, as well as include proof. This part is ideally written in conjunction by both parties.

  • State a quality . The recommender should ideally synthesize these, from a list of concrete achievements that the candidate pulls together. We'll talk about how to substantiate achievements in the section below. Let's first start with "qualities" the letter needs to show the candidate has. For a brief primer on the types of qualities the letter should offer evidence for, see qualities research mentors look for in mentees in How to succeed as a (research) mentee. and qualities of a good researcher in What defines a "good" researcher? . To jog your memory, these qualities are, respectively: those that a potential mentee should ideally demonstrate, to suggest promise (readiness, motivation, work ethic); and those that a mature researcher should possess, to suggest already-established expertise (problem intuition, failing fast, storytelling). It goes without saying that qualities that show promise are less impressive that qualities that already show research maturity.

Give "proof" . Proof should be specific instances where a candidate demonstrated a quality. Proof should not be another trait the candidate "generally" demonstrates. There are two rules of thumb to apply to "proof":

  • One rule of thumb is to attempt to quantify the proof. Quantifying accuracy improvement, numbers of hours put in, or lines of code produced is all better than writing about nothing.
  • A second rule of thumb is to talk about results rather than the process of getting there. It's not all that informative if the candidate "attends all lab meetings". That's fantastic but it says nothing about their research potential. It also makes the reviewer question if there's nothing else to say about the candidate. If the candidate did good work, the letter should contain at least some proxy for the quality and quantity of their output.

Here are several examples, from worst to best.

This statement is all fluff and rather unconvincing. We can ask the question, "What's example of a task that was thrown his way?" There are more questions than answers here.

This is slightly improved but still inadequate "proof". The 200+ hours are certainly impressive, but (a) what's an example of something John spent those 200 hours on? 200 hours sounds like a number you pulled from your @$$. Furthermore, (b) did those 200 hours yield any output? If it did, that should be the focus. This proof is lacking specificity and results to be convincing.

This is far more convincing. At this point, we have sufficient detail to know what John did for the project. We could certainly read on to find out what those model variants were, but it doesn't matter too much. A table with 10 rows and 5 columns is pretty solid proof of work put in. With that said, the one final problem with this statement is the lack of focus on results. What did those ablations tell us? Did that contribute to the paper in a meaningful way? Here is another snippet from the same recommendation letter I co-wrote previously:

Sure this description contains bigger words, but more importantly, it speaks directly to the candidate's contributions. This time, the contribution doesn't need quantifying; it's quite obvious that the candidate played a key role in the paper.

Final tips for writing a letter.

We've covered the core components of a letter. I just have a few more tips that I actively use to pull the letter together. I structure the letter by starting with the working relationship, discussing key accomplishments like papers published, include comparisons, then introduce the qualities I'll discuss. Re-including the previous snippets into a final introductory paragraph, here is an example introduction.

After that, each paragraph is dedicated to (a) a quality and (b) proof of that quality. Sometimes, to make a proof more convincing, I'll need to include a mini-story, explaining why a problem is challenging to tackle. Then, I'll discuss how the candidate tackled this problem. Here's an example of this mini-story in a paragraph.

The strongest conclusion I've ever read was something along the following lines, which came from a faculty member at a relatively well-known academic institution.

That's a wrap! I hope that this structure saves you some time in writing your letter of recommendation. Knowing what you know now, the most helpful piece of information that a recommender can ask a candidate to write is not the letter itself but instead (a) a description of the working relationship, including dates of engagement and (b) a list of achievements that the recommender can use as proof.

Best of luck!

← back to Guide to the PhD

It's awful weird to write a recommendation for yourself, but a somewhat weird practice is for professors to ask undergraduates to write their own letters. However, come time for industry, I eventually learned that self-recommendations will show up again under a different name, dubbed a "self review". Given this, you'll have to write "self-recommendations" at some point. For self-recommendations, your main focus should be on steps 1 and 3 below. For step 2, you can provide statistics like class rankings, but you'll rely on your recommender to flesh those out.  ↩

Don't spend the first quarter of the page bragging about the recommender. The admissions committee can Google the recommender if they need to. If necessary to establish ethos, spend no more than a few sentences. This is most natural if the recommender is using their experience to compare the candidate to other researchers, or to compare the candidate's work to published works at top venues. For example, "I've served as CVPR 2022 area chair, and Jane Doe's work clearly exceeds the acceptance bar."  ↩

Want more tips? Drop your email, and I'll keep you in the loop.


5 Best Letter of Recommendation Templates for PhD Students

Letter of Recommendation Templates for PhD Students 01

Are you a PhD student looking for a high-quality letter of recommendation template? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with examples of tried and true letter of recommendation templates that you can use or edit as needed.

One of the most important parts of any PhD program is the recommendation letter. It can make or break your chance of getting into a program, securing funding, or landing a job. However, writing a solid letter of recommendation can be an arduous task that requires a considerable amount of time and effort. That’s where our letter of recommendation templates come in – they have been carefully crafted to help make the process a lot easier for you.

Whether you need a template for a professor, employer, or advisor, we have got you covered. With our templates, you can be sure that your recommendation letters will be professional, accurate, and persuasive. So why wait? Check out our letter of recommendation templates for PhD students today and take the first step towards success!

The Best Structure for Letter of Recommendation Template for PhD Students

Writing a letter of recommendation for a PhD student can be a daunting task, but don’t worry–with the right structure and language, you can create a glowing recommendation that will showcase the student’s talents and qualifications.

First things first, make sure to address the letter to the appropriate person or group, whether it be a university, scholarship committee, or potential employer. It’s also important to state your relationship to the student, whether you’re their professor, mentor, or colleague.

Next, start off by providing a brief overview of the student’s accomplishments and qualifications, including their field of study and any notable research or publications. From there, delve into specific examples of the student’s intellectual abilities and work ethic. This could include analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and perseverance in the face of challenges.

It’s also important to address the student’s personal characteristics, such as their leadership qualities, teamwork skills, and communication abilities. Providing anecdotes of times when the student went above and beyond in their academic or professional pursuits can be particularly impactful.

Finally, wrap up the letter with a strong endorsement of the student’s potential for future success, including any specific recommendations for opportunities or programs they would excel in. Reiterate your confidence in the student’s abilities and emphasize how their strengths and qualities make them an asset to any academic or professional community.

Remember, the best recommendation letters are specific, detailed, and personal. Use concrete examples to illustrate the student’s strengths and don’t be afraid to inject some personality and enthusiasm into your writing. With these tips and a solid structure, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an outstanding letter of recommendation for your favorite PhD student.

[Your name]

Letter of Recommendation Templates for PhD Students

Letter of Recommendation Templates for PhD Students

Letter of recommendation for phd program admission.

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to enthusiastically recommend [Student Name] for the PhD program in [Field]. I had the privilege of working with [him/her] as [his/her] research advisor for [duration]. During that time, I observed [his/her] passion for [field of study]. [He/She] possesses the intellectual curiosity, work ethic, and analytical skills necessary for success in the program.

Moreover, [Student Name] demonstrates excellent communication skills and consistently engages in constructive discussions with [his/her] peers and advisors. [He/She] is a quick learner and adapts well to new challenges, which will serve [him/her] well in the highly competitive and rigorous PhD program. I believe [Student Name] has the potential to make significant contributions to the field and I strongly recommend [him/her] for admission to the program.

[Your Name]

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Scholarship

Dear Scholarship Committee,

I am writing to endorse [Student Name] for the [Name of Scholarship] for [Field] PhD studies. In my capacity as [his/her] mentor and research advisor, I have been impressed with [his/her] dedication to [field of study] and [his/her] ability to excel academically despite facing various challenges.

[Student Name] has demonstrated exceptional potential in [areas of interest]. [His/Her] research work has already resulted in several publications in leading journals, which speaks to [his/her] intellectual rigor and analytical skills. [He/She] is also actively involved in various extracurricular activities related to [field of study], such as [Name of Club], where [he/she] has demonstrated leadership and teamwork.

I strongly believe that [Student Name] is an ideal fit for the [Name of Scholarship] based on [his/her] achievements and potential. [He/She] will not only benefit from the financial support but will also make significant contributions to the scholarship and [field of study].

Yours sincerely,

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Job Application

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing this letter to recommend [Student Name] for the position of [Job Title] at your organization. I had the pleasure of working with [him/her] as [his/her] supervisor during [duration] at [Company/Organization]. [He/She] was a valuable asset to our team, demonstrating impressive intellectual and analytical skills.

[Student Name] has an outstanding academic record and has already published several research papers in leading journals. Moreover, [he/she] has honed exceptional communication skills and has presented [his/her] work at various conferences. [He/She] has also demonstrated leadership skills, both in academic and extracurricular settings. [His/Her] experience in [specific skills related to job] and [related experience] also make [him/her] a perfect candidate for the position.

Based on [his/her] achievements and potential, I strongly recommend [Student Name] for the position. [He/She] will undoubtedly exceed your expectations and make significant contributions to your organization.

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Internship

Dear Internship Coordinator,

I am writing this letter to recommend [Student Name] for the PhD Internship Program at your organization. I had the pleasure of working with [him/her] as [his/her] research advisor for [duration]. During that time, [he/she] demonstrated exceptional research skills and a keen interest in [specific field of study related to internship].

[Student Name] has already published several research papers in leading journals and has presented [his/her] work at various conferences. [He/She] has also demonstrated strong leadership and teamwork skills, as evidenced by [specific example]. [His/Her] exceptional communication skills also make [him/her] a great fit for the internship, where [he/she] will likely collaborate with a diverse group of people.

Based on [his/her] research achievements and potential, I strongly recommend [Student Name] for the internship program. [He/She] is an excellent candidate who will no doubt make significant contributions to your organization. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Fellowship

Dear Fellowship Committee,

I am writing to enthusiastically recommend [Student Name] for the [Name of Fellowship] for [Field] PhD studies. I worked with [him/her] as [his/her] research advisor for [duration], during which I observed [his/her] exceptional research skills and intellectual curiosity.

[Student Name] has already published several research papers in leading journals and has presented [his/her] work at various conferences. [He/She] has also actively engaged in various extracurricular activities related to [field of study], such as [Name of Club/Community], where [he/she] has demonstrated leadership and teamwork. Overall, [he/she] is a dedicated and passionate researcher with a unique perspective and approach to [field of study].

I strongly believe that [Student Name] is an exemplary fit for the [Name of Fellowship] based on [his/her] achievements and potential. [He/She] will not only benefit from the financial support but will also make significant contributions to the fellowship and [field of study].

Letter of Recommendation for PhD Research Proposal

Dear Research Committee,

I am writing to endorse [Student Name]’s proposed research project for [duration] in [field of study]. [He/She] has approached me with [his/her] ideas and I have been thoroughly impressed with [his/her] creativity, vision, and rigor in designing the proposal.

[Student Name] is an outstanding researcher with significant experience in [related skills/expertise]. [He/She] is highly motivated and passionate about [field of study], demonstrated by [relevant examples]. Moreover, [he/she] has excellent communication and leadership skills, which will undoubtedly be useful in working with other researchers and stakeholders.

Based on [his/her] research achievements and proposed project, I strongly recommend [Student Name] for the research program. [He/She] is an excellent candidate who will no doubt make significant contributions to the project and advance knowledge in [field of study]. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation Template for PhD Students

Writing a letter of recommendation for a PhD student can be a challenging task. As a recommender, it’s essential to ensure that your letter truly represents the student’s abilities, potential, and achievements. To help you create an effective letter of recommendation, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Get to know the student: Before you start writing the letter, take some time to learn more about the student. Understand their research, their academic achievements, and their aspirations. This will help you write a more personalized and impactful letter.
  • Focus on achievements: When writing your letter, highlight the student’s achievements and the impact of their research. This will demonstrate their value and potential to the admissions committee or potential employer.
  • Provide examples: Use specific examples to illustrate your points. This will help the reader understand the student’s strengths and accomplishments. It’s also a good idea to include examples of challenges the student faced and how they overcame them.
  • Be honest: Don’t exaggerate the student’s accomplishments or abilities. Be honest and provide a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses. Admissions committees and employers value letters that are transparent and authentic.
  • Be concise: Keep your letter brief and to the point. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader with unnecessary details. Focus on the most significant accomplishments and areas of strength.
  • Use a professional format: Use a professional format for your letter, starting with a formal greeting and closing. Address the letter to the appropriate person, and include the student’s name and program details.
  • Proofread: Before submitting your letter, make sure to proofread it carefully. Correct any errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and ensure that the letter is structured well and easy to read.
  • End with a strong recommendation: End your letter with a strong recommendation for the student. Be confident in your endorsement, and close by offering to provide further information or support if needed.

Writing a letter of recommendation for a PhD student requires careful attention to detail and a clear understanding of the student’s strengths and potential. By following these tips, you can create a compelling letter that highlights the student’s achievements and positions them as a strong candidate for their desired program or career path. Remember, honesty, specificity, and professionalism are key elements of an effective letter of recommendation.

Well, there you have it, folks! A letter of recommendation template for PhD students! I hope this has been helpful in alleviating some of the stress associated with asking for letters of recommendation. Remember to personalize the template with your own unique accomplishments and achievements. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to show your personality through your writing. And always, always, always show gratitude to those who have taken the time to write a letter for you. Thank you for reading and be sure to visit us again for more useful tips and tricks. Wishing you all the best on your academic journey!

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Department Recommendation Letter

  • Publication date January 9, 2024
  • Categories: Uncategorized


As schools and departments/units continue to assemble dossiers for the current review cycle, I write to share important reminders and provide clarity when drafting and preparing departmental recommendation letters.

The department recommendation letter may be written by a departmental committee, as departmental procedures stipulate, and signed by a non-conflicted committee chair. The department recommendation letter may not be written or signed by the department chair.  Additional points for departments/units to consider include:

  • The chair of the department letter-writing committee must be non-conflicted and must sign the department letter.
  • The committee chair must be a senate faculty member, but they do NOT have to be at or above the rank of the nominee or in the same academic series as the nominee.
  • The committee chair is the only member required to be listed at the conclusion of the letter, but other members may be listed if desired. If multiple members are listed, then the member that is the committee chair must be clearly identified.
  • Other committee members may be collaborators on papers/projects, or have shared grants with the nominee, but they cannot have a familial or romantic relationship with the nominee.
  • Non-senate faculty can serve as committee members.

I hope this information and guidance will help improve on the preparation of department recommendation letters and the entire academic personnel review process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at  [email protected] .

Diane K. O’Dowd Vice Provost for Academic Personnel


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