A letter of recommendation for USA universities is a required condition for admission at all study levels. Students are asked to submit two to three academic LOR For MS In USA or professional LORs, depending upon what they are studying. the basic guidelines for writing letters of recommendation remain more or less the same throughout the universities of the USA. The only difference is the number and type of letters given.
In this article, let us look at:
- Requirements at Top Universities
- Sample LOR for UG in USA
- Sample LOR for MBA in USA
- Sample LOR for MS in USA
- Tips to Improve your Letter of Recommendation for USA
1. Requirements at Top Universities
The following table provides a brief idea about the requirements of LOR for USA universities:
|University||LOR for UG||LOR for MS||LOR for MBA|
|MIT||1 from math/science teacher;1 from humanities teacher;1 from school counselor||3, at least two academic||1 professional LOR|
|Stanford University||2 from teachers||3, at least two academic||2 professional LOR|
|Harvard University||2 from teachers||3, at least one academic||2, could be from supervisor, colleague, someone you collaborated outside of work|
|California Institute of Technology||1 from math or science teacher;1 from humanities or social science teacher||3, can be academic or professional||Not offered|
|University of Chicago||2 (mandatory),1 (recommended) from teachers||3 letters from professor, supervisor or manager, professional mentor||2 professional LOR: 1 from supervisor, 1 from colleague|
|Princeton University||2 from teachers,one from counselor||3 academic letters||Not offered|
|University of Pennsylvania||2 from teachers,one from counselor||2, at least one academic||2 professional LOR, preferably from supervisors|
|Yale University||2 from teachers,one from counselor||2 to 3, at least one academic||2 professional LOR|
|Cornell University||1 from counselor||2 to 3, at least one academic||1 professional LOR, can be from supervisor, colleague or client|
|Columbia University||2 from teachers,for engineering students: 1 must be from math or science teacher||3, at least one academic;professional LOR from current or former supervisor only||2 professional LORs, one must be from current supervisor|
2. Sample LOR for UG in USA
The Department of Civil Engineering
(Name of the Institution)
I’m writing this letter of recommendation for (name of the applicant) who I’ve taught for four long years in her high school. She’s extraordinarily talented and skillful and was definitely one of the biggest assets to our school. She had an extremely inquisitive mind and I was really impressed by her thirst for knowledge since the very beginning. I taught her mathematics and physics at (name of the school) from 9th grade to 12th grade and she profoundly impressed me with her critical thinking and quantitative reasoning. I am assertive that her efficiency and rigorous hard work will help her in getting successful in the civil engineering program of your (name of the university applying to).
(Name of the applicant) is an extremely quick learner and is technically very sound. She was part of the school’s science club and had advanced skills to compete with her seniors. She’s a remarkable orator and has participated in numerous debate and speech competitions. Her incredible leadership qualities were demonstrated when she was nominated as the school leader. She took all charge of the school functions and festivals and had tremendous cooperation with her fellow school council members. She always used to have solutions to unforeseen problems that would come her way while making arrangements for seminars or other functions.
Her projects and assignments always stood out because she had a great habit of reading different books and gathering more and more knowledge. She had participated in all the scholarship exams as well as mathematics and science Olympiads and had succeeded with flying colors. Not only is she academically excellent, but also she is humble, honest, and respectful towards her teachers, friends, and seniors. Her greatest personal strengths are her confidence and passion to achieve.
I place her among the top 10 students I’ve ever taught. I am certain that she will highly contribute to your department’s community and your university as a whole. I highly recommend her to get admission to your undergraduate program. Feel free to contact me in case of any further queries at (referees email ID).
(Name of the teacher)
(Name of the high school)
3. Sample LOR for MBA in USA
(Name of Recipient)
(Mailing address of Recipient)
(Position of Recipient)
I am writing this letter to recommend (applicant’s name) for the MBA program at (university name). She worked as an Associate Brand Manager at (company’s name) for the past five years. I was her direct supervisor from the first year of her joining. I closely observed her capabilities and way of working.
When (applicant’s name) joined this company, she had just completed her BBA. Since then, she has evolved into a dedicated and hardworking professional. I can vouch that she has done exemplary performance for our company. Initially, she worked as a colleague with a team of 15 marketers. She demonstrated the qualities of a leader and team player by motivating and inspiring others.
Due to her impressive performance, she was promoted to the Associate Brand Manager role after one year of her joining. She worked on many projects in the last 5 years and delivered satisfactory results. She has strong business acumen and zeal to work hard in spite of challenging circumstances.
I consider her an ideal candidate for an MBA program at your esteemed university without any doubt. This program will provide her an opportunity to polish her extraordinary marketing skills.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further concerns about (applicant’s name).
4. Sample LOR for MS in USA
Department of Computer Science
It is with pleasure that I am writing this letter of recommendation for (student’s name) to support her application for an MS in Computer Science at (university name). I have been teaching her for the past three years as a senior professor of the Computer Science Department at (current university’s name). Some of the subjects that I taught her are Networking, Data Structures, Algorithms, etc.
The first impressions that anyone forms of her are that of a person with outstanding technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. She was an inquisitive student from the first year of the degree and asked a lot of questions. Assignments submitted by (student’s name) demonstrated her out of the box thinking and dedication towards the subject.
She participated in all the seminars and olympiads organized by our university-related to computer science. This kept her updated with the latest developments in this field. She was also an active member of our university’s Computer Science Club. Her critical thinking ability and collaborative nature made her a favorite among students and professors.
Based on the last 20 years of teaching experience, I would place her among the top 10% of the students I have ever taught. I strongly recommend her to be considered as a potential student of MS in Computer Science at your university.
5. Tips to Improve your Letter of Recommendation for USA
Although every university has its own guidelines, here are some of the tips that students can refer to while submitting a LOR for the USA:
- Professional LOR for USA universities should be from a supervisor or mentor unless otherwise specified by the university.
- Information in the letter should verify the facts provided in SOP for USA, transcripts, and CV.
- If more than one recommendation is needed, try to get it from people associated with different aspects of your work experience.
- Instead of praises and fancy words, LORs should paint a clear picture of who you are, personally and professionally.
- Skills and capabilities should be supported by examples such as a project handled by you, clubs you are associated with, etc.
Most of the universities don’t have any rule on Letter of Recommendation for USA. It’s up to the recommender what he/she wants to write. Students should choose their recommenders very carefully. Most of the universities do not give you the option of changing a bad recommendation. At least one academic LOR is mandatory to apply for an MS program in the USA.