Recommendation Letters

Recommendation Letters for Graduate School Admissions

Recommendation letters are required by most programs to help determine a student’s qualifications. Check the application instructions of your specific program to find out how many recommendation letters they require.

What are recommendation Letters?

Recommendation letters are written by people who know you on a personal, professional, or academic level. They are often written by professors, supervisors, or co-workers in an effort to demonstrate your qualifications for acceptance into a graduate program at the University of Minnesota. These letters go beyond test scores and GPA to illustrate your experience, skills, character, work ethic, and commitment to your chosen field of study.

How Do I Request Recommendations?

Plan ahead. Your preparation for your graduate school application should include contacting potential recommendation providers well in advance of your application deadline. You will then provide their names and contact information as part of your application, and they will submit their recommendation via the same system.

Waiving Your Right to View Recommendation Letters

When adding recommendation provider information to your application, you will see the following question: 

"Do you wish to waive your right to examine this letter of recommendation?"

  • Yes
  • No

What does this question mean?

If you check YES: You will NOT be able to view the letters submitted on your behalf, even if you are admitted and choose to enroll at the University of Minnesota.

If you check NO: Your letters will become part of your student record and you will have the right to inspect that record (including your letters) after you are admitted and enroll at the University of Minnesota. You have this right only if you enroll at the University of Minnesota. If you are denied admission, or if you are admitted but do not enroll, you do not have the right to view your letters, regardless of how you respond to this question.

Why do we ask this question?

Your recommendation providers and your graduate program will see your response to this question--they both have the right to know whether the information provided in your letter could be accessible to you in the future.

How to Check the Status of your requested Recommendations

If you have not submitted your application yet, view the status of your recommendations on the “Recommendations” page in your application. If you have already submitted your application, you’ll find recommendation status on your Application Status page. In both cases, you must log in to your application. To resend notifications to recommendation providers after you have submitted your application, use the link at the bottom of the Application Status page.