How Long Should a Letter of Recommendation Be for Graduate School?

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How long should a letter of recommendation be for graduate school? A letter of recommendation is a common admissions requirement for undergraduate and graduate schools.

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School Length

Some colleges specify how long a letter of recommendation must be to fit their standards, but not all schools include a preferred length.

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Letters of recommendation should provide the reader insight on how you perform as a student or worker. It should also include the writer’s thoughts on why you’d be a fitting candidate for the graduate program you’re applying to.

How Long Should a Letter of Recommendation Be for Graduate School?

How long should letters of recommendation be for grad school

If you plan on applying to graduate school, you might be wondering: How long should letters of recommendation be for grad school? Is the length different from undergraduate letters of recommendation?

A graduate school letter of recommendation is generally a 1 page document that a professor, supervisor, or other professional writes to recommend you for your chosen program of study. Some colleges have a specific form or guidelines on how a recommendation letter should be formatted.

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If a specific length is requested, then it’s essential to inform the writer so they can follow those guidelines. But how long is a letter of recommendation for graduate school if a specific length isn’t requested? In most cases, a letter of recommendation is 1 page long, or approximately three to four paragraphs.

Other formatting preferences that colleges might specify or expect include the writer’s information in a letterhead and an opening, body, and closing.

What to Include in a Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School

students researching letters of recommendation for grad school

A letter of recommendation is meant to provide an overview of how you perform as a student and discuss your top qualities and accomplishments.

Some things that are generally addressed in a recommendation letter for masters program include:

  • Introduction of the writer and how they know you
  • Your achievements and how you improved during your time with the writer
  • Aspects of your personality
  • Why you’d be a good fit for the program, including examples or evidence

Some schools specify what they’d like to see in a letter of recommendation. In those instances, it’s key to relay the specifications or guidelines to the writer.

How Many Letters of Recommendation for Grad School Are Needed?

letters of recommendation for grad school admissions

Most graduate schools ask for 2 or 3 letters of recommendation, but some could ask for more or less.

General admissions requirements are often listed on the college or university’s website. You may be able to find how many letters of recommendation a graduate school is looking for on their website. You can also reach out to the admissions office for more details.

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Waiving general admissions requirements for a master’s program is becoming common, as seen in graduate schools with low GPA prerequisites. Do all graduate schools require letters of recommendation? No, there are grad schools that don’t require letters of recommendation for admissions, or some might be optional. If required, it’s beneficial to submit the exact number of letters of recommendation the admissions office requests.

How Long Are Letters of Recommendation?

Man checking Letters of Recommendation he received

Letters of recommendation can vary in length, depending on the writer as well as the guidelines provided by the graduate school.

Most letters of recommendation are 1 page in length. They will generally detail how the writer knows you, your accomplishments, and your attributes. In the closing segment, it’s common for the writer to briefly summarize why you stand out amongst other candidates and why they recommend your admittance into the program.

Admissions offices may specify the types of professionals they want to see letters of recommendation from, such as professors or supervisors. Letters of recommendation from professionals who know you in an academic setting are usually preferred. Learn how to ask for a letter of recommendation for graduate school to get you started!

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Amy Hayes
Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Old Dominion University, with a minor in English. She previously worked as an educator before starting her career as a writer. Amy spends much of her time researching and writing, with the goal of sharing valuable information with readers.