Application FAQs: Letters of Recommendation

Application FAQs: Letters of Recommendation


We announced last week that the application for admission for the 2023-2024

academic year is now available. As prospective students work to complete applications

over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be addressing some of our applicants’

most frequently asked questions, starting today with letters of recommendation.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

First and foremost, you should seek recommendations from

individuals who know you well and are familiar with your work—academically or


When reviewing letters of recommendation, we look for

evidence of your leadership skills and potential, intellectual achievement and promise,

problem solving ability, commitment to public service, and more. When deciding

who to ask to submit recommendation letters on your behalf, think about who

from your academic and professional networks would be best equipped to address

these characteristics.

If you are a current undergraduate or have less than two

years of work experience, we generally advise that you submit two letters of

recommendation from university faculty members and the third from your

immediate supervisor from a professional work environment.

If you have more than two years of work experience, we encourage

you to submit two letters of recommendation from current or previous work

colleagues, including a supervisor, along with one academic reference.

I’m applying to the Mid-Career Master in Public

Administration and graduated from college 10+ years ago. Do I need to include a

letter of recommendation from an academic reference?

We understand you may not be able to submit recommendations

from professors if you are applying to the MC/MPA program. In this

case, you should have colleagues or supervisors who can evaluate your ability

to succeed in a rigorous academic environment write your letters of


Would more than three recommendations be considered beneficial?

We only accept three recommendations. Additional letters

will not be accepted.

How will my references submit their letters of recommendation?

In the “Recommendations” section of our electronic

application, you will enter the names and email addresses of each of your

recommenders. An email with instructions will be sent

to each registered recommender through our application system.

How can I tell if my references have submitted their

letters of recommendation?

After adding your recommenders, you may check their letter

submission status under the “Recommendations” section of your online