Letter of Recommendation for Masters: Sample, Format & Template

published on 26 March 2024
Letter of Recommendation for Masters: Sample, Format & Template 
Letter of Recommendation for Masters: Sample, Format & Template 

So, you've set your sights on a master's degree – fantastic! Now comes the not-so-small hurdle of securing strong letters of recommendation (LORs). These letters are crucial for grad school admissions, offering a window into your capabilities beyond grades and transcripts. But where do you even begin? Don't worry, future scholar, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to craft a stellar request and provide some sample LORs to inspire you.

Why LORs Matter

Think of your LORs as character references for the academic world. They tell the admissions committee what you're like beyond the numbers. Did you excel in class discussions? Are you a self-motivated researcher? A strong LOR can highlight these qualities and make your application stand out.

Finding the Right Recommenders

The key to a powerful LOR is choosing the right people to write them. Ideally, you want professors or employers who:

  • Know you well: They should be able to speak to your academic abilities, work ethic, and potential for success in a graduate program.
  • Can vouch for your achievements: Did you ace their class? Lead a successful project under their supervision? These experiences provide concrete examples for the recommender to showcase.
  • Are familiar with your chosen field: Having a recommender with expertise in your desired graduate program adds weight to their evaluation.

Crafting Your Request

Once you've identified your recommenders, it's time to make the ask. Here's a roadmap for crafting a compelling request:

  1. Refresh their memory: Briefly introduce yourself and remind them of your past interactions (e.g., the class you took together, the project you worked on).
  2. Highlight your goals: Briefly explain why you're pursuing a master's degree and how their program aligns with your interests.
  3. Provide context: Mention specific achievements or qualities you'd like them to emphasize in their letter. Offer transcripts, research papers, or project reports if relevant.
  4. Express gratitude: Thank them for their time and consideration.

Sample LOR Request Email

Subject: Letter of Recommendation Request – [Your Name] – Master's in [Program Name]

Dear Professor [Professor's name],

I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I was a student in your [Course Name] class during [Semester and Year]. I'm writing to request a letter of recommendation in support of my application to the Master's program in [Program Name] at [University Name].

I thoroughly enjoyed your [Course Name] class, and particularly appreciated [Mention specific aspects of the course you enjoyed]. As you may recall, I [Mention a specific achievement or contribution in the class]. This experience solidified my interest in [Your area of interest] and ultimately led me to pursue a graduate degree in [Program name].

The [Program name] at [University name] particularly interests me because of [Reasons why the program is a good fit]. My ultimate goal is to [Your career goals after the master's degree].

I've attached my resume and transcript for your reference. If there's any other information you'd need to write a strong letter, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I truly appreciate your support.


[Your Name]

Let's See it in Action: Sample LORs

Now, let's delve into some sample LORs to understand what makes them effective:

Sample 1: From a Professor

Dr. Anne Smith

Professor of Biology

Anytown University


Admissions Committee

[ Program Name]

[University Name]

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing this letter to wholeheartedly recommend [Student Name] for admission to your Master's program in [Program Name]. I had the pleasure of having [Student Name] in my [Course Name] class during [Semester and Year], and they consistently impressed me with their intellectual curiosity, strong work ethic, and exceptional analytical skills.

[Student Name] consistently achieved top marks in the class, demonstrating a deep understanding of complex biological concepts. Beyond their academic prowess, [Student Name] actively participated in class discussions, asking insightful questions and readily contributing to group projects. I vividly recall [Student Name]'s insightful analysis of [Mention a specific topic or project], which sparked a lively debate in class.

Furthermore, [Student Name] went above and beyond the course requirements by [Mention any research project, internship, or independent study]. This initiative showcased their genuine passion for [Area of interest] and their ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems.

[Student Name] is not only a brilliant student but also a collaborative team player. They readily supported their peers and fostered a positive learning environment. Their strong communication skills were evident in their [Mention presentations, reports, or papers]. [Student Name] possesses a genuine desire to learn and a dedication to excellence that makes them an ideal candidate for your program.

Sample 2: From an Employer

Mr. John Lee

Project Manager

ABC Tech Company


Admissions Committee

[ Program Name]

[University Name]

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to recommend [Employee Name] for admission to your Master's program in [Program Name]. [Employee Name] has been a valuable member of my team at ABC Tech Company for the past two years, working as a [Employee's Job Title]. During this time, they have consistently demonstrated exceptional technical skills, a strong work ethic, and a passion for continuous learning.

[Employee Name] played a key role in the successful completion of our recent project on [Project Name]. Their ability to [Mention specific skills] was instrumental in [Describe the employee's contribution to the project's success]. Furthermore, [Employee Name] readily took initiative, [Mention an example of initiative] which significantly improved the project's efficiency.

[Employee Name] is a highly motivated individual with a thirst for knowledge. They actively seek out opportunities to learn new skills and expand their expertise. They recently enrolled in an online course on [Course Name] to further their understanding of [Relevant field]. This dedication to professional development demonstrates their commitment to excellence.

[Employee Name]'s strong analytical and problem-solving skills, coupled with their eagerness to learn, make them a perfect fit for your program. I have no doubt that they will be a valuable asset to your institution.

Sample 3: Highlighting Research Potential

Dr. Michael Brown

Research Professor

University of Research


Admissions Committee

[Program Name]

[University Name]

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to recommend [Student Name] for admission to your Master's program in [Program Name]. [Student Name] worked as a research assistant in my lab for the past year, and their contributions have been invaluable.

[Student Name] quickly grasped complex research methodologies and demonstrated exceptional proficiency in [Mention specific lab techniques]. Their meticulous attention to detail and strong analytical skills were instrumental in [Describe a specific project or experiment].

What truly sets [Student Name] apart is their independent research initiative. They identified a previously unexplored aspect of our research on [Research topic] and proposed a new line of inquiry. This independent thinking and ability to identify research gaps are hallmarks of a successful researcher.

[Student Name] is not only a skilled researcher but also a clear and concise communicator. Their presentation of our research findings at the [Conference Name] conference was well-received by the audience. Their ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a clear and engaging manner is commendable.

[Student Name]'s intellectual curiosity, strong work ethic, and research potential make them an ideal candidate for your program. I am confident that they will excel in your program and make significant contributions to the field of [Research field].

The Final Touches

Remember, a strong LOR is a collaborative effort. Once you've submitted your request, follow up with your recommenders to ensure they have all the necessary information. Thank them again for their time and support. With a well-crafted request and strong recommendations, you'll be well on your way to securing your place in a master's program!

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FAQs: Mastering the Recommendation for Your Master's Application

Who should I ask for LORs?

  • Professors: Ideal if they know you well from a challenging course related to your master's program. They can speak to your academic abilities, analytical skills, and potential for research.
  • Employers: Excellent if your work aligns with your desired graduate program. They can highlight your work ethic, problem-solving skills, and ability to apply knowledge in a professional setting.

What should I include in my LOR request email?

  • Briefly introduce yourself and remind the recommender of your past interaction (class, project).
  • Explain your reason for pursuing a master's degree and why their program is a good fit.
  • Mention specific achievements or qualities you'd like them to emphasize (provide transcripts or research papers if relevant).
  • Express gratitude for their time and consideration.

What makes a strong LOR?

  • Specific examples: The recommender should showcase your strengths with concrete examples from class projects, research experiences, or work accomplishments.
  • Highlights your potential: The letter should not just focus on past achievements but also demonstrate your ability to succeed in a graduate program.
  • Positive and enthusiastic tone: The recommender should express their confidence in your capabilities and enthusiasm for your pursuit of a master's degree.

How many LORs do I typically need?

The number of LORs required varies by program, but two is a common standard. Some programs might request one academic and one professional recommendation. Check the specific program requirements to ensure you submit the correct number.

Stuck crafting that crucial letter of recommendation request for your Master's application? Don't sweat it! This guide equips you with a winning formula, sample LORs, and expert tips to secure stellar recommendations that will make your application shine. Get ready to impress the admissions committee!

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