Letter of Recommendation for Masters – Sample & Tips to Write

Letter of recommendation for Masters

A letter of recommendationĀ (LOR)Ā for a masterā€™s is undoubtedly essential to gain admission overseas. LORs, SOP, and CV/resume are key documents along with your application and transcripts that help admission committees determine your candidature. LORs are references provided by past employers or faculty members that help shed light on the candidateā€™s traits, previous performance, achievements, and eligibility. They are hence vital for anĀ applicantā€™s profile and add sizable weightage to the application.Ā 

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Sample Letter of Recommendation for Masters

Here is a template of the letter of recommendation format for masterā€™s. This sample recommendation letter for graduate students will help you understand the tone and tenor to be followed for the LOR.Ā 

Letter of Recommendation SAMPLE #1 For Higher Studies

To whom it may concern,

With considerable pleasure, I am writing this reference letter in support of (name of candidate) who is applying for the Master of Science program at your esteemed university. I have had a deep acquaintance with (name of candidate) in my capacity as his/her professor for more than three years during which, I taught him/her courses on Friction, Gravity, and Heat TransferĀ along with Renewable Energy SourcesĀ in the first, third, second and fourth semesters respectively. As per my observations, I would like to state that he/she is highly attentive and sincere while possessing a positive approach to learning and academics.Ā 

Throughout his/her course of study, (name of candidate) has displayed considerable interest in technology and practical aided techniques of learning. We engaged in numerous research and course-linked discussions in which he/she confidently discussed his/her higher education aspirations and goals. For his/her project, he/she selected the important and complex topic of Augmenting Solar Energy Capacity with Asset Light Installations. Besides this, he/she has also gained experience and knowledge in multiple concepts which are highly essential for future generations.Ā 

Besides his/her academic record, (candidateā€™s) participation at Vibrant Minds 19, a state-level project contest for students of Physics held at our college, clearly showcases his/her deep interest in scientific research and the practical applications sector. As an individual who is always ready to take responsibility, he/she executes all his/her duties with sincerity and dedication.Ā 

Throughout the year, (name of candidate) was an active participant in all our discussions while he/she has always supported his/her peers. I am certain that he/she will continue his/her great and creative work in the future while standing out as an individual at your institution.Ā 

I have deep professional and personal respect for him/her and sincerely believe that (name of candidate)Ā will offer his/her unique passion, creativity, energy, and optimistic outlook towards your class and institution as a whole. Thus, he/she has my highest endorsement for admission into his/her chosen course at your university. If you have any queries about this recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact me I will gladly attempt to help.Ā 

Yours Sincerely,Ā 

Recommenderā€™s Full NameĀ 


College, CityĀ 

Contact No-Ā 

Email ID-Ā 

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Letter of Recommendation Sample #2 for Higher Studies

To whom it may concern,

As the Head of the Department of Engineering at (institution name, city), I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for (name of candidate), an undergraduate student of the department and institution. I have directly taught (name of candidate) in (his/her) final year in the (course name) while having known him/her for three years in total. I can confidently talk about his/her aptitude, skills, and other qualities. He/she is a valued, sincere, and highly driven student with a knack for tapping into every opportunity that is available at the institution.

(Name) has always been a rank holder throughout his/her academic journey, having topped (his or her) batch and even securing a top-10 rank in the entire university for (subject name). He/she has also diligently worked on research papers and published studies in leading journals throughout the third and final years of study. He/she is presently working on a project that seeks to design an electric vehicle fit for all-terrain usage. (Name of candidate) was also chosen as a mentor by the department for helping her juniors master various concepts.

He/she has represented the institution at several engineering fests and competitions, winning numerous laurels for design and new concepts. (Name of candidate) recently designed an electric cycle prototype as part of a collaboration with 50 students nationwide. It is an honour for the institution and our department that he/she was chosen for this prestigious project. He or she has also been active in organizing various technical forums, seminars, and workshops as part of the college organizational committee and the event titled Engineering Tomorrow was a great success under his/her leadership.

(Name of candidate) was always an approachable, likeable, and sincere president of our Engineering Club from (duration). He/she continued the work of the club smoothly throughout this period, publishing its monthly newsletter and motivating younger students to take up the cudgels for more research and innovation alike.

Overall, (name of candidate) was an ideal fit for the community at our institution and ably demonstrated his/her leadership qualities, teamwork, and passion for engineering. I am confident about (him/her) proving to be a valuable addition to any institution and community. I strongly recommend (name of candidate) for your reputed institution and wish him/her all the best for his/her future endeavours.

Yours Sincerely,Ā 

Recommenderā€™s Full NameĀ 


College, CityĀ 

Contact No-Ā 

Email ID-

Letter of Recommendation Sample #2 for Higher Studies

To whom it may concern,

It is my great delight to back the candidature of (name) at your institution for (program name). I presently hold the designation of (designation, department, institution). I clearly remember (name) in spite of it being more than (tenure in years) since I directly taught and mentored (him/her). I remember (his/her) spirit of innovation and passion for research that (he/she) clearly displayed while studying under our tutelage.

I first met (name) when (he/she) became a student of (course name) in the (semester name) while pursuing (his/her) undergraduate course in (subject name) at (institution name, location). (He/she) studied with me for (period in months or years) and actively interacted with me for professional guidance outside the classroom environment as well. (He/she) also reached out after graduation many times for insights and advice on research projects. (He/she) was not only an excellent student but displayed a superlative grasp over multiple technical concepts from a young age itself.

I clearly recall that (name) was always ahead of the curve with regard to innovation and experimentation alike. In the (semester name), (he/she) manifested his understanding of (topic name) for developing (product name or application name). One of these applications revolved around a highly innovative concept that (explain the concept) and was used by almost everyone at the institution at one point of time. (He/she) would often seek my guidance and support during these projects and it gave me immense pride to see (him/her) following the path of research, innovation and development.

(Name) was always popular amongst (his/her) juniors while actively taking an interest in their lessons, offering them guidance and helping them out with projects. (He/she) was always calm and a born leader, displaying exceptional maturity by organizing various seminars and workshops in which I have had the pleasure of participating multiple times. (He/she) was excellent at time management, never missing a single class or deadline. (He/she) would always complete (his/her) assignments in a timely manner. (He/she) also won the (prize name) for our institution at the (fest or event name) in (year), making us all proud again.

(He/she) has naturally been eager to pursue his masters in (subject name) after completing (his/her) undergraduate studies and research projects. I strongly recommend (name) for (his/her) masters program in (subject name) at your esteemed institution. (He/she) will bring value wherever (he/she) goes and I am confident about (him/her) contribution to your institution with (his/her) inputs, research and academic prowess alike. Do feel free to reach out to me in case of any queries regarding my recommendation.


Full Name of Recommender

Designation & Department

Name of the Institution

Contact Details

These are just LOR samples for masterā€™s and can be customized for – LOR for MS in CS, LOR for MS in Mechanical Engineering, LOR for Civil Engineering, or LOR for MBA with the help of the tips provided in the article.

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Vital TipsĀ For Writing a Stellar Recommendation Letter for Graduate Students

When it comes to pulling off a successful letter of recommendation for masterā€™s programs, it is important to note these points-

1. Get the recommender to talk about diverse accomplishments

If you have to furnish 2 or 3 recommendation letters, you should get recommenders to mention various aspects of your achievements, personality, and academic and extra-curricular accomplishments. For example, one letter may emphasize your skills as a researcher while another letter may focus on your classroom performance.Ā 

2. Provide relevant information to the recommender

Even if the recommender knows you very well, chances are that they will not have records of all your academic achievements, extracurricular achievements, and test scores. Help them out by providing all relevant information, including your CV, lists of your academic GPAs and achievements, volunteer/extracurricular activities, and the date by which the letter should be submitted by them.Ā 

3. Letters should be example-based

Recommenders need to mention instances or anecdotes that help them see certain qualities in you. Simply stating that an applicant has good research attributes will not work unless there is an example included in a research project or discussion.

4. LOR should showcase your improvement over time

Admission officers have already witnessed innumerable applications. A letter that is solely praising you will sound unrealistic and unauthentic. It is hence important that the recommender also talks about how you improved over a period and capitalized on your strengths while taking care of your weaknesses.Ā 

5. Letter should not have an overly dry tone

The recommendation letter is undoubtedly a formal document. Yet, formality should not be equated with a dry tone while writing. Admissions committees usually appreciate personalized yet formal recommendation letters. Hence, a strong letter will speak about the candidate while avoiding any clichƩs.

6. Plagiarism is a big NO

Remember that admissions committees will easily detect whether your LOR has been written by the same individual or whether it has been plagiarized. Hence, you should not copy any content or LOR format blindly and send it to the universities in your applications.

8. The style and content of every LOR should be different without hindering the format.

Difference between LOR, SOP, and Letter of Reference

Let us first look at what ab LOR is:

LOR is an abbreviation of ā€œLetter of Recommendationā€. It is essentially a piece of attested document that is provided by an authorized person describing the potential and capabilities of a student or aspiring candidate who wishes to join a particular university for higher education. This document notifies the admissions department of that university with regards to the candidateā€™s achievements, prospects, skills, and qualities. A letter of recommendation from an accredited person plays an important role in the admissions process of students, especially in international universities.

Now, let us talk about SOPs:

SOP is an abbreviated form of ā€œStatement of Purposeā€. It is virtually one of the most important documents that support a studentā€™s admission procedure to international universities. Typically, it is a document that holds a biographic essay that is to be written by the candidate about himself. In this essay, the candidate is expected to describe their principles, goals, and ambitions. They can talk about their long-term plans and discuss the passions and dreams that they wish to work towards. This statement of purpose helps the admissions staff get an idea about your overall personality and nature.Ā 

Now, a letter of recommendation and a letter of reference are terms that are often used interchangeably by people. However, they differ in some key aspects which we will talk about now. As discussed above, a letter of recommendation is an officially attested document that supports a candidateā€™s admission application to an international university. It can also be used as a supportive document for job opportunities or other professional programs. A letter of reference is basically a generic affirmation or approbation of the candidateā€™s personality and character. A letter of recommendation is usually sent directly to the concerned university while a letter of reference is handed over to the concerned student. Finally, a letter of recommendation must be written by a certified person who is qualified to comment on your academic and professional skills, while a letter of reference can be written by friends or colleagues who can attest to your character and capabilities.

Who Should you Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for your Masterā€™s Application?

If you are a student aspiring to pursue a Masterā€™s program in an international university, it is important that you understand that most universities care a great deal about your past experiences, personal character, skills, and qualities in addition to your grades. This is where a letter of recommendation comes in handy.Ā 

Now, coming to who you should ask for a letter of recommendation for your Masterā€™s program, it depends largely on the university and the program you are planning to pursue. Some universities explicitly require letters of recommendation from Professors, professional mentors, and past employers. If you are asked to provide a recommendation letter from a professor, then this letter should fixate on your academic skills and accomplishments. Now, if you are expected to provide a letter from a past employer, then this document should focus on the specific skills that are pertinent to your respective Masterā€™s program. Asking the right person for a letter of recommendation is a significant part of applying for a Masterā€™s program.

Structure/ Format of LOR

The format and content structure of your letter of recommendation are as important as the actual letter. It should be phrased in such a way that the intended message is clearly communicated. The subject matter should be structurally divided into 3-4 paragraphs with each portion summarizing a unique facet backed by logic and rationale.

1. The first section

The first section should establish a concrete foundation with regard to the relationship between the candidate and the recommender. It should explain how the writer knows the candidate and indicate how qualified he is to attest to the candidateā€™s skills and capabilities.

2. The second section

This portion should focus on your essential qualities and credentials. It should bring across how competent and proficient you are with appropriate examples backing your claims.

3. The third section

In this part, the writer can talk about a specific incident or unique experience that features your technical and professional skills and expertise. Here, one can also talk about soft skills if relevant.

4. The fourth section

This section should analytically highlight all the points discussed above. The letter should be concluded with the writer providing a considerable endorsement to the candidate for them to be accepted into the program they wish to enter.

How to Submit your Letter of Recommendation?

It should be noted that submitting a letter of recommendation largely depends on the university you are applying to study. Most international universities have certain specifications about the mode they want the recommendation letter to be submitted. Let us look at the three common ways you may be required to submit your letter of recommendation:

1. Online Form

This is the simplest mode of submitting a letter of recommendation. What happens here is that the universities essentially provide an online login portal to the candidateā€™s listed recommenders where they are required to answer certain specific questions about the candidate.

2. Email

Some universities often require recommendation letters to be submitted directly by the recommenders via email. This submission should be made using the recommenderā€™s official email ID.Ā 

3. Post

This remains the most common and popular manner of submission. Here, the student is supposed to collect the letter of recommendation from the recommender in a sealed, signed, and stamped package. The student can then proceed by sending the letter to the respective university and his personal information and details about his application.

How to Ask for LOR

It is only natural for students to be hesitant about asking for letters of recommendation from their teachers, mentors, or employers. Thus, irrespective of how nervous you may feel about asking for a recommendation letter, you must remember that it is a normal part of the admissions process. Let us discuss further how you can ask for a LOR:

1. Choosing the right person

Asking for a letter of recommendation from the right person is of significant value in your admission procedure. You should keep in mind a list of people that know you well enough and are eligible to attest to your qualities and personal character.

2. Providing a resume

If you prepare a resume listing your strong suits and skills, it makes it much simpler for the recommender to write you a stellar recommendation. You can provide your academic transcripts while highlighting your achievements and qualifications.

3. Asking in person

It is always best to ask for a recommendation letter. It is much more respectful to ask a recommender in person first before sending them a formal request via email or post.Ā 

4. Formal request

After affirming the acceptance of your request in person, you can proceed with sending a formal proposal. You can do so by sending out a formal written request via email.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can an employer write a letter of recommendation for grad school?

A. Yes. An employer can write a letter of recommendation for a grad school aspirant. Some universities prefer that past employer write the letters.

Q2. Who can write me a letter of recommendation for my Master’s?

A. Letters of recommendation for a Masterā€™s program can be written by Professors, mentors, and past employers. Some universities have certain specifications about who can write your recommendation letter.

Q3. Do letters of recommendation (LOR) for graduate school have to be from professors?

A. There is no such limitation. Letters of recommendation or LOR for graduate school can be written by professors, teachers, and even employers of the aspiring candidate.

Q4. Does a letter of recommendation matter in getting admission to a master’s program?

A. Yes. A letter of recommendation carries great weight in your application to a Masterā€™s program in an international university. Every application is subjectively evaluated and then compared to other applications. What sets your application apart from others is your SOP, along with your LOR.

Q5. Why do you need a LOR for your masterā€™s application?

A. LORs are references provided by past employers or faculty members that help shed light on the candidateā€™s traits, previous performance, achievements, and eligibility. They are hence vital for an applicantā€™s profile and add sizable weightage to the application.

Q6. What is the letter of recommendation format for masterā€™s?

A. Though LOR is an official document, its tone needs to be personal and not dry. Candidates can refer to the tips and format provided in this article to write an appealing LOR.  

Q7. How to write a LOR for MS in CS?

A. While writing a LOR for MS in CS or any other higher education course, recommenders need to mention instances or anecdotes that help them see certain qualities in you. Simply stating that an applicant has good research attributes will not work unless there is an example included in a research project or discussion.

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