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San Diego State University

Pre Graduate School

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are a critical component of your overall application. They provide the opportunity to inform admissions committees about your strengths and best qualities, and can make up for any weaknesses found in other components of your overall application.  

Depending on the graduate program requirements, writers of your letters may be faculty, internship supervisors, employers, or others who can confidently discuss your potention to succeed and complete graduate-level work.

We recommend you read graduate program web sites and contact graduate program department advisers or coordinators early to see what letters are highly recommended. Letters may reflect a combination of your academic, work, or community experiences, depending on your field of interest. 

Aim for a letters of recommenders that will cover a range of your skills.  Ideally, letters should cover your academic, scholarship, research abilities and experiences, other out of classroom experiences (e.g. internships, work experience, leadership, service). 


An ideal letter of recommendation will definitely come from someone who knows you both in and beyond the classroom.  




Get to Know Faculty and Professionals in Your Field of Interest Early

You want someone who not only knows you well, but who is willing to write you a excellent letter of support.


Ask Someone Who....


  • knows you long enough to write with authority
  • knows your work experience well 
  • can describe you in a positive light
  • has academically evaluated you in your upper-division course work
  • knows your educational and professional goals
  • can favorably compare you with your peers
  • knows you beyond the classroom

Division of Undergraduate Studies
San Diego State University
Administrative Building 101
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1623
Phone:  619-594-5842