LOR Samples for PhD

A letter of recommendation is a very important document required in the admission process. A letter of recommendation from the correct person can take you a long way and help in getting a seat in your desired program. A letter of recommendation contains all your achievements, capabilities, professional experience, etc., and is written by your professors or employers who have seen you in action. Your abilities and what you are capable of. A Ph.D. applicant is often needed to provide two LORs; however, it is recommended that the applicant have at least three LORs on hand to be safe. Depending on the university, there are many methods for submitting a letter of recommendation from your recommenders.

Some top Universities along with their LORs requirements:

University Requirements
Oxford University 3 academic LORs
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 3 academic or professional LORs
University of Cambridge 2 to 3 references were submitted through the online portal
Stanford University 3 academic or professional LORs
Princeton University. 3 academic or professional LORs
Yale University 3 academic or professional LORs
University of Chicago 3 academic or professional LORs
Imperial College London 2 academic LORs
Harvard University 3 academic or professional LORs
University of Pennsylvania 2 academic LORs


Who Should Write Your Letter of Recommendation

PhD is a very competitive and difficult program and every document while applying for this matters and is very important therefore it becomes essential whom you ask to write your letter of recommendation. The ideal person to write your LOR is your professor under whom you have completed your education or projects or a professor with whom you have worked during research. They should be able to explain why you are the perfect candidate and what skills you possess. It is important to note that you should not ask your family or friends to write the letter of recommendation as they are not as aware of your work as closely as your professor or employer would and the opinion of friends and family can be biased the qualities and skills of the applicant.

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Drafting a PhD LOR

The letter of recommendation should begin with an introduction that refers the candidate to the university. It should be an introduction of the recommender and telling how long the applicant and themselves have been acquainted with each other and since when they know each other. These details are discussed in the first paragraph and the other details are then framed into other paragraphs like:

  • Subject knowledge with respect to the applicant’s project topic
  • Analytical skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Time-management
  • Additional course
  • Passion and dedication
  • Research skills

After these details, the last paragraph should be the conclusion highlighting all the important details mentioned in the above paragraph. The Letter of Recommendation should be 1-2 pages and should not exceed that.


Tips for Writing the LOR for PhD

  1. The recommender should write about the positive traits of the applicant excluding what is already written in the Statement of Purpose.
  2. As research is an important part of a doctoral degree the qualities of the applicant during the research should be elaborated upon.
  3. It should not contain any misrepresentation of the recommender or the applicant. The details should be true and not just what you think the committee wants to hear.
  4. The recommender should mention the period during which they have been associated and the capacity in which they interacted.
  5. The letter of recommendation should be written by the faculty of the recent institution that the applicant attended.

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