Graduate Division

Letters of Recommendation

You are required to have three letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. The letters should be submitted by instructors in a discipline related to your proposed field of study who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise. Letters may be submitted online or on paper via regular mail; online submissions are strongly preferred.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 gives students (persons admitted and enrolled), the right to inspect letters of recommendation written in support of applications for admission. The law also permits students to waive that right if they choose, although such a waiver must be voluntary and cannot be a condition of admission, award, or employment.

Waiving your right of access to the letters of recommendation is optional. However, the Admissions Committee cannot use letters of recommendation intended to be confidential unless the applicant waives access by signing the Waiver of Access statement. The process for "waiving access" or "declining to waive access" is described below.


For the Applicant

Letters of recommendation may be submitted online by your recommenders at any time after you start your online application. It is strongly recommended that you waive or decline to waive your rights of access to your letters of recommendation (using the online application systemBEFORE you start inviting recommenders to submit their information for you. Once you have started your application, you can either use the "LOR & Waiver of Access" section of the online application system or you can use the UCI Application Progress Review System to specify your recommenders and send automated invitation emails to them. The automated invitation emails include all the information needed by your recommenders to submit your recommendation online. After you have completed and submitted your application, you may continue to manage your list of recommenders and monitor the status of their submissions using the UCI Application Progress Review System. Please note that this feature does not reflect the status of letters of recommendation that are submitted on paper.

For the Recommender

Please ask your student to use the UCI Application Progress Review System to send you an automated invitation email for submitting an online recommendation. That email will include a secure web link for you to access the online Letter of Recommendation system and submit your recommendation for their application. Please note that the online Letter of Recommendation system DOES support the upload of letter files only in PDF format, but you can also copy/paste the text of your letter for the online submission if you don't have a PDF file.


For the Applicant

Please complete the two sections of the Paper Letter of Recommendation/Waiver of Access Form below with the heading "Applicant" and provide the mailing address of the program to which you are applying, at the end of the form. Next, print out the entire form, and mail it to your recommender. Your recommender should complete the form and mail it to the address that you have indicated on the form.

For the Recommender

Your student should complete the "Applicant" sections of the form below and the mailing address and send the form to you. Please complete the "Recommender" sections of the form and mail the form to the address provided by your student at the end of the form.