Recommendation Letters

Applications to the Pardee School require three letters of recommendation (one more than most GRS programs). We prefer to receive exactly three letters – neither more nor less. We generally prefer academic letters; however, one to two professional letters of recommendation are acceptable in the case of an applicant who has been away from student status for more than two years. Academic recommendation letters should be written by university instructors who have taught the applicant in one or more classes, or have another basis for knowing well the applicant’s academic aptitude.

Academic recommendation letters from pre-college instructors are not acceptable. Letters from athletic coaches or supervisors of student clubs are discouraged unless the club in question has clear relevance to international affairs. A personal letter of recommendation (e.g., from a friend, a family member, etc.) is never acceptable.

Applicants are encouraged to have their recommendation letters submitted through the online application system.  However, it is also acceptable to have the letters mailed to us in hard copy.  Applicants may collect all recommendation letters and send them to us in a single packet or they can have their recommenders mail in the letters individually.  Information on where to send paper materials can be found here.

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