Graduate Admissions Recommendations

Welcome to the Boston University College of Engineering Recommender Website!

Thank you for taking the time to refer a candidate to our College of Engineering Graduate Programs. Here at the College of Engineering, we value the opportunity to get to know our candidates holistically and value your input given your previous experience with our applicant. By filling out our recommendation form and providing a letter of recommendation, you are helping to provide us with a more robust and complete understanding of the way the candidate will enrich the learning of his or her peers and add value to our graduate student community.

Completing your recommendation:

All parts of the recommendation form must be completed in order to submit.

  1. Return to the application form and check the box to acknowledge having read these instructions.
  2. Provide answers to the questions regarding your relationship to the applicant, rate the applicant on a scale of select qualities, and provide your overall recommendation from the drop down menu.
  3. Once complete, please upload a prepared Letter of Recommendation (PDF or Word Document) to help provide us with additional context.
  4. Submit your recommendation.

Once you submit, you will receive a confirmation screen indicating your recommendation is complete.

For questions or more information on this process, please contact The Graduate Programs Office.

Evaluation Ratings:

Our Faculty Admissions Committees have provided 5 qualities that they would like you to rank this applicant on. The program to which the applicant is applying will dictate what qualities you are asked to rate.

Evaluation Ratings Table - Admissions

The breakdown of our 1-5 rating scale appears below, with the additional option of indicating that a particular quality was not observed. For a statistical break down of how we view the scoring:

(5) Top 1%
(4) Top 5%
(3) Top 10%
(2) Top 30%
(1) Lower 70%
(*) Not Observed

Or, Not Observed. These ratings should be provided specifically for the quality listed. You will have an opportunity to provide an overall recommendation in addition to these qualities.

Overall Recommendation:

Please provide an overall recommendation for this applicant. You will have an opportunity to explain your recommendation in the uploaded letter.

Letter of recommendation:

Our Faculty Admissions Committees have provided feedback for what they feel makes a positive letter of recommendation. If you would like any guidance or ideas for what to articulate in your letter:

  • Be specific about your student rather than providing a generic review
  • Provide examples of how the applicant contributed to research efforts, lab work, or group projects
  • Indicate what technical skills the applicant has mastered and used
  • Specify how much guidance this applicant requires for various tasks
  • Comment on the applicant’s written and oral communication skills and if you feel they can articulate ideas clearly and concisely
  • Rate the applicant against your other students and provide comparative examples of where this applicant is relative to peers

The bullet points above are for your guidance and you are not required to address any of these specific examples.

Upload Requirements:

  • Please make sure your name and the applicant’s name appear somewhere on your uploaded letter
  • Files cannot exceed 5 MB in size and should be in .doc, .rtf, .pdf, or .txt format
  • The document must be in English
  • Be sure that your document is not password protected as this will prevent us from reviewing your recommendation



  • If you are having trouble uploading a PDF scan of your official letter, please try uploading the original Word document. The upload process sometimes has difficulty with the PDF (especially if there is a signature on it).
  • If you have previously submitted a recommendation for this student in Interfolio, we ask that you kindly complete and submit the online BU recommendation form. For the letter upload, you can upload your Interfolio word document if it is still available to you. If you do not have it available, please simply say that you have submitted your recommendation through Interfolio and we will work with Interfolio to pull your official letter.

If you have any trouble with the recommendation portal:

  • Please contact us via email at
    • Attach the PDF of your letter of recommendation to this email
    • Indicate in the body of the email who the reference is for and, if known, to which program they are applying
  • We will be able to upload the letter on your behalf, and your feedback is always welcome as we work to improve our new system.

Thank you all in advance for your time and efforts.