Graduate Application Guide

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are required for all doctoral programs and many master’s and advanced certificate programs. Please consult the Graduate Application Guide page for your program of interest to determine the number of recommendations required for your application. 

Letters should come from individuals who know you and can comment on your academic qualifications in relation to the field you want to study. Choose people who are most familiar with your former or current studies, research interests, or work, and avoid recommendations of a personal nature. If you have been out of school for some time, you can provide a recommendation from an employer or supervisor.

Follow the steps below to register your recommenders in our online application system. Once registered, they will be able to submit their letters electronically, either before or after you submit your application. Make sure to enter their contact information accurately, as they will receive an automated email from NYU Steinhardt Graduate Admissions informing them of the recommendation process.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your recommendations are received by the application deadline.

How to Register Recommenders

  1. Log into the online application.
  2. Select Recommendation Information.
  3. Select whether or not you wish to waive your rights of access to any letters submitted. Once you make your selection, it cannot be changed. If you are considering not waiving your rights of access, we strongly urge you to discuss this with your recommender prior to doing so, as we have seen recommenders refuse to submit a recommendation for an applicant that does not waive their rights. Even if you decide not waive your right of access, you will only be able to read your letters of recommendation after you become a student at NYU Steinhardt.  
  4. Input the recommender’s information in the fields provided. Make sure that the email address is accurate, and provide only one email address for each recommender. Any attempts to provide more than one email address will result in the system failing.
  5. Select one of the following recommendation methods:
    • Email for recommender upload: This method is for letters from a specific person. You can choose to include a personal note to your recommender.
    • If you have letters of recommendation from a third-party service, please have them mailed to the Office of Graduate Admissions with a completed document cover sheet
  6. Select the Send Email button. An email will be immediately sent to the recommender. You can inform your recommender that an email will arrive from The box will also appear as checked, indicating that a message has been sent to the recommender's email address. 
  7. To add additional recommenders, select the plus ( + ) button in the upper right corner, then follow steps 1-6 above. The system will only allow a maximum of three letters of recommendation.

Recommendation Status

You can monitor the status of your letters of recommendations in order to follow up with your recommenders and ensure that their letters are submitted by the deadline.

Prior to submitting your online application, if a recommender has submitted his or her letter, the check box will be checked.

After you submit your application, you can log back in and select Check recommendation request to determine whether or not a recommender has submitted a letter.

You cannot revoke a recommendation letter once it is in progress or submitted by the recommender.

Canceling a Recommender or Correcting a Recommender’s Email Address

If you entered the incorrect email address for a recommender, you will have to cancel the recommendation request in order to re-register them with the correct address. (If the recommender has already submitted a letter, you will not be able to cancel the recommendation. The submitted letter will remain a part of your file.)

To cancel a recommendation request: 

  1. Log into to the online application.
  2. Select Recommendation–Info Applicant.
  3. Find the recommender you wish to cancel or delete.
  4. Select the Cancel recommendation button.
  5. The recommender will now receive an email stating that you have cancelled your recommendation request. The same email will be sent if you are deleting a recommendation request because of an incorrect email address.
  6. A minus button (  ) will appear in the upper right corner. Click on it and this will remove the recommender from your record.  
  7. To re-register a recommender with the correct email address, follow the steps above for Registering Recommenders.

Notification Emails 

During the recommendation process, the system will send two notification emails to each recommender:

  1. When you register a recommender, he or she will receive a message with the instructions, link, and login and password information in order to upload a letter.
  2. After a recommender successfully submits a letter, he or she will receive an email confirmation.

Occasionally recommenders will fail to receive the automated emails with their login information. This is usually due to their email security settings and spam filters. If this happens, first ask the recommender to check his or her spam folder for an email from If that doesn't work, ask the recommender to add to his or her email safe list or address book.

At any point in the process, you can select  the button to re-send an email to the email address listed for the recommender. 

Recommenders Unable to Use the Online System

The Office of Graduate Admissions understands that there are very exceptional circumstances in which a recommender may not be able to use the online system in order to submit a letter electronically. 

Although this is not the required method for sending recommendations and can delay the processing of your application, recommenders who are unable to use the online system may mail a paper letter of recommendation to our office, accompanied by a completed document cover sheet. Your application will receive full consideration as long as your recommendations are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline. 

Recommenders should not submit an online recommendation letter in addition to a paper recommendation letter. 

Unfortunately, we will not accept faxed or emailed letters of recommendations.