Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

General Guidelines for Letters of Recommendation

We require letters of recommendation for all doctoral programs and many master’s and advanced certificate programs. Please consult the application information for your program or degree 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.

Letters of Recommendation in NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Application

Once you register your recommenders in the NYU Steinhardt graduate application system, your recommenders 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 the Recommendations tab in the left-hand navigation.
  3. Select Add Recommender.
  4. Select how the recommendation will be submitted, either "to be submitted electronically by the recommender" or "to be mailed by the recommender." We cannot accept faxed or emailed letters of recommendation.
    • We prefer for recommendations to be submitted electronically. In addition to having recommenders submit directly to the application system, you may use Interfolio, following Interfolio's directions on how to upload a confidential letter to an online application system. Use the recommender's Interfolio document email for this option.
    • Recommendations can be mailed by the recommender or by third-party services. If you are using a third-party service, have them mail the recommendations to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The Office of Graduate Admissions will update your status upon receipt of the recommendation . 
  5. Input the recommender’s information in the fields provided. Make sure the email address is accurate, and provide only one email address for each recommender. If the recommendation is being mailed in by the recommender or a third party service, an email address is optional. 
  6. For recommendations that will be submitted electronically, you have the option to write a personal message to the recommender. 
  7. 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 who 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.
  8. If you chose:
    • To be submitted electronically by the recommender, select the Send to Recommender button. An email will be immediately sent to the recommender. You can inform your recommender that an email will arrive from via
    • To be mailed by the recommender, select the Save button. Once we receive the letter, we will process it and update your recommender's status.
  9. To add more recommenders, repeat steps 3–8. The system will only allow a maximum of three letters of recommendation. Please do not contact us about sending more recommendations than the system allows or the program requires.  

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.

Even after you submit your application, you can monitor your letters of recommendation via the status page.

You cannot revoke/cancel or exclude a recommendation letter once it has been submitted by the recommender. If the recommender has already submitted a letter, the submitted letter will remain a part of your admissions application file.

Canceling a Recommender or Correcting a Recommender’s Email Address

Cancelling a Recommender

If you selected a recommendation "to be submitted electronically by the recommender" and the recommender did not submit an electronic letter of recommendation, you can select the Exclude button to exclude this letter from your application and register another recommender. 

If you selected a recommendation "to be mailed by the recommender," even if you delete the recommendation request, any recommendation received by the Office of Graduate Admissions will become a part of your admissions application file.

Correcting a Recommender’s Email Address

If you entered the incorrect email address for a recommender, you can enter the correct email address in the field provided and select the Send Reminder button, to resend the request to the new email address. 

Notification Emails 

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

  1. When you register a recommender, the recommender will receive a message with the instructions on how to upload a letter.
  2. After a recommender successfully submits a letter, the recommender will receive an email confirmation.

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

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