Letter of Recommendation FAQs

All letters must be submitted by your provider online. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Q: How does the letter of recommendation process work?

When you fill out an application, you will be asked to enter contact information for your recommenders. Your recommenders will then receive a notification email with instructions for uploading their letter. Please note:

  • Letters of recommendation will be automatically attached to your application as soon as they are submitted. 
  • You may view the status of letters of recommendation within your application or from your Application Status Portal.

Q: How many recommendation letters are required?

The number of letters required varies by application type.

  • For degree programs, three letters of recommendation are required. (To a maximum of five).
  • For non-degree programs, two letters of recommendation are required.

Q: One of my recommenders wishes to submit the recommendation for me in paper form only. Is that OK?

Unfortunately, no. We will only accept letters submitted online.

If your recommender is only willing to provide a paper letter, you may want to consider a different recommender, as paper letters will not be considered. 

Q: Can I add a recommender after I submit my application?

From your Application Status Portal, you will be able to remind, add, or exclude a recommender. This feature is no longer available once the minimum required number of recommendations (3) has been received. 

Q: Can I delete a recommender?

Yes, you may “Exclude” a recommender from within your application or on your Application Status Portal. 

Q: I started an application last year and requested letters of recommendation that were submitted. Can those letters be attached to the new application I will be preparing for this coming year?

Unfortunately, no. You will have to identify your recommenders again in your current year application. Your recommenders will have to submit recommendations again.

Q: Will Yale GSAS accept letters of recommendation from a dossier service such as Interfolio?

Yes. We will accept letters of recommendation from Interfolio or other dossier services that have the ability to upload a letter directly to our online recommendation system on behalf of a faculty member. In such cases, please enter the dossier service-specific email address provided by the recommender when adding a recommender for your application.

Please be advised that dossier services generally will not fill out optional questions on our recommendation form, including ratings of your Academic Performance, Intellectual Potential, and Motivation for the Proposed Program of Study.

Paper letters and emailed PDFs are not acceptable. 

Q: I have been out of school for some time. May my recommenders be those who can attest to my professional work?

Yes; however, we suggest that at least one recommendation should originate from a faculty member of the last institution you attended as a full-time student. This is not mandatory and may not be feasible if you have been out of school for a number of years.

Q: One of my recommenders did not receive an email or is having trouble accessing the online recommendation system.

Once you enter your recommender’s information (including email address) and select “Send to Recommender,” an email is automatically generated and sent to your recommender. If your recommender does not receive the email, it is possible that their email provider is blocking the email. You may try resending the email or excluding the recommender and adding them again with a different email address. 

Q: Is there a deadline for letters of recommendation?

Recommenders may upload letters after the program deadline. We will add their letters to your application for review as soon as they arrive. Some programs begin reviewing applications right away, so it is best for recommenders to submit letters as soon as they are able. Please note that we only accept letters uploaded online; we do not accept mailed or faxed letters of recommendation.