Reference Letter Sample
College Graduate Program

Letters of Reference
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A letter of reference, or reference letter, for admission to a college program is usually written as a general multi-purpose form letter, in the sense that it does not address any particular individual or program. Unlike specific-purpose recommendation letters, college reference letters are typically used verbatim to apply to a number of different programs at various institutions. The example reference letter below was used by a student to apply to a number of different graduate programs.

(print Reference Letter on corporate letterhead stationery)

May 5, 20xx

[Recipient address- Line 1]
[Recipient address- Line 2]
[Recipient address- Line 3]
[Recipient address- Line 4]

Dear Admissions Officer:

Letter of Reference - Jeanine Chambers

I am writing this letter of reference at the request of Jeanine Chambers who is applying for your graduate program in Educational Studies. She has asked me to provide this general letter that she may show to any prospective graduate school to which she may apply.

This letter is written on a confidential basis and therefore should be shared only with individuals in your school/program who are directly involved in the selection process. In addition, this letter should not be shown to Jeanine Chambers who has waived the right to see the letter.

I have known Jeanine Chambers as an undergraduate student for the past two years. During that time she was a student in three of my courses: Media, Technology and Computers and Education. These were both small third year classes so I was able to get a good look at Jeanine's performance and capabilities. Number one, she is an excellent communicator, both orally and in writing. Her papers and presentations were without exception, excellent. Her grade point average of 3.87 (4.0) for the two courses reflects her dedication to excellence. I was always impressed by her depth of research and she surprised me a number of times by taking an innovative and thought provoking look at generally accepted standards and norms. She wrote a wonderful paper on "Education and the Fear of Technology" which I suggest you read if you ever get the chance.

Jeanine was an active participant in class discussions and was convincing in making her points. If she has one Achilles heel it is her tendency to be somewhat impatient, bordering on intolerant, at times with the points of view proffered by some of her less capable peers. Although to be fair, she was often reacting to poor research and/or preparation on the part of the peer.

Based on my association with Jeanine Chambers, I believe that she would be a welcome addition to any graduate program in Pedagogical Studies, particularly if there is a strong research component.

Yours collegially,

Barbara Miller, Ph.D.
Department Head, Secondary Education

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