Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Due to the volume of applications which are received, and in order to read each application thoroughly and thoughtfully, we limit the number of recommendations to three.

Requirements

Letters must be written in English and come from faculty members or other individuals well acquainted with your academic work. 

  • Princeton School of Public and International Affairs M.P.A. and M.P.P. applicants: Applicants must have one professional letter in addition to one academic reference letter. The third letter should come from a faculty member, administrator, or professional who can comment on commitment to public service.

  • Master in Finance applicants: Three letters are required. The department will accept one of the letters from a current or former employer.

Submission Process

Before Applying

  • Prepare: Gather email addresses and full names of three recommenders prior to submitting the application. 

  • Note to prior applicants: Recommendations from prior applications do not carry forward. You must register three recommenders and their letters need to be sent through the application system.

During the Application Process 

Please do not wait to submit an application because of pending letters. 

  • Register recommenders: You will be required to register the recommenders' email addresses within the application. We suggest registering recommenders as early as possible to allow sufficient time for them to submit their letters of recommendation. Recommenders may be registered before the application is submitted.

  • Recommender instructions: Recommenders will receive an email with directions on how to proceed. Their letters are submitted using our electronic recommendation service. Once a recommender receives the recommendation request, the recommender cannot be changed or removed. 

  • Letter services: If a recommender uses a letter service (e.g., Interfolio), you will need to provide the recommender's unique "document email address" in the application. 

  • Troubleshooting recommender issues: Please make sure your recommender selected “Submit.”  Often recommenders select save and fail to submit. If your recommender is still having trouble, they may email gradapphelp@princeton.edu.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

FERPA gives enrolled students the right to inspect and review their educational records. When a recommender is registered in the application, there is an option to waive this right. The email that your recommender will receive from Princeton indicates if FERPA rights have been waived or not, and this may influence what the recommender writes in the reference.

  • If FERPA rights were not waived, enrolled students may request access to view recommendation letters. 

  • Applicants who do not become students will not be able to view recommendation letters under any circumstances. 

Once the recommendation request has been submitted, waived status may not be changed. To review your selection, please log into your account and go to Recommendations. Select “Edit” next to the Recommender’s name to see what you selected. All letters of recommendation are confidential during the admission process. The decision to waive or not waive the right will not affect the application for admission.

Manage & Track Recommendations

For further assistance, email gradapphelp@princeton.edu.