Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


Common Questions / Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and the answers to them have been organized under the topics at right. Use these links to display the topics in the space below. Please review the questions and answers carefully before contacting our office.

Please note: The university’s ten professional schools (Art, Architecture, Divinity, Drama, Forestry, Law, Management, Medicine, Music and Nursing) have separate admissions policies and application processes which are outlined within the admissions Web pages and publications of those schools.

Letter of Recommendation Questions

How does the Letter of Recommendation process work?

Our online application incorporates a process by which you identify your recommendation providers (a minimum of 3 are required), the “system” notifies those providers on your behalf by e-mail, and when those providers submit their recommendation they are collated with your application. Once you submit your application, all recommendations submitted to date are included. Recommendations submitted after you submit your application are also provided to us and collated with your application.

The online system also incorporates a Recommendaiton form with a "rating" section which allows your recommender to provide a quantitative rating for you (relative to others who have gone to Graduate School in recent years) in three categories - Academic Performance, Intellectual Potential and Motivation for the Proposed Program of Study.

One of my Recommenders did not receive an e-mail or is having trouble accessing the online recommendation system.

When you identify a Recommendation provider within your online application an e-mail is automatically initiated from our service provider on your behalf. If a Recommender has any spam blocking or other software intended to filter out certain e-mail, they may not even see this e-mail. Please ensure that your recommenders have either disabled such software or “allowed” <support@hobsons.com>. It is also essential, that Recommenders disable any popup blocking software as such may preclude the display of important information.

If your recommender received the e-mail but is having trouble accessing the form please advise them that there is a special e-mail address contained within the automatic e-mail which they should use if normal "technical support" cannot resolve their issue.

Can I add a Recommender after submitting my application?

Yes you can. While you are required to designate at least three recommendation providers prior to the submission of your application it may be necessary for you to add additional recommenders after you submit your application. This need can result if one or more of your recommenders is unable to provide a letter for you. You also have the ability to delete a previously designated recommender if their recommendation has not been submitted.

To add a recommender, or to delete a recommender who has not yet submitted a recommendation, return to your on-line application and visit the Recommendations section and your Recommendation Provider List.

Please advise your recommenders where their e-mail notification will originate from, and if deleting a recommender a courtesy e-mail indicating you have done so is advisable.

May I designate more than three Recommendation Providers?

Yes - you may designate more than the required three Recommendation Providers in support of your application but it is not necessary.

Do you accept Letters of Recommendation (or Evaluations) from a credential management or dossier service?

No - The Yale office of Admissions does not accept letters of recommendation from credential management and dossier services unless the service has the ability to upload a letter directly into our online Recommendation System. Please check with your service to see if they have that ability.

Since all applications are reviewed by the faculty on-line, paper based letters cannot be accommodated.

Additionally, an important part of your letter of recommendation is a quantitative rating for Academic Performance, Intellectual Potential and Motivation for the Proposed Program of Study, that recommenders are asked to provide for you relative to other students who have gone to Graduate School in recent years. Recommendations submitted to centralized credential management and dossier services are unable to provide for this form.

One of my recommenders wishes to submit the recommendation for me in paper form only - is that OK?

No - Since all applications are reviewed by faculty on-line there is no physical file folder to maintain paper based letters.

Letters of recommendation in support of your application are received through an online process only. This process ensures that once a letter has been submitted for you, it is collated with your electronic application automatically whether or not your application has been submitted. Both you and and the recommender are notified when the letter has been submitted. The process also provides a mechanism by which you can remind those for whom a letter has not been received.

Should you encounter this situation after you have submitted your application you are able to add recommenders or delete those who have not submitted a letter for you.

I have been out of school for some time - may my recommenders be those who can attest to my professional work?

Yes - although we suggest at least one recommendation should originate from a faculty member of the last institution you attended as a full-time student, it is not mandatory that you do this if you have been out of school for a number of years.

I am a previous-year applicant – how do I enter my recommendations?

First, you should read the Frequently Asked Questions section labeled “Application Questions” and the question “I am reapplying, what do I need to do?”.

The Graduate School requires for all applicants, three letters of recommendation. This applies to re-applicants as well. Even though you had one or more letters in your previous year application that you intend to use in support of your current year application you need to obtain new letters from those recommenders.

I started an application last year and requested letters of recommendation that were completed; however I did not submit my application. Can those letters be attached to the new application I will be preparing for this coming year?

No - You will need to identify your recommenders in your current year application.