MIMS Admissions: Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are a way for the admissions committee to hear about how wonderful you are directly from someone who has worked with you. These letters reinforce what we have learned about you from other areas of your application. We want to know about your career achievements, the impact you’ve had in your role, your ability to collaborate and be a team player, your leadership skills, your potential for further growth and success, and more.

Asking someone to write a letter of recommendation can be a nerve-wracking task! You might be concerned that your recommender will miss the submission deadline or forget to share an especially impressive accomplishment. To help you get started, here are some actions we suggest you take:

Step 1

Approach your potential recommenders right away. We recommend scheduling a meeting with them to discuss your interest in applying to MIMS.

Step 2

To ensure your meeting is productive, we suggest preparing an outline that lists your achievements, career goals, areas for improvement, and details about why you are interested in pursuing MIMS.

Step 3

Once your recommender has agreed to write a letter for you, input their contact details into your application and follow up via email with important information. Your email should include your appreciation of their time, the outline you prepared, answers to any questions they asked during your meeting, and the letter of recommendation submission deadline.

Common Questions and Answers

Do you prefer academic or professional letters of recommendation?

Because MIMS is a professional program, and we expect students to be able to draw on their professional experiences, we prefer professional letters of recommendation. If you have limited professional experience, that is OK! We will accept a mixture of academic and professional letters.

Who should write my letter of recommendation?

We recommend you select individuals from current or recent employment, within the last 3–5 years. The title or status of those you select is not important. What is most important is that your recommender can attest to and provide specific examples of your value, impact, accomplishments, and potential.

Tip: The best choices are most often your current and/or previous direct supervisors. We do not recommend choosing personal or family friends, colleagues (unless they have supervised your work), or individuals you have supervised.

How can my letters of recommendation stand out?

Most of the recommendations we see are positive. But the stellar recommendations — the ones that stand out and make an impact on us — are those whose recommenders seem genuinely invested and take the time to write thoughtful, detailed letters full of strong examples about performance, impact, potential, and personal attributes.

Tip: Don’t forget that letters of recommendation are just one aspect of your application in a thorough, holistic review process. Although, as stated above, we are expecting that recommendations will reinforce and expand on your strengths and accomplishments, we will learn about many of these successes straight from your resume and essays — so do not be concerned that your recommenders may forget to share every last thing with us!

If I am reapplying, can I reuse letters of recommendation from my previous application?

Yes, you may use previous application materials in your reapplication, but it may be in your best interest to share up-to-date information and materials with us.

If you choose to reuse your previous recommendation letters, please complete the relevant recommender fields, and select Save. After selecting Save, please send an update to admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu, and the admissions team will upload your previous letters directly to your application.

How do I know if my recommenders have submitted their letters of recommendation?

You will receive an email after your recommender has completed and submitted their letter. You can also confirm receipt by checking your application status page.

My recommenders did not receive a link. How do I proceed?

This is a common issue for recommenders who have business email addresses that filter out .edu email addresses. Ask your recommender to check their spam folder for an email from gradadm@berkeley.edu. If they cannot find the email, you have two options: 1) Go back into your application and choose to “exclude” your recommender. Then, re-enter the recommender information, using their personal email address. 2) Email their name(s) to us at admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu, and we will send them a personal email link.

How do I follow up with my recommenders?

After sending the initial invitation to your recommenders, you may send reminder emails via the “Recommendations” page which you can find linked at the bottom of your application status page. You may continue to send reminders after you submit your application.

Can I submit my application if my recommenders have not yet submitted their letters?

Yes, you may submit your application before your letters of recommendation have been submitted.

Can I add recommendations after I have submitted my application?

You may add recommenders if you have not already had three letters submitted to your application. You can add recommenders via the “Recommendations” page linked at the bottom of your application status page.

Can we use a personal email address for our recommender?

Yes, if your recommender can no longer access their business email address, you may enter their personal email address.

Can I use Interfolio for my recommendations?

Yes, Interfolio will provide you with a specific email address for each letter that can be entered into the recommendation field.

Last updated:

December 3, 2021