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A letter of recommendation (LOR) for MS programs is a document offering a third-person perspective on the ethics, experience, intelligence, and personality of the students. Seeing that a LOR for MS focuses primarily on the academic performance of an applicant, universities expect students to submit academic letters of recommendation instead of professional LORs. However, if students have substantial work experience, then they can submit a professional LOR written by a supervisor or employer.
How to Write Letter of Recommendation for MS Courses?
Most of the top universities in the world ask for 2 to 3 LORs for MS programs. The basic structure and format for the academic Letter of Recommendation for MS remain the same. However, what is written in the letter is more important than how it is presented. Since LOR is not written by the student, he/she should contact the referee beforehand and discuss the content to avoid any discrepancy:
- Theme: The focal point, from the content’s perspective, in a LOR for MS should be the achievements and capabilities of the students. Their interests, skills, emotional traits, etc should form the main theme of the recommendation letter.
- Style: Recommendation letters should be written in simple language that could be easily understood by the admissions committee. Provide substantial proof of qualities discussed in the Letter of Recommendation for MS in Canada, Australia, USA, etc by stating examples. Overuse of adjectives or long descriptions should be avoided. Letter of Recommendation must be crisp and concise written in clear and lucid language.
- Experience: Any experience or achievements relevant to the field should be discussed in the LOR such as internships, research projects, participation in workshops & seminars, club memberships, etc.
- Soft Skills: Applicant’s skills like the ability to communicate effectively, interpersonal skills, teamwork, flexibility, analytical and creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, etc. should also be accentuated in LOR for MS.
- Tone: Although the purpose of a recommendation letter is to put the spotlight on all the good qualities of the study abroad aspirants, it shouldn’t be exaggerated or based on prejudices. The perception of the recommender should reflect the fair judgment and assessment based on real-time observation.
Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Guidelines for Popular MS Courses
The structure, format, type, and content of LOR for MS required for studying in Canada, the USA, Australia, and other popular study abroad destinations largely depends on the specialization you are applying for. This section discusses the content of some of the popular programs in detail.
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Computer Science
Universities look for both the creative and analytical qualities of students in the LOR for MS in Computer Science. Thus, the recommender should focus on highlight an applicant’s following skills:
- Excellent knowledge of programming languages like Java, SQL, Python, etc
- Broad understanding of mathematics
- Data analysis and visualization
- Identifying a problem and formulating effective solutions
- Ability to pay close attention to details
Professor/employer should also mention any application, software, etc developed by the applicant during his study/employment tenure in the LOR required for universities offering MS in CS across the world.
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Data Science
In addition to the skills and competencies required for computer science, professors should discuss one or more of the following attributes of applicants in the LOR for MS in Data Science:
- Reported technical findings
- Communicated with non-technical colleagues or batchmates effectively
- Crafted a compelling story from data
- Excellent visualization skills
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Business Analytics
Students applying for MS in Business Analytics in USA or any other country must have both technical knowledge and entrepreneurial understanding. So, professors/employers writing LOR should mention the following points to establish the credibility of applicants:
- Profound knowledge of how businesses operates
- Logical, analytical, and critical thinking skills
- Interpersonal and communication skills required for working with a client or team
- Good understanding of analytical tools
Only basic programming knowledge is required with some idea of languages like SQL. Hence, the LOR for MS in Business Analytics shouldn’t be focused much on this aspect.
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Mechanical Engineering
A solid training and educational background in the relevant field to get admission to top universities offering MS in Mechanical Engineering. Professors or employers should especially focus on the projects undertaken by applicants in the LOR. Some other points that can be discussed are as follows:
- First-hand experience of designing or constructing a machine
- A deeper understanding of how to use tools and techniques
- Participation in workshops and labs related to mechanics
- Other soft skills like problem-solving, communication, etc
- Basic knowledge of mathematics
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Management
Recommenders should highlight instances where the applicant has demonstrated the following competencies in the LOR for MS in Management
- Potential to supervise a team
- Knack for entrepreneurship and innovation
- Knowledge about marketing
- Managerial and research skills
- Foundational knowledge about management practices and principles
To know about the guidelines for LOR for MS in Management in detail, click here.
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Civil Engineering
Recommenders writing LOR for MS in Civil Engineering in Canada, UK, USA, etc should mention the construction projects handled by applicants to highlight their technical skills. Some other attributes that can be emphasized in the LOR are:
- Map reading
- Reviewing blueprint
- Understanding of design techniques
- Knowledge of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Biotechnology
The intent of LOR written for universities offering MS in Biotechnology should be to call attention to the creative attitude of applicants towards the development and manufacturing of genetically modified products. Professors should discuss student’s interests in at least one field of biotechnology like tissue culture, molecular cloning, etc. Other skills that can also be included are:
- Basic knowledge of subjects like maths, chemistry, and biology
- Inclination towards research
- Ability to work efficiently on equipment like microscopes
- Knowledge about techniques like Gel Electrophoresis, PCR, etc.
Letter of Recommendation for MS in Public Health
LOR for MS in Public Health in UK, USA, Canada, and other popular countries should reflect the applicant’s desire to contribute to society and strong work ethics. Recommenders can talk about events or incidents when students have demonstrated a zeal to bring a positive change in the world. Following are some other qualities that can be highlighted in the LOR:
- Taking initiative for a project
- Flexible and can adapt to the diverse situation
- Analyze and interpret complex problems and find a solution
- Knowledge of healthcare policies
- Communication skills
Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for MS Sample
The sample below is an Academic LOR for MS in Computer Science, submitted by a KU professor
University of California BerkeleyDear Sir/Madam,
It is with pleasure that I am writing this letter of recommendation for Diamond to support her application for the MS in Computer Science course at your esteemed. I have been teaching her for the past three years as a senior professor of the Computer Science Department at Delhi University. Some of the subjects that I taught her are Networking, Data Structures, Algorithms, etc.
The first impression that anyone forms of her are that of a person with outstanding technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. She was an inquisitive student from the first year and asked a lot of questions. Assignments submitted by Diamond demonstrated her out-of-the-box thinking and dedication towards the subject.
She participated in all the seminars and olympiads organized by our university related to computer science. This kept her updated with the latest developments in this field. She was also an active member of our university’s Computer Science Club. Her critical thinking ability and collaborative nature made her a favorite among students and professors.
Based on the last 20 years of teaching experience, I would place her among the top 10% of the students I have ever taught. I strongly recommend her to be considered as a potential student of MS in Computer Science at your university.