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Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive
Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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Letters of Recommendation

General Admissions Questions
Application Support
Letters of Recommendation
Standardized Tests
Review and Notification

Please CLICK on any question below to see the answer.

  • How does the online recommendation process work?

    Once you enter your recommender's contact information in the application and click save, an email is sent to the recommender with directions on how he or she can submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. These letters are submitted electronically to the Graduate School and are added to your application.

  • Can I submit my application before all of my recommendations arrive?

    Yes. Submit your application as soon as you have completed each section and sent recommendation requests to your recommenders. After you submit your application, the Graduate Admissions Office can link recommendation letters as they are received. NOTE: While it is fine for recommendations to arrive after you submit your application, it is important that we receive them by or before the application deadline.

  • What should I do if one of my recommenders is having trouble submitting a recommendation?

    First, click on the Technical Support link in your application and submit a help ticket. If Technical Support is unable to assist you, contact the Graduate School using the contact form on the Graduate Admissions website.

  • Can I submit my recommendations through a letter service like Interfolio?

    Yes, if the service is compatible with our online recommendation system. If using a letter service, enter the recommender's name in your application, but enter the email address provided by the letter service. Interfolio's directions are available here.

  • Can I change one of my recommenders or add a new one after my application has been submitted?

    You cannot change a recommender that is already listed in a submitted application. If you have already submitted your application and need to add a new recommender because one of your original recommenders is unavailable, please email Graduate Admissions using the contact form on the Admissions website. In your email, be sure to specify your name, your date of birth, the program(s) to which you applied, and the name of the new recommender. If you have more than one application on file, you should also specify which application requires the new recommendation. We will then reply to you with detailed instructions for submitting the new recommendation.

  • Is it OK to list more than three recommenders in my application?

    We strongly discourage you from requesting more than the required number of recommendations unless the department to which you applied has asked to see additional recommendations. Rather than improving your chances of admission, an excessive number of recommendation letters may actually cause application reviewers to view your file unfavorably.

  • What does it mean to waive your right to examine a letter of recommendation?

    Waiving your right to examine a letter of recommendation gives the recommender confidence that the letter will remain confidential. If you waive your right, you will not be able to view the letter at any time.

  • What if my recommendation letters arrive after the application deadline?

    Ideally, your recommendation providers will submit their recommendations by or before the application deadline. One way to facilitate timely submissions is to communicate with your recommenders at least two months before you plan to submit your application. If the recommendations arrive late, we will still forward them to the appropriate department.

  • I have been asked to submit a recommendation for an applicant. How should I proceed?

    You will receive an email message that includes step-by-step instructions on how to submit your recommendation electronically. This message will come from, not the Graduate School. Please adjust your email spam filters, if necessary, to ensure that you receive the email message in your inbox.