Comprehensive Guide to LOR for Masters in 2024

lor for masters

If you are planning to apply for a master’s program abroad, there are some key documents you will need, and one of them is a letter of recommendation (LOR). While your grades and personal statement are important, LORs give a personal touch by providing valuable insights into your academic and individual achievements.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about LOR for masters, LOR format and samples for MS, and how to draft stellar LORs for your master’s application in 2024.

What is a Letter of recommendation (LOR)?

A letter of recommendation (LOR) is a document which provides a testament to an individual’s qualifications, character and highlights their potential. It is written by someone who knows the individual well and has observed their skills and character closely.

LORs can be obtained from various sources, including professors, employers, mentors, or anyone else one has worked with. The best LORs provide examples and anecdotes highlighting the applicant’s abilities, character traits and motivation, making it more personal and compelling to the individual’s application.

Why is an LOR necessary?

LORs are critical to your master’s application. They provide a holistic and positive perspective of your individuality and academic potential for your chosen course.

The admissions committee receives thousands of applications, and your application needs to stand out from the rest. LORs are the way to do it.They act as external testaments to your academic performance, supplementing your overall application.   

best lor for masters

Who can provide an LOR?

  • Choosing the right people to write your LORs is important. Your LOR for master’s should be written by someone who can testify to your personal qualities and academic abilities convincingly.
  • LORs can be written by professors, employers, managers, mentors, or any other person you have worked with.
  • For students pursuing their master’s, the ideal recommenders would be professors and academic mentors.
  • If you are an entrepreneur going for higher studies, getting LORs from your clients will be best suited for you. 
  • And for applicants with some work experience, LORs from your employers or managers will add value to your application. 

To make your application comprehensive and provide different perspectives, include a mix of people to write your LORs.

Tips for requesting an LOR for masters

While reaching out to recommenders, keep these tips in mind.

  • Ask Early: Reach out to the recommenders early on. Don’t wait till the last minute to ask for an LOR. Asking early will also give them time to write a thoughtful LOR.
  • Provide context– While approaching a recommender, remind them who you are, which program you are applying to, and the value of their LOR.
  • Provide additional documents– Provide your recommenders with your resume, transcripts, and course details to aid them in writing a comprehensive letter.
  • Follow up and show gratitude– Express gratitude to your recommender for making the effort to write an LOR and follow up politely to ensure they have everything they need.

How to craft a great LOR?

To draft a great LOR, you should keep in mind the following:

  1. Be specific: Your LOR should be specific, highlighting and providing solid examples of your academic skills, achievements, and character traits.
  2. Tailored LOR: Each LOR should be tailored to the master’s/MS program you are applying to.
  3. Keep it positive: Make sure the tone of your LOR is positive and showcases authenticity.
  4. Proofread thoroughly: Proofread your LOR carefully to avoid errors. Grammatical mistakes can give a bad impression to the reader.  

Common mistakes to avoid

  1. Generic LOR– Avoid generic LORs which fail to highlight your achievements and potential as a candidate.
  2. Choosing the wrong recommenders– Choose people to write your LOR who have ample knowledge about you and can write a strong letter for you.
  3. Last-minute requests– Don’t approach your recommender at the last minute. Give them enough time to draft a well-suited LOR.
  4. Repeating information– Your LOR should make you stand out. Avoid repeating information you have already mentioned in your resume and SOP.

Structure and Format of an LOR for Masters

A well-drafted LOR can strengthen your master’s application. Following a proper structure and format is a key factor. A Letter of recommendation consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.


In the opening paragraph, introduce yourself (name and position) and your relationship with the applicant (professor, employer, mentor).

Thereafter, mention the master’s/ MS program you are recommending the applicant for.


Bifurcate the body into 2-3 paragraphs. Firstly, highlight the academic strengths and abilities of the applicant, focusing on its relevance to the intended program.

Secondly, stress on personal achievements and qualities of the applicant. Mention any project or research work of the applicant and how it makes them a suitable candidate.

Provide examples and anecdotes to illustrate the applicant’s qualities. The narrative and choice of words make a huge difference. It makes the letter more personal and wholesome to the reader.


In the concluding paragraph, reiterate your strong recommendation of the applicant for the master’s/MS program.

Finally, mention your contact details and showcase your willingness to answer further questions regarding the applicant.

best lor for ms

Additional information

  1. Your LOR should be 400-500 words and 1-2 pages long.
  2. Keep the font and style professional (Times New Roman and size 12).
  3. Include the contact information like name, email address, title, and university at the start and end of the letter.

LOR sample for masters


After completing the Master’s in Finance, I envision myself working as an equity research associate or a credit research associate at a large financial advisory firm in New York. I’ll be providing research insights and assisting with informed investment strategies. This is a role that usually entails a thorough understanding of financial markets and financial instruments, as well as the ability to analyze data and generate accurate forecasts for the businesses I will cover…

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Computer Science

During my summer internships, I gained experience in the fields of data analytics and cloud computing. At [Company 1], I was responsible for transferring data to a real-time database that powered interactive dashboards and created a revenue prediction system. Here, I also became familiar with Tableau and Apache. My second internship at [Company 2], allowed me to dabble in cloud computing basics…

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Interior Design

When our class teacher asked us to sketch a dream home, instead of a vanilla structure, I drew an elaborate blueprint of a home replete a huge foyer, open corridor spaces, plenty of windows for natural light, a temple room for my grandparents and bedrooms with dramatically large balconies. In that experience, I realized that I wanted to take my creative vision further by studying interior design and architecture…

View complete draft


A letter of recommendation (LOR) is a vital document for applying for a master’s or MS in a foreign university. Crafting a strong LOR can elevate your application and increase your chances of getting into your desired program.

Hope this blog answered all your questions about LORs. If you need further assistance with crafting an LOR for masters, you can reach out to our team of expert counsellors at LilacBuds, a premier higher education consultancy in India that has helped 1250+ students get admits to Top-100 ranked universities globally. We promise to provide you with guidance throughout your master’s study abroad journey.

Frequently Asked Question

1. How many LORs are needed by a university?

Most universities require 2-3 LORs from the applicant.

2. How long should be an LOR?

LORs should be 1-2 pages long covering around 400-500 words.

3.  Who can write an LOR?

A professor, mentor, employer, or anyone you have worked with.



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