Format of LOR for US Universities

A LOR (Letter of Recommendation) is a document in which the writer assesses the qualities, character and achievements of a student who has applied for admission in a foreign university. It is written with an aim to highlight how the student is suitable for admission in the concerned university and can be written by the student’s subject teacher, project guide, or an immediate supervisor at the work place.

It is an important document of the application package for US universities. It is one of those documents that could make your application stand out, if there are many applicants with the same scores. So, getting it right and perfect is of utmost importance. And to help you out, here’s the format of LOR.

Content of LOR

The LOR should not exceed more than one page, and the writing tone should be formal and to the point. It should give the complete picture of the applicant, from academic and extracurricular achievements to personality traits that set them apart from the others. Every statement of opinion mentioned in the LOR should have an explanation or should be backed up by facts.

Parts of LOR

The LOR can be divided into three parts- opening, main body and closing.

Opening : In this part, the referee should mention about his/her relation and personal experience with the applicant.

Example: I am pleased to be able to provide a recommendation letter in support of ABC, who is applying to the (Programme name) at your esteemed university. I taught ABC in my grade-subject (eg: 12th grade biology) class.

Main Body : The referee must describe the duration and type of experience he/she had with the applicant, along with personal characteristics and strengths, such as confidence, creativity, leadership skills, patience, etc. Also, the projects undertaken by the applicant during the tenure or any campaign or club in which his/her demonstrated outstanding skills should be highlighted.

Example: Throughout the year, ABC was an active participant in and outside the classroom discussions and activities. He/she is a natural leader with the ability to work well with others in a team and has a positive attitude and belief in himself/herself. He/she has a keen interest in (subject name) and her advanced skills in the same make her the right fit for the programme. His/her final project on (topic, subject) was impressive and demonstrated her advanced skills and precision.

Closing : This part should include a summary of all the above points and clearly state that you recommend the applicant for the chosen course.

Example: ABC was a pleasure to have in my class. I’m confident that he/she will continue to demonstrate the same optimism, dedication, excellence and hard work that he showed myself. ABC is truly a standout student who will impress everyone. I highly recommend ABC for admission to your course/programme. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions at (email id of referee).

Salutation & Closing of LOR

Start the LOR as-

Dear Admission Committee

and end the LOR as-


Ms./Mr. Referee Name

Post (English, Biology, etc Teacher/Professor)

School/college name

LOR is an important document that plays a vital role in casting a positive impression on the admission committee. Make it succinct, effective and perfect for it can be your ticket to your dream university!

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