graphic reading "application FAQs"
Read below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about applying for admission to an HKS master's degree program.

We announced last week that the application for admission for the 2023-2024 academic year is now available. As prospective students work to complete applications over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be addressing some of our applicants’ most frequently asked questions, starting today with letters of recommendation.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

First and foremost, you should seek recommendations from individuals who know you well and are familiar with your work—academically or professionally.

When reviewing letters of recommendation, we look for evidence of your leadership skills and potential, intellectual achievement and promise, problem solving ability, commitment to public service, and more. When deciding who to ask to submit recommendation letters on your behalf, think about who from your academic and professional networks would be best equipped to address these characteristics.

If you are a current undergraduate or have less than two years of work experience, we generally advise that you submit two letters of recommendation from university faculty members and the third from your immediate supervisor from a professional work environment.

If you have more than two years of work experience, we encourage you to submit two letters of recommendation from current or previous work colleagues, including a supervisor, along with one academic reference.

I’m applying to the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration and graduated from college 10+ years ago. Do I need to include a letter of recommendation from an academic reference?

We understand you may not be able to submit recommendations from professors if you are applying to the MC/MPA program. In this case, you should have colleagues or supervisors who can evaluate your ability to succeed in a rigorous academic environment write your letters of recommendation.

Would more than three recommendations be considered beneficial?

We only accept three recommendations. Additional letters will not be accepted.

How will my references submit their letters of recommendation?

In the “Recommendations” section of our electronic application, you will enter the names and email addresses of each of your recommenders. An email with instructions will be sent to each registered recommender through our application system.

How can I tell if my references have submitted their letters of recommendation?

After adding your recommenders, you may check their letter submission status under the “Recommendations” section of your online application.

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