Nov 15, 2013
Hey guys,

I am new to the application process, so I hope this is not a stupid question. I read in the “insider’s guide”, that most programs provide their own forms for recommendations.

Because I want to apply to a lot of programs (US, Australia, Europe), it’s not possible for my referees to fill out 20 different forms (electronically or paper-based). They are very busy people and at the time I get my GRE scores and can decide to which programs I can apply, I won’t live in this country anymore and haven’t had contact to my referees for several months. The situation is a little bit tricky.

Is it possible, that they write an individual letter of recommendation, which contains all the important characteristics (motivated and hardworking, scholarly ability, etc.) and that I send them to the programs personally included in my application package? If necessary, I would request a verified copy to multiply them.

Is this even possible or does it make a bad impression?

Thanks a lot!


Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
My gut reaction would be that they would probably still accept the letters, but as you've said, it has the potential to make a bad impression. You'll have to check each individual program's requirements to determine if they'll accept letters of rec mailed by you rather than straight from the writer. Many will, but you'll need to get the letter in an envelope with the writer's signature written across the seal (which is fairly standard).
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