A Guide to Canadian Graduate Application Recommendation/Reference Letters

Why do postgraduate applications need reference letters

When applying for a graduate program at any university, you must provide 2~3 strong reference letters. The student’s GPA, GMAT/GRE score and reference letters will play a deciding factor.

We have dealt with cases where, although his GPA is below 3.0 (the minimum requirement), he was still successfully accepted by the University of Toronto’s Master of Finance Professional admission. This is due to him being strongly recommended by the professor, as well as displaying his academic ability and the difficulties encountered before.

Who to ask for reference letters


  • The person giving reference must have the title of professor or associate professor;
  • It is best for the person to teach you a junior or senior professional course in university;
  • The person must have a subjective willingness, and can positively prove your academic ability;
  • The academic background or major of the person is consistent with your the major you are applying;
  • The suffix of the referrer’s contact email must belong to the undergraduate college where he/she holds a teaching position;

Inappropriate/Not suitable:

  • Teacher who only has the title of lecturer or teaching assistant does little to no effects;
  • Professors who teaches your freshman or sophomore professional courses;
  • Professors for international summer school courses. Almost no graduate schools accept such recommendations;
  • Relatives, friends, parliamentarians, or government officials. It will be counterproductive;

How many reference letter should I get

According to the specific requirements of different schools and different majors, the requirements for the number of recommendation letters are similar. Schools generally require applicants to provide at least 3 academic recommendation letters.

Based on past experience, we strongly recommend:In order to be safe, ask for reference letters in advance from no less than 5 professors or associate professors at the undergraduate level. You never know who will refuse to provide one some time leter due to your poor grades or other reasons.



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