A LOR for engineering students is one of the most important documents that help the admission committee to get an idea about the student applying to the engineering program. Therefore, a letter of recommendation for engineering should be written with a keen observation stating the important skills and interests of the student. A top-ranking university receives thousands of LORs in a day and thus it is extremely necessary that the LOR provided by you must stand out from the rest to ensure a higher chance of getting into the desired university.
Writing a letter of recommendation for a master's in engineering means stating and confirming a student’s hard and soft skills. The recommendation letter for engineering students should mention facets like the student’s character, attitude, work ethic, and achievements they have in the field of engineering while studying in the institution or while working at a particular engineering organisation. Let’s uncover the attributes of a LOR for engineering students one by one!
Types of LOR for Engineering Students
While applying for an engineering course or program, a student is generally asked for two or three LORs, usually written by the teachers of the previous or present institution and/or by the supervisor of the organisation the student is working in. LORs are classified under two categories:
1. Academic LOR
An Academic LOR is a letter of recommendation written by one of the faculty members of the student’s current or previous educational organisation. In the case of the student applying for an undergraduate program in engineering, the LOR should be written by one of the teachers of the school and in the case of a Master’s or PhD, the LOR should be written by one of the professors of the college from where the student was pursuing his degree.
The engineering reference letter sample from the faculty requires the professor to highlight the student’s attitude, behaviour, ethical/moral value, and academic achievements as required by the program.
2. Professional LOR
Most universities require a professional letter of recommendation (LOR) written by the immediate supervisor of the organisation the student is working in. Professional LORs differ from academic LORs in terms of certain content like explanations of the working abilities and learning capacity. It should also focus on the student’s ability to work with a team, exposure to the domain, and leadership skills. This content must be included in professional LOR for engineering.
How to Write Letter of Recommendation for Engineering?
There are a few points that must be kept in mind while writing a good LOR for engineering students. A well-written letter of recommendation for engineering provides the admission committee insights into the student’s skills and abilities which increases their chance of admission. Let’s check the letter of recommendation for masters in engineering structure to follow.
The recommendation letter for engineering students should mention the relationship the recommender has/had with the student and in what capacity was the interaction. It is important to mention if the recommender was connected with the student as a teacher, professor, supervisor, and/or advisor and must know the student for at least six months.
It always leaves a positive impact if the observation is a direct one. It gives a clear extent of interaction and is considered better than observing through someone else or working together remotely. For example, “I have keenly observed ABC while he/she was working with Mr XYZ where he/she showed a great spirit of leadership and/or great team spirit.” In this example, the recommender has observed the student himself and not through someone else; thus, has clarity on the behaviour of the student.
- A recommendation letter for engineering students should not mention grades, scores, or competitive test results unless it is essential to interpret the academic result. These are already mentioned in the resume; therefore, repeating the information is not required.
- A LOR should not be more than one page written in 500-600 words and must be crisp. In an academic LOR, mention the achievements of the student in the school and/or college. And in professional LOR, mention the role and responsibilities of the student and highlight the traits displayed. It is not required to discuss the job or project at length.
- The recommender should mention the contributions that the student made in the class and/or at his workplace and what qualities they displayed. It is important to keep in mind that the contributions and the qualities mentioned by the recommender should be relevant to the engineering program.
For example, “I taught ABC in school and he/she displayed a creative/innovative interest in science and always took initiative while developing a new project or while doing an experiment.”
To conclude, the recommender should always mention their contact details in the LOR for engineering students. It helps the admission committee to connect with them in case of any verification.
LOR Requirements for Top Engineering Universities
Following is the list of engineering universities along with their LOR requirements.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Nanyang Technological University
- California Institute of Technology
- Yale University
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
MIT requires two Letters of Recommendation (LORs). One engineering reference letter sample should be written by the science or mathematics teacher of the student and the second letter should be written by the humanities, language, or social science teacher. However, sometimes three LORs are also asked by the university. It is advised to check the requirements before applying as the guidelines might change for different seasons.
2. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Nanyang Technological University, (NTU) requires both academic and professional LORs. The LORs must mention the course pursued and the contributions/achievements during the same. Similarly, the professional LOR must mention the time duration of the student working in the organisation along with the traits displayed. However, in NTU, mostly academic reference is required which means academic LOR. However, the requirements may vary depending on the university authority’s decisions.
3. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
California Institute of Technology also known as Caltech requires three LORs. The first LOR is required to be written by the science or mathematics teacher while the second LOR must be written by the humanities, social science, and/or language teacher. Caltech accepts the third letter of recommendation from a teacher or advisor but the admission committee is advised to consider only two LORs.
4. Yale University, New Haven, United States
Yale University requires three Letters of Recommendation (LORs) from the teachers of the credit-bearing classes during the academic year of the core subjects. The third LOR must be written by the student’s counsellor. For instance, while applying for engineering, the LORs must be written by the mathematics and science teachers.
Suggested: Sample LOR for Masters (MS)
Important Tips for Writing a LOR for Engineering
Students can achieve an edge over their fellow candidates by considering these tips for writing an actionable LOR engineering. Let’s go through them one by one!
- Language: Use of good vocabulary and active verbs is preferred; try to avoid redundant language and too many technical terms.
- Word Limit: The LORs should not exceed the word limit of 500-600 words unless the university specified otherwise.
- Font Style and Size: For most universities, the preferred font style is Times New Roman and the font size is 12pt as it is an academic document. Few universities might accept Ariel font with font size 10pt or 12pt.
- Plagiarism: The LOR should be free of error, grammatically correct, and free from plagiarism. Proofread the files and check for errors before submission. The information mentioned by the recommender must be genuine and should be substantiated.
- Structure: The LOR should be in paragraph format. It should not contain any colourful text and should be written in plain black colour. Further, all the two or three LORs should contain information about different skillsets and languages.
- Skills: The LOR must mention the hard and soft skills of the student like up-to-date technical knowledge, critical thinking, resilience, ability to communicate, leadership quality, attention to detail, etc.
Suggested: Guide to Pursue Engineering in UK!
To sum up, a LOR must reflect the best image of the student while providing true and honest information. We hope the guidelines will help you write the perfect LOR for your preferred university in the engineering program.
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