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Letters of Recommendation

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Who Should Write My Letters of Recommendation?

Letters of recommendation can be a very important part of your college application; strong letters can do wonders for helping you stand out among other applicants. With that in mind, we're sure the question arises: Who should write my letters of recommendation?

What exactly is OU looking for?

A good letter of recommendation will be positive and sincere. In strong letters, it's evident that the writer knows the student well - strengths and weaknesses - and even provides examples of you demonstrating certain traits (resilient, self-starter, hard worker, adaptable, leader).

We want someone to speak to your academic maturity – who are you in the classroom and among your peers? What characteristics do you possess as a student and how prepared does that make you for the rigors of college?

How Do I Submit My Letters?

There are three ways to submit letters of recommendation:

1. Submit your application, pay the $40 application fee, and upload directly to the application. 

2. Email to oardocuments@ou.edu

3. Mail to:

University of Oklahoma Office of Admissions
1000 Asp Ave., Room 127
Norman, OK 73019

Who to Consider

Who inspired you? Did you impress someone with your commitment to group work or interest in taking on extra projects? Did you surpass expectations by taking on a sustained project, like a long-term research paper or thesis? Did you show growth or effort in an area that didn't come naturally to you? Did you impress with your dedication to a challenging subject? 

Choose Someone Who Knows You Well

You should have a good relationship with the person you ask to write your letter of recommendation. Don’t choose someone just because of their name or title. You want the writer to be sincere and really know you as a person. Otherwise, it could seem like meaningless name dropping. Here's some ideas:

  • Teachers
  • Academic Advisors
  • Coach or Assistant Coach
  • Employer
  • Mentor
  • Club Advisor
  • High School Counselor
  • Principal
  • Community Leader

Think Junior Year, Too!

Junior year contacts are typically the best choice for recommenders, because they had you recently and for a whole year. Senior year contacts likely don't know you that well yet, and freshman and sophomore year contacts are not very recent.

How Many Letters Do I Need?

The University of Oklahoma will accept up to three letters of recommendation, and we recommend at least one letter come from a high school official such as your principal, counselor, or teacher. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at 405-325-2151 or email admissions@ou.edu

Additional Application Resources

The OU Application opens on August 1st! Continue reading our application tip articles to help prepare yourself. 

3 Tips for Writing Your Admissions Essay

11 College Application Terms You Need to Know

Advice from OU Admission Counselors