Regular readers may remember that, following our spring review of the 2016-17 application process, I said that there wouldn’t be significant changes to the application for admission. Turns out I spoke too soon. So here’s the news, fresh from our discussions: Applicants for 2017 enrollment (either January or September) in our master’s-level programs will no longer need to include three recommendations. Two will suffice.
Why the change? I suppose we’re looking to make the process a little easier for everyone. You’ll need fewer recommendation letters, and we will have a slight reduction in our reading.
On the other hand, submitting a third letter remains an option for you. Who might want to submit three letters? Well, anyone — but especially applicants with several workplaces in the rear-view mirror. They might choose to submit one academic letter and two letters from supervisors, one from each of two different past positions. But it will no longer be necessary (or, for that matter, encouraged) to include two recommendations from the same experience, such as having two professors both say you’re a great student, or having two supervisors from the same workplace say you’re a great employee. There’s less to be gained (but no penalty!) for the repetition.
Also, I want to be sure to note that the change will not affect applicants to the PhD program — they will still need to submit three letters, with two academic recommendations preferred.
Questions about the new policy? Send them along! Please know, though, that you are still welcome to send a third letter if it will boost your application, and we absolutely will read it.