Reference Letters

Selecting Your Referees

Choose referees who are able to accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to your ability to conduct graduate studies. Referees required may be "academic" or "professional" depending on the program (see the Program Checklist for details).

Academic Referee Examples:

  • A faculty member who taught you in a course(s);
  • Observed you in a classroom/laboratory setting; and/or
  • Supervised completion of an undergraduate thesis.

Professional Referee Examples:

  • Supervised you in a practicum/placement setting;
  • Supervised you in a work setting; and/or
  • A co-worker who has observed your work ethic.

Submitting Reference Letters

When you submit an application online (via EducationPlannerBC ), an email is sent to the referees specified, asking them to provide a reference along with a link for them to complete a reference form and/or upload a reference letter.  Your referee's institutional email address (e.g. professor@university.ca) must be supplied. Where no institutional email address is available and a free domain name email is submitted (such as Gmail), the program may not accept the reference or additional verification measures may be required, delaying application processing.


Reference Letter Troubleshooting

If your referee did not receive a request to submit a reference:

  • Have the referee check to see if the email is in their spam/junk folders.
  • Ensure that you have provided your referee's correct email address and that there are no errors in it.
  • If there is an error in the referee information provided, please email graduate-admissions@unbc.ca with the amended information and a new link will be sent to the referee.