Selecting Referees

Submitting Reference Letters

When you submit an application online, via EducationPlannerBC, we automatically send an email to your referee with instructions on how to complete their reference online. 

Before your complete your application, review the information below.

Choosing Referees for an Application to Graduate Studies

(Masters and PhD)

Before selecting your references and entering their information into your application, be sure to review program-specific reference requirements.

Choose referees who are able to accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to your ability to conduct graduate studies. Depending on the program you apply to, you may need all academic references or a combination of professional and academic references. Before you apply, ensure you review the application requirements specific to your program.

Contact Information Requirements

You will be asked to provide the name, contact information (including email and phone number), job title (e.g. Associate Professor), and place of employment for each referee. We require that you enter your referee's institutional email address. If you enter an email address from a free domain provider (e.g. Gmail), the program may choose not to accept the reference or additional verification measures will be required (delaying application processing). You should only enter a free domain email address if your referee does not have an institutional email address for a valid reason (such as retirement or working at an institution that does not provide email accounts). Double check the email address you enter in the online application - making an error in this information can delay your application processing.

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.

What if you don't have enough academic references?

For some programs, having 3 relevant academic references is a critical component in making your application competitive and you may not be considered for admission without them. If it has been some time since you were in a degree program, you can consider taking additional related upper level coursework, using that time to forge a relationship with your instructor and excel in the class. If you are hesitant to contact an instructor for a course you haven't taken in a while, it doesn't hurt to try! When you contact them, be sure to note when you took their course and attach a copy of your transcript showing your grade in the class. You can also attach copies of previous assignments (particularly if you have a graded copy) and include any other pertinent information that might be helpful. The number and type of references vary by program and these are defined in the program application requirements.

Choosing Referees for an Application to Undergraduate Studies

The following references are required for admission to the programs noted below. Please note that relatives are NOT considered references.

Bachelor of Education

  • Three references from referees who have observed your work with children and youth.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Northern Baccalaureate Nursing):

  • One academic reference; and
  • One work-related reference.

Bachelor of Social Work

  • One reference from current or former supervisor(s) in a human service setting;
  • One reference from a practicing social worker with whom you have worked, or are currently working; and
  • One reference from an educator who has instructed you in an academic setting.

Troubleshooting Issues with References

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

  •     Ask the referee to check their spam/junk email folder.
  •     Ensure that you have provided your referee's correct email address (with no errors).
  •     If there is an error in the referee information provided, contact admissions with the amended information and a new link will be sent to your referee.

Assistance for Graduate Level Applications (Masters and PhD)

Assistance for Undergraduate Level Applications (BSW, BEd and BScN)