Letters of Reference

UBC requires three (3) references. We strongly recommend that referees submit the references online. You should include their names and email addresses when you are filling out the online application. Their email addresses cannot be from free email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail. Once you submit your application online, an email will automatically be sent to your referee on your behalf. You can send your referees reminders or make changes to your referee information by using the online application tools.

NOTE:  We do not accept recommendations via email.


1. Can my referee submit the reference after December 15?

Referees have till January 6 to submit their references.  We recommend that referees submit their references at their earliest convenience to avoid delays. 

2. Can I submit more than 3 references?

We only require 3 references. It is more important to select someone who knows you well enough to assess your academic ability and qualifications than to submit more than three recommendations. The quality of the recommendations is more important than the quantity.

3. Can my supervisor at work be my referee?

You should obtain recommendations from individuals who is in the field of computer science and can discuss your academic ability and research potential. You may request recommendations from professors, instructors or employers. It is more important to select someone who knows you well enough to assess your academic ability and qualifications.

Resources for grad applicants: Getting Great Letters of Recommendation by Richard M. Reis, Chronicle of Higher Education

4. My referee's email address is from one of the free accounts (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail). What can I do?

We are unable to accept referee e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, or other free e-mail accounts. If your referee is unable to access the application system, s/he will need to mail the reference letter to us by post.

5. Can my referee send a paper copy of their reference?

Yes.  However, we strongly recommend that referees to submit their references online to avoid delay. Paper letters of reference should be on referee's official letterhead and must be mailed directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.

6. Can my referee send their reference via email to you?

No, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies doesn't accept references via email. References must be submitted online or by post.

7. How do I resend the email notification to my referee?

If you would like to re-send a reference request to your referee, please log in to the online application, click "Submitted Applications", and click the "References" button.  On the reference page, you can re-send a reference request to your referee.