Information for Recommenders

The letter you submit should address the prompts listed in the Stanford application; outdated or general letters do not strengthen a candidate’s application.


Your letter of reference should be submitted in English. If you think your English is not sufficient to convey complex ideas, write the letter in your native language, and then have it translated into English. A friend, a colleague, or a paid service may translate the document, but the applicant or the applicant’s friend or family member may not.

Make sure to double-space your letter and to follow the word guidelines listed below.

In addition to your qualitative responses, we will ask you to assess some of the candidate’s character traits and competencies that contribute to successful leadership.

Questions We Ask You

Below is the specific information that you should include in your recommendation. The letter should be two to four pages in total.

  1. How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) Up to 500 words
  2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. Up to 500 words
  3. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know? Please be concise.

Submitting Your Letter of Reference

You must submit your letter of reference through the online application for the MBA Program. We strongly suggest that you submit your letter at least one day prior to the application deadline.

Once your candidate registers you through the application, you will receive an email confirmation with login instructions. Use that email to access the application, then upload the file that contains your recommendation. If your letter was translated into English, upload the letter both in the language in which you wrote it and in English, and provide the contact information for the translator.

If you have technical issues while uploading your recommendation, click the “Tech Support” button for assistance.

Last Updated 8 Jun 2018