Applicants for the Master of Arts program in Communication must submit two letters of recommendation from academic sources, with the option of an additional letter from either an academic or a professional source (no more than three letters should be submitted). Although the Graduate Advisory Committee prefers letters from academic sources, applicants who have been out of school for a significant period of time can submit letters from professional sources who can attest to the applicant’s academic potential.
We ask for recommendations from academic sources because we are principally concerned with your potential for academic achievement. You should ask for letters from faculty members who know you well and in whose courses you did well. Choose faculty members who should be able to mention specifics of your work in their classes rather than providing a generic recommendation (you can help by reminding them of work you did under their supervision). You should try to obtain letters from faculty in Communication programs if possible, although faculty members in other programs are acceptable if your degree is in another field. UTSA graduates should obtain at least one recommendation from a faculty member in the UTSA Communication Department.
If you have been out of school for a significant period, you may not feel that your professors will be able to remember you well enough to provide specific recommendations. In that case, the Committee will accept letters of recommendation from professional sources. Choose individuals who know you well and who will be able to supply relevant information that will demonstrate your suitability for the program, such as skills you have developed or your work ethic.
All your recommendations should be either academic or professional; personal recommendations will not be able to supply the information needed for the Committee’s decision.
When you ask someone for a letter of recommendation you should supply them with information that will make their task easier.
In the case of academic sources, remind your professors of courses that you took from them; if possible, supply them with copies of papers that you wrote for those courses or projects that you completed. You can also provide them with a copy of your résumé to remind them of your extracurricular activities and to demonstrate your accomplishments since leaving school. Describe the Communication Department Master of Arts program and explain your interest in it, perhaps supplying them with a copy of your Statement of Purpose so that they can see what Specialized Area of Study you’re particularly interested in.
For professional sources, be sure to describe the UTSA Master of Arts in Communication program in detail, explaining how it fits with your career goals. You can remind professional sources of programs or professional activities that you participated in that are relevant to your application.
You should explain to your sources how they can go about submitting their letters of recommendation; the easiest way for them to send their letters is to do so on line, using the Embark program that you will use to submit your application. Once your application has been submitted, your recommendation sources will be contacted by e-mail and given a special password that will allow them to fill out a recommendation form on line. They can also upload letters of recommendation that have been written with word processing programs if they prefer.
If your source does not have access to e-mail, letters of recommendation can also be submitted in hard copy. In that case, you should provide your source with a stamped, preaddressed envelope. Consult the UTSA graduate school for information about how hardcopy letters of recommendation should be submitted.
The following links can provide more information about letters of recommendation.
Ways to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
Graduate School Recommendation Process
College reviews - How to get a Letter of Recommendation
All About Graduate School
How to get Letters of Recommendation
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