STEP 1: CHOOSING YOUR REFERENCES
It is recommended that applicants contact the referees prior to listing their contact information in the online application form.
Choose your referees carefully. References are critical application components and are reviewed carefully.
Reference letters written by applicants or friends/relatives of applicants on behalf of referees are not acceptable. References must be written by the stated referee who knows you from your academic or professional relationships.
For more advice on requesting reference letters, please review our blog post.
NUMBER OF REFERENCES REQUIRED
Two academic or professional references. Programs may set additional requirements.
ACADEMIC REFERENCE VS PROFESSIONAL REFERENCE
An academic reference is provided by a college or university instructor, usually holding a PhD. The academic referee will have instructed or supervised you during your academic studies. The academic referee will be asked to comment, where applicable, on your academic preparation, originality, skill at research, industry, intellectual capacity, and teaching ability.
A professional reference is provided by an individual who has worked with you in the field of your intended graduate study in a supervisory capacity. The professional referee will be asked to comment, where applicable, on your academic preparation, practice competence, creativity, working relationships, work ethic, critical thinking skills, research skills, intellectual capacity, and teaching ability.
All other references are considered “personal.”
PERSONAL REFERENCES ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
If your referee is retired and does not have an institutional email address, you will be required to arrange for the submission of a third reference.
step 2: INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFEREES
All references must be written by you and sent by the referee directly to the College of Graduate Studies.
Once the applicant has submitted their online application, you will receive an automated email message from the College of Graduate Studies with instructions on how to submit your reference.
Through the online system you have two options:
- Fill out the online reference form.
- Upload an attachment. Attach a PDF or Word version of your letter of reference. Please put the reference on your letterhead and sign. Scan and upload as a PDF whenever possible.
If you would like to submit your reference via email, you may send your PDF document to firstname.lastname@example.org.
References submitted in this way will be considered valid only when sent from an institutional email address (i.e. email@example.com) directly to the College of Graduate Studies.
If you do not have an institutional email address, you should mail a reference letter written on institutional letterhead. This reference letter should be placed in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal of the envelope, and addressed to the College of Graduate Studies. The reference letter must be written in English and include your name and contact information (including the institutional address). You may also choose to submit the Reference Form, available in our Forms database, in addition to your Reference letter.
- College of Graduate Studies
1161 Alumni Avenue
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7
REFERENCES MUST BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND NEVER TO THE APPLICANT.
You should receive a confirmation email indicating receipt of your reference. The confirmation email will be sent within 10 business days of receipt.
STEP 3: ENSURING REFERENCES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED AND ARE ACCEPTED
Applicants are responsible for selecting appropriate referees and ensuring that their referees complete & submit references prior to the application deadline. Applicants can check the status of the references via the online application checklist. Applicants can also send reminders and update referee contact information through the online application system.
REPLACING A REFEREE/ EDITING A REFEREE’S EMAIL
- Sign in to the online application system.
- Click “Submitted Applications.”
- Locate the application you would like to update. Click on the “References” button.
- Select the referee.
- Click “Replace a Referee” or click “Edit Email Address and Resend Email.”
- Fill in the required information and click next. A notification will be sent to your new referee.
sTEP 4: VERIFICATION OF REFERENCES BY THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES
All references are verified for their authenticity.
As such, we are unable to accept references from free email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. References must be received from an institutional email address in order to be considered official.