UC Berkeley Adds Letters of Recommendation for Fall 2016 Freshman Admissions

For Fall 2016 freshmen admissions, the University of California Berkeley will be accepting up to two letters of recommendation from selected applicants. In November 2015, some applicants will received emailed invitations to submit letters of recommendation.   Submitting the letters of recommendation will be optional; therefore, no freshman applicant, including those who do not receive an invitation, will be disadvantaged for not submitting letters of recommendation.

No other University of California campuses will be requesting letters of recommendation from applicants for Fall 2016 admissions.

As with any letter of recommendation, applicants want to be discriminating when choosing who will write a recommendation. UC Berkeley requires at least one letter from an academic teacher; the second letter can come from a coach, employer, extracurricular club sponsor or other mentor. In addition, choosing a recommender whom has witnessed the applicant weather and thrive in a challenging situation can be a strong reference. UC Berkeley offers the following guidelines about the content of a helpful letter of recommendation:

  • Academic performance and potential (both overall and in the context of the class)
  • Love of learning
  • Leadership (in school, family, or community)
  • Persistence in the face of challenges
  • Cross-cultural engagement
  • Originality/Creativity
  • Demonstrated concern for others

UC Berkeley will accept letters electronically, and the emailed invitations will have detailed instructions on the submission process.   No letters will be accepted by US Postal Mail. Recommendations must be received by January 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

Only Freshmen applicants will be invited to submit letters of recommendation. No transfer applicants will be allowed to submit letters.

For more information: