Letters of Reference
The Canadian Rhodes Scholarship application requires six letters of reference, to be sent directly by the referee to the Selection Committee before the deadline. It should be noted that this is different from the requirement for five to eight letters for the U.S. application which you may find posted on various American university Web sites.
- Four of the six reference letters must comment on your "academic preparation and scholastic achievement" (see p. 1 of the application).
- One of these four could come from a high-school teacher or someone who knows your academic record at university but has not necessarily taught you.
- The other three letters must come from people with whom you have studied at university (see p. 4 of the application). Preferably these would be professors rather than teaching assistants, but this is not always possible in a large university like York, and it is better to have a good letter written by an instructor who really knows you and your work than a cursory letter written by someone who barely knows who you are.
- The remaining two letters can be written by individuals you are acquainted with through your non-academic interests.
It is very important for your referees to see your completed application dossier (most particularly, your transcript, personal statement and list of activities) as background for drafting their letters of support. The more they know about you as a whole person, the better they will be able to support your application with a detailed letter of reference. It is strongly recommended that you prepare your application materials before your referees need to write their letters.
Make an appointment to meet with each of your referees to discuss your application materials, your academic plans for study at Oxford and your longer term career objectives. Help them to help you win this prestigious award by giving them as much information as possible about yourself. You might find it useful to call their attention to this Rhodes Web site and to the information for referees we have provided here.
If you have any questions about applying to the Rhodes Scholarship, please contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students at firstname.lastname@example.org