Getting Into Graduate School Without Letters of Recommendation

Applying to graduate school without letters of recommendation? When it seems like every school and program you want to attend has that requirement? But don’t worry!  You may get into Graduate School without Letters of Recommendation. Below is a list of schools and specific programs that may not need any recommenders.

This article may also give you some ideas on how to get letters of recommendation. It may also show how to choose the perfect program for you.

Applying to Graduate School Without Letters of Recommendation

When deciding to go to grad school, the entire process could seem overwhelming. Especially, as you try to balance deadlines, standardized tests, and completing your graduate school applications. This could be true if you don’t have letters of recommendation.

It is true that many grad programs require them. In fact, references should be viewed as a necessity for a PhD program. Yet, there are plenty of schools that may not require letters of recommendation for some master’s programs. Some of these schools may consider work experience instead of recommendations.

So, if you don’t have any, check out the schools listed below and find the perfect program for you.

Still worried? Then, read all our tips on applying to graduate school. In the table below are a few ideas from partner universities to help get you started.

List of Grad Schools That Don’t Require Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation Required?Other Common Admissions Requirements
1. Liberty UniversityNoApplication, application fee, transcripts, 2.5 GPA
2. Grand Canyon UniversityNoUndergraduate degree from accredited college, 2.8 GPA (flexible)
3. Full Sail UniversityNoBachelor’s from Accredited University, 2.5 GPA, Degree in similar field
4. Southern New Hampshire UniversityNo2.75 GPA, undergraduate degree from accredited college
5. Purdue University GlobalNoBachelor’s from Accredited University, 2.5 GPA, Transcripts
6. Colorado Technical UniversityNoBachelor’s, English proficiency, interview
7. Walden UniversityNoBachelor’s, resume, goal statement
8. Ohio UniversityNoApplication, Transcripts, Vary from Program to Program
9. Cleveland State UniversityNoOfficial transcripts, application, test scores
10. University of OklahomaNoTranscripts, Resume, Statement of Goals
11. University of MinnesotaNoGRE, Resume, Bachelor’s Degree from Accredited Institution
12. Western Connecticut State UniversityNoTranscripts, Resume, 2.8 GPA

Featured Schools

More Information on 12 Grad Schools That Don’t Require Letters of Recommendation

Admissions to graduate schools may be very competitive, especially high demand degrees such as nursing or an MBA. So, keep in mind that the admissions requirements listed below are often the minimums. These do not guarantee admission.

Interested in any of the schools and programs listed below? Click on any of the links and sponsored listings for more information about curriculum, concentrations, and how to apply.

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With more than 250,000 alumni and 550 programs of study, Liberty U offers an education with a solid Christian foundation. Committed to academic excellence and to Training Champions for Christ, Liberty strives to teach the values, knowledge, and skills you’ll need for success in every aspect of life.

Admissions Requirements include:

  • Completed application
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA

Application Fee Waiver Policy

Liberty may waive its $40 application fee for students who apply online. They also offer a potential app fee waiver for those who meet need based requirements.

Master’s Degree Programs

2

Grand Canyon University

Over the last eight years, GCU has invested millions of dollars to improve the quality of academic offerings and every student’s experience. This has helped the school achieve its mission of providing academic excellence and igniting transformation across the community.

Admissions Requirements include:

  • Undergrad degree from accredited college
  • 2.8 GPA or higher for undergrad
  • If you don’t meet the GPA requirement, you may be accepted if you score higher than a 500 on the GMAT or 300 combined on the verbal / quantitative GRE

Master’s Degree Programs

  • M.B.A. Programs
  • Psychology & Counseling Programs
  • Master’s in Education Programs
Full Sail U uses a creative approach to education that provides an immersive, fast paced, and relevant learning experience that mirrors the evolving industries and offers degrees designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology.

Admissions Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited school
  • 2.5 GPA on bachelor’s degree
  • Degree in similar field or scope as one applying to
Students with a lower GPA, or a degree in an unrelated field, may be accepted with a letter of intent, resume, and transcripts.
As a private, nonprofit, accredited institution, SNHU has more than 3,000 on campus students and over 80,000 online students. Since 1932, the school has been focused on reinventing higher education to fit the changing needs of students.

Admissions Requirements include:

The admission process for many master’s degrees at SNHU only requires that you have earned a 2.75 GPA. This is while earning your undergrad degree from an accredited school. However, there may be more requirements for international students.
Education that puts you in control of what, how, and where you learn. Purdue Global is a public, nonprofit school focused on providing a personalized online learning experience.

Admissions Requirements include:

  • Completed app
  • App fee
  • Transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA

Master’s Degrees Programs

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Admissions Requirements include:

  • Completed application
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited school
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Admissions Requirements include:

  • Completed application
  • Resume
  • Interview
  • Bachelor’s degree
Founded in 1808, Ohio U holds its central purpose as the intellectual and personal development of its students. Ohio U offers grad programs designed to achieve the school’s educational and research mission. The specific admissions requirements for a master’s degree at Ohio U vary from program to program. Be sure to check with your desired program for more info.
At the core of everything they do at CSU is their philosophy of Engaged Learning. This is the mantra that gives purpose to CSU’s mission of providing an accessible education and creativity across all branches of learning. Some of the grad programs at CSU require letters of recommendation, such as social work and doctorate degrees.

Admission Requirements include:

  • Completed application
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • Official transcripts
  • Official test scores
Founded in 1890, the UO believes that anything could grow if you have the drive to make it so. The school is also committed to providing an inclusive community where diversity serves as the cornerstone of learning. All of the graduate degrees and master’s programs at UO have different admissions requirements. Therefore, be sure to check with all of the requirements before applying.

Admission Requirements include:

  • Transcripts
  • GMAT score
  • Resume
  • Statement of goals
The staff and faculty of the UM is known for being exceptionally dedicated to the school’s mission of preparing students to meet the challenges of the world by developing your strengths with experiences beyond the classroom. At the UM, all of the master’s degree programs have different admissions requirements. Be sure to check with the school to find the perfect program for you before applying.

Admission Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • 3.0 GPA or above
  • GRE

Master’s Degree Programs that don’t require Letters of Recommendation

Striving to change the lives of all students by providing a quality education that fosters individual growth, WCSU has the goal of being widely recognized as a premier public university that aims to prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

Admissions Requirements include:

The admissions requirements at WCSU vary from program to program, some of which require letters of recommendation. However here are some general requirements:
  • Official transcripts
  • GPA of 2.8 or higher on all completed coursework
  • Completed application with fee
There may be additional requirements, such as a teaching certificate for teaching programs or a portfolio review for arts and writing degrees. Before applying to grad programs at WCSU, check with the school for more info.

Master’s Degree Programs that don’t require Letters of Recommendation

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Admissions Requirements for Grad School

Every school and program may have different admissions requirements. In fact, some schools may even have different requirements for different programs. As a grad student there may be many options. This is why it’s important to research a variety of schools before you apply.

However, some of the most common admissions requirements often include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • GRE scores or GMAT scores
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing samples or personal statement
  • Resume
  • Meeting with admissions committees

While many schools may require letters of recommendation for graduate studies, check out the list below for options that don’t have that requirement.

HOW TO ASK FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

If you’re applying to grad school without these letters, there may still be time to get some before sending your applications. While this may take a couple of weeks and may postpone sending your apps, it may help you get into some of your target schools.

In fact, some of the schools listed above may not require letters of recommendation for all programs but may need them for others. While they may not be required for the app process, they might help to improve your chances of acceptance.

Therefore, it may not hurt to look for references while you send out some apps for graduate admissions. Then wait to send out others until you have received your recommendation letters.

Sources of Recommendations

While there are many people you could ask for recommendations, some of the best sources may be:

  1. Former teachers
  2. Supervisors
  3. Colleagues

Another option that many students may overlook is to take a class. This may be either at the grad level or the undergrad level if you’re changing fields. Make sure that you perform well and take part in class to impress your professor enough for them to write a recommendation for you.

Of course, this may postpone sending your applications and going to grad school. It may also help you get into one of your desired schools.

Paying for Graduate School According to a study by Sallie Mae, on average graduate students pay for 77% of their education with money they have earned, saved, or borrowed, compared to undergraduates who pay for 30% of their degree using the same resources. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

HOW TO PURSUE GRADUATE SCHOOL?

A great way to seek admission into graduate school may be to prepare yourself while you’re still earning your undergrad degree by:

  • Taking higher level courses
  • Taking classes from a variety of professors
  • Get professional experience through internships
  • Learning advanced skills need in the field
  • Taking a grad level course as a senior

If you’re interested in applying to graduate school, be sure to consider different aspects or concentrations of your desired field. The perfect way to do this may be to diversify your courses. Diversify your research while still pursuing your undergrad degree also.

That means, don’t choose a specific aspect of your field before your junior year to make sure that you take courses from different professors and different subsets of your field. This could give you a wide variety of experience and points of view.

WHAT MASTER’S DEGREE SHOULD I EARN?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2013, those with a master’s degree earned $12,000 more per year than those with only a bachelor’s degree. This was across all industries and occupations. There were some fields that those with a master’s degree earned the same or below the median annual salary for those with a bachelor’s.

A possible increase in wages shouldn’t be the only question to consider when choosing a master’s. You should also think about:

  1. Is it worth the time and money?
  2. What are the alternatives?
  3. Could you qualify for financial aid?

When choosing a master’s degree, be sure to consider all your options. Research a variety of programs and schools to make sure that you find the perfect program for you. These could be online programs or traditional classrooms. For instance, are you looking for an MBA or a master of science in business?

Master’s Degree Programs

Some of the most common master’s degree options are typically:

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Schools With PHD & Masters Programs