LOR for Germany: Requirements, Guidelines and Sample for International Students
Letters of Recommendation (LOR) are valuable supporting documents for an applicant’s admission profile. It is usually written by a former teacher or employer vouching for the applicant’s moral character and also for their eligibility to pursue an education in the program being applied to.
Universities prefer that students submit academic LOR in Germany for course-based programs. Professional LORs are required for programs for which students must have some prerequisite work experience like MBA and business programs.
LOR may not be an essential document for all programs at a German university. However, students can always submit it to strengthen their application profile if they feel it is relevant to the program they are applying for.
University-wise Guidelines for LOR in Germany
Universities accept LORs both in English and Germany from international students. The LOR should ideally not exceed 1-2 pages in length. Mentioned below are the specifications and requirements of 3 of the top universities in Germany.
LOR for TU Munich
TU Munich is the top-ranked university in Germany and as such accepts academic LORs only from former university professors of the applicant. Submission is optional for the applicants of undergraduate programs.
It is advisable to submit 2-3 LORs especially for admission to masters’ level programs. Besides a few essential questions, the recommender has one A-4 sheet to write about the applicant as per his/her choice.
Word Limit: 1 A-4 sheet
No of LORs: 2-3
What to Include
- How long have you known the applicant?
- How would you rank the applicant among other students pursuing education in related fields?
- Is the applicant among the top 20% of his class?
- Other relevant information you feel will strengthen the applicant’s chances of acceptance
LOR for RWTH Aachen University
International students applying for RWTH Aachen University can submit academic and/or professional LORs depending on the program they are applying for.
No of LORs: 2 (can be academic or professional, depends upon program)
Language: English, German also accepted
Word Limit: Maximum of 2 pages
What to Include:
- What is the relationship between the recommender and the applicant?
- Describe the academic and professional background of the applicant
- What achievements does the applicant possess in his/ her chosen field?
- What are the character strengths and weaknesses of the applicant?
- What are the goals and aspirations of the candidate?
Note: The LOR should be written on company or institute letterhead and should be stamped by the issuing organization. It should contain the recommender’s authentic signature.
LOR for ESMT Berlin
ESMT Berlin is one of the top business schools in Germany. International students applying for admission to ESMT may upload a maximum of 2 LORs in the referral form provided. There is no pre-defined format that has to be followed. After uploading the pre-written LOR applicants are required to submit the following information
- Name of the recommender(s)
- Email id(s) of the recommenders
- Relationship with the applicant
Word Limit: Not specified
What to Include:
The university requires recommenders to answer the following questions in the referral form
- What are the best qualities of the applicant? What makes him/her unique among other students?
- What are the character weaknesses of the applicant? Has he/she made efforts to improve upon these shortcomings?
- Do you believe the applicant has the potential to succeed in the program being applied to?
- Is the applicant a team player in your opinion?
- Describe any event/events which in your opinion demonstrate the applicant’s maturity and sense of purpose.
Tips for Writing LOR for Germany
Here are a few tips to bear in mind while submitting LOR for admission to a German university:
- Carefully read the instructions for word limit, format, content etc and convey the same to your recommender.
- Do not copy a LOR or plagiarize any portion of it, since a copied LOR can lead to disqualification of an admission profile.
- LORs submitted on the official university/ company letterhead tend to carry more weightage.
- Ensure that the LOR is submitted before the final deadline.
- It is generally not advisable to submit more than 3 letters of recommendation per admission profile.
Consider the program you are applying to and decide whether you require an academic LOR, a professional LOR or both. For example, if you are applying for masters taught programs at any technical university, academic LORs are preferable. However, if you are applying for an MBA degree at a business school in Germany, you should consider including at least 1 professional LOR.
Sample LOR for Germany
Mentioned below is a sample of a LOR written by a college professor recommending a former undergraduate student for Masters in Electrical Engineering at a university in Germany.
The Department of Electrical Engineering
I am pleased to be recommending (applicant’s name) for a place in the MS in Electrical Engineering program at your acclaimed institute. I have observed him through his 4 years as an undergraduate student and also had the pleasure of working closely with him/her as the project guide of his/her B.Tech final year project.
He is a sincere student and possesses a true passion for the field of Electrical Engineering. He has consistently ranked among the top 3 students in his batch and has won the gold medal in the department as the top student in his final year. Under my guidance, he has published two journal papers in the field of Optical & Satellite Communications.
Throughout my many interactions with him, I have found him to possess a curious and innovative mind. His ability to come up with unique answers to solve complex challenges and problems is indeed commendable. As a person, he is friendly and can seamlessly function as part of a team.
Based on over 10 years of experience as a professor of electrical engineering, I have no doubt that he will excel at a masters level program in electrical engineering. I confidently expect him to perform well in the theory-based papers and also make quality research contributions of his own.
LORs should not be generic. They should be tailored specifically for an individual student and should describe specific instances, achievements etc to demonstrate the applicant’s strengths, interests etc.