Do the UCs Require Letters of Recommendation?

The Universities of California do not require or read recommendations, except that for some students, UC Berkeley may later request optional recommendations.

For some students, Berkeley may request two recommendations, to provide "additional academic and personal context."  Their instructions about these recommendations are:

  •  If I’m not selected to submit letters of recommendation, can I still submit them? No other supplemental information will be included in the application unless it is requested.
  • Are these letters required? These letters are optional. Students without a letter will not be at a disadvantage, but we do highly encourage invited students to use this opportunity. 
  • Who should write the letter(s)? One letter must be written by an academic teacher or instructor. The second letter can be written by anyone the student selects, ideally someone who knows them well. Examples include a second teacher, college adviser or counselor, a coach, employer, clergy, etc.
  • How will I be able to submit my letters of recommendation to UC Berkeley? Students will be invited by email to complete an online form and provide the contact information of the individuals who are writing the letters. Once the form is submitted, recommenders will receive an email with instructions on how to submit letters electronically to UC Berkeley. Please do not submit these letters to the UC Application Center.
  • What is the deadline? All letters must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (PST) on January 15. After this date, it is not guaranteed that the letter can be read as part of the application review.
  • Will other UC campuses I applied to be able to see my letters of recommendation? No, these letters are submitted directly to UC Berkeley and are only used in our review process.

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