The Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Overview of Common LOR

As part of our commitment to support and serve schools, GMAC convened a group of leading business schools who wanted to streamline the process of asking for and submitting letters of recommendation.

Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a recommendation form developed with the goal of saving recommenders and alumni valuable time by providing a single, common set of questions. The questions remain embedded in each participating school’s existing application system, so few significant changes are required.

Some key benefits of the Common LOR:

  • Provides deeper insights into the candidacy of applicants by capturing the best practices from leading programs and leveraging the latest science in executive evaluation
  • Offers potential for expanding prospective student pipeline and having more applications in the future by making it easier for applicants to ask for multiple LORs
  • Frees up valuable time for recommenders and allow them to dedicate focus and energy to craft a more robust and insightful letter

While GMAC is supporting this initiative, it is the business schools who are leading the effort, with GMAC helping to convene, gather information from industry experts, and solicit input from candidates from around the globe.

Click here to listen to an overview of the Common LOR.

Fill out the form below to download the Common Letter of Recommendation Template:

Common LOR Sections

Section 1: Personal Information About the Recommender

Section 2: Leadership Assessment Grid

The grid is comprised of 16 competencies and character traits that contribute to successful leadership. The competencies and character traits are grouped into five categories:

  • Achievement 
  • Influence 
  • People 
  • Personal Qualities 
  • Cognitive Abilities

Section 3: Recommendation Questions (Open-ended Questions for Recommenders)

  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization.
  2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?)
  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
  4. Is there anything else we should know? (Optional)

The form is also available for reading purposes in the following languages: 


Who's Using LOR?

Schools using the Common LOR form for 2016/2017 application cycle:

Schools using the common letter of recommendation

(If your school uses the Common LOR form but the logo is not listed above, please click here to contact us)

The Common LOR is available to use free of charge by any program around the globe. Participating programs can customize the Common LOR to accommodate any unique questions required by the programs. 

Terms of Use (PDF)

More Information

If you would like to learn more and are interested in participating, please complete the form below: