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Guidelines for letters of recommendation

The Microeconomics Chair receives many requests for references. These guidelines explain what we can and cannot do, and describe what we require from students in order to write a reference.

You will note that in order to write particular types of references we require that you have achieved minimum grades in our modules. There will be no exceptions to these. The reason is that reference and recommendation letters from our Chair need to credible, otherwise they become worthless to everyone.

It is your responsibility to provide all information that we might require to complete a reference letter. This is particularly important for recommendations for further study programmes (such as Master’s degrees). We will not ask you for missing information and we will not complete recommendation letters unless we have all information. We require quite a lot of information from you. This is important in order to be able to write a reference from a knowledgeable perspective.

We do not retain any information that you send to us. Once recommendation letters have been written, your emails will be deleted and any printed materials will be shredded. This is so that we comply with data protection legislation. It also means that you will have to re-send information if you subsequently ask us for further letters of recommendation.


1. Labour market recommendations.

We can supply a letter of recommendation in support of a job application. This will be restricted to what we know about you, such as your academic performance. We will not be able to comment on things such as whether you can operate well as part of a team, or what your interests are outside of studying, unless we have specific experience and knowledge of these. Recommendation letters will follow the international convention (e.g. USA style) for recommendation letters and will not contain “coded messages” such as “mostly satisfactory” or “entirely satisfactory” when describing performance, as is sometimes found in German recommendation letters.

If you require a labour market recommendation letter, we require:

(i)        That you have a grade of 3,0 or above in each of the modules you have taken at the Micro Chair (this includes term paper, seminars and theses).

(ii)       An overall average grade (or current overall average grade) of 3,0 or above.

(iii)      A description of the job for which you are applying and your motivation for applying.

(iv)      A pdf of your grade transcript.

(v)       A CV (lebenslauf).


2. Recommendation for Study programmes

We can supply recommendations for programmes of further study, such as Master’s degrees.

For such a recommendation letter, we require:

(i)        You to confirm that you have checked - and satisfy - the entrance requirements for the programme of study you are applying for. You should send to us by email a live internet link where we can check the entrance requirements.

(ii)       A pdf of your grade transcript.

(iii)      A CV (lebenslauf).

(iv)      A description of why you want to study the programme for which you have applied (including both the subject matter and the particular institution).


3. Study overseas recommendation

We can supply a recommendation for you to study abroad as part of an exchange programme.

For a recommendation letter for an exchange programme, we require:

(i)        That you have a grade of 2,7 or above in each of the modules you have taken at the Micro Chair.

(ii)       A description of the University (or Universities) you wish to visit and the reasons why you wish to visit them.

(iii)      A description of the language in which you will be taught at the host University.

(iv)      A pdf of your grade transcript.

(v)       A CV (lebenslauf).


4. English language certification.

We can supply a letter which attests to your ability to successfully study University level modules which are taught and examined in English. We cannot certify that your language ability meets particular standards (e.g. B2), because we are not qualified language instructors. Many universities will accept this letter instead of an up-to-date English language certificate. It is your responsibility to check with the university you wish to attend that they will accept such a letter.

For English language certification, we require:

(i)        That you have a grade of 4,0 or above in at least one module taught from the Micro Chair. Generally, this includes term papers, seminars and theses. However, if you are applying to a study programme which includes written examinations, you will need to have passed a written examination in a Micro module.

(ii)       A pdf of your grade transcript.