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USC teacher recommendations—what are they looking for?

Hey everyone! Currently working on my USC application and I'm just wondering about teacher recommendations. What kind of letters are they looking for? Do they require a specific number of recommendations or will just one suffice? Any insights would be appreciated, thanks!

6 months ago

Hey! Great question. For USC, they typically require one letter of recommendation from a teacher or one from your school counselor. Note, however, that applicants to the School of Cinematic Arts must submit two letters of recommendation.

You can submit up to two additional letters from other recommenders if you'd like. Just be aware that more recommendations don't necessarily mean a better application, so choose them wisely.

As for what they're looking for in teacher recommendations, colleges (including USC) generally want to see a personal perspective on your academic performance, intellectual curiosity, and personality in the classroom.

Your recommender should preferably be someone who knows you well and can speak to your strengths, contributions to class discussions, teamwork, and work ethic. Ideally, this person should be a teacher who had you in a core subject area (such as English, math, science, or social studies) during your junior or senior year.

Some tips for a strong teacher recommendation include:

1. Provide your recommender with a "brag sheet" that outlines your achievements, clubs, awards, and any other relevant information they should be aware of.

2. Give them ample time to write your letter. At least a month in advance is a good rule of thumb.

3. Follow up with a thank you note or email, regardless of the outcome.

Remember, a strong letter of recommendation provides a unique perspective on who you are as a student and person, so choose recommenders who know you well and can offer specific examples of your strengths, growth, or experiences. Good luck with your USC application!

6 months ago

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