15 Colleges with No Letters of Recommendation Required

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Looking for colleges that don’t require letters of recommendation? In fact, they do exist! There are also grad programs that don’t require letters of recommendation.

WHY DON’T SOME COLLEGES ASK FOR OR REQUIRE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION?

Some colleges don’t require letters of recommendation. Because they may assess a student’s potential in different ways. As an adult learner, there may be life experience that is more important to your application. In other words, that means you have the ability to pursue an undergraduate degree even if you have no letters of recommendation.

Do all graduate schools require letters of recommendation?

No, not all graduate schools require letters of recommendation. In fact, all of the schools on this page offer grad programs! In brief, the most common requirements for grad school often include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • GRE or GMAT (many schools do waive this)
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing samples or personal statement
  • Resume

HOW TO GET LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FOR COLLEGE APPLICATION

Getting letters of recommendation may seem hard, especially if you’ve been out of school for a while. Then again, chances are you can still get a great recommendation from many different people. By all means ask! After all, most people like to help. No matter who you ask? First, make it as easy for them as possible. Obviously ask politely. Also give them plenty of time. Then make sure they know the school’s requirements. Lastly, make sure they know your goals. That way they can be sure to highlight your best qualities. With this in mind, check out our list of the people you can ask for a letter of recommendation.

1. YOUR EMPLOYER

With adult learners, how you work is important. Given that, your manager or team leader can speak to your work ethic and problem solving abilities. In addition, they can also explain how well you work with colleagues. If your job is related to the degree you hope to pursue, that’s great.

But don’t worry if your job is in a different field. Because those traits apply to your character and not a specific position. How hard you work matters. Schools look at how adults perform. So they do not rely as much on tests.

2. YOUR COACH

Why your coach? Truly, college admissions boards don’t care about your championship season. But, if you were always motivating your team? Or, if you stayed late to review game tapes? Then that shows dedication. Therefore, you can draw on this to highlight how you will do in school.

Not so focused on grades in high school? In this case, try talking to a coach about why you feel ready for college now. They may be able to help get that across to an admissions counselor. In other words, a coach can show how hard you work. Lastly, a coach can say you are good on a team.

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
  • Popular Online Programs include Business Administration, Psychology, Information Technology, Human Services…

3. YOUR PROFESSOR

Taking a college class or two before starting a full time program? If so, you can focus on doing well and getting to know the teachers. To be sure, a letter of recommendation from a teacher in your area of study can go a long way. Especially, from a teacher who can speak to your commitment in the classroom. To clarify, as an adult, how you do in class makes a difference.

In this case, you can have a peer talk to a peer. Provided that you are doing well of course! With this in mind, focusing on your class work is important. Another key point is building a relationship with your teacher. In summary, taking classes before a full time program can help you. Because you get to demonstrate how you work. And you get to score a good recommendation from the teacher.

DOES COMMON APP ASK FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION?

Applying to college is stressful enough without managing all the different forms and deadlines. The Common App by all means makes this easier. And more than 800 schools accept it.

In short, the Common App itself does not require letters of recommendation. But, their Requirements Grid will let you know if any individual schools do. In that case, you can pick and choose where to apply.

15 COLLEGES THAT DON’T REQUIRE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Colleges wanting a letter of recommendation from former teachers is quite common. But they’re not universal. Especially at schools that cater to non traditional students. In summary, life and work experience can matter more. So check out our list of colleges that don’t require letters of recommendation.

1

Adams State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL GPA, CLASS RANK, TRANSCRIPTS, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT)

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include business, liberal arts and education

ABOUT ADAMS:

Adams State is a 4 year public university with both on campus and online programs. Located in Alamosa, Colorado it serves over 3,000 students with programs at all levels. Associate’s through doctorate.

2

Arizona State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT) TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include international business, nutrition, journalism, registered nursing

ABOUT ASU:

ASU is a 4 year public university with campuses throughout the state and online programs as well. The school serves over 11,000 students and offers bachelor’s degree programs through to doctorate.

3

Colorado State University Global Campus

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: High school GPA, transcripts, TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online learning only
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include business, human resources, marketing, IT, health care administration

ABOUT CSU GLOBAL:

CSU Global is a 4 year public university. The school now serves over 12,000 students. They offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certificates. All in a fully online format. 

4

CUNY New York City College of Technology

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: High school GPA, transcripts, TOEFL

School Features:

  • Accredited nursing / dental hygiene programs
  • MSCHE accredited
  • Majors include architectural tech, hospitality, information science, engineering 

ABOUT CITY TECH:

City Tech is a 4 year public university. It serves over 17,000 students, all at the undergrad levels. They have over 30 majors to choose from and an Honors Scholars Program.

5

DeVry University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL GPA, TRANSCRIPTS

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include medical billing, business, web development, health care administration

ABOUT DEVRY UNIVERSITY:

DeVry is a 4 year private for profit university. They offer associate to master’s degree programs. Many of these are available in online format or at one of their campuses in the United States. 

6

Delaware State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL GPA, TRANSCRIPTS, OTHER TESTS (E.G. WONDERLIC)

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • SACSCOC accredited
  • Majors include biology, business, mass communication, education, public health

ABOUT DSU:

Located in Dover, DSU is a 4 year public university that serves over 4,700 students. They offer degrees at all levels. From bachelor’s through doctorate. 

7

ECPI University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS SUGGESTED, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT)

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • MSCHE accredited
  • Majors include accounting, business, information assurance, computer systems

ABOUT ECPI UNIVERSITY:

ECPI is a 4 year private for profit university with an HQ in Virginia. Apart from other campuses, they offer online programs through master’s level and serve over 13,000 students.

8

Florida State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, COMPLETION OF COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT) TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • SACSCOC accredited
  • Majors include regional planning, business management, biology, finance, IT

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE:

FSU is a 4 year public university located in Tallahassee that serves over 42,000 students. They offer a range of degrees from associate through doctorate.

9

Grand Canyon University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include biology, business administration, finance, education, registered nursing

ABOUT GCU:

GCU is a 4 year private for profit university in Arizona. The school also offers evening, hybrid and online learning. And, degree programs from bachelor’s to doctorate taught through a Christian lens.

10

Indiana University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, COMPLETION OF COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT) TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include biology, business administration, finance, education, registered nursing

ABOUT INDIANA U:

Indiana U is a 4 year public university. The school serves over 43,000 students with both on campus and online programs. These are available from the associate level to doctorate.

11

Our Lady of the Lake University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT), TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • SACSCOC accredited
  • Majors include business, PR, IT, counselor education, health care administration

ABOUT OLLU:

OLLU is one of Texas’ 4 year private not for profit universities. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs and has a student body of almost 3,000. Some of their offerings are available in the evenings and online. 

12

Pennsylvania State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT), TOEFL

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • MSCHE accredited
  • Majors include agricultural, business, biology, communication, computer sciences

ABOUT PSU:

PSU is a 4 year public university. The school has several campuses including its online wing, Penn State Global. Serving over 90,000 students, there are programs from associate to doctorate. 

13

Purdue University Global

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: OPEN ADMISSIONS POLICY

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • HLC accredited
  • Majors include accounting, business, IT, health professions, criminal justice 

ABOUT PURDUE:

Purdue is a 4 year public university located in Indiana. They serve over 38,000 students with programs from associate through doctorate. Many of these are fully online.

14

Rutgers University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, COMPLETION OF COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT)

School Features:

  • Online programs
  • MSCHE accredited
  • Majors include accounting, biology, business administration, IT, criminal justice  

ABOUT RUTGERS:

Rutgers is a 4 year public university with several campuses in New Jersey. They serve close to 14,000 students with programs from bachelor’s to doctorate.

15

San Francisco State University

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, COMPLETION OF COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM, ADMISSION TEST SCORES (SAT/ACT)

School Features:

  • Online courses / certificates
  • WAC accredited
  • Majors include biology, communication, education, computer science, engineering, allied heath 

ABOUT SF STATE:

SF State is a 4 year public university that serves close to 30,000. The school offers programs from bachelor’s to doctorate. The College of Extended Learning at SFSU also offers online courses and certificate programs.

More Schools You May Be Interested In

Looking for other options? Discover colleges with high acceptance rates and colleges with rolling admissions.

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