A philosophy professor writes that his department is entertaining the possibility of not requiring letters of recommendation from those applying to its graduate program, and asks whether other departments have stopped requiring them, too, either of MA or PhD program applicants, or of job candidates.
He adds: “unless a number of schools also drop the requirement, it won’t make much of a difference if we do it.”The question of whether it’s advisable to require letters of recommendation has come up a few times here at Daily Nous. See, for example, this post about arguments against letters of recommendation for academic jobs from Michael Huemer (Colorado), and the ensuing discussion. See also the post about letters of recommendation by Anca Gheaus (CEU) at Justice Everywhere.
Further discussion on the matter is welcome, but especially useful would be hearing about which programs or departments, if any, no longer require letters of recommendation, and what they’ve learned from the change.