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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


As an applicant, you want to solicit references from individuals who are able to provide a knowledgeable assessment of your academic and professional potential. References from family or friends are strongly discouraged.

Three to five days after you complete your application through OUAC, your referees will receive an email with the link to a confidential online reference form and instructions on how to complete it. Referees have 14 days to complete the reference. You can monitor the status of their submission on LORIS, Laurier’s Online Registration and Information System (navigate to the page where you uploaded your supplemental documents and scroll to the bottom). You will receive up to two reminders within two weeks of the request for the reference if the reference letters have not been submitted to Laurier.

Some programs require professional references in addition to those from academic instructors (check the program’s application checklist carefully). Academic references can assess your academic achievements, your motivation to enter the program you selected and your creative and intellectual promise. Professional references can speak to your work and/or volunteer experience as related to your proposed program of study. The referee should be able to comment on your aptitude and motivation required for this career choice, and the relevance of this program to your career path.

FAQs for Applicants

How long does it take for my referees to be notified?

It will take three to five business days from the time you have submitted your OUAC application and paid the non-refundable application fee for your referees to be notified.

How will I know if my referees have been notified?

You will receive an email from Laurier acknowledging that your application has been received and that your referees have been contacted. We encourage you to review the contact information you provided for your referees to ensure that the email address you provided to us for each referee is correct.

I put the wrong email address in for my referee. What do I do?

Access LORIS from the link we provided in the email acknowledging receipt of your application. Select the applicable program application and, in the "Add New Referee" section, enter the required information for the referee and select "Submit." A link to the reference form will be automatically sent to the new email address.

What if my referee cannot respond within 14 days?

It is your responsibility to ensure your references are received by the application deadline (where applicable). Applications may still be submitted after 14 days, but, if the application deadline has passed, it may not be considered.

What if my referee doesn’t respond?

If your referee has not submitted the reference within the 14 days, you will be sent an email titled “Application to Laurier; Reference not received.” At this point, you have two options:

  1. You can elect to do nothing if you know your referee is going to respond but needs more time and the application deadline has not yet passed. Be aware that you will not receive any further email reminders.
  2. You can select a new referee. If you know your referee will not be responding, you can access the LORIS site, select the applicable graduate program application and refer to the instructions in the "Add New Referee" section. By selecting a new referee, you will also receive the corresponding email to let you know that your referee has been notified.

How will I know if my referee has submitted the reference?

By accessing the LORIS site, you may select the relevant graduate program application to see the status of your referee submissions. “Pending” means the references have not yet been completed. “Received” means the references are complete.

FAQs for Referees

The link doesn’t work or my firewall will not allow me to access the link

The reference form works best in Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If you cannot detect the URL itself, contact fgps@wlu.ca to have the link sent to you so that you can cut and paste it into a browser directly. When contacting fgps@wlu.ca, it is helpful to describe what you see on the screen or send us screen shots so that we can assist you with troubleshooting any issues.

I can’t complete this within the 14 days as requested

Some of our programs do have firm application submission deadlines (including references). The applicant for whom you are preparing a reference will receive two follow-up emails after the initial request, on day seven and on day 14. Thereafter, no further reminders will be sent by email. The URL itself (in the email) will not expire until you have submitted the completed reference or the admissions cycle has been closed.

What do the different buttons do at the bottom of the reference page?

  • Save will save the information that has already been entered. You should be able to close the browser and, when you click on the link again, you will return to the page with the information you previously entered.
  • Submit will submit the document to our office. You will be taken to a page with a picture of a checkmark that says, “Thank you for your submission.” You will also receive an email with a PDF copy of the reference form for your records.
  • Clear Form will clear all information from the form, and you may start over. Any previously saved information will be removed.
  • Restart will take you back to the initial page where you selected "Academic" or "Professional." All saved information will be removed.

I accidentally selected "Academic," but I wanted "Professional" (or vice versa)

At the bottom of the reference form, select the "Restart" button. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to restart. By selecting "yes," any information previously saved or entered will be removed from the form and you will be returned to the first page where you select "Academic" or "Professional."

How do I verify that the reference has been submitted?

Once you have clicked on "Submit" at the bottom of the reference form, you will be taken to a page with a picture of a checkmark that says, “Thank you for your submission.” You will also receive an email with a PDF copy of the reference form for your records.

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