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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, it is important to solicit references from individuals who are able to provide a knowledgeable assessment of your academic and professional potential. References from family and friends are strongly discouraged.

Three to five days following the submission of your application through OUAC you and your referees will receive an automated e-mail from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (fgps@wlu.ca). Your e-mail will advise you to log in to LORIS to upload your supplementary application documents. Your referees will receive the link to our confidential online reference system and are advised to complete the reference within 14 days.

You may monitor the status of your reference letters on LORIS (navigate to your application checklist on LORIS and scroll to the Referees section). You will receive up to two reminders within the two-week period if the reference letters have not been submitted to Laurier.

Please note that 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 your referees contact information carefully to ensure that the email addresses you provided are 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, click ‘Cancel this reference’ for the referee with the incorrect e-mail and, in the ‘Add New Referee’ section, enter the correct information for the referee and then 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). Reference forms 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 ‘Resend request to referee’ which will re-start the 14-day timeframe for submission; you will again receive reminder e-mails.
  2. You can cancel the reference request; an automated e-mail will be sent to the referee advising them that you have opted to cancel the reference request. In this case you must select a new referee.

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 until the applicant has cancelled the request for your submission, or the admissions cycle has been closed.

How do I define the group with whom I am comparing the applicant?

It is helpful if you define the peer group by providing the number of students/employees/volunteers and the approximate time frame of your experience with that peer group.

If you are completing an academic reference, you might choose to compare the applicant to other students whom you have taught and/or supervised, who have attained a similar level of study, who may have a comparable disciplinary focus, or who may have sought admission to a comparable graduate program.

If you are completing a professional reference, you might choose to compare the applicant to other employees (or volunteers as applicable) whom you have supervised or worked with, who have a similar professional background or professional role, or who may have shared academic and/or professional career objectives.

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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