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ORPAS – Referee Requirements


Refer to the application and the university's website for up-to-date program details.

Review the requirements for each university and program choice as the number and/or type of reference required may vary.

Referee Selection

Select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and can make statements concerning your:

  • character,
  • personal qualities,
  • academic capabilities and
  • special circumstances, if applicable.

ORPAS cannot advise you in selecting referees.

Submitting Your References

Ensure that your referee is prepared to use the online form before entering an email address. Enter a business or university email address rather than a personal email address. They must be familiar with PDF documents and/or scanners.

Once you add a referee, select “Send Email” to notify them about completing their online reference in a secure environment. If you provide an email address for your referee, they are required to complete the reference online.

If the referee does not have an email address, download the form and forward it to them. The “Download” button will appear once you save the referee’s information without an email address. They must mail it, with their accompanying letter, directly to ORPAS when complete.

It is your responsibility to ensure your referee receives the email and successfully submits their reference to ORPAS.

Your comments to the referee should include your contact information, so they will be able to reach you, if necessary.

  • Only 1 version of the reference (online or paper) can be submitted.
  • You will not be able to make changes to your referees once they start their reference.
  • All references are confidential. Any information provided on your behalf by your chosen referees will be sent only to your university choices, and will not be made available to you.

Reference Deadline

It is your responsibility to give your referees enough time to complete their reference and submit it to ORPAS by the deadline.

You may submit your application before your references are submitted.

Checking the Status of Your References

You can check the status of your references under the Actions/Status column in the Referees section of your application.

Reference Status

  • Email Sent: Your email was sent to your selected referee.
  • Form Viewed: Your referee viewed the reference form.
  • In Progress: Your referee started their reference but did not submit it.
  • Received: The OUAC received the reference from your referee.

Referee Resets

You may reset your reference as long as the referee has not started the reference form. You will not be able to make changes to your referees once they have started their reference.

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