I'm applying for a master's program, and one of the required documents is a motivational letter, in which I should briefly expose the reasoning behind my choice of program.

I'm using a LaTeX template which has a nice place to put a logo, and I'm thinking about putting the university logo there. Is this allowed? Is it common? Is it a good idea?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


No, you should not put the university logo in the letter. You are not representing your university in an official capacity in a statement of purpose, and therefore using the university's logo would be inappropriate, as you would be suggesting an official imprimatur for your work.

  • I think your answer is also applicable to my question but, just to be clear, I meant using the logo of the university I'm applying to, not the one I'm in now. – JLagana Nov 14 '14 at 17:24
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    @h3now Skip it. Logos are meant for letterhead, i.e. official mailings or business related to the university. At best, it doesn't add anything. At worse, it can be misconstrued as pretentious, as if you assumed you're automatically getting in to the university. It's a letter. As long as it's printed in a readable font and on a normal piece of paper, having extra bells and whistles on it doesn't change its content. – Compass Nov 14 '14 at 17:26
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    @JLagana The logo is only appropriate if, as aeismail says, you're acting as a representative for the university whose logo you're using. You're not a representative of the university you're currently studying at and you're certainly not a representative of the university you're applying to. – David Richerby Jan 4 '15 at 11:50

In fact, using the university's official logo without their permission may be a trademark violation, if they want to make a stink about it. Either get permission (unlikely in this case), or don't.

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