Student Professional Development Center

Timeline for Graduate School Application Process

Junior Year

  • Research areas of interest, programs and universities.
  • Consult with advisor/department faculty about programs that match your interests and application requirements.
  • Register and begin to prepare for graduate admissions exams.
  • Take a free practice exam to get a feel for what the real thing will be like.
  • Target faculty to ask for letters of recommendation.

Summer before your Senior Year

  • Take required graduate admissions exam.
  • Contact schools of interest and obtain application materials.
  • Visit schools of interest.
  • Put together a solid draft (if not a completed version) of your personal statement/admission essay.
  • Make a chart of all application deadlines.

Fall of your Senior Year

  • Finalize your personal statement.  Have it read by AT LEAST one professional staff member in Career Services and/or your faculty advisor.
  • Ask faculty—as early as possible—for letters of recommendation.  Do not wait to do this! Give them as much time and consideration as you can.  They are doing you a BIG favor.
  • Take admissions examinations (again, if necessary).
  • Contact the Registrar’s office and complete a transcript request for each school to which you’ve applied.
  • Submit application materials.

Spring of your Senior Year

  • Follow up before the deadline with each school you’ve applied to and make sure your file is complete.
  • Visit the schools that accept you and meet with someone in the graduate admissions office if you haven’t already done so.
  • Send a deposit to your school of choice.
  • Once you’ve decided on your school of choice, notify the other universities to which you’ve been accepted so that your spot may be offered to someone on their wait list.
  • Send thank-you notes to the people who’ve assisted you in your application process; let them know of your acceptance(s) and your decision.                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                              -RHJ

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