Graduate School Information & Timeline
General Graduate School Timeline
Summer before your Senior Year
- Begin browsing though graduate school guides, such as Peterson’s Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs. Email graduate schools for program information, applications, and financial aid and assistantship information. Determine if there are any special admissions requirements.
- Start working on a general personal statement.
- Begin saving for application fees.
- Meet with faculty members and/or Career Counselors to talk about possible programs.
- Ask Professors for letters of recommendation. Provide them with appropriate forms, an addressed and stamped envelop and a resume. Discuss your goals and motivations for wanting to attend graduate school so that they have a better idea of your intentions.
- Sign up for required standardized tests. Prepare for tests by familiarizing yourself with the instructions and types of questions. Use sample practice books, such as Barron’s Guide to Taking the GRE, and prep courses, such as those offered by Kaplan.
- Take Kaplan's FREE practice test on-line.
- Take the standardized test. Request applications from programs if you haven’t already.
- Request copies of your official transcript. Insure that the registrar’s office can send transcripts and fall semester grades to designated graduate schools in time for the appropriate deadline.
- Put finishing touches on your personal statement and have it reviewed by friends, faculty, staff, and your career counselor.
- Fill out your application forms. Type them. It is helpful to make copies of the original form just in case you make a mistake.
- Take or retake the appropriate tests.
- Contact professors to insure that they have mailed off recommendations.
December - January
- Mail completed applications. Send your applications at this time even if your deadlines are later. Some graduate school accept applicants on a rolling basis, which means that they accept applicants as applications are received until all spots are filled.
- Send in financial aid information if necessary.
- Contact graduate programs before the deadline to insure that applications are complete.
- Visit as many schools as possible; accepting a graduate school offer without visiting the campus is like buying a car without test driving it! Talk with faculty and current students.
- Set up appointments for admissions interviews as well as assistant-ship interviews. Be sure to follow up with Thank You notes.
- If you are applying for financial aid, you may need a copy of your income tax return.
- Sit back and wait for the acceptance letters to start rolling in!