Grad School Timeline


Timeline for Applying to Graduate School/Professional Programs


  • Start deciding where you'd like to apply. This entails gathering information. Look for
    programs. Browse through brochures and websites.
  • Request catalogs and applications from schools in which you are interested.
  • Meet with faculty and career development to discuss programs and your plans.
  • Determine admission requirements.
  • Determine which standardized tests to take. Take practice tests. Career Development has admission test preparation books to check out.
  • Take any required tests toward the end of your junior year. This ensures plenty of time to retake, if necessary!
  • Get involved in your field. Assist professors with a project or get an internship.



  • If you have not done so already, take the standardized tests for admissions.
  • Narrow your program choices or feverishly gather program brochures if you have procrastinated.
  • Consider which faculty members to ask for letters of recommendation.


  • Research sources of financial aid.
  • Write a draft of your statement of purpose.
  • Ask for faculty members or Career Development Director to critique your essays.
  • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation. Provide them with a copy of your transcripts, resume, statement of purpose or anything else they will find helpful to write a knowledgeable recommendation.


  • Arrange for your official transcript to be sent to each program to which you apply. (Double-check! Some programs require more than one and some require that they be sent directly to the program, while others go to the graduate school admissions department)
  • Finalize your essays and statement of purpose. Don't forget to spell-check!
  • Apply for fellowships and other sources of financial aid.
  • Check and record the due date for each application.
  • Complete forms for early applications.


  • Complete the application forms for each school. Be sure to type!
  • Mail your applications.
  • Most schools send a postcard upon receipt of each application. Keep track of these. If you don't receive a postcard or letter, contact the admissions office by e-mail or phone to ensure that your application has been received by the deadline.
  • Depending on your field, start planning for admissions interviews. What questions will you ask? Prepare to answer common questions.
  • Schedule a mock interview with the Career Development Director.
  • Fill out the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. You need your tax forms to do this.


  • Visit schools to which you've been accepted. April 15 is a common notification date.
  • Discuss acceptances and rejections with a faculty member at your school.
  • Notify the program of your acceptance.
  • Notify the programs that you're declining.


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