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Graduate Application Timeline

Summer Before Applying

  1. Browse through graduate school guides. After selecting schools which you are interested in, request bulletins, brochures, financial aid forms, and applications.
  2. Carefully read through all materials and make note of deadlines.
  3. Start the first draft of your personal statement.

September

  1. Contact professors or employers and let them know of your plans to apply to graduate school. Request a letter of recommendation and provide them with a resume outlining all your current activities, work experiences and accomplishments. In addition, do not forget to give recommenders any special reference forms provided by the university. Thoroughly discuss how forms/letters should be sent when they are complete.
  2. Request official transcripts from all previous undergraduate institutions attended. Keep in mind that some schools request multiple copies so make sure to order enough transcripts.
  3. Sign up for standardized tests (i.e. Kaplan Test Preparation, Princeton Review, etc.)
  4. Continue writing your personal statement.

October

  1. Take standardized tests.
  2. Get personal statement proofread and revise as needed.
  3. Complete application forms on a photocopied rough draft.

November

  1. Send professors/employers a friendly reminder regarding letters of recommendation.
  2. Complete final draft of your personal statement.
  3. Prepare and complete final copy of application forms and materials. Be sure to keep a copy for your own records.

December

  1. Make sure letters of recommendation are complete and have been sent to proper recipients.
  2. Review all application materials and make sure all necessary documents are enclosed.
  3. Enclose proper application fee, postage and mail application.

January/February

  1. Verify that all your applications were received and are complete.
  2. Contact programs to which you applied and inquire about visiting.
  3. Obtain all necessary financial aid forms and research possible scholarships/fellowships.