Here is a sample timeline for researching school and applying to Graduate School.
Junior Year - Fall
- Research schools and programs. Use on- line resources on “Graduate School web resources section” of O’Brien Center for Student Success website
- Consult with faculty/advisors about your interests and the nature of grad study you might like to pursue.
- Obtain application forms, grad school catalogs, and financial aid information. Note deadlines.
Junior Year - Spring
- Begin to approach faculty and/or professionals who know your work for recommendation letters.
- Register and begin preparing for appropriate graduate admissions tests.
Summer after Junior Year
- Take required graduate admission tests (GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, etc.) Know deadlines and minimum time needed for scoring.
- Request applications, handbooks/bulletins, and financial aid information from all schools of interest.
- Visit or talk to admissions staff, current students and faculty at programs of interest. Be sure to look at the faculty’s research interests.
- Begin drafting application essays in time to get feedback from career counselors and advisor(s) before applying.
- Gather information about financial aid resources, including assistantships (teaching, research, administrative), scholarships, and fellowships.
Senior Year - Fall
- Obtain additional letters of recommendation from faculty and /or professionals with whom you have worked.
- Request that recommendation letters be mailed at least three weeks before any application deadline, to ensure they are processed by the deadline.
- Mail completed application materials, including financial aid packages. Application materials generally include:
- Application Form
- Admissions test reports (sent by the testing service to schools you specify)
- Transcripts – request that your college mail them directly to the graduate institution, or you may get copies issued to you and you can mail them with your application.
- Letters of Recommendation (if not sent by the recommender)
- Application Essays/Personal Statements (see handout in the Career & Co-op Center office)
- Other materials requested.
- For financial aid, be sure to complete the needed applications. Check with each school for financial aid application requirements and forms.
Senior Year - Spring
- Follow-up to check the status of your application.
- Visit institutions of interest (optional) to help evaluate your options.
- Interview, if needed.
- Choose among schools. Be prepared to consider multiple offers. How will you decide? Also prepare for the possibility that you may not get any offers. What is your contingency plan?
- Once accepted to a program, notify other institutions of your choice.
- Send thank-you notes to those who wrote you recommendation letters, informing them of your plans.