Graduate School Timeline

One of the initial steps in applying to a graduate or professional school is to research application deadlines so that you can develop a timeline of when to submit test scores, letters of recommendation, personal essays, etc. Below is a timeline to help you in planning your application process.

Junior year or earlier

  • Begin researching available programs
    • Review grad school guides/directories
    • Request promotional materials
    • Visit schools' websites
    • Talk to faculty/alumni/current students in the program
  • Start exploring financial aid resources
  • Sign up for required standardized test and take a practice test (many graduate schools are waiving test requirements due to COVID-19; double check the testing requirements for each graduate school)
  • Identify potential recommenders to write you letters of recommendation
  • Order an unofficial transcript and correct any discrepancies
  • Take the required standardized test if needed

Senior year

Fall Semester

  • Write the first draft of your statement of purpose
  • Request your letters of recommendation
  • Order official transcripts
  • Write the final draft of your statement of purpose
  • Complete and submit your applications
  • Apply for the financial aid available through the gradute program: assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, etc.

Spring Semester

  • Complete and submit federal and state financial aid applications
  • Visit prospective campuses if possible and talk to faculty and students to help you make your final decision
  • Follow-up with schools to make sure your file is complete
  • After receiving acceptance from the school of your choice, send in the required deposit and contact other schools to decline acceptances
  • Write thank you notes to people who helped you

<< Back to Grad School Home