Timeline for Applying to Graduate or Professional School
Fall Semester (Junior Year)
- Identify if graduate or professional school is an option for you.
- Do you need to obtain a graduate degree to further advance in your career or to obtain the job you want?
- Speak with a faculty member and a career counselor at the Career Center about graduate school plans and alternatives.
- Begin identifying graduate programs in which you are interested.
- Request admissions information and financial aid applications from graduate or professional programs.
- Look carefully at their admissions requirements and pre-requisites.
- Begin to select at least 6 graduate schools of interest. Choose two top-tier schools, two mid-range schools and two 'safety schools'
- Identify how you can further prepare for graduate or professional school. "How can you make yourself more marketable and a well-rounded candidate?"
September, Fall Semester (Senior Year)
- Seek advice from a faculty member, a career counselor, and professionals in the field.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your field of interest about graduate programs and graduate degrees most appropriate for the field.
- Continue writing to schools you have selected and request admissions and financial aid applications.
- Register for required entrance examinations.
- Study for the required entrance examinations.
- Consider attending the on-campus Graduate School Expo
October, Fall Semester (Senior Year)
- Take required examinations.
- Contact administrators, students, faculty, and/or alumni at each institution you are considering for helpful information.
- Take on-campus tours and attend open house events to gather more information about the program.
- Begin drafting your statement of purpose, get assistance from faculty, the Career Center, advisors, or mentors.
- Send your letter of recommendation requests, to provide sufficient time for your recommenders.
- Request your official transcripts.
November, Fall Semester (Senior Year)
- Secure letters of recommendation.
- Secure your official transcripts.
- Finalize your statement of purpose and have it reviewed one more time by a career counselor, faculty member, advisor, or mentor before you submit it.
- Begin preparing any required financial statements.
December, Fall Semester (Senior Year)
- Take required examinations this month if you did not take them in October or if you did not do well the first time.
- Begin to send your admissions applications.
- Follow-up on transcripts and letters of recommendation to assure they were sent.
- If you have not done so, visit the schools to which you are applying.
January, Spring Semester (Senior Year)
- This is your last opportunity to take the required exams for fall admissions. (Please note that it may be too late for some schools.)
- Check with each school to verify that all of your materials have been received, including test scores and financial statements. If some of your application materials are missing, you might be eliminated from consideration.
- If an interview is required as part of the admissions/selection process utilize the InterviewStream software from the career center website to practice or schedule an in-person mock interview with the Career Center.
February, Spring Semester (Senior Year)
- Wait to hear if you are selected as a potential candidate.
- Continue to make contact with representatives of the schools to which you have applied to check on the progress of your applications.
- Practice for your entrance interview.
- Finish outlining a contingency plan in the event that you are not accepted into graduate or professional school.
If You Do Not Get Accepted
- Speak with a career counselor to determine reasons why you did not get accepted and to determine additional options.
- Students are sometimes accepted on their second or third try.