The Application Process

It is important that you first identify the application deadlines for the schools in which you are interested in applying. You need to know all the different components needed for your application which could include a statement of purpose, specific tests, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an interview. 

Statement of Purpose

The graduate and professional school application often requires a statement of purpose. This is a concise, well-written essay which demonstrates your ability to organize and present ideas clearly. Your statement of purpose should reflect your background, qualifications and goals. Click here for more information about writing the statement of purpose.


Most graduate and professional programs require scores from standardized admission tests. Below is a list of common tests but not all inclusive—be sure you have read the requirements for admission carefully so you are aware of all of the tests necessary and the deadline dates for submission of the test results.

Tests to take for Specific School Types
If you are applying to: You should take:

Graduate School (most programs)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Law School

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Business School

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)


California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)/ California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)

Medical or Podiatry School

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Dental School

Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

Veterinary School

Veterinary Aptitude Test (VAT)

Optometry School

Optometry College Admission Test (OCAT)


Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

Psychology, Education, Social Services

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)


It is your responsibility to have an official copy of your transcripts sent to each school to which you are applying. Please note that it can take the Admissions and Records office up to 10 business days to have your official transcripts ready.  The Office of Admissions and Records provides information about requesting official and unofficial transcriptsOpens in new window .

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be requested from professors, advisors, employers or other individuals who are familiar with your work, undergraduate preparation, commitment, motivation, and/or potential. Click here for more information about requesting letters of recommendation.

Graduate and Professional School Interview

Many graduate and professional programs require a personal interview before you are accepted into a program. The interview process varies widely depending on the program to which you are applying. Prepare for this as you would for an interview with an employer. To set up a mock graduate and professional school interview, schedule an appointment. Click here for more information about interviewing for graduate and professional school.