Graduate School Timeline

Graduate School Timeline

The following timetable is suggested by Peterson's Annual Guides to Graduate Study and represents the ideal for most students. However, requirements vary by school and should be noted. (*)

Junior Year - Fall and Spring
• Research institutions offering graduate programs in your area of interest.
• Talk to your academic advisor about graduate school in general, and ask for advice on programs to research.
• Narrow your selection to three to five institutions. Although, for some, it may be wise to apply to more programs.
• Investigate national and local scholarships.
• Consider taking practice graduate admission exams (Kaplan typically offers these).

Junior Year - Summer
• Find out which admission exams are required and learn more about them (online or via hard-copy resources). Take required admissions tests.
• Request the school catalog, application materials, and financial aid information online or by telephone.
• Write to the prospective department for additional information regarding graduate assistantships offered by the university.
• Visit your institutions of interest.
• Check on application deadlines and rolling admissions procedures.
• Begin to prepare your application forms and write your application essay (personal statement).
• For medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry, or law school, you may need to register for the national application or data assembly service most programs use.

Senior Year - Fall
• Obtain letters of recommendation.
• Take graduate admissions tests if you haven't done so already.
• Send in completed applications and other required materials by the deadline to both the Graduate Admissions Office and the prospective department.
• Send a deposit to your institution of choice.
• Register for the Graduate and Professional Financial Aid Service (GAPSFAS) or the Financial Aid Form (FAF), if required.

Senior Year - Spring
• Check with all institutions before the deadline to make sure your application file is complete and all supporting materials have been received.
• Prepare for a visit and, if applicable, interview with institutions that have an interest in you.
• Notify other colleges and universities that accepted you of your acceptance to a program, so they may admit students on their waiting list.
• Send thank you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters, informing them of your success.

* You may not be able to adhere to this timetable if your application deadlines are very early, as in the case of medical schools, or if you decide to attend graduate school at the last minute. In any case, keep in mind the various application requirements and be sure to meet all deadlines. If deadlines are impossible to meet, call the institution to determine if a late application will be considered. You may get lucky!

Information taken from WestPACS Graduate School Guide.
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