Graduate School Timeline

Junior Year | Fall

  • Take the most demanding courses for your major.
  • Make more definite career plans. Consider doing informational interviews with people (Alumni Career Advisors or other professionals) in the field you'd like to study. Career Development can help you prepare for informational interviews.
  • Talk to seniors in your major who are going through the graduate school application process.
  • Begin to locate resources, such as books and web sites, which describe graduate programs. The Career Development Resource Library has Peterson's Guides, books web sites, articles and other resources to get you started.
  • Meet with your advisor to begin discussing grad school options and to make sure that you are fulfilling all requirements for graduation.

Junior Year | Spring

  • Research financial aid options. Scholarship deadlines are often earlier than graduate school application deadlines.
  • Look for summer jobs or internships in your field.
  • Begin to prepare for the entrance exams (GRE, LSAT, GMAT) if applicable
  • Start researching schools.
  • Write or call potential grad schools to request applications and catalogs.
  • Take practice admissions tests when offered through the Jandresevitz Learning Center or the Career Development Office.
  • Meet with faculty members and career counselors to discuss programs and options
  • Create and maintain contacts with potential reference writers (professors, supervisors, etc.)

Summer between junior and senior year

  • Work or volunteer at a job that is related to your field of interest.
  • Continue to research graduate programs and faculty members.
  • Try to visit the universities in which you are most interested.
  • Make a tentative list of schools to which you plan to apply and request application packets from each of them.
  • Establish contact with faculty members at the universities to which you plan to apply.
  • Continue to prepare for the admissions exams.

Senior Year


  • Contact the financial aid offices at the schools to which you plan to apply
  • Organize applications and related information, with a separate folder for each school.
  • Begin to put together information for the professors who will write your letters of recommendation.
  • Select schools to apply to (both reach and safety schools)
  • Register for admissions tests
  • Talk to faculty advisors and professors for advice
  • Make several photocopies of applications and begin to fill them out


  • Finalize the list of schools to which you plan to apply.
  • Begin to brainstorm ideas for your personal statement.
  • Order official transcripts.
  • Request letters of recommendation.


  • Take required admissions tests.
  • Budget for non-refundable application fees ($25 - $75)
  • Complete applications of first choice schools
  • Begin to write your personal statement.
  • Fill out application forms.
  • Confirm that official transcripts were sent to the schools to which you are applying.


  • Finish your personal statement.
  • Complete application forms.
  • Retake graduate school admissions tests, if necessary.
  • Continue to complete applications for admission, assistantships, and fellowships.
  • Confirm that letters have been sent by deadlines.
  • Send thank-you notes to reference writers.
  • Send applications so that they arrive a few weeks before the deadline.
  • If possible, visit some of the schools to which you are applying.


  • Follow-up with your recommenders and the schools to which you have applied to make sure that all of your applications are complete. Check that financial aid applications are complete.


  • Prepare for on-campus interviews, if required.
  • Send thank-you notes to interviewers.
  • Let your reference writers, professors, and everyone who has assisted you know where you got in and where you're going!


  • Continue to apply for assistantships if you don't already have one.
  • Make housing arrangements.