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Graduate and Professional School Planning Timeline

Spring of Junior Year
  • Begin asking faculty, advisors and professionals about graduate programs in your field.
  • Identify and read professional journals in the field. Learn as much as you can about the current research.
  • Identify the leading researchers and institutions for your field of interest.
  • Visit the Office of Career Services for information on graduate and professional school programs.
  • Develop as many options as you can; then eliminate some by researching them before you leave for the summer.
  • Register and prepare for graduate admission tests.
Summer
  • Call or write the remaining schools on your list for applications and program information.
  • Look over the materials you receive and continue narrowing your list.
  • Contact admissions offices for information on acceptance rates, test scores and GPA ranges.
  • Ask for information on placement rates and typical employers for each program.
  • Talk to professionals in the field regarding their research and employment opportunities.
  • Identify alumni currently enrolled or recently graduated from the program and contact them.
  • Begin writing your personal statement, which must be modified for each school. 
  • If you haven’t done so, register and prepare for admission tests.
September
  • When school starts, finish narrowing your list of schools.
  • Begin asking for letters of recommendation. 
  • Continue working on your personal statement.
  • Check on application deadlines and rolling or early admissions policies.
  • Read the applications thoroughly and prepare any other materials requested. 
  • For medical, dental or law school register with the appropriate application and data assembly service.
October
  • Submit completed applications for any early decision programs.
  • Prepare for and take graduate admissions exams if you haven’t done so already.
  • Contact schools to schedule visits during the fall semester.
  • Continue to gather and complete the necessary application materials.
November
  • Continue to send applications, paying close attention to deadlines.
  • A good rule of thumb is to submit your applications by Thanksgiving break or shortly thereafter.
  • Follow up with graduate schools to confirm that all necessary application materials have arrived.

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