Application Timeline

Below is a suggested timeline for applying to graduate school if you plan to go the semester following graduation.  Please note: you may need to adjust this timeline to meet various deadlines of the programs you apply to, so be sure to note each program’s application deadline.

Summer Before Senior Year

  • Research program options and requirements.  Make a target list of schools you are interested in and a list of requirements/deadlines.
  • Make plans to take required standardized tests and begin studying.
  • Write a draft of your personal statement.


  • Meet with faculty members in your department to discuss your personal statement and possible programs to consider.
  • Determine the schools to which you will apply.  Research fellowships and financial assistance.
  • Get organized.  Create a file for each school and keep all application materials together.
  • Take standardized tests and request that your scores be sent to appropriate schools.


  • Take standardized tests and request that your scores be sent to appropriate schools.
  • Complete your personal statement.
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty; provide a copy of your personal statement and resume/CV to each professor.
  • Order transcripts and request official copies be sent to schools to which you are applying.


  • Complete applications.  Have someone review before you send.
  • Mail applications (if not web-based) one month in advance of deadline.  Pay close attention to instructions.
  • Give your recommenders appropriate information needed to mail/submit letters.  Remind your recommenders of when the letters must be received.
  • Make copies of all applications for your records.


  • Confirm all materials have been received.
  • Contact schools about a campus visit.


  • Mail acceptance forms and, if required, deposits.
  • Notify schools that you will not be attending after making your decision.
  • Send thank you letters to those who wrote your recommendations.  Be sure to let them know where you’re going to school.