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Graduate School Application Process

Graduate School Application Process

Junior Year: Fall and Spring

  • Attend Graduate School workshops sponsored by Career Development.
  • Attend Graduate School Fairs sponsored by local universities or academic colleges.
  • Determine your financial resources. Consider how this may affect your choice of programs in-state versus out-of-state (tuition differences), how many programs you will apply to (application fees) and whether or not you will need to obtain a paid assistantship or other paid work while in school.
  • Determine areas of special interest and whether you desire an academic or professional based program.
  • Research related institutions and programs (Peterson's Guides and professors are both good resources).
  • Talk to advisors / professors about the application process. 
  • Register for appropriate graduate admissions tests (i.e. GRE, MCAT, LSAT). Take practice exams if desired.
  • Write resume and have it critiqued at Career Development.  
  • Ask supervisors / professors for letters of recommendation. Provide a copy of your resume to assist them.

Junior Year: Summer

  • Investigate national scholarships. 
  • Take required graduate admission tests. 
  • Visit institutions of interest, if possible. If not, call to discuss programs with appropriate program coordinators. 
  • Write your application essay. Have it critiqued by Career Development and / or a writing professor/writing center. 
  • Check on application deadlines vs. rolling admissions policies (both for programs of study and assistantships). 
  • 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. 
  • Request copies of transcript from the Registrar's office and send separately, or with application, as requested. 
  • Take graduate admission tests if you have not already done so. 
  • Apply for financial aid or student loans, as well as scholarships, if desired or necessary. 
  • Send completed applications. 

Senior Year: Spring

  • Check with institutions before deadlines to make sure files are complete. 
  • Interview at institutions that require and interview for either program admittance or assistantships. 
  • Visit institutions that accept you, investigate housing options, and make final decision. 
  • Talk to students currently enrolled in the program. 
  • Send deposit to institution of choice. 
  • Make housing arrangements (such as completing application for graduate housing or an off campus apartment). 
  • Notify others institutions that accepted you so that they may admit students on their waiting list. 
  • Send thank you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters, and informing them of your success. 

You may not be able to adhere to this timetable if your application deadlines are very early, as is the case with 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 see if a late application will be considered.

Modified from Peterson's Graduate and Professional Programs Guide

Resources

These links provide good advice for composing your personal statement, an essential part of your application:

These websites offer information regarding application processes, including essays, financial aid, school rankings, and making transitions between college and grad school:

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