Graduate School Action Plan

Fall or Spring: Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months Prior to Beginning
a Graduate Program

  • Research areas of interest, institutions, and programs.
  • Talk to advisors about application requirements.
  • Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admissions tests.
  • Investigate national scholarships.
  • Begin planning your references.

Summer: Fifteen Months Prior to Beginning a Graduate Program

  • Take required graduate admissions tests.
  • Write for application materials.
  • If possible, visit schools of interest.
  • Write your application essay.
  • Check on application deadlines.
  • For medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry, or law school, you may need to register with the national application or data assembly service most programs use.

Fall: Twelve Months Prior to Beginning a Graduate Program

  • Obtain letters of recommendation.
  • Take graduate tests if you have not done so.
  • Send in completed applications.
  • Register for financial aid.

Spring: Six to Nine Months Prior to Beginning a Graduate Program

  • Check with all institutions before the deadline to make sure that your file is complete.
  • Visit institutions that accept you.
  • Send a deposit to your school of choice.
  • Notify other institutions that accepted you of your decision as soon as possible to allow for others to be offered admission.
  • Send thank-you notes to all references and others that may have assisted in your process.