This timetable is approximate, but offers steps that you need to think about no later than the summer before your senior year. It is a good idea to start as soon as possible!
- Write a draft statement of purpose/personal statement.
- Start browsing through guides to graduate programs, websites, and university catalogs.
August – September
- Meet with faculty members you have worked with to discuss your personal statement
and learn about possible programs.
- Begin to develop your personal timeline for the application process.
- Ask for letters of recommendation.
- Sign up for required standardized tests.
- Take standardized tests
- Determine the schools to which you plan to apply and request application materials.
- Finish your timeline based on each institutions deadline and financial aid deadlines.
- Complete your personal statement, adjusting it to meet each application’s specific
- Order transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.
- Complete application forms (First do a draft on a photocopy of the form).
- Give your recommenders all the information that they will need to write recommendations
for you for each of your application schools.
- Mail applications. Even if deadlines are later, it is good to get the applications
- Contact programs about the possibility of visiting. Make trips if possible.
- If you are applying for need based financial aid programs, you may have to file a
copy of your federal income tax return.
Information adapted from Graduate School and You, The Council of Graduate Schools.