If you’re thinking about going to graduate school, you should begin planning at least 15 months before the program starts.
Here is a typical application timetable:
June to August
- Think about what type of graduate school you want to attend and what you want to achieve.
- Compile a list of potential graduate schools you’d like to attend.
- Visit the grad school websites to see what the application process is like
- Start thinking about who should write recommendations for you
- Research financial aid sources for grad students
- Find out what standardized tests you’ll need to take – and how much time you’ll need to prepare. For example: GMAT (Business School), LSAT (Law School), MCAT (Medical School), GRE (Humanities) . . .
- Research test preparation courses for your program
- Request applications if the school’s website doesn’t provide it online
- Register for any standardized tests you need to take
- Write a first draft of your application essay
- Take a test preparation course
- Start visiting graduate schools you are serious about attending
- Request your undergraduate transcripts
- Create a list of schools you plan on applying to (with their application deadlines)
- Start talking with those people you want to recommend you, and ask them to submit their recommendation within a month
- Take your standardized exam(s)
- Write a second draft of your positioning paper
- Submit your applications for financial aid
- Make sure all recommendation letters have been sent in
- Complete your final draft of your application essay and have it proofread by several different people
- Submit your loan/scholarship applications
- Send in your application essays, forms, et al. to the schools
- Prepare yourself for any upcoming interviews at the grad schools you applied to
- Make sure all the grad schools have received your complete application
- Notify the school you plan on attending
- Plan on leaving your job
- Have a party – and get ready for several years of hard work and drinking tons of coffee
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