Graduate School Timeline

This timeline gives you a quick overview of the graduate school application process.  It is developed with the assumption that you are applying for admission for the fall semester.  The timeline is very general.  Be sure to check with each individual school for the deadlines that you must meet in order to be considered for admission.  Please take advantage of the services, programs and resources that the Career Development Center offers to assist you with each step of the graduate school admissions process. 


  • Think about what field of study you would like to pursue in graduate school.
  • Begin to research programs by using the internet and other resources. The Career Development Center offers many web-based and print resources to assist you.
  • Obtain information from the schools with graduate programs you are considering. You can obtain appropriate contact information by visiting the program's website.
  • Get to know your faculty members-they are excellent sources of advice as you ponder various graduate programs. You will want to try and develop relationships with certain professors, so that you would feel comfortable requesting a letter of recommendation for your graduate school application.



  • Request school catalogs and applications for admission and financial aid, or bookmark all relevant websites.
  • Register for the graduate exam that is required by the particular program you are considering (GRE, GMAT, MAT, LSAT, MCAT) and prepare for the test. The Career Development Center has books and other resources to assist you.
  • Begin securing letters of recommendation from faculty and others in a position to speak positively to the strengths you could bring to a graduate program of study.


  • Begin filling out applications for admission, assistantships, and financial aid.
  • Begin writing your personal statement. You can make an appointment with a tutor in the Writing Center and/or with counselor in the Career Development Center to assist you.
  • Many graduate programs require you to submit a resume along with your application materials. Be sure to visit one of the Career Development Center's walk-in locations for assistance with your resume. Walk-In Centers are located on the third floor of Campion (open Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM) and Mandeville 206 A (open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM).
  • Take the required graduate exam.
  • Get your official transcripts from the Student Services Center. Be sure to allow at least a few weeks for your transcripts to be ready during especially busy times of year.
  • Be sure to double-check all deadline dates for your school(s) of choice.


  • Complete all admissions application materials and forms that are available. Be sure to check any materials you send - applications, personal statements, resumes - for accuracy, spelling and grammar.
  • Send or arrange to have sent on your behalf all available information that is requested by the school, such as transcripts, graduate exam scores, personal statements, letter of recommendations, and resume or curriculum vitae if appropriate.
  • You don't have to wait until every item requested for an application can be sent together. Know that when an Admissions Office receives any piece of your application, a file will be created for you as well as a checklist maintained of what they have received on your behalf as well as what is still required to complete the application.


  • Contact the graduate admissions offices of the schools to which you have applied to make sure they have received ALL application materials, or to ascertain what is still needed.
  • Complete and mail any financial aid information.


  • Evaluate offers of admission and make a decision.
  • Notify all schools regardless of accepting an offer or rejecting an offer of admission.
  • Follow all procedures to ensure your enrollment for the program.

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