Graduate and Professional School Timeline
Six months prior to applying
• Research areas of interest, institutions, and programs.
• Talk to advisers about application requirements.
• Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admission tests.
• Investigate national scholarships.
• Obtain letters of recommendation, if appropriate
Three months prior to applying
• Take required graduate admission tests.
• Write for application materials or request them online.
• Write your application essay.
• Check on application deadlines and rolling admissions policies.
• Register for the national application or data assembly service most programs use, if needed, for medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry, or law school.
Fall, a year before matriculating
• Obtain letters of recommendation
• Take graduate admission tests if you haven’t already.
• Send in completed applications
Winter, before matriculating in the fall
• Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE, if required.
Spring, before matriculating in the fall
• Check with all institutions before their deadlines to make sure your file is complete.
• Visit institutions that accept you.
• Send a deposit to your institution of choice.
• Notify other institutions that accepted you of your decision so that they can admit students on their waiting list.
• Send thank you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters, informing them of your success.