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.