Some students go onto graduate school directly after finishing their undergraduate degree. Others take some time off before continuing on with their schooling. Even more students first enter the workforce for a few years before returning to the classroom. Some fields, including nursing and business, recommend gaining work experience before beginning graduate school.
If you are certain that graduate school is a step you would like to take directly after completing your undergraduate degree the suggested timeline can help you stay organized.
- Research areas of interest. Meet with professors in your interest areas about career possibilities and programs
- Meet with faculty, academic and career advisors
- Look into programs that match your interests
- Determine which standardized tests will be needed
Summer Before Senior Year
- Request applications from selected schools
- Take a review course for graduate school entrance exams
- Begin brainstorming and drafting your personal statement
- Update your resume
- Determine who can provide letters of recommendation
- Start saving funds for application fees, campus visits, etc.
- Register to take any necessary entrance exams
Senior Year - Fall
- Request letters of recommendation. Follow up with thank you letters
- Request transcripts to be sent to selected schools
- Polish personal statement and tailor it to individual schools
- Apply for fellowships, grants, and assistantships
- Fill out applications. Make copies of each before sending
- Send applications as soon as possible, before designated deadline (some schools have rolling admissions, so the sooner you apply, the better chance you have!)
Senior Year - Winter
- Confirm applications were received and that your file is complete
- Fill out the FAFSA form by the priority deadline
- Prepare for possible interviews
- After receiving acceptance letters, contact schools about scheduling visits
- Make your final decision!