Junior Year, Fall and Spring

  • Research areas of interest, institutions, and programs.
  • Talk to advisers about application requirements.
  • Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admission tests.
  • Investigate national scholarships.
  • If appropriate, obtain letters of recommendation.

Junior Year, Summer

  • Take required graduate admission tests.
  • Write for application materials.
  • Visit institutions of interest, if possible.
  • Write your application essay.
  • Check on application deadlines and rolling admissions policies.

Senior Year, Fall

  • Obtain letters of recommendation.
  • Take graduate admission tests if you haven't already.
  • Send in completed applications.

Senior Year, Spring

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if required.
  • Check with all institutions before the deadline to make sure your file is complete.
  • Visit institutions that accept you.
  • Send a deposit to your institution of choice.
  • Notify other colleges and universities that accepted you of your decision so that they may admit students on their waiting list.
  • Send thank-you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters, informing them of your success.

Key Points

  • Apply between October and December (even if the deadline isn't until January)
  • Take your entrance exam in your junior year, if possible. Get the admissions committee to look at your folder before the crush of applicants.