Published on Sunday, June 13, 2010 06:00
Begin planning for graduate school at least a year prior to when you would like to enter. Deadlines vary depending on the program, though, and it is important that you begin identifying potential schools/programs early and are clear on individual deadlines!
If you are considering graduate school, you need to begin your search for possible programs the fall of your junior year.
- Meet with staff in the Career and Internship Center for assistance as you begin the search
- Attend Graduate/Professional school fairs both on- and off-campus
- Request information from programs that spark your interest
- Consider making a visit to those schools/programs of most interest to you
- Begin to explore financial aid resources - the Career and Internship Center can assist!
By the spring and summer of your junior year, you should have a fairly good idea of places you intend to apply and know the deadlines you face in the fall.
- Develop a personal statement using faculty and the Career and Internship Center as resources to create the best possible document for your field.
- Register and prepare for required standardized tests.
- Develop an application timeline for all schools to which you are applying - the process takes too much effort to be eliminated because you've missed a deadline!
Fall of your senior year is the time to be sure everything is in order and submitted on time!
- Ensure you know how to apply for each school and have all the materials needed
- Finalize essays and personal statements for each application
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty - provide reference writers with your resume, personal statement, proper forms, adequate time to write the letters, and directions for handling the letters
- Consider doing a mock interview with faculty or videotaped in the Career and Internship Center prior to professional school admissions interviews
- Take your required standardized tests
- Complete the applications - cutting and pasting information from word documents helps in ensuring there are no typing errors. Be sure to proofread the application before sending.
- Order transcripts from the Registrar's Office - include fall semester grades if available prior to the deadline
By spring of your senior year, many application deadlines have passed. Hopefully you are not waiting until the final deadline to submit your application! This is the time to await word on acceptance and finalize financing.
- If you haven't yet completed your application submissions, you need to do that now
- Complete financial aid forms - you may need to include a copy of your income tax return so consider getting that done early
- Contact schools to be sure your application was submitted if you haven't received notice and verify the timeline for acceptance
- Write thank you notes to the many people who have assisted you in the application process