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Graduate School Application Action Plan

Fall and Spring, year prior to when you want to start

  • 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.

Summer, year prior to when you want to start

  • 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.
  • For medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry, or law school, you may need to register for the national application or data assembly service most programs use.

Fall prior to when you want to start

  • Obtain letters of recommendation.
  • Take graduate admission test if you haven't already.
  • Send in completed applications.
  • Complete the FAFSA, if required.

Spring prior to when you want to start

  • 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.


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