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Timeline for Applying to Graduate School

Graduate School Application Timetable

Note: this timetable tracks the timing of applications made in senior year.  Many students take a year out before applying, which is not a bad thing and will not count against you in your application process.  If you do decide to take a year out, however, it would be wise to mention your plans to the professors whom you would like to ask for letters of recommendation, so that they can keep you in mind, or even write the letter in advance while they still have a vivid memory of you and your work. 

Prior to (and during) early fall of senior year: Preparation and Decision to Apply

1. Considering whether to go to graduate school, and planning to make your application as strong as possible, including:

2. Deciding where to apply

Fall (to winter) of senior year: Preparing your Applications

The earliest application deadlines tend to be in early December; many are due also in January or even early February.

3. Ask for letters of recommendation – at least ONE MONTH before first deadline

4. Sign up for and take GRE test (at ( ); note that you must sign up at the time of taking the test for four places to which you would like your scores sent (you can then ask for additional score reports to be sent later, at extra cost).

5. Put together your application dossier, typically including: Personal statement (c. 1-2 pp. single-spaced); Writing sample (c. 15 pp.); Letters of recommendation; Transcript; GRE scores.

6. Sending off the dossiers: 

Spring of senior year: deciding where to accept

Most acceptance deadlines are April 15

7. Deciding where to accept, on the basis of:

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