Applying to graduate school can be a long and time-consuming process. It is important to start early in deciding whether or not you want to go and where you would like to apply. A timetable should help you in this process. All times indicated below are approximate. You will need to learn deadlines for specific programs you are considering since they may vary significantly from institution to institution.
- Start browsing through guides to graduate programs and deciding where you would like to apply. Call or write to schools to request catalogues. Determine test requirements, application deadlines, test dates, etc.
- Meet with faculty members and career counselors to discuss programs.
- Sign up for required standardized tests. Take practice tests.
- Take standardized tests.
- Write draft of statement of purpose.
- Research financial aid sources, fellowships, and assistantships.
- Meet with career counselors for information on tests and financial assistance and for a critique of the draft of the statement of purpose.
- Request recommendations from faculty members.
- Order official transcripts from Registrars Office. Ask if the office can send a transcript with your fall term grades in time to meet the deadlines of the programs.
- Finalize statement of purpose according to the question asked on the application.
- Mail applications. Even if deadlines are later, it is good to get applications in early.
- Apply for fellowships, grants, and assistantships.
- Contact schools about the possibility of visiting and scheduling an interview.
- Fill out the GAPSAF form. If you are applying for need based financial aid, you may have to file a copy of your federal income tax returns.
- Discuss acceptances, rejections, and other career options with a faculty member or a member of your college's career services office.
If you would like to defer enrollment for one or two years, contact your graduate department concerning that possibility. If you are rejected, it may be helpful to contact the school and discuss the reasons for your rejection and obtain suggestions on what action you can take to get admitted in the future. You are encouraged to discuss these steps and future plans with your career counselor.
Used by Permission, College of William & Mary Career Services