Timelines for Graduate Admissions

Timelines for Graduate Admissions


Timeline Considerations for Graduate and Professional Programs

It is important to start gathering information early in order to be able to complete your applications on time. Most people should start the process a full year and a half before their anticipated date of matriculation. However some scholarships have even earlier deadlines. Application deadlines range from August (before your senior year) for early decision programs of medical schools, to late spring or summer (after your senior year) for a few programs with rolling admissions. Most deadlines for classes entering in the fall are between January and March.
Grad School: Application Timeline by National Association of Colleges and Employers
The timetable that appears below represents a sample of how you might plan. It has been adapted from Peterson’s Guides to Graduate and Professional Programs: An Overview. These guides are available for your use in the Career Development Resource Library, CdC 460.


JUNIOR Year, Summer
  • Take required admission tests.
  • Obtain 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.
SENIOR Year, Fall
  • Obtain letters of recommendation.
  • Send in completed applications.
SENIOR Year, Winter
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and a financial aid PROFILE, if required.
SENIOR Year, Spring
  • Check with all institutions before their deadlines 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 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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