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Melissa Bennett
Graduate and Pre-Professional School Advisor

Melissa Bennett

Graduate & Pre-Professional School Advisor

Graduate Application Timeline

One of the initial steps in applying to a graduate or professional school is to research schools and learn their application deadlines so that you can develop a timeline of when to submit test scores, letters of recommendation, personal essays, etc.

Below is a timeline to help you in planning your application process. If you are taking a gap year(s), you can use this as a guide to plan backwards from your intended application year.

Years One to Two or One to Three

  • Meet with Steinbright's graduate and pre-professional advisor to start building your timeline and to explore options and opportunities available to you.
  • Use school resources, such as the Writing Center, to maintain a strong GPA from day one.
  • Get involved with a student group that will both strengthen your application and apply to your interests.
  • Start building your résumé or CV to prepare your applications for co-op.
  • Assess academic standing and plans for completing prerequisite courses with your academic advisor. Identify and connect with faculty for mentorship, research opportunities, and professional advice.
  • Seek out campus leadership opportunities and community involvement. Be strategic in choosing settings that could make you a competitive candidate. Continue gaining experience in your field, as mentioned above.
  • Attend graduate school fairs to continue growing your network and knowledge of programs available.

Junior Year

  • Work with the pre-professional advisor to begin looking at schools/programs of interest and choose several.
  • Start familiarizing yourself with testing requirements. If testing such as the GRE or GMAT is necessary, begin to study approximately six months prior to testing date.
  • Create a budget for applications that will include testing, test preparation materials, and application fees for each program of interest, including secondary application fees.
  • Develop a budget for both tuition and living expenses related to continued schooling.
  • Familiarize yourself with the FAFSA and find out what you are eligible for in loans.
  • Consider what faculty, advisors, and mentors could potentially write your letters of recommendation and consult with them so that you can include their names on your application.
  • Keep regular contact with your pre-professional advisor to fine tune your application strategy, schools of interest, personal statement, and/or statement of purpose. Discuss alternatives with your pre-professional advisor in case of a needed gap year or change in career plans.
  • By the end of the summer, you should have taken any mandatory testing so that you will be ready to start applying in the fall.
  • Continue involvement, research, and/or meaningful volunteering and shadowing that can be added to your experiences when applying.

Senior Year

  • Complete and submit applications. Many programs have deadlines in December. Prioritize applications both on due date and desire to attend.
  • Order and submit official transcripts for each school you are applying to.
  • Apply for the financial aid available through the graduate program — assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, etc.
  • Prepare and plan for schools visits.
  • If your programs of choice require an interview, prepare with the graduate and pre-professional advisor for different types of interviews.
  • Evaluate acceptance offers and talk with your pre-professional advisor for guidance.
  • Write thank you notes to people who have helped you.

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