You are here

Graduate School Application Timeline

This timeline was set up for an ideal application situation for students who know that they would like to attend graduate school the year after they graduate with their bachelors and where the applications are due in January. Many masters programs will have due dates in December or February.  Some graduate school applicants will take a few years to work in their area of interest, have some experiences in social services or to figure out their path.

Junior Year

  • Work on general education requirements and take geography major requirements.
  • Begin developing relationships with faculty members.
  • Consider working on research with faculty
  • Start thinking about who you may ask for letters of recommendation. Meet with faculty to discuss graduate schools and to gather advice.
  • Begin preparing for the GRE. Take a sample test online at to see how much studying you will need to complete.
  • Begin investigating graduate programs.
  • Meet with your adviser to discuss preparation and plans.
  • Meet with faculty and / graduate students about their experiences in applying for graduate school.
  • Attend the annual workshop on applying for graduate school, held in Autumn quarter.

Summer Between Junior And Senior Years

  • Review application materials for programs.
  • Write a resume and take it to the Career Center in Mary Gates Hall for review.
  • Study for and take the GRE.
  • Begin collating your application materials and writing your statement of purpose.
  • Begin looking for funding opportunities for your graduate education. Contact the Grants and Funding Information Service for an appointment.

Senior Year


  • Begin working on research with faculty members and continue throughout the year.
  • Set up a grad school file in the Center for Career Services for your letters of recommendation.
  • Request letters of recommendation.
  • Finish Resume/Vita and write letter of intent or statement of purpose. Have them checked for spelling and grammar.
  • Check into assistantship and fellowship programs.


  • Complete written or online applications for graduate school and specific program.
  • Have GRE scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation sent to programs.
  • Verify with programs that they have received all parts of your application.
  • Complete financial aid forms if necessary.


  • Interview with programs and send thank you notes to interviewers.
  • Send thank you notes to faculty who wrote letters of recommendation.
  • Receive offers or wait list notices.
  • Apply for assistantships or fellowships.

April 15

Officially notify graduates schools of intentions.