Graduate schools can have varying deadlines for applications depending on the start date of the program and whether or not they allow for rolling admission throughout the academic year. Regardless of when you are applying, you can follow this checklist to help you organize and better plan for your application process.
Identify graduate areas of interest, (which programs, concentrations, etc.)
Locate graduate schools that have your program(s) of interest.
Request catalogs and application materials from potential graduate schools
Determine test requirements, prerequisites and application deadlines
Register and prepare for appropriate standardized test (GRE, MAT, GMAT, etc.). Fee waivers are also available to reduce the cost of taking the exam for those who qualify.
Research financial aid options including scholarships, loans and assistantships
Visit the graduate school while school is in session so you can get a better idea of what the campus is like (atmosphere, student body, professors, etc.). This also gives you a chance to potentially meet your program advisor or professors.
Ask faculty in your department, or other applicable individulas to write letters of recommendation. Provide them with your resume, transcript, deadlines for application, and instructions for submitting.
Request copies of your official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions that you have attended
Take standardized tests and have your scores sent directly to the schools. It may be a good idea to take these exams over the summer so that you not only have more time to study, but you also will have time to retake them if you are unhappy with your scores
Write your personal statement for your applications. Have your statement reviewed by the Reading and Writing Center.
Apply for scholarships, fellowships, grants and assistantships
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Verify that your application materials were received and are complete
Prepare for on-campus interviews, if required
Talk with family, faculty or a member of the Career Center about acceptances and rejections
Make your final decision and send in the deposit