Follow this admission checklist to stay on track.
- Dream big and plan how you'll make it happen.
- Earn good grades.
- Get to know your professors.
- Meet with graduate advisers to lay out courses and experiences you'll need.
- Apply for undergraduate research projects and/or work with a faculty member on a project. Be persistent!
- Keep up your grades.
- Get to know more professors.
Summer between sophomore and junior years
- Search for potential graduate programs.
- Explore fellowships and grants, both extramural and school-specific.
- Participate in a summer research internship, if possible.
- Apply for and participate in a research project.
- Start studying for the GRE in the fall.
- Map out a plan for applying for extramural fellowships.
- Take the GRE in the winter or spring.
- Visit campuses and recruiting events.
Summer between junior and senior years
- Participate in a summer research program.
- Make a list of graduate programs that fit your interests and goals.
- Make a plan for applying for admission and university funding.
- Take the GRE — for the first time or again, if you want to improve your score.
- Draft your statement of purpose and other application essays.
- Start sending out extramural fellowship applications — deadlines are often much earlier than those for admission!
- Finish submitting extramural funding applications during fall term.
- Request letters of recommendation by early October.
- Ask professors for feedback on your statement of purpose.
- Submit your admission and funding applications early.
- Take the GRE again, if needed. This is your last opportunity if you are applying to graduate school now.
- Stay organized. Stay on schedule. Getting stressed doesn't help!
Taking time off?
Here are a few things you should do if you plan to apply to graduate school after a break:
- Take the GRE during your junior or senior year while the material is still fresh in your mind. The scores are good for five years.
- Build experience with a job in the field that interests you.
- Take continuing education courses that expand your knowledge base.
- Stay in touch with your professors.
- Read articles and, if possible, attend special lectures by experts in your field.
- Visit potential schools and talk with students and faculty.