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Now that you have decided that graduate school is for you, deciding when to attend is a personal decision. Some students go onto graduate school directly after finishing their undergraduate degree. Others take some time off before continuing on with their schooling. Even more students first enter the workforce for a few years before returning to the classroom. Some fields, such as nursing and business, recommend gaining work experience before beginning graduate school.

If you are certain that graduate school is a step you would like to take directly after completing your undergraduate degree, please review the suggested timeline to help you stay organized.

Junior Year:

  • Research area of interest. Meet with professors in your area of interest about possible careers and programs
  • Meet with faculty advisors and academic advisors
  • Look into programs that match your interest
  • Determine which standardized tests will be needed
Summer Before Senior Year:
  • Request applications from selected schools
  • Take a review course for graduate school entrance exams
  • Begin brainstorming and drafting your personal statement
  • Update resume
  • Determine which professors/supervisors could provide letters of recommendation
  • Start saving funds for application fees, campus visits, etc.
  • Register to take any necessary entrance exams

Senior Year:

  • Request letters of recommendation. Follow up with thank you letters
  • Request transcripts to be sent to selected schools
  • Polish personal statement and tailor it to individual schools
  • Apply for fellowships, grants, and assistantships
  • Fill out applications. Make copies of each before sending
  • Send applications as soon as possible, before designated deadline (remember that some schools have rolling admissions, so the sooner you turn in your applications, the better chance you have!)
  • Confirm applications were received and that your file is complete
  • Fill out the FAFSA form by the priority deadline
  • Prepare for possible interviews
  • After receiving acceptance letters, contact schools about scheduling visits
  • Follow visits with thank you notes to faculty, staff, students with whom you meet
  • Make your final decision!
Toppel Career Center
Physical Address:
5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-5451
Fax: 305-284-3668
Mailing Address:
PO Box 249175
Coral Gables, FL 33124-5610