How to apply for grad school

Junior year


  • research your areas of interest and graduate programs in your field
  • discuss the application process and your prospects with advisors


  • take the GRE general test
  • obtain university application forms for admission, fellowships and financial aid
  • register for GRE subject test, if necessary
  • draft and edit the writing sample you will submit with your applications

Senior year


  • discuss grad schools and letters of recommendation with your advisors
  • check application deadlines for admission and fellowships


  • take GRE subject test, if necessary
  • revise your writing sample and personal statement and ask advisors for reactions
  • apply for major fellowships, if appropriate (Fulbright, Javits, Mellon, etc.)


  • polish your writing sample/personal statement in consultation with advisor
  • request letters of recommendation and provide addressed envelopes and forms


  • finish and mail applications; double-check your letters of recommendation


  • make campus visits to schools where you have been admitted


  • make your decision after consultations with advisors, friends and grad school contacts