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Grad School Application Timeline

Presented below is a suggested timetable that you may find helpful when considering graduate school. This timetable may vary depending on application deadlines for different graduate programs. Check for deadlines on the websites of each program you're considering.

May (Junior Year)

  • Begin researching potential schools
  • Collect and organize application and program information (in folders, spreadsheet, etc.)
  • If appropriate, take a practice test (GRE, LSAT, GMAT, etc.)

July-September (Senior Year)

  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and CCES staff for advice
  • Contact graduate programs directly for more information
  • Investigate assistantship, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities, including support for specific populations (e.g., veterans, under-represented populations, etc.) as appropriate.
  • Determine if there are any special admissions requirements (e.g., portfolios, auditions, prior professional work experience, etc.)
  • Register and prepare for graduate admissions tests, if required
  • Take required graduate admissions tests

October-November (Senior Year)

  • Visit institutions of interest, if possible, to connect with faculty and current grad students
  • Request letters of recommendation, as necessary
  • Write application essay/personal statement if required

December (Senior Year)

  • Work on completing application forms (deadlines vary; check with individual schools). Remember, earlier is usually better.
  • Keep copies of everything you send or submit online

January-April (Senior Year)

  • Check with all institutions before the application deadlines to make sure your file is complete
  • Submit the FAFSA, if required
  • Prepare for campus interviews, if requested
  • Once you've accepted an offer, notify other graduate programs of your choice

May-August (Post-Graduation)

  • Make arrangements for housing
  • Plan to attend the appropriate fall orientation programs for new graduate students

FAQs for Graduate School Applications

These are generic FAQs. If you are interested in one of the many Graduate School programs offered at Miami University, information is listed below.

Can I complete a Masters program as an Undergraduate at Miami?

Miami University offers combined Bachelors-Masters programs for highly qualified students.  Students considering this option should seek advising from the graduate director of their program of interest as soon as possible since advanced planning and preparation is needed. General Graduate School information is also available.






How do I know if grad school is right for me?

Always know why you want to go to graduate school. You should be able to articulate what your goals are and how grad school will help you achieve those goals. For example, are you passionate about continuing to work within your field of study? Do you have a career in mind that requires a graduate degree? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then grad school may be a good option for you!

What types of graduate degrees exist?

If you’re primarily interested in continuing to study a certain subject and conducting original research, an academic degree (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) may be right for you.

If you’re more interested in applying your skills in a practical way (in a school, business, or hospital setting, for example), you may want to pursue a professional degree. Examples include the M.B.A (business), the M.Ed./Ed.D (education), the M.Eng (engineering), the J.D. (law), the M.D. (medicine), and the PsyD (psychology).

If you would like to further develop a creative skill, such as theater, visual arts, dance, or creative writing, you may be interested in an M.F.A. (Master’s in Fine Arts).

How do I choose a program and schools to apply to?

Talk to your professors! They will help you choose a program that’s right for you. If you’re interested in an academic degree, you could research scholars in your field whom you admire and see where they are teaching. You can also contact faculty and current grad students in programs you’re researching for more information.

Other things to keep in mind are whether or not financial aid is available, as well as how many students are typically admitted into the program each year. You may want to apply to some “reach” schools, some “sure bets,” and some in the middle.

Do I have to pay to apply?

Many graduate programs will have an application fee. However, you can often apply for a fee waiver based on financial need.

When are my deadlines to apply for grad school?

Make sure to check program websites for deadline requirements. Although dates can vary depending on field and school, most graduate school applications are due between December and February for admission the following fall.

What do I do about letters of recommendation?

You will likely need 2-4 letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or professionals in your field who are familiar with your academic work. Make sure to ask your letter writers a few months in advance of the deadline.Your references may request a writing sample or your resume/CV to better acquaint themselves with your work.

When prompted in your applications, make sure to waive your right to read your letters of recommendation. Doing otherwise may suggest that your letters are biased.

Do I need to take the GRE or another type of standardized test?

Possibly. Some schools require a test, and some do not. Research the application requirements for the school(s) you intend to apply to. Additionally, some schools will ask for a GRE subject test that focuses on a specific field of study, such as Mathematics. If you are applying to law school, the LSAT is almost always required.

How do I pay for grad school?

Methods of paying for graduate school vary vastly across programs and disciplines. For example, in both law school and med school, you will likely be expected to pay full tuition costs. However, many fields in the humanities and social sciences offer research or teaching assistantships that can help cover costs. Other programs might give you the option to apply for competitive grants. Find out what the norm is in your field by talking to professors and current/recent graduate students. (Network with Miami Alumni on Miami Alumni Connect and LinkedIn).

When will I hear back from the programs I applied to? When do I need to let my programs know my decision?

Although many grad school programs will notify you of acceptance, waitlisting, or rejection within a few months of application, it is not uncommon for programs to “ghost” students or keep them on a waitlist indefinitely. It’s fine to call a department to check on your application status once or twice if you haven’t heard anything after several months.

In terms of your responsibility for rejecting/accepting an offer, the April 15th Resolution states that “students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15.” However, not every school abides by this deadline, so check with your program.


Should you go to Graduate School?

Graduate School Application Process

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