Steps to Graduate School

The path to graduate school begins sooner than you think! Your undergraduate grades, extracurricular activities, work and research experiences all matter a lot. Knowing what’s ahead - and keeping an eye on the horizon - can help you avoid surprises along the way.

Summer of Sophmore Year

  • Get science/engineering research/work experience
  • Network
  • Research graduate programs
  • Learn about the application process

Junior Year

  • Look into graduate level courses
  • Continue to build a strong GPA
  • Search/apply to summer research programs/internships
  • Attend campus open houses
  • Attend and present at research conferences
  • Start drafting personal and academic statements
  • Start saving money for applications, transcripts, required exams, and interviews
  • Start preparing for GRE exam
  • Look into application fee waivers and additional resources to help cover application costs

Summer of Junior Year

  • Participate in a summer research program
  • Create a list of graduate programs of interest
  • Ask professors for their suggestions
  • Look at financial resources for graduate students
  • Finish personal and academic statements
    • Ask faculty and/or colleagues for feedback
  • Take a GRE prep course
    • Search for free practice tests
  • Take GRE exam

Senior Year

  • Apply to campus visit programs and/or symposiums
  • Prepare a "recommenders package" that includes a list of Universities to apply to, deadlines, copies of your transcript, and personal and academic statements
  • Request letters of recommendation (at least 1-2 months before the deadline)
  • Apply to your top schools
    • Most applications open in September
    • Deadlines will vary by program!
  • Talk with faculty, family and friends about your options
  • Accept an offer by April 15th