If you are considering returning to school in the next year, this timeline will help you keep track of tasks and deadlines. Certain tasks have been identified as key moments (Alerts!) that could alter your timeframe for returning to school; pay special attention to these so that you can be prepared for any potential changes in your planning.
It's a good idea to have your own planner to keep track of dates and projects during the application period. You can buy a calendar, use a calendar program on your computer, or create your own. The Uncalendar System offers different layouts to best match your planning and organizational needs. Whichever method you use, the most important thing is to stay organized! If you keep on top of dates and deadlines, you'll always know what needs to be done.
For an overview of the grad school application process, be sure to read "Admissions and the application."
If you plan to complete your degree abroad:
Back to top
Back to top
Back to top
The two months or so following your application submission can be difficult, as school response times may differ. If you have not heard back from a school seven days after the notification deadline, it is OK to follow up with the admissions staff and inquire about any alterations in their own timeline.
And finally: Congratulate yourself on a job well done and the admirable effort you put forward!
The ALERT links contained in the timeline above provided additional advice about particularly complex issues. After you read about an ALERT, click the "Back to text" link to return to the place in the timeline where you were previously reading.
ALERT 1 In some cases these requisites may significantly affect your timeline to return to school. Language fluency, required courses, or professional experience minimums are the kinds of requisites that can take longer to complete.
Check with admissions staff to see if you can complete the school's requisites after acceptance into the program but before enrollment. Back to text.
ALERT 2 Depending on your prospective school, your test score could provide a cut-off point for admissions committees in selecting candidates. Find out what the median entrance scores are for your school's student population so you know what to strive for. Back to text.
ALERT 3 Your timeline could be impacted if you are dependent on outside sources to fund your schooling, and if that funding falls through. Know the limits of debt you are prepared to take on. Be sure to consider alternatives and have a back-up financing plan if you want to stay on track. Diversify possible funding options to ensure that you can cover expenses. Back to text.
ALERT 4 You are investing a lot of time and effort into your plan of returning to school. As part of your investment, you want to be prepared for the chance that you are not accepted into a grad program this time around. It's a good idea to look into alternatives to grad school or ways to continue your education while waiting for the application period to come around again. Back to text.
ALERT 5 While you look into further funding, be thinking about what your next steps will be if you are not able to come up with an ideal financing plan. Have a back-up plan to supporting yourself. This could mean deferring enrollment so you have more time to save up for grad school the next time around. Back to text.