Oregon State University

Graduate School Timeline

Junior Year and summer before Senior Year


  • Begin drafting a personal statement of your academic and professional goals.
  • Start researching graduate programs and deciding where you would like to apply.
  • Call, write, or email schools to request catalogs.
  • Determine test requirements, application deadlines, test dates etc.
  • Meet with advisors, faculty members, and career counselors to discuss programs.
  • Sign up for required standardized tests and practice for them.


September and October of your Senior Year


  • Take standardized tests. 
  • Research financial aid sources, fellowships and assistantships. 
  • Finalize your personal statement and request letters of recommendation from faculty members and former employers from related jobs. Make sure they are individuals who know you well and will be able to write a strong letter for you. Provide these people with your personal statement and resume. 
  • Narrow your graduate program choices. 


November and December of Senior Year


  • Order official transcripts. Be sure to request transcripts from all of the schools from which you have earned college credit, including hours earned while in high school.
  • Mail applications out.
  • Apply for fellowships and assistantships.


January through March of Senior Year


  • Follow up to ensure that supporting documents were received.
  • Contact schools about the possibility of visiting or scheduling an interview.
  • Fill out the FAFSA.                               


April of Senior Year


  • Discuss acceptances, rejections, and other career options with a faculty member, advisor, or a member of your college’s career services office.
  • Notify schools of your decision to accept or decline admission.
  • Write thank you notes to people who have helped you with the graduate school process.


Back to Graduate & Professional School

Question not answered?

Please contact Career Services for assistance by phone or email: