Freshmen and Sophomores

  • Review the 4-Year Career Plan and Career Planning Steps from the Office of Career Services
  • Begin to focus your career goals and familiarize yourself with your major and area of interest by visiting the Office of Leadership Development (Candler Memorial Library, Room 101-I), Career Services, talking with faculty members, and looking at professional journals (through the library) ·
  • Visit the Student Leadership Forum regularly for information and announcements
  • Gain experiential learning through: internships, study abroad programs, undergraduate research, etc. (visit Career Services to complete the Internship Inquiry Form)
  • Establish relationships with faculty who share your academic interests o Ask for advice about graduate school o Ask for insight about particular graduate programs o Visit them during office hours and ask them about topics that interests you
  • Take challenging courses and get good grades
  • Develop your resume and continually update it
  • Maintain a journal to track the development of your professional/academic philosophy as it unfolds throughout your undergraduate career and maintain a portfolio of your achievements. These will be necessary for your personal statement.
  • Decide which type of graduate/professional degree you want to pursue (MA, MS, PhD, JD, MD, MSW, etc)
  • Compile a list of the top graduate programs that you would like to be accepted into. Consider questions such as: 
    - Does this school offer the program I am seeking, at the time and location that fit with my financial and personal situation?
    - Does the faculty exhibit special strengths and research qualities through their graduate mentoring, published works, and funded research? 
    - Is financial support available (including fellowships and assistantships)?
    - What is the program’s reputation versus the university’s reputation?


Juniors (beginning the summer before your senior year)

  • Complete all steps above
  • JUNE - AUGUST
    • Begin researching potential graduate programs and fellowships
    • Identify the appropriate entrance exam (GRE, GMAT, MCAT, etc). Register for the exam, and begin studying for it
    • Begin writing your personal statement/statement of purpose
  • SEPTEMBER
    • Speak with faculty advisors about your graduate/professional school goals
    • Discuss your personal statement draft
    • Request letters of recommendation
    • Begin completing the applications
    • Submit transcript requests to the Office of the Registrar
  • OCTOBER
    • Take the appropriate exam (GRE, GMAT, etc.)
    • Schedule campus visits to your top choice schools
    • Complete and submit applications with early (or rolling) deadlines
  • NOVEMBER
    • Submit applications with December/January deadlines
  • JANUARY
    • Submit applications with late deadlines (generally March 1st is the latest deadline)
    • Begin to apply for federal financial aid (if applicable)
  • FEBRUARY - MARCH
    • Accept and decline offers

Visit the Discussion Forums on the Student Leadership Forum for more details about the graduate school application process.