Skip to main content

Timeline For Graduate School

Please note that this is a general timeline and you should follow-up with professors concerning what is specific to your own field.

Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Years

  • Maintain a high GPA
  • Get involved in undergraduate research if possible and applicable
  • Be active in student organizations for leadership development
  • Maintain good relationships with professors and work supervisors
  • Research the job market in your field and try to focus your career goals
  • Talk to current professors about graduate school and begin discerning your options
  • Talk to current graduate students to learn more about programs
  • Schedule an appointment with ASPIRE Office to discuss your plans

Summer Before Senior Year

Begin studying for the GRE or the necessary entrance exam for graduate school. You may need to take your exam in the summer. Some entrance exams are only offered a few times a year. Make sure you know when yours is offered and give yourself enough time to take it at least twice before your application deadline.

Explore and research graduate programs, looking specifically at:

  • Student funding and financial aid
  • Type of faculty research
  • Size and rank of programs
  • Begin contacting professors at programs of interest
  • If possible, visit a few potential graduate programs

Fall of Senior Year

  • Take the GRE or necessary entrance exam (and re-take if desired) if you did not already take it in the summer
  • Write your personal statement and get feedback from at least a few trusted readers
  • Schedule an appointment with ASPIRE Office
  • Contact your professors and/or supervisors for writing your letters of recommendation
  • Request official transcripts from WVU Registrar and any other schools you have attended including Study Abroad institutions
  • Narrow your potential schools to 5-6
  • Thoroughly read and understand each school application processes
  • Apply!

Note: Application deadlines will be posted on the school’s website. Most will be between January and March. The earlier you apply, the better! Many programs will have “rolling admission” which means that students are accepted as their applications come in (rather than waiting until all applications are submitted and then selected accepted students). Also, assistantships and scholarships typically get offered to students early in the application period. Apply as soon as you are ready!

Spring of Senior Year

Once you have your answers, weigh your options and choose the right school for you! You will also likely need to fill out the FAFSA form. Be patient and wait to hear from the schools (usually early to mid spring)