Timelines and Guidelines

accurate-alarm-alarm-clock-359989

Timelines and Deadlines

What to do and when to do it

This is a pretty barebones guideline for what to do and when to do it if you’re starting in the fall. It’s not a complete list, but I think it’s a pretty good start for how to think about the timing of these things. You can use this as a rough outline and adjust and modify it to suit your schedule.

One thing to note though, this guideline assumes that you will be submitting your applications in December. For some of you your deadlines will be in late November or early December. For a lot of you the deadline won’t be until late January or early February.

If your deadline is one of the later ones I really recommend that you act as if your deadline is in December. For one, you’ll spare yourself the stress of going though Christmas vacation with a deadline hanging over your head. Second, your professors are also on vacation. They may be hard to reach over the break. The last thing you need is to be scrambling for an alternate letter of recommendation because one of your professors isn’t responding during the holidays. If you treat December 15th as your deadline you avoid that stress and you ensure that you have plenty of time to get things lined up with

Grad Checklist Fall: 

September:

Big goals

  • Talking to professors / advisors and picking schools
  • Start a draft of your CV and give to advisors to take a look over
    • Start Planning for GRE (if needed)… when will you take it? How much time to study?

Small goals – make a check sheet for each school

  • Due date
  • GRE?
  • Average GPA?
  • Where in USA?
  • What writing do you need to submit? Personal Statement, letter of interest, writing sample?

October:

Big Goals

  • Start a draft of your CV and give to advisors to take a look over
  • Pick a piece of writing to have as your writing sample (if needed), give to your

advisor to discuss revisions.

  • Start an outline of Personal Statement – share with advisor
  • Order transcripts – unless you need to have them sent directly to the school, then wait until November

Small Goals

  • Stay in touch with advisors
  • Identify some grad students that you know to talk to about their experiences applying for grad school and life in grad school

November:

Big Goals

  • Revise writing sample
  • Plan for campus visits where feasible
  • Revise Personal statement – share with advisor
  • Put together your “About Me” package for your advisors who will be writing you a letter of recommendation.
  • Give it to your advisors along with instructions and due states for your letters of rec.

December:

Big Goals

  • Submit your applications!
  • Plan your submissions, you’ll have finals, holidays and a ton of stuff to think about. You’ll need to plan!

 

Spring Guidelines: If you’re really planning ahead you can use this one!

April:

Big goals

  • Talking to professors / advisors and picking schools

Small goals – make a check sheet for each school

  • Due date
  • GRE?
  • Average GPA?
  • Where in USA?
  • What writing do you need to submit? Personal Statement, letter of interest, writing sample?

May:

Big Goals

  • Start Planning for GRE (if needed)… when will you take it? How much time to study?

Small Goals

  • Stay in touch with advisors

June:

Big Goals

  • Start a draft of your CV and give to advisors to take a look over
  • Pick a piece of writing to have as your writing sample (if needed), give to your advisor to discuss revisions.

Small Goals

  • Stay in touch with advisors
  • Identify some grad students that you know to talk to about their experiences applying for grad school and life in grad school

July:

Big Goals

  • Revise writing sample
  • Start an outline of Personal Statement – share with advisor
  • Plan for campus visits where feasible

Small Goals

  • Stay in touch with advisors
  • Make a list of places you will need transcripts from and how to order

August:

Big Goals

  • Revise Personal statement – share with advisor
  • Revise writing sample

Small Goals

  • Start drafting a “back up plan”
  • Stay in touch with advisors
  • Identify some grad students in programs that you are interested in, and email them to ask them their opinions of the program

September:

Big Goals

  • Order transcripts – unless you need to have them sent directly to the school, then wait until November
  • Finish revisions of personal statements and writing sample
  • Take the GRE in September or before

Small Goals

  • Stay in touch with advisors
  • File for graduation!

October:

Big Goals

  • Put together your “About Me” package for your advisors who will be writing you a letter of recommendation.
  • Give it to your advisors along with instructions and due states for your letters of rec.

November:

Big Goals

  • Submit your applications!
  • Better to get them in now rather than December when you will have finals and travel to worry about. Get them done now!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements