Timeline for Graduate School Applications

This is a guideline prepared by the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University and should not be considered the only way to approach organizing your time as you prepare for the graduate school application process.

As with many other facets of grad school applications, consult with those you trust including faculty and advisors.

Summer before your senior year

  • Request application packet from programs you are interested in to obtain information about the program and about financial aid.
  • Compile list of programs based on conversations with faculty and books such as Graduate Study in Psychology.
  • Calculate application fees and travel costs for interviews and make sure you have enough money to cover these costs.
  • Start writing personal statements.
  • Should also be continuing research or TA position

September of your senior year

  • Apply no later than first week to take GREs in October, if you haven’t taken them previously.
  • Request undergraduate transcript to give to those who will write your letters of recommendation.
  • Prepare curriculum vitae for letter writers.

October of senior year

  • Finalize list of schools to which you plan to apply (apply to a range of schools).
  • Take GREs and, if required, Miller Analogies Test (only required by some schools), or GRE subject test (only required by some schools). Request that scores be sent to all schools to which you will apply.
  • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation.
  • Begin filling out application and financial aid forms.

November of senior year

  • Request that undergraduate transcripts be sent to all institutions to which you are applying.
  • Finalize application and financial aid forms and essays.
  • Supply individuals who will write your letters of recommendations with the packet you prepared for them, including any forms sent by each school.

December of senior year

  • Carefully prepare each application for mailing/submitting.
  • Keep photocopy of each.

January and February of senior year

  • Follow up to confirm that your completed applications and all letters of recommendation were received.
  • Thank those who wrote letters of recommendations.
  • Attend any pre-selection interviews to which you are invited.

March and April

  • Accept/decline offers.
  • Call or write people who wrote your letters of recommendation and inform them of the outcome.