Graduate/Professional School Application Timeline

The application process for graduate and professional schools can feel long and overwhelming. Consider using the timeline below as a loose reference as to what tasks you should be considering and completing in order to turn in your applications by their respective deadlines. This application checklist may also help you stay organized as you engage in this process. 

Fall of Junior Year or Earlier

  • Discuss your interests in pursuing graduate or professional school with your advisor and faculty members in your area of study
  • Research specialties you are interested in within your chosen field
  • Check out the Center for Undergraduate Research for information and opportunities
  • Gain research/laboratory experience in addition to your coursework

Spring of Junior Year

  • Research and talk with faculty members about potential programs, eventually trying to narrow your list to 6-12 schools.
  • Start investigating fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities

Summer after Junior Year (Summer before Applying)

  • Narrow your list of potential schools to 6-12, and visit as many campuses as possible
  • Register and begin studying for your respective entrance exam
  • Research financial aid opportunities (scholarships, grants, graduate teaching, fellowship and research opportunities)
  • Consider making a visit to your top schools and talk with any faculty members you would like to have as an advisor (this requires research about the faculty members’ work)


  • Write your personal statement/ statement of purpose, making sure to address any prompts if given
  • Make sure your resume/CV is up to date and have it reviewed by Engineering Career Center staff


  • Contact letter writers to ask if they would be willing to write a strong letter of recommendation for you and provide them with dates, your resume/CV, and ask if there is anything else that would be helpful to them.
  • Have your personal statement/ statement of purpose reviewed by at least three people (faculty members, Career Center staff, KU Writing Center
  • Take any necessary entrance exams (GRE, GRE subject tests, GMAT, MCAT, etc.)


  • Prepare application materials
  • Request transcripts
  • Confirm letter writers are working on your letter of recommendation


  • Submit applications and all supporting documents (see check-list)
  • Submit applications for scholarships, grants, graduate teaching, fellowship and research opportunities
  • Follow-up to make sure schools have received all application materials
  • Send thank you notes to letter writers 


  • Prepare your tax return and submit your FAFSA form


  • Determine what school you will attend. Let them know and ask what steps you need to take next? Make sure to inform the other schools that you will not be attending
  • Thank your letter writers and others that have helped you in the process and let them know your plans
  • Make housing arrangements



Schedule an appointment with an ECC staff member to talk about your graduate/professional school application and other career related questions.

Schedule an Appointment