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seniors

Academic Countdown

Graduate School Planning

Think you might be interested in graduate school? Spend some time looking over the following steps to ensure you're prepared.

If you're considering going to graduate school right after graduating from DU, you must plan during your senior year. Application deadlines depend upon the program but are generally in December, January, or February.

A suggested timeline may be:

Spring and Summer Quarters ( prior to senior year)
  • Identify schools of interest.
  • Speak with your faculty adviser and students and/or faculty in programs of interest.
  • Create a chart/timeline for yourself of potential schools, admission fees, application dates, etc., to keep track of applications. 
  • Study for entrance exams (GRE, LSAT, etc.).
  • Draft your statements of purpose.
Fall Quarter
  • Identify faculty members or advisers who will write your letters of recommendation.
    • When choosing people to write your letters of recommendation, ask people who know you and your diverse skills well (e.g., professors, advisers and others you've frequently worked with or had classes). Ask them if they're willing to write positive references for you, and clearly explain your plans and why you need their recommendations.

      Provide your recommenders the following:

      1. A list of the graduate schools and programs to which you're applying (They will need to address an envelope to each school.) 2. Copies of your resume and statement of purpose and goals 3. Information about how your experience relates to the programs and schools you're considering 4. You may also ask recommenders to send you a copy of their letters of recommendation.
  • Take entrance exams.
  • Complete applications. 
  • Order transcripts. (You can do this in myWeb.)
Winter Quarter
  • Decide which programs you are most interested in pursuing.
  • Interview for programs, if invited.
  • Visit the schools you're considering to meet the faculty, attend courses and meet students to decide if they're right for you.
  • Prepare a list of questions and criteria to evaluate the programs in which you're interested.
Spring Quarter
  • Once you're accepted and have confirmed your attendance, call all other schools and withdraw your application.
  • Sign necessary paperwork, and make a deposit to confirm your attendance.
  • Research housing options.