- Determine which type of graduate program best fits your career goals
- Research specific graduate programs of interest. Look at admissions and financial aid applications
- Attend “Getting into Graduate School” workshop
- Prepare for needed entrance exams if required. Plan to take exams in Summer and/or early Fall
- Take required examinations (may also take again in Fall)
- Continue researching graduate programs of interest and faculty who have research similar to your research interests
- Find out when graduate transcripts must be sent and what other materials are required
- Check applications for specific deadlines
- Register for required entrance exams
- Talk to graduate recruiters visiting the campus or in the area
- Attend Graduate School Fair
- If possible, visit the schools in which you are interested. Talk with admissions staff, department faculty and/or current graduate students
- Meet with faculty who have research similar to your research interests
- Request needed letters of recommendation. Avoid losing letters from faculty or asking faculty to write letters to numerous schools. Be selective.
- Begin preparing your financial aid application. These are often required at the same time or earlier than admissions applications
- Write personal statement. Plan at least three weeks for writing.
- Some admissions applications might be due this month
- Check on your transcripts and letters of recommendations to see that they have been sent
- Last chance to take the required tests for Fall admissions (it may be too late for some schools)
- Check with each school to see that they have received all materials, including test scores and financial statements. If some of your application materials are missing, you might be eliminated from consideration
February (or after sending off applications)
- Wait to hear whether you have been accepted
- Continue to make contact with representatives of the schools to which you applied and check on the progress of your applications
Remember, this is a suggested timeline - your individual deadlines may vary depending on your graduate school program.
How Career Services can help:
- Grad School Advising
- Research/Literature on Admissions
- Sample Essays
- How To Get Into Graduate School Workshop offered fall and spring quarters
- Grad School Fair (fall quarter)
If Not Accepted:
- Talk to a career counselor to determine some reasons why you were not accepted, and decide if you should revisit your goals. Don’t give up – students are sometimes accepted on their second or third try, or even later.
- GRE, GMAT, LSAT, & MCAT test information at Testing Center, Bouillon Hall
APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL
Law School Application Timeline
- Consider an internship or part-time position in the legal field
- Get involved in prelaw student clubs or organizations
- Pick up an LSAT/LSDAS Registration Book at the Testing Center or library
- Attend a law school forum where you can talk with representatives from various law schools. Dates and locations are at www.lsac.org (Law School Admissions Council)
- Make preliminary list of law schools you are considering
End of Junior Year/Senior Summer
- Start writing your personal statement
- Subscribe to LSDAS (Law School Data Assembly Service)
- Consider taking an LSAT test preparation course
- Take the LSAT (offered in February, June, October, and December)
- Start asking professors and employers for letters of recommendation
Early Senior Fall
- Make a checklist and schedule for each application, and photocopy all forms
- Send transcripts and letters of recommendation to LSDAS
- Finish your personal statement. Tailor it to specific essay topics, if any.
- Request financial aid materials and read the instructions carefully
Late Senior Fall/Winter
- Complete and send off applications by deadlines
- Fill out the FAFSA and financial aid profiles if required (varies by school)
- Check your LSDAS Report for completion
Complete Law School Applications. You may transmit your application electronically from LSACD or send a printed version directly to the school. Pay the application fee by the deadline.
CHECK*LIST LSDAS REPORT AND TAKE THE LSAT
Subscribe and submit documents (transcripts, etc.) to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) and take the LSAT, usually no later than the December test date
Write a two or three page personal statement to send with the applications
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Submit two or three letters of recommendation. Most schools request that you submit letters using the LSDAS Letter of Recommendation Service.
NOTIFICATION POSTCARDS (Varies)
Fill out self-addressed postcards. Schools mail the notices to update you on your account status.
Some schools require this for admission. If your school does, complete the Dean’s Certificate and mail it directly to the law school. Good luck!
APPLYING TO BUSINESS SCHOOL
Q & A
Is there a Pre-Business Curriculum at CWU or is there a Specific Major that Pre-Business Students should choose?
Business schools do not look for any specific majors and accept students from a variety of backgrounds. CWU offers a major in business, management and accounting.
What Should I Major in if I want to go to Grad School for Business?
Although certain majors can help you get a job in certain professions, choosing a major that does not interest you is not a good approach. You can always choose a major you enjoy the most and minor in a different area that will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in business.
Are there Any Courses that I Should Take Before I Apply?
Basic courses in calculus, statistics, economics, accounting, computer science, and management can help, and are sometimes required. Other courses in communication, public speaking, logic, composition, and foreign language are also beneficial.
What Can I Do As An Undergraduate To Better Prepare Myself For The Business World?
- Stay up to date with the latest business-related news like Puget Sound Business Journal, The Economist, FastCompany
- Gain experience through summer internships and part-time jobs.
- Develop relationships with professors so that they can speak for your academic strengths
- Prepare for the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) early on, preferably one year ahead of the scheduled test
- Learn as much as possible about different types of M.B.A. programs and what they can do for you
- Attend programs at Career Services, the College of Business, student organizations, and related lectures
Will a Double Major Increase My Chances of Getting into my Business School of Choice?
Although it would not hurt, it is usually irrelevant when it comes to admissions decisions.
When Should I Take the GMAT?
If applying to schools during the last year of college, the GMAT should be taken after your junior year, or fall of your senior year. Students tend to score better if they take the GMAT after their junior year and scores last for 5 years. This test should not be taken for practice. Up to three scores are reported.
What Factors are Most Important in Admissions Decisions (varies by school)?
Objective Factors (Usually count for 50-60% of the decision)
- Undergraduate GPA
- GMAT score
Subjective Factors (Usually count for 40-50% of the decision)
- Demonstrated leadership ability
- Participation in worthwhile activities
- Relevant work experience
- Evidence of potential contribution to the business world
- Personal interviews
- Letters of Recommendation
What are the Application Requirements for Getting an MBA?
They will differ based on individual schools, so it is best to visit each website. Typically, you will need a GMAT score, letters of recommendation (from employers if experienced), transcripts, personal statements, a resume, and an interview. Consider meeting with a Career Services counselor for a mock interview.
APPLYING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL
MEDICAL SCHOOL APPLICATION TIMELINE
Freshman & Sophomore Years
- Visit the Career Services to explore health-related resources
- Complete your requirements in:
- Organic Chemistry
- Join a health-related club on campus
- Attend Career Services Grad Fair (October) to learn more about different career areas
- Begin volunteer work to gain experience
- Seek out professors (to find research opportunities)
- Get involved in community service
- Keep your career options open
- Complete your health profession admission requirements by the end of spring semester
- Attend Career Services workshops on resumes/CV’s, interviewing
- Prepare for and take the health school admissions test (e.g., MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT or GRE) that is required by the school you are applying to
- Review health & professional school websites & catalogs
- Contact professors to write individual letters of recommendation
- (May) Begin your application and create a rough draft of your personal statement
- At the conclusion of Spring Quarter, send your official transcript to the application service or schools
Summer Before Senior Year
- Submit health school applications early, do not wait until the end of the summer
- Take DAT/MCAT/OAT/PCAT/GRE if not already completed
Fall/Winter Quarter Senior Year
- Secondary packets are sent to potential candidates, with request for letters of recommendation
- Check and make sure applications are complete and letters have been received
- September-April invitation for interviews are offered
- Practice by participating in mock interviews at Career Services
- Complete forms for financial aid
- Send updated transcripts if requested by schools
Winter/Spring Quarter Senior Year
- Finish all outstanding application requests by schools (interviews, financial aid, transcripts)
- Send thank you notes to evaluators & mentors
- If you have decided to wait another year to apply, consider enhancements to be a more competitive applicant (raise your GPA, re-take the MCAT, gain more experience, do more research, etc.)
- If not accepted, consider alternative career options through meeting with a career counselor
Career Services, Barge 202 and 204M, 963-1921, 963-2404 firstname.lastname@example.org