Graduate School Planning Guide



Graduate School Planning Guide

» The Application Process

The Application Process

Applying to graduate school will seem much less daunting if you take a methodical approach. Here's how.

  • Find out which tests are required. Does your program require you to take the MCAT, GRE, GMAT, or LSAT? Register early for the required test (applications are available at the Center for Professional Excellence). Consider signing up for a tutoring or test preparation service. Take some free practice tests offered in the Learning Center, (630) 617-3155.
  • Request application materials, complete them soon after they arrive, and create a calendar of deadlines. Materials include applications for admission, applications for financial aid (including income tax return if necessary), letters of recommendation, applications for fellowships, scholarships, teaching assistantships, etc., standardized test scores, transcripts, and a personal statement.
  • Register for national application or assembly service if required (for medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry, or law school).
  • Compose your application essay. Be sure to write about your specific goals and abilities, and explain any erratic grades, poor test scores, or other problems in your application.
  • Ask for recommendations. When you ask someone to write a recommendation for you, be sure to provide that person with your resume and the date the recommendation should be completed.
  • Explore internships and/or job opportunities in your prospective field. Previous experience can help balance any lacking areas in your application.
  • Submit requests for transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended.
  • Ensure your application is complete by checking with institutions before their deadlines.
  • Visit the schools that accept you. Attend a class and talk with professors and current students.
  • Send a deposit to the institution of your choice.

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