For the advanced planner – junior year and earlier!

  • Do self assessment.
  • Seek advice and guidance from Drew professors. Get to know them and let them get to know you as a person as well as a student.
  • Determine your area(s) of interest.
  • Work with Drew professors on research projects or as academic assistants.
  • Consider which professors might be able to write your letters of recommendation.
  • Begin to identify programs by consulting directories, guidebooks and websites.
  • Review professional journals and gather names of professors and universities involved in research projects in your area of interest. Contact them to indicate your interest in their work
  • If you read an article about a research project that intrigues you, write to the author, ask for reprints of articles, and the opportunity to work with them.
  • Ask for advice from Drew professors, alums and professionals in your field.
  • Start to review individual university websites or catalogs.
  • Plan to enroll in a summer program at an institution you would like to attend for graduate school. If you have this opportunity, get to know the faculty you would like to work with in the future. Speak to them about their research and topics you’d be interested in pursuing.
  • Become a regular reader of current research journals in your field.
  • Make plans to get practical experience in your field this year and during the summer. Do research, an internship, tutor, or volunteer. This demonstrates commitment.
  • Join and attend meetings/conventions of professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels and on- campus clubs in your field.
  • Earn membership in national honor societies.
  • Keep up your grades.
  • Investigate requirements for national scholarships and fellowships.
  • Make plans to prepare for the required standardized admission testing.
  • Register for the GRE.
  • Be organized. Keep all materials and information you gather in one place.

DON’T PANIC!!! Most students do not start serious planning until the summer before their senior year. So, if your were able to get a head start, great! If you didn’t, then just keep things moving on schedule during the summer and in the early fall of your senior year.


The summer between junior and senior years:

  • Continue or begin to identify programs in your area of interest 
    • Consult websites, directories, and guidebooks
    • Review professional journals and gather names of professors and universities involved in research projects in your area of interest 
    • Contact them to indicate your interest in their work
  • Ask for advice from Drew professors, alumni, and professionals in your field 
  • Send for up-to-date bulletins and catalogs 
  • Carefully read each catalog and evaluate programs according to the factors suggested in this booklet 
  • Keep notes on these programs 
  • Determine if you meet pre-requisites and your chances of acceptance. 
  • Compare programs and make a preliminary list of those you’d like to apply to. 
  • Take a review course and practice for the required standardized admissions tests. 
  • If possible and advisable, visit these institutions. 
  • As you gain more information, narrow down your list 
  • Send for application materials 
  • Check on application deadline
    • When do they begin to accept applications 
    • Fixed deadline 
    • Rolling admissions policies
  • Investigate requirements for national scholarships and fellowships if you have not done so already. 
  • Call the financial aid offices at these institutions and get as much information as possible about what is available and how to apply for it. 
  • Estimate the expenses related to applying to graduate school and determine how you will earn any other money you will need. 
  • Set your own deadlines for when you want to meet application requirements. 
  • Make photocopies of application forms and begin to complete them. Start to think about your statement of purpose 
  • Register for Graduate Record Examinations
  • Maintain an activity log or calendar to keep you on track for the Fall semester

As you know, everything will be very busy once you are back on campus. A head start will be very helpful.

Senior Year


  • Meet with faculty members to discuss statement of purpose and your preliminary list of programs
  • Finalize your list 
  • Choose recommenders and meet with them 
  • Request an unofficial copy of your transcript to give to your recommenders 
  • Attend Career Center sponsored resume writing workshop and prepare your resume 
  • Continue to practice for the GRE if you have not already taken it
  • If necessary, contact Counseling Services for information about the Miller Analogies Test and make an appointment to take it. 
  • Register for the Graduate Locator Services if you have not done so already 
  • On an on-going basis, up date your calendar. Schedule time each week to work on applications and essays


  • Take the GRE if you have not done so already 
  • Continue to work on rough drafts of applications 
  • Write drafts of statements of purpose and begin to have them reviewed 
  • Meet with your recommenders and provide them with forms and supporting materials 
  • Request official transcripts to be sure that they are mailed out in enough time to meet deadlines. 
  • Complete financial aid forms as these are often due before application deadlines 
  • Prepare for the GRE Subject Test if required for your program

November through December

Note: The competitiveness of programs and rolling admissions policies will determine how much time you really have!

  • Do final copies of application forms 
  • Contact your recommenders and politely remind them of deadlines 
  • Finalize your essay/statement of purpose 
  • Take the GRE Subject Test if required 
  • Mail completed application forms.


  • Follow up to be sure that applications, letters of recommendation and transcripts were received 
  • Participate in any required auditions or pre-selection interviews 
  • Think about alternatives to graduate school 
  • Visit the Career Center to find out about the Career Center Interview Program


  • Continue to monitor email messages and job listings
  • Try to visit colleges that accept you before you accept them
  • Accept or decline offers by calling and writing notes
  • Evaluate your financial situation once you know the aid you will or will not be receiving. Make plans to obtain the rest of the money you will need.
  • Write notes to your recommenders telling them about your good news