Preparing for Graduate School

Requirements for admission to a graduate school differ with both field of study and individual school. The basic timetable presented below offers a general background of the application process. 

Junior Year (Spring Term)

  • Meet with professors and director of graduate study in your area of interest to ask for advice about the best programs to research. Also, speak with graduate students studying in your field of interest; their advice can be invaluable. 
  • Increase your familiarity with schools and programs which seem especially suited to your educational goals. Helpful resources include graduate school catalogs in the Library (Room 122) at Undergraduate Career Services (also available on microfiche at Sterling Memorial Library) and the “University Study Resources” and “Science Resources” bibliographies compiled by Career Services. The Peterson’s Guide to Graduate Programs are also extremely useful reference volumes. These Guides contain general information about the application process and financial aid and specific information about individual programs of study, including addresses, contact persons and so forth. They are available in the Career Services Library as well. 
  • Begin building a file of letters of recommendation in your residential college dean’s office.  
  • Register to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in early June. Forms are available on the shelves in the lobby at Career Service. 

Summer following Junior Year

  • Prepare a list of selected schools and programs to which you plan to apply. 
  • Send for catalogs and application materials, including forms for financial aid.  
  • Review requirements for admission to determine if a GRE subject test in your area of proposed study is required by any schools to which you will apply. If so, register with the GRE to take the subject test early in the fall term.  
  • Register for the October administration of the GRE if you did not take the exam in the early summer or if you plan to retake it. 

Senior Year (Fall Term)

  • Check with your residential college dean’s office regarding completion of your file of letters of recommendation. 
  • Take October GRE (if first-time test taker or repeater) or subject test if required.  
  • Complete and submit applications to selected graduate school programs. (Most deadlines for submission of applications and supporting documents for the class entering in the fall term occur between January and April of the preceding spring term. Since most schools have rolling admissions, it is advantageous to submit your applications during the fall term of senior year. Read carefully the instructions for submitting graduate school applications. Some schools require you to submit all material in the same envelope; this includes letters of recommendation.)  
  • Request the registrar’s office of Yale College to send official transcripts to the schools to which you have applied for admission.  
  • Complete and submit the forms necessary for financial aid. Graduate schools frequently require you and your parents to complete the Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service (GAPSFAS) form, which is available on the shelves in the lobby at Undergraduate Career Services. If the Financial Aid Form (FAF) is required, it is available at the Yale College Financial Aid Office.  
  • Use the fellowship guides and related financial aid directories in Room 119 at Undergraduate Career Services to research scholarships to support your graduate studies. 

A file containing information about individual graduate schools is available for use by students in the MB&B DUS Registrar office (SHM CE-26A).