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Cornell University

Planning Timetable

NOTE: This timetable is based on the ideal, and many applicants will not be able to follow it if they decide to attend graduate school at the last minute, or if their programs' deadlines are different than those suggested. Overall, keep in mind the various requirements for applying and be sure to meet all deadlines.

Junior Year


  • Become familiar with graduate school Admissions Criteria and degrees offered.
  • Research area(s) of interest, institutions, and programs.
  • Register and prepare for appropriate Graduate Admission Test(s).
  • Investigate national fellowships and scholarships at Cornell Career Services, 103 Barnes Hall.


  • Take required graduate admission test.
  • Write for application materials.
  • Visit schools of interest if possible.
  • Work on application Essay.
  • Begin applying for fellowships and scholarships.
  • Check on application deadlines.

Senior Year


  • Obtain Letters of Recommendation from professors and other reference people.
  • Attend Cornell Career Services programs, including Graduate and Professional School Day.
  • Have application essays critiqued (optional).
  • Take graduate admission test(s) if you did not earlier.


  • Send in completed graduate school applications.


  • Send in completed financial aid applications and appropriate standardized forms.
  • Check with all schools before the deadlines to make sure your file is complete.


  • Keep track of acceptances, wait lists, and rejections.
  • Visit schools that accept you.


  • You can usually wait until the middle of April (or later if the school has not finalized your financial aid package) before making a firm commitment to the school.
  • Be sure to notify other schools that accepted you of your decision so they can admit students on their wait lists.
  • Send thank you notes to reference people.