School Name

Department Name

Center for Pathways to Graduate and Professional School

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Junior Year (15 - 24 months before starting graduate school)

If you didn’t realize until your senior year that you want to go to graduate school, don’t worry, it is not too late! The process listed below will be more condensed with it all happening during your senior year. It might seem like a lot, but you can do it!
  • Think about your career goals and decide whether graduate study is right for you.
  •  Begin researching graduate and professional schools in your field of interest. Start with a broad search so as not to overlook any great programs.
  • Request information from potential graduate programs such as catalogues and application materials.
  • Evaluate and compare the graduate programs you’ve researched and narrow your choices.
  •  Attend Graduate & Professional School Fairs in the fall (usually in Oct. or Nov.).
  • Grades Matter! Work on raising your GPA or maintaining a high GPA.
  • Build professional relationships with professors who can write you excellent recommendations.
  • Start studying and registering early for any required admissions exams to have the flexibility of retaking an exam if need be. If you would like some help studying, you may want to enroll in a test prep course.

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Summer between Junior & Senior Year (12 - 15 months before starting graduate school)

  •  Participate in a summer internship related to your field of study. (Check with Career Services)
  • Visit the campuses that you are most interested in.
  • Start to work on your personal statement.
  • Be aware of the application deadlines/admission requirements for your prospective programs, and create your own personalized timeline.
  • If you haven’t done so already, register and study for the required admission exam.

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Fall of your Senior Year (8 - 12 months before starting grad school)

  • For some admissions exams this is the last chance to take or re-take exams before your application is due.
  • Work hard in your classes to help secure high grades.
  • Request official transcripts from the registrar.
  • Finish your Personal Statement
  • Request letters of recommendation from your professors and supervisors who know you well. Make sure to provide a draft of your personal statement and any additional information the writer might need such as resume or teaching philosophy.
  • Know that some schools require you to apply to both the prospective school and the program’s specific department separately. This means you might need to go through two different application processes for one program. Research this ahead to avoid these unexpected surprises.
  • Submit your completed applications as early as possible.
  • Contact the graduate schools you applied to and verify that they received all the requested application materials before their deadlines.
  • Start to research options for additional financial aid, work-study, and internships.

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You’re ready to apply! Spring - Senior Year (3 - 8 months before starting grad school)

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as early as possible. Priority filing deadline is between January 1 and March 2.
  • Schedule and prepare for interviews. You will need to research each of your prospective programs to see if they require or offer interviews.
  • Wait to hear from your prospective schools. The waiting can be the hardest part. Try to be patient and think positively.
  • You will start to hear back from schools and will either be accepted, wait-listed or denied admission to a school.
  • If you are wait-listed, consider taking action. This is your chance to request campus interview or feedback if offered, ask for further letters of recommendation, or write a letter re-emphasizing your interest and mentioning new relevant experience and accomplishments.
  • If you’ve been accepted to more than one program. Evaluate and compare the different programs.
  • Once you’ve decided on a graduate school, respond accordingly to the programs you were accepted to or wait-listed.
  • Send thank you notes to professors, counselors, and anyone else who helped you with this process.

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Please fill out the form below if you have comments or questions about the program.



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Center for Pathways to Graduate and Professional School
1200 North University Drive, Mail Slot 4928
Henderson Young Hall, Suite 386
Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601

Mary McLemore Jones, Director
Office: (870) 575-7014