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Topic: Planning for Graduate School

This guide offers suggested resources for students considering graduate school and career advancement.

Task 1: Determine if Grad School is Right for You (12 Months Prior to Deadline)

Task 2: Identify Graduate Schools (11 Months Prior to Deadline)

Identify graduate schools that offer the degree program of interest.  Visit schools over the summer.

Thoroughly research the degree program at your top schools.  Review the review the admission requirements, fees, financial support, and deadlines thoroughly.  Identify the Program Administrator at the school who can answer any further questions. Develop a timeline beginning in the third year of undergraduate school and ending well in advance to application 


USF Graduate offerings

Outside USF


Task 3: Prepare for Graduate Admissions Exams (10 Months Prior to Deadline)

Task 4: Develop a Statement of Purpose (8 Months Prior to Deadline)

Task 5: Ask for Letters of Recommendation (7 Months Prior to Deadline)

Task 6: Prepare Your CV or Resume (6 Months Prior to Deadline)

Career Services can provide students with resume examples related to your career goal. Using a curriculum vitae (CV), you can expand on the academic knowledge gained through the courses you completed such as adding research papers, presentations, observations or service learning. Additionally, you can highlight other experiences such as conferences, memberships, participation in student organizations, and volunteer experience.  

Task 7: Practice for the Interview (5 Months Prior to Deadline)

Graduate schools may conduct interviews.  They will ask a questions about your career goals, academic success, and interest in their University, their faculty and the research they conduct.  By reviewing their web page and learning about the program, their faculty and their research, you can develop your responses.

Task 8: Request Review of Completed Application from USFSM Faculty

Prior to submitted your application documents, it is ideal to request a review from a trusted faculty member who knows your work.

Task 9: APPLY on the First Day of Application Opening!

If you have followed this plan, you should be well prepared to submit your application ahead of the deadline. 

Best of luck!