Preparing for Graduate School

24 Months

  •  Compile a list of your top ten schools based on your areas of interest.
  • Investigate financial aid options: doctoral fellowships, graduate assistantships, and loans. Visit our Costs and Funding page for more information on funding your graduate degree.

18 Months

  • Narrow your list to the top five schools for your area of interest.
  • Visit the campus of your top five schools, and meet the faculty and students. Make an appointment with the Graduate School to visit the University of Arkansas campus.
  • Share your research interests with faculty members in your chosen program and ask how graduate students are funded in the program.

15 Months

  • Begin preparing for graduate tests (if required by program). The GRE website has several helpful tips.
  • Write a draft statement of purpose (if needed).
  • Check application deadlines for graduate schools to which you will apply. (Note: Funding deadlines and application deadlines may be different.)
  • Check on graduate school admission requirements.
  • Investigate the cities to which you wish to move. Check out our Visitors Guide to see what Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

12 Months

  • Narrow your list to the top three graduate schools for your area of interest.  
  • Take the graduate admission (standardized) tests if required by program. Learn more about the GRE on the GRE website.
  • Apply for national graduate fellowships.
  • Submit graduate application materials. Find more information about graduate application requirements on our Applying for Admission page.
  • Apply for financial aid at graduate schools. Also seek out graduate assistantships and doctoral fellowship opportunities.
  • Request letters of recommendation.
  • Request grade transcripts and send them directly to graduate schools.
  • Finalize your statement of purpose (if needed).

6 Months

  • Check to see that all documents needed for the graduate application have been received. If not, complete the graduate application process. Learn how to Check your Application Status at the University of Arkansas Graduate School.
  • Communicate with department faculty at the graduate schools in which you're interested.

3 Months

  • Notify your chosen college of your acceptance.
  • Notify any other colleges that you are declining their offers.
  • Make plans to move to your new school — housing, banking, etc.
  • Consider applying for the Razorgrad Institute for Success and Engagement (RISE) for promising new graduate students from varied backgrounds.


1 Month