Jump to main page content
Purdue signature

Timelines

Applying to a graduate program or professional school can be a complicated and time-consuming process that requires a well-thought-out plan. It’s always best to apply early. The Pre-Professional Advising office is here to help you with the process, but there are many things students can do to put themselves on the right track.

Freshmen and Sophomores:

  • Select a major in a field that interests you.
  • Go to class!
  • Approach your classes professionally.
  • Learn where to go for help in your courses.
  • Join a student organization.
  • Consider taking a reading comprehension course.
  • Get to know your faculty. You will need recommendation letters from them later.
  • Plan ahead for off-campus study.
  • Read as much as you can. It will help you on your aptitude tests.
  • Become a student member of the professional organization in which you are interested.
  • Meet with a pre-professional advisor to assess your preparation.
  • For pre-med or pre-health students — decide how you will handle your AP credits, look for research opportunities and begin to set up job shadowing opportunities.

Juniors

  • Learn all you can about the application process.
  • Gather information about your aptitude test, create a plan of study and take the test.
  • Continue to gain experience.
  • Consider carefully whether you are entering the field for the right reasons.
  • Create a parallel plan, which should include how to strengthen your application if you have to apply again.
  • Pre-medicine/health/dentistry
    • Make sure you have the science courses needed for your aptitude tests
    • Ask faculty, employers, supervisors for letters of recommendation by spring break
    • Apply early in the summer before your final year
  • Pre-law:
    • Register for the June administration of the LSAT
    • Secure a summer job or internship ideally in a law-related field

Seniors

  • Complete centralized application during summer between junior and senior year
  • Be patient. This process takes a long time.
    • Pre-med and pre-dent: Prepare for interviews by keeping up on current news
    • Pre-med: Complete secondary/supplemental applications
  • Pre-law
    • Arrange sending dean’s certifications when required
    • Take LSAT in September/October if you did not take the June test
    • Complete application by early November
    • Check with schools to make sure file is complete
  • If you are not admitted, don’t panic. Decide on a course of action. If you are accepted, celebrate then start arranging housing, moving and finances!