Master’s and Ph.D. Programs in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Students should research programs, take exams, and make requests for reference letters in Spring Quarter of their third year. First-round application deadlines for graduate programs is typically in September and October of their fourth year. For some master’s programs, deadlines may extend into Winter and Spring Quarter (typically January through April, though sometimes as late as June).
The timeline for law school applications varies depending on the individual institutions. In general, students typically submit their applications in Autumn Quarter of their fourth year and receive information about offers and financial aid through Spring Quarter. A good goal is to plan on having your applications submitted by Halloween. The Careers in Law team has put together a timeline to keep you on track during this process.
Students can apply to deferred MBA programs. These programs allow current undergraduates to apply for graduate admission, gain acceptance, and defer enrollment typically for 2 to 5 years. Most top institutions have deferred MBA programs, and applications start as early as fourth year fall with most deadlines occurring in Spring (March/April).
The national medical school application opens for submission on or around June 1 each year. Secondary applications are sent in July/August, and then interviews can be scheduled anytime between August and April. The first date on which a medical school can offer acceptance is October 15. All decisions are typically final by June 15.
Suggested Steps to Take by Year
- Choose a Thesis Research Project Topic (or refine a term-paper from a specialized class that you’re taking)
- Cultivate academic ties to potential faculty recommenders (ask for their letters around Spring of your 3rd year)
- Start working on a draft of a statement of purpose
- Start contacting programs you’re interested in (after you’ve talked to UChicago faculty), develop a shortlist of prospective graduate schools
- Take necessary exams (twice if necessary)
- Finalize statement of purpose
- Apply in advance of deadlines
If taking a gap year (or several years), you have more time to work on these items; however, before you leave UChicago, talk to your faculty and secure your list of faculty recommenders.
Schedule a Career Advancement appointment to discuss any of these steps!