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Skidmore College
Anthropology Department

Application Timeline

Whether you're applying for graduate school during your senior or any time thereafter, this timeline will keep you on top of things. A word of advice: think about taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) while still an undergrad and at a peak of intellectual development, even if you're not yet 100% sure about graduate school. That said, here's a suggested schedule for research and application:

Summer Before Applying

  • Request bulletins, brochures, financial aid forms, and departmental application forms from the schools to which you might eventually apply. Visit the campuses you are considering to see for yourself what they might have to offer. Ask yourself, 'is this a place I could spend five years?' Talk with professors and especially graduate students, who will tend to be quite candid about their program.

September & October

  • Graduate schools usually require 3 letters of recommendation from professors. Ask for letters of recommendation for graduate school from professors who know your work. Provide them with a resume so they have a better idea of what your accomplishments are inside and outside the classroom.

  • Request a copy of your official transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. Check for errors, since any changes may take weeks; if you wait until close to the application deadline to look over your transcripts and there are errors, you may miss the deadline.

  • Make sure you will have enough money in December and January to pay for all the necessary application fees and transcripts. Depending upon how many schools you apply to, costs could exceed $300! If you are currently receiving financial aid, ask your financial aid counselor if you may be eligible to have graduate school application fees reduced or waived.


  • Check application deadlines for each school you're applying to and post these deadlines and a list of required application materials on your refrigerator or somewhere else where you are sure to see them.

  • Remind your professors about your letters of recommendation and make them aware of your deadlines.

  • Begin working on a personal statement for your applications. Show drafts to others for questions and comments.

  • Prepare final copies of application materials. Include a photocopy of test results, if you have them. Keep a copy of all application materials for your own files, in case the school to which you are applying loses or misplaces anything!

  • Request that transcripts be sent to all schools to which you are applying.

  • Make a final check that all letters of recommendation have been mailed.

January through April

  • Verify that your application materials were received.

  • Send photocopies of late test scores (from December) to each school (if applicable).

  • Continue researching graduate programs to make sure you make the best decision from among the schools that accept you.


  • Make your final decison from among the schools that accepted you and send in the deposit.

  • Commence your journey into the wonderful world of gradaute study in anthropology. Congratulations and good luck!