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jaaaayciee

When do Fall 2018 Apps start?

7 posts in this topic

I want to apply for the Fall 2018 semester, so I know that applications are due by December 1st of this year, roughly. However, I just cannot find any information on when the applications start. I want to apply right around the time that applications begin, and some schools say that they open at the end of summer, yet I've been told that they don't open until around October. I know each school is different but what is the estimate that I can base it off of? Or how can I find out when the websites of schools don't say anything?

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It really depends on each school. I have seen dates varying from July 1 to October 1, as you said as well. If you really want to start applying right away, you should go to each of your prospective department's webpages and read their Admissions page. I'll use the University of Washington's History Department as an example. I'd bookmark this page: https://history.washington.edu/admissions and see what it says. Right now, the website says that for the 2018 Admissions, they will start accepting applications in "late summer". But you can also see that there is a link to the Graduate School itself, and there is usually a button like "Apply Now". Probably a good idea to bookmark this page too. You can also check there to see if anything is available yet. Note that you should be careful to check that if you do create an account at this point, that it's actually for Fall 2018 instead of the Fall/Spring 2017 page still active.

Personally, I found it helpful to have a folder of bookmarks for each of the school I wanted to apply to. I had a bookmark for their admissions page, their program description page, the Graduate School's page as well as the websites of the profs I was interested in working with. If you do this now, before applications become active, then you will have an easier time later (and if you are looking for something to do while you wait!). Also, once you have these bookmarks, it is easy to quickly check up on programs that have vague dates such as "late summer".

Although you could start application materials at this point, I would strongly encourage you to wait until the applications are at least open before you start work because things could change from year to year. Maybe you have good reasons to want to apply right away (e.g. scheduling your work etc.) but typically, my advice is to not submit applications any earlier than 1 week before the due date because you want to ensure you are able to make whatever changes necessary. But having an early start on writing essays and CVs would be good and then you will have this material for your LOR writers too. Note that some schools won't count your application as "complete" until the letter writers submit their letters and most letter writers will wait until the deadline to do so (another reason to not bother actually submitting until closer to the deadline).

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On 7/13/2017 at 1:50 PM, TakeruK said:

Although you could start application materials at this point, I would strongly encourage you to wait until the applications are at least open before you start work because things could change from year to year. Maybe you have good reasons to want to apply right away (e.g. scheduling your work etc.) but typically, my advice is to not submit applications any earlier than 1 week before the due date because you want to ensure you are able to make whatever changes necessary. But having an early start on writing essays and CVs would be good and then you will have this material for your LOR writers too. Note that some schools won't count your application as "complete" until the letter writers submit their letters and most letter writers will wait until the deadline to do so (another reason to not bother actually submitting until closer to the deadline).

Thank you for all the help and advice! But I feel like I read somewhere that applying closer to the end date is not in the best interest for applicants. Don't admissions offices see the applications as they come in? So what if they are running out of spaces, I feel like if my application is one of the last to look at (if I did wait until the week before the deadline) won't that really harm my chances of getting in?

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26 minutes ago, jaaaayciee said:

Thank you for all the help and advice! But I feel like I read somewhere that applying closer to the end date is not in the best interest for applicants. Don't admissions offices see the applications as they come in? So what if they are running out of spaces, I feel like if my application is one of the last to look at (if I did wait until the week before the deadline) won't that really harm my chances of getting in?

There may be the occasional school that admits as they receive apps, but for the most part, it seems they initially review them all at once (at least in English). Last year when I applied, I had all of my GRE scores sent in late October, as it may take up to 2-3 weeks for universities to receive GRE scores. Some programs only want official transcripts, so if you have attended several schools, early November is a good time to send those. There are also universities that only send hard copies of transcripts by mail (I had one school that did that), Getting the correct address to send those to is also important. In the meantime, you will have been getting suggestions back from your recommenders about your WS (if you have one) and making those edits. There are things you can do earlier to make sure you have a smooth application season and everything arrives at each university. I had university deadlines that went from December 1 to March 15. I had all applications that were due by December 31 finished before Thanksgiving. Each application takes about 1.5 hours to do and double check answers (at least they did for me). You may also have finals coming up late November-early December so need to consider when you are going to get all of this done. I did all of the applications (those due in January or later) during the winter break. Be sure to talk to your recommenders, giving them a list of deadlines for each school, because there will be applications due prior to the spring semester beginning and some professors are completely out of touch during winter break and do not look at their email. You want to be sure they are aware when these will be due.

I created a folder under documents that was labeled Phd Apps. Within that folder, I had individual folders for each school that included the documents to submit for each school. I had also created a document that had information about each university's requirements, that was ordered by the deadline. You may create a generic SOP for your recommenders to read, but you will need to personalize the SOP towards each university. Overall, all of this takes an enormous amount of time, all while you are still taking classes, working as a GA, RA or TA, or even in a regular job. So a generalized calendar would be of great assistance, as well. It is best to wait until applications open before finalizing your documents as universities and departments change things from time to time.

 

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48 minutes ago, cowgirlsdontcry said:

There are also universities that only send hard copies of transcripts by mail (I had one school that did that), Getting the correct address to send those to is also important.

That's where I also had another issue -- I'm graduating at the end of the Fall, the same time that I am applying, so I'm assuming that official transcripts will take a little bit to process and everything. I probably should call my individual school to see about how long it'll take, but do you know roughly if that hinders the process?

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Posted (edited)

Most of us apply during senior year or prior to finishing master's, so there is no gap in education. Just have your official transcript sent as of the date you apply. If you are admitted and accept, the university will want official transcripts showing your graduation. It's not a problem.

 

Edited by cowgirlsdontcry

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6 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

Thank you for all the help and advice! But I feel like I read somewhere that applying closer to the end date is not in the best interest for applicants. Don't admissions offices see the applications as they come in? So what if they are running out of spaces, I feel like if my application is one of the last to look at (if I did wait until the week before the deadline) won't that really harm my chances of getting in?

Unless the programs you are applying to does "rolling admissions", the timing of the application is not important. Most programs set a deadline, compile applications 1-2 weeks later and then convene the admissions committee. They will definitely not fill up spots before the deadline! Usually programs that have a deadline are not rolling admissions, so if you say your programs have Dec 1 deadlines, then no action will be taken on these applications until Dec 1 (probably much later). Note that since the winter break happens in mid/late December, for many programs even with December deadlines, not much action will be taken before January! Some programs might compile a shortlist and start interviews before the break though.

4 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

That's where I also had another issue -- I'm graduating at the end of the Fall, the same time that I am applying, so I'm assuming that official transcripts will take a little bit to process and everything. I probably should call my individual school to see about how long it'll take, but do you know roughly if that hinders the process?

The majority of students apply in the Fall of their final year. Most schools do not expect to see Fall term grades for the application. Therefore, most applicants are only being evaluated on coursework up to the end of their 3rd year. Since you are applying at the end of your final term, you will already have a lot more grades to show than most applicants. I wouldn't worry about not having your fall term grades in your application.

If the school really wants to see them, they usually instruct students to update their grades in January. If you really want to show them to the school, you can ask them in January if you can update your transcript.

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