Statement of Purpose
Documents and Issues
our Mailing List
12-month Countdown Until Enrollment
12-18 months before you wish to enroll
Consider you reasons for studying in the USA
Which PhD programs interest you?
Start working on your English, see TOEFL for
Write to schools for catalogs and application forms. See Sample Letter.
Continue preparing for TOEFL.
Start preparing for GRE General and Subject. You
might want to order preparation books.
September - November
Register for standardized tests (TOEFL, GRE, etc.)
Take any required test before mid-December, better until the end of
November and definitely before you submit your application.
November - December
Prepare and sign official transcripts from your current
Ask for letters of recommendation.
Write the statement of purpose.
Complete and mail applications.
January - April
Be sure you met all application deadlines, your applications have been
received, are complete and being considered.
Correspond with the secretary, faculty members and current graduate
students. Regularly check on the status of your application. See
Waiting for Decision for ideas.
April (rarely May)
Receive letters of acceptance/rejection. Decide where to study.
Inform all schools about your decision.
Organize your finances, apply for housing and medical insurance.
Make travel plans.
Receive I-20 and apply for U.S. visa.
Contact your school's International Student Office with your arrival
Attend pre-departure orientation at the American Center.