Most graduate programs start in the fall semester (with a few exceptions, especially in large engineering programs). Applications are usually due between November and January and require the following materials:
An academic resume (called a Curriculum Vitae or CV)
A statement of purpose
Letters of recommendation (usually 3)
Although solid GRE scores and a strong GPA are required for admission to most programs, by far the most important components of the application are the statement of purpose and the letters of recommendation from faculty. It is essential, therefore, that students take some time to cultivate faculty relationships and to determine, as much as possible, their specific long-term goals to prepare a competitive application.
Below are some specific steps to prepare an effective application package.