Application Timeline: Charting a course to success
Deciding to attend an American graduate school is not a decision to take lightly. To succeed through the application and admission process into an American Graduate schooled, students must make major personal, intellectual, social, emotional, and financial commitment.
Whether you’re still finishing your first degree, have already finished and are currently working or unemployed, finding the right graduate school and program takes planning and a good timeline to make sure you meet up with all requirements on a timely basis! Priority number one is that you stay organized. The more time and effort you invest now, the happier you’ll be later. That’s what this grad school timeline is all about: making sure you know exactly what to do, and when to do it.
To give yourselves enough time, students will want to start working on grad school timelines at least a year before they’re planning on actually starting the grad school. It’s even better if they give themselves two years!
The application timeline will help you plan out your 15 months leading up to studying in the USA.
12-15 months before U.S. study(around third term holidays): Define your goals, prep for tests
Define your goals.
To find the right graduate program, you need to know what you want to do, specifically. It’s OK to explore your interests when completing your first degree. Grad school is about defining them.
Admission exams occur at specific times during the year, administered at the American Language Center, either in Douala or Yaounde. Prepare early and make sure you’re ready! Don’t cut your chances short, take our comprehensive up-to-date online test prep course; it is the best option for Cameroon students. Here’s some info on each of the main graduate school tests. Prep courses will take about 3 to 5 months to complete.
10-12 months before U.S. study: Gather applications and take your exams
Create your short list.
At this point, you want to get a solid idea of what school and program you want to attend. Obtain admissions requirements/criteria and application materials for each school you’re considering. These are all online at each school and graduate program’s website. Pay close attention to ALL Deadlines, they creep up quickly!
Think about your achievements in the classroom and in your field. Your internship or research project could be the inspiration for a personal statement. If you need help with writing your essay or statement of purpose, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk to your professors.
Pretty soon, you’ll need letters of recommendation. Meet with the people you’ll ask to write them. The better they understand you, the more compelling their letters will be!
Take your admission exams.
Whether it’s the GRE (for general graduate school admission), the LSAT (for Law school admission), or the GMAT (for business school admission), your admission exam is an important part of your application. Most students will need to take the GRE general test. It is typically administered in Cameroon three times per year (October, November and February), with registration deadline about 6 weeks earlier. Take the earliest GRE sitting possible – October, so that you can re-take it in February in case your October scores are not strong enough.
Visit the GRE website for more detailed information and to start your online registration. Stop by one of our center, we will help make your exam registration payment online. You pay in francs CFA equivalent; we make the online payment in US dollars, instantly!
Your transcripts provide a quantitative evaluation of your strengths. Your personal statement fills in the blanks. Start writing early and edit it over and over, as much as possible to make it better and stronger.
Get to work.
Most graduate applications are due between December and February. From transcripts and essays to test scores, you’ll need to have everything together by then. Start early and stay focused!
Stop by one of our centers, we will help make your University application fee payment online. You pay in franc FCA equivalent; we make the online payment in US dollars, instantly!
The competition for graduate financial assistantship is often intense. Research fellowships, assistantships, and other sources of graduate financial aid and stay on top of all application deadlines.
Send your scores.
Make sure that your prospective schools receive your transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters 0n time. The deadlines are on the school websites. Better to be safe than out of luck!
6 to 10 months before U.S. study: Weigh your options
Keep your eye on your e-mailbox. Around March, you should start to receive admission offers.
Look into alternatives.
If your financial aid doesn’t quite cut it, look into alternative loan programs. Remember that each sets its own terms, so compare borrower’s terms carefully.
Get ready to go.
You’re about to start an exciting new part of your educational career, and your life. Enjoy it!
If admitted, 3 months before U.S. study
• Apply for your student visa at the US embassy. You may need to schedule it online months in advance. See
• Research health insurance options for your time abroad
• Make travel arrangements for when you arrive in the U.S.