Applying for graduate school is an exciting step, and your enthusiasm likely means you are eager to get your application submitted as quickly as possible. However, it is essential to take the time to read all the directions carefully. Missing a step or submitting incorrect or incomplete materials can lead to delays in your application's processing — or could even cause your application to be returned or rejected. These delays could, in turn, mean you miss important deadlines or have to wait until another semester to start your courses.

Ensuring you follow and complete each step within the application will help ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible and will save you (and our Admissions staff) evaluation time. It also makes the process less stressful for everyone involved.

Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Waiting until the last minute. Start as early as possible to allow yourself enough time to obtain, prepare, and submit all required components of your student checklist in the application. Some applicants try to submit everything in a last-minute rush on the day of the deadline. Remember: that is the day by which your application file must be complete, including references and other supplemental materials. If you wait until the day of the deadline to start trying to obtain your references, for example, there’s a good chance they will not reach us in time. 
  2. Not submitting all transcripts, or submitting the wrong version at the wrong time. During the application process, applicants will be asked to upload their transcripts. You may use an unofficial version (such as a scanned copy) for this step. Should you be admitted to the program, you will receive instructions on how to submit official transcripts. Applicants often either don’t submit transcripts at all, or they try to submit copies by mail prematurely instead of following the steps outlined in the online application process. Also keep in mind that we require transcripts from all previous institutions you have attended.
  3. Not reading the program application details carefully. Each program has its own set application requirements. Some programs require GRE/GMAT scores, for example, while others ask for references or even writing samples. Your application would not be considered final or complete until all obligatory components have been received.
  4. Not requesting GMAT or GRE waivers (if desired) correctly. For some programs where GMAT or GRE scores are usually required, waivers may be offered to applicants who meet specific qualifications. The “how to apply” page for that program will provide detailed information about requesting a waiver. In some cases, applicants must email the program, while other programs allow you to submit a waiver request during the online application process.
  5. Overlooking the additional requirements for international applicants (if applicable). International applicants may need to complete a few additional steps during the application process. See the requirements for graduate admissions page for more details.