Ideally, the process of applying for postgraduate study in the US will begin 1-1½ years before enrolment. For example, for current university students on a three-year course, this is at the end of their second year of university or beginning of their third year.
Do not panic if you are late getting started in this process. If it is the autumn before you anticipate enrolling in a US university, there is still plenty of time to apply. You will simply need to work at a faster pace!
For students wishing to begin Spring semester, please see our January Admissions page.
Getting Started: 1-1½ Years Before Enrolment (Spring - Second Year)
Applying: 10-12 Months Before Enrolment (Autumn - Third Year)
- Determine whether you are required to sit an admissions test, such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT. If so, register for the exam and begin studying. Read our advice on how to prepare for the exam. Note scores are typically valid five years, so you may take tests earlier as well.
- Finalise your selection of 4 - 6 universities. Visit the universities' websites and note application requirements, deadlines and funding options to help you make a personalised application timeline.
- Attend our autumn USA Grad School Day (London) if you missed the spring event.
- If you are a UK citizen predicted to receive a 2:1, apply for a Fulbright Award for postgraduate study and research.
- Download and begin university admissions and funding applications. Start with the areas you have least control over, such as arranging for reference letters or a transcript.
- Search for and begin applying for external scholarships.
Deadlines (Late Autumn/Early Spring - Third Year)
- Submit your university admissions applications. Most deadlines will fall between mid-December/early January (early) and March (regular). However, deadlines will vary from programme to programme and may include an early and regular admission deadline. If you have the option, we recommend applying by the early deadlines particularly if it is necessary to be considered for university funding.
- Please note applications for MBA programmes have three rounds (Round One: October-November; Round Two: December-February; Round Three: March-April). We recommend students apply by Round Two.
Lead up to Enrolment (Spring/Summer)
- Spring: Receive admissions decisions by post or e-mail.
- Spring: If you have been admitted to Harvard Business School, apply for the Fulbright British Friends of HBS MBA Award.
- By 15 April if you receive an assistantship or other funding: Notify the universities of your decision, pay a non-refundable deposit to hold your place and apply for your visa.
- Summer: Read the pre-departure information section to prepare for your arrival in the US.
- August/early September: Begin study in the US!