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Graduate Admissions Deadlines

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Ann Graham asks admissions directors to identify the key deadlines to be aware of when applying for a graduate program.

Making the decision to pursue graduate study and narrowing down your choice of grad schools means you're two steps closer to that master's or PhD program.

The next step is making sure you meet the admissions deadlines, which vary depending on where you want to study. In Europe, for example, most students start applying in November through until April or July.

In the southern hemisphere there are generally two intakes: March and July. Some universities operate a rolling admissions process to try and fill their spaces as early as possible, but this is usually dependant on the graduate program of study.

Apply early!

"There is no explicit deadline for applications to a particular intake at IE," says Cayetana Aranzadi, Associate Director of Admissions at Spain's IE Business School. "Applicants set their own deadlines, but we do recommend applying well in advance – about a year for international students and around eight months for European students."

Whichever hemisphere you're applying to or from, as an international student studying abroad, you'll need to get your application in early. This is because not only do you have your program application to finalize, but also your visa. If you don't leave enough time for your visa to be processed, you could lose out on your place at grad school.

"If you need a student visa, you should bear in mind that the process may take from 30 to 60 days from the moment of the application at the Spanish embassy in your country,"  says Aranzadi.

"One of the requested documents from the embassy will be a proof from IE that you are officially enrolled in our institution. To issue this document and send it to your home address, we will need around 15 days from the moment you make your place reservation. This can be done once you have been admitted and received the instructions for the down-payment of 20% of the tuition fees."

Aleksandr Voninski, International Director at the University of New South Wales in Australia, says for the majority of programs, students should submit their applications at least four months in advance.

"The application process is generally four to six weeks from the time of application lodgement to an offer letter being formally issued. Successful applicants will be notified as to the acceptance deadline, as this may vary program by program depending on the number of applicants accepted. Applications can be made by paper or online,"  Voninski says.

Top tip: Every university has its own process with deadlines. Candidates should carefully study information available on the website and, in case of doubt, contact the university's admissions office to make sure there are no important steps that have been missed.

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