HMC CS Graduate School Application Process

If you're a Mudder (or a student from another college planning on having Mudd faculty write letters of recommendation for you) and plan to apply for graduate school in CS, please read this page. It provides a recommended timeline for the application process and some forms that you'll need to complete.

For reference, here are the slides from the grad-school colloquium in 2013.

  1. Summer between junior and senior year
    • Get in touch with your academic adviser and/or other professors or mentors to begin discussing your graduate school plans and developing an initial list of some possible schools.
  2. First week of fall semester
    • Deadline!    Register for the GRE general test. See the ETS website for details. Register early to keep things as flexible as possible! As of 2013, there is no longer a GRE CS subject test, so don't worry about that!
    • Meet with your adviser to discuss your graduate school plans, work on refining your list of possible schools, and discuss a possible set of people to write your letters of recommendation.
  3. October 1
    • Request letters of recommendation. You don't need to provide materials for letter-writers yet, but you should ask people to write your letters and know who is going to write for you. See our the letters of recommendation page for details on how to ask and what to provide your letter-writers.
    • Begin working on your statement of purpose essay. Write multiple drafts and ask your adviser and other professors for feedback on drafts. Visit the HMC Writing Center. Read Matt Might's section on the Personal statement in this blog post. You might also take a look at our own guide to writing a good statement of purpose.
  4. October 28, 2013
    • Deadline!    Complete the HMC Graduate School Intent Form online. We need this in order to optimize our letters of recommendation for you. The faculty discuss each applicant in order to make sure that we have as much useful and positive information to convey in our letters as possible.
    • Show your draft statement of purpose essay to your adviser and/or another faculty member for review.
    • If you are applying for a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or other fellowship or graduate program with a November deadline, provide your letter-writers with the materials listed in the letters of recommendation page.
  5. November 1
  6. Winter!
    • Deadline!    Submit your applications!
  7. March-ish...
    • You'll probably hear back from graduate schools in March. If some of your friends hear earlier, don't panic! Graduate admissions often occurs in a distributed asynchronous fashion and we've seen lots of folks admitted to school X in March even though some of their friends heard in February.
    • Go and visit the schools to which you were admitted. Normally they'll pay your way. You'll need to miss class at Mudd to go, but it's worthwhile! Before you go, talk to your adviser or mentor about the kinds of things you might want to look for and questions to ask.