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What is the Deadline to Apply to Graduate School?

Students that want to go to graduate school should review the schools’ requirements as well as when applications are due. Deadlines vary by school, so it is important to note the application cutoff for each school, so it is not missed.

Types of Admissions Deadlines

There are several types of admissions deadlines for graduate programs:

Rolling Admissions: Some graduate programs use a rolling admissions policy, which means the applications are reviewed and decided on when they come in. Offers are sent to prospective students as soon as acceptance is determined. The earlier the application is received, the more space there is in the class. Once the class is full, the school will stop accepting applications.


Some schools do admissions in phases so there are several deadlines for sending in applications throughout the year. When a deadline is reached, the applications are considered in a batch, and acceptances are offered. This process repeats one to three more times. Admission rates are usually higher in the first round. 

Final Deadline:  Many schools have one, final deadline, for example, April 1. Applications that are received after that date are not guaranteed to be reviewed.  

Starting in a Different Semester: Some programs allow students to start the program in the spring or summer instead of the fall. In this case, deadlines will be different than for fall entry.

When are Grad School Applications Due?

Most graduate programs begin in the fall when the school year traditionally starts. Deadlines for graduate school applications usually start in December and run through the spring. It is rare for a school to have an application deadline earlier than December for graduate programs unless it is a rolling admission. Sometimes each individual program in a college or university has its own deadline, but again, this is different per school.

Graduation Deadlines for Top HBCU’s

The following HBCU’s have the following deadlines for the following fall enrollment.

Howard University: Most graduate schools have a deadline date of April 14, with the exception of Clinical Psychology (December 1) and Counseling Psychology (January 1).

Hampton University: The deadline to submit for fall matriculation is June 1.

Morehouse College: March is the deadline for fall enrollment.

Tuskegee University: Admission is rolling.

North Carolina Central University: Deadlines vary by individual graduate programs. 

When applying to graduate school, it is best to review the specific application deadline per school since it varies widely.

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