Checklist for Graduate School Application [15 Items]

Raghuram Sukumar Application 51 Comments

Use the following Graduate School Application Checklist when applying at grad schools in the USA.

If you are applying for a master’s program at U.S. colleges and universities, here is a list of documents you need to prepare and send along with your application package.

Refer to the links in the checklist for additional information.

  1. Graduate School Application (Online or Paper)
  2. If submitting Application Online, send confirmation page
  3. Application Fee (if paying by check or draft)
  4. Letters of Recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Resume [ Resumé – India vs. US ]
  7. Bank Statement
  8. Financial Affidavit
  9. Transcripts
  10. First and Last Pages of your Passport (copy)
  11. Copy of GRE and TOEFL Score Report
  12. Extra Curricular Certificates
  13. Portfolio (if any)
  14. Abstract of your research paper and projects
  15. Index Page of Documents

Some of you might argue that it’s not required to send copies of GRE and TOEFL score report, but it’s a good idea to send 2 additional pages.

It’s not going to cost you much, even though universities require scores to be forward by the ETS.

So if you think the above list has missed some required documents, please leave a comment below. Also, if you have any questions on how to send the above documents, let us know, more instructions will be included here.

Related:  USA Admission Application Timeline.


  1. Hey,

    I'd like to corroborate, is the passport's copy really required? I mean, I lost my passport a few days back and the new one takes around two months. What do I do in such a case? My deadlines are in, like, ten days!

    1. Don't say you never made a copy of your passport? Whenever you get any important document, make a copy of it.

  2. How much does my present university matter?

    Hello people. I am presently a student of BITS, Pilani. I am in my second year and studying my B.E. (Hons.) in Electronics and Instrumentation along with M.S. (Hons.) in Mathematics. I have been visiting this blog since the beginning of this semester. I might not have read all the posts but I did not find any post mentioning anything about the university where one did his B.E. or B.S. I am not doing very well in my studies presently I have a C.G.P.A. of 7 on a scale of 10. I did two robotics projects, decent ones (automated multi-robot systems and Image Processing) and doing another under the guidance of a prof. I wish to study robotics from a good university.

    My question is if I continue doing projects and do well in GRE will that fetch me a good M.S. despite of my just above average academics?

    One more thing, how much will my university help in my application, do all universities after IITs are the same?

    Will my M.S. in Mathematics help in any way, like getting a part-time job or anything?

    Waiting for a reply.(I couldn't find an apt place to post it. I m sorry if I posted in the the wrong thread.)

    1. no,actually it doesnt matters,,,,

      all universities are same until u possess some of differentiating feature from as u described robotics is really gud 1 for boosting ur paper of request,,,,.

      me too pursuing from nit kurukshetra,,and looking forward for ms in same field as u wish…i did hav all sort of knowledge regarding all these …

      hope u get ur queries cleared….

      plz may u answr 1 thng….

      revised gre is better or older one to give…hope u got my questn and soon will report to that……….thnxxxxxxx….

  3. Hello

    Please, I need advice on how to decide my future career.

    I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree.

    I am studying Public Relations and Advertising in Turkey. My GPA is 70,39 out of 100.

    I have scored 610 on TEOFL exam. My question is whether it is possible

    for me to get admitted to US universities which are between 50 and 100.

    I would like to apply to MSc program in Political Science, International Relations or Public Policy.

    thank you in advance

  4. hello

    I am pursuing b-tech in electronics &instrumentation stream from bput university orissa .I have done robotics workshop &continuing CCNA .

    Is it sufficient to take take admission to USA university as M.S. programm.

  5. I have scored Q740, V 480 in this year and I am going to complete my BE with Computer Science in May 2011.

    Do you think can I get admission in top 10 colleges and scholorship, or shall I try for GRE second time to get good scores.

    How much scores is needed to get admission in very good colleges and scholar ship.

    What are the chances of getting job after completion of M.S

    I am totally confused, could you guide me in this situation.

  6. HALLO,








  7. Hello

    I am planning to pursue master in pharmacy from USA. But I don't know what is the deadline to give GRE for september 2011 intake. Please let me know how much late I can give GRE so that I can apply for september 2011 intake.

  8. Is it necessary to send the financial affidavits and bank statements along with the rest before deadlines?? We apply for loans after getting the I-20 rite??

    1. Kaushik..

      to get an I20 you need to send in your financial certificates and affidavit..

      till then they will not send your I20..

  9. I do appreacite the assistance you are providing.Pls; i need help on information as to whether i will need to take the GRE genaral test or a subject test.I hold a degress in Special Educationa and will like to pursue graduate studies in it in the one of US uni.pls advice me on what is required of me.and if posiible provide me with some list of schools i can apply for.I still look forward to taking Gre in 2011


    waiting reply

  10. Hello,

    I wanted to know if we need to send the photocopies of marksheets or degree certificates apart from the transcripts in the application package even if the university hasn't specified it on its webpage?
    ANd if yes, should we get it attested before sending?

  11. Do I need to send all the copies of mark sheets of all the semester attested by principal of my college!!!!

    1. Yes Rahil..

      you need to send all your marksheets attested by the registrar of your University..

      if your collage is an affliated to an University then you need to get your docs attested by your University's registrar..not your college Principal..

  12. i want to a guide for a PHd programmes in USA and if there are available scholarships for an international student.

  13. Hi!

    I'm a bit confused by the list. Do I have to send extracurricular certificates and first and last page of passport even if the university does not ask for it?

    Also, I'm submitting the application online, which gives and option to upload writing sample,CV etc. Should I send paper copies of these as well???

    Please reply! I'd be posting my application package soon!

    1. – First and last page of passport can be sent along package.
      – Extra curricular – depends on its value/event.

  14. NYIT does not require SOP to be submitted but they made me write an essay in the online application form itself. Do I still need to send in the SOP in my application packet? Moreover, should I give abstracts of all projects and seminars developed and delivered by me respectively printed on a paper as I have mentioned almost all of them in my CV. And my CV is of 4 pages. Is that fine?

  15. Dear sir,

    please send a kind of details in undergraduate student. its more helpful to success the visa who attending the universities undergraduate studies. please publish to some articals for help to undergraduate students.

  16. I m a graduate of mechanical engineering with a CGPA of 2.56 of 5 point. I need a university that can take me for master in system engineering. Thank.

  17. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am from India & want to know about the integrated doctoral program in Engineering (structural engineering), also top university for the same.

    Plese send me the procedure for getting admission,if there are available scholarships for an international student.

    Waiting for your reply.


  18. My son ( Rashid ) is now learning English in usa He wants to complete his academic study in the Geology Engineering . He has a scholarship from Libyan government . He has I – 20 . He hasn't the GRE test . He will complete his language period next February . So he wants to apply for an academic admission your university .

    Will you please accept him ?

    Thank you very much

    Hassan Abugoffa / Sabratah City / Libya

  19. I have applied online in 5 universities San Jose State university

    Santa Clara University

    California State University Sacramento

    California State University North ridge

    San Francisco State University on 19th January. I have also send all the necessary documents on 24th January. Please guide me about my current status of admission process.

    1. aysha nijhawan – will I have to send transcript approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to Santa Clara or they accept transcript from our university.

  20. I want to thank you very much for this information.Am interested and want an enrolment in a University in America.Looking forward to hear from you.

  21. Hi All,

    here are my details

    * GRE Score – 1040(730Q + 310V)

    * TOEFL Score – yet to Take on Dec 2011, hope to get >90

    * Class 10th – 69.05%

    * Class 12th – 73.52%

    * Engineering Aggregate – 72.5% (up to III year and 2 sem left and with 4 backlogs)

    * Semester Planning to Apply – fall 2012

    * Department and Major – Electronics&Communication, planning to go for MIS/MS in VLSI or EMBEDDED SYSTEM or TELECOMMUNICATIONS

    * Work Experience – NIL

    please let me know the good Univs which I can apply for my score.also please suggset me more universities since i would like to do my major in electrical engineering and with full financial aid low cost of living and job facilities. and I am adaptable to any climate

    Also looking for a budget which is not more then 20 lakhs. In a state to take bank loan

    Thanks in advance.

    1. With a score like that, you can forget financial aid from the first year itself. You might get it after your first sem provided you perform well.

      And for your profile, you might consider Univ of Texas Arlington.
      Check out univs in the mid west. The cost of living is cheaper

  22. hi hsbteam

    thank you for your information, can i directly send TOEFL score from ETS,without a copy
    as i have taken TOEFL just few days before deadline

  23. hi
    i have 60.5% in b i am aiming for good university .
    is it possible to get good university after having low % in btech?
    does my gre score(1170) help me to cover my low %in btech?

    1. unfortunately your btech score as well as gre scores aren’t competitive/good enough for good univs.

      But in the end, it all depends upon what is good for you. I can say the top 20 to 30 are definitely ruled out. 30-50 ambitious, 50-70 safe

  24. please i want to know if i can mail the scholarship form with the application document.

  25. Would it be worth to send blood donation certificate along with application packet

    1. There is nothing wrong in sending that, but include some info about your philanthropy work in SOP.

  26. Hi HSB,

    I have a doubt regarding the checklist.
    Is it mandatory to send 10th and 10+2 score cards ?
    If yes, should we send it in a sealed and attested cover.

    Thank you in advance

  27. HSB, please can I have your e mail through which you can guide me more closely. Kindly send me a list of universities i can apply to. Thanks

  28. I want to know that can we send our toefl score later as soon as we get the scores. because I am having my exam on 5th of feb 2012? and I am ready with all the necessary documents except toefl score.

  29. can anybody please tell me…which documents need to be sent to the admission office and which to the for example…the extracurricular certificates…Should we send it to the department or to the admission office.Also can we send the work experience certificate as well?..
    My profile :
    GRE : 1410
    TOEFL : 113
    CGPA : 7.7/10
    Stream : MS in food science
    I applied to 5 universities for fall 2011 .I didnt get any fianancial aid last time .I am applying again this fall 2012.

  30. Hi,
    Thank you for all the information you provide. I am currently in my 2nd year of BE studies. Your blog extensively covers all aspect of graduate application and admission. But i want you to shed some light on opportunities in USA for undergrad students in India(eg- internships, research projects etc.) as these would add a lot of weightage to our application.

  31. I want to have my MSc degree in the U.S and I don’t know how it can be possible. I need your help.

  32. Yes you are right, YouTube is finest video distribution web page, since YouTube is a lightly no much streaming time rather than other blogs.

  33. Hello sir,
    I gave my IELTS instead of TOEFL and scored band-6.5. i did my masers of Science in Biotechnology from VIT University . My percentage is above 85% from schooling till now. I am yet to take my GRE . just preparing for it and am about to take my exam in the month of feb. I wanted to apply for Ph.D programme in USA for august or september.Infact Im not aware of which university to choose and the deadline to apply. I am very confused and clueless. I have other things like transcripts, recommendation letters, SOP,CV and the rest to be sent to the university ready. I appeal you kindly guide me on this regard….

  34. I have done IELTS and my I-20 is about to come, but I don’t have my GMAT score yet, it is not the requirement of the university. Do I need this score to get the F1-visa.

    1. Hi Imran, As you have been offered admission without GMAT scores you don’t need the scores for visa processing. Carry appropriate documents mentioning, GMAT scores were not asked for admissions by the concerned University.
      For visa you need an admission offer. You can mention there was’nt any GMAT score requirement for the specific programme.
      All the best!

  35. Hey.. I have all the docs except TOEFL score reprt. I haven’t given the exam yet. But the deadline for the universities are nearing and if I send it after I receive TOEFL score, I may miss the deadlines.

    If I send it without TOEFL score, will my application be considered for review and will I stand a chance of getting selected.

    I am planning for MS in Spring 2015. Please advise.

  36. The universities that I am applying are all asking for financial documents, silly that I didnt knew that. I have my deadlines coming up in 2 wks so I do not have time to get it ready, I will be taking loans. Can I give a rough figure of the available funds with me and submit a sanction letter say from Credlila which can give me the letter on an immediate basis and then later arrange the funds as per the i20 “IF” I get and admit ??

    I’m in a soup !!

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