I'm currently in the last year (aka 3rd - 2019/2020) of my bachelor's degree, and I'm planning to apply for a PhD in the US, just after earning my degree.
Assuming everything goes nicely for me, then I'll expect graduate in September/October 2020 (this is the fastest I can do here in Italy). Let's also assume that I can fill all the PhD's prerequisites (recommendation letters, TOEFL, ...) during this period.
At that point, I would be ready to apply, but the application would be for the next year. If I do get admitted I would start my PhD in the 2021-2022 fall! An entire year would be basically wasted.
- Am I arriving too late? Is the fall of the 3rd year the "proper" time to apply?
- Is there anything useful I can do during this period? Should I start a master's degree in the meantime? Maybe I can convert some classes to the PhD program?
I apologize for the naive questions, but I couldn't find anything on the internet, and I don't know really have experience with the admission process /timeline in the US. I hope you can help me and maybe even report your experience. Thanks!