most of the schools have a set of two deadlines on their websites, the date to which you must submit your app (the part you control), and the date by which all of your materials must be received by the school. i assume the latter includes transcripts, LORs, score reports, etc. cornell, for example, wants your stuff nov 1st but the other stuff nov 15th. georgetown has 11/1 and 12/1 as the two dates; BC has 11/1 and 11/26. as for little details like dean's certificate, and number of recs by the deadline, etc, i would think it varies by school and you have to do a little legwork.