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p287

Can I Request A Campus Visit?

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I will be graduating with my Master’s in Spring 2019 and plan to apply for PhD admissions for Fall 2019. My top-choice school is on the other side of the country, and I have already been in contact with a potential advisor and the department head.

Going to this school would mean relocating my family. I have some time off this summer, and my partner and I would like to go check out the city. Is it acceptable for me to request a campus visit, or do I need to wait for an invite?

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20 minutes ago, p287 said:

I will be graduating with my Master’s in Spring 2019 and plan to apply for PhD admissions for Fall 2019. My top-choice school is on the other side of the country, and I have already been in contact with a potential advisor and the department head.

Going to this school would mean relocating my family. I have some time off this summer, and my partner and I would like to go check out the city. Is it acceptable for me to request a campus visit, or do I need to wait for an invite?

If it is where you are seriously considering, I would not feel weird about asking for a campus visit. That shows a program your level of commitment/interest in their institution. Usually after you have been admitted they will offer to pay (even if it is just some of it) to bring you out to see their campus as a way to try to get you to accept their offer.

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Absolutely. Check their websites, some schools actually offer tours that you can sign up for, I did one at the University of Chicago. I requested campus tours at a few other schools as well, and never heard back after multiple emails and phone calls, so it's kinda hit or miss. But, it's definitely worth it to go check them out, especially if you'd be moving across the country away from family for school. 

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Thanks everyone for your replies!

I have a follow-up question. I emailed the department regarding a visit but haven't heard anything back yet. It hasn't been that long, but my availability is very soon, and I don't want to miss my opportunity to visit (my schedule is very hectic, so arranging another time to visit would be difficult). Should I contact the potential advisor I've been in contact with? I don't want him to feel obligated to give me a personal tour or anything like that. I'm not sure what the appropriate amount of contact is for a prospective PhD student.

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On 7/14/2018 at 12:02 PM, p287 said:

Thanks everyone for your replies!

I have a follow-up question. I emailed the department regarding a visit but haven't heard anything back yet. It hasn't been that long, but my availability is very soon, and I don't want to miss my opportunity to visit (my schedule is very hectic, so arranging another time to visit would be difficult). Should I contact the potential advisor I've been in contact with? I don't want him to feel obligated to give me a personal tour or anything like that. I'm not sure what the appropriate amount of contact is for a prospective PhD student.

I did a similar thing (and ended up getting in, etc). I would recommend looking online to see who the student outreach/office of the department are and call them. The POI will route you through them anyway, most likely.

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Generally, yes, you can do this, but it might not be worth it.

 

If it's your top choice school, you'll presumably be applying to it and several others.  The cost per school application is - tops - $150.  If you're accepted, they will fly you there and pay for it.  If you go out in advance, you'll have to pay for everything.


So financially, it may be worth spending the $150 on application-related stuff if you're reasonably sure you'll get in.  Then you'll be able to save a good bit of travel money and travel on their dime, not your own, come February.

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On 7/14/2018 at 12:02 PM, p287 said:

Thanks everyone for your replies!

I have a follow-up question. I emailed the department regarding a visit but haven't heard anything back yet. It hasn't been that long, but my availability is very soon, and I don't want to miss my opportunity to visit (my schedule is very hectic, so arranging another time to visit would be difficult). Should I contact the potential advisor I've been in contact with? I don't want him to feel obligated to give me a personal tour or anything like that. I'm not sure what the appropriate amount of contact is for a prospective PhD student.

I assumed to contacted the program administrator? Remember that during the summer most faculty are away doing research (or simply away). If you "requested" the campus visit, the PA might be taking some time in responding while surveying who is in town and available. I would e-mail your POI once you know you are going. I also don't see why you can't just go. There are plenty of campus tours in the summer, librarians tend to be on site, and you can just drop by your department. I mean, as a last resort. 

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I visited one of my top choices before I applied, fell in love and was then waitlisted.  It was heartbreaking for me.  It would not have been so hard if I hadn't meet the people and seen the area.   I would definitely not pay to visit now (because they will likely pay for a visit if you are accepted) unless you want to make a trip to the area for fun.   I hope you do get in, but you may not.  

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