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Is it too late for a visit?


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Hello! So I've already finished all my applications (except one *sigh*) -- I'm applying for PhD in environmental health. Anyways, for two of the schools, right after the holidays (think early Jan), I might be headed in that direction and can swing by and visit them. But since it's so late in the application season (and so close to potential interview invites if I were to be so lucky) is it fruitless to visit during that time? Plus I can't really talk with the grad students since they might not be there...

I'd like some input before I ask/bother the professors I'd already been emailing. Thanks in advance!

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I think it's up to the individual programs, rather than some hard and fast rule across the board. I visited one campus after the deadline, which was fine with them, and I had another POI I've been in contact with tell me they can no longer have contact with me after the deadline. I'd email them and tell them you'll be in the area and you'd love to arrange a visit, but that you understand if it's against their policy to meet with applicants after the deadline. Then you give them an out and they don't have to find a way to explain if they say no. Good luck!

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AdComs put off decisions for months. If you will be in the area anyway, there is no reason not to visit, and can positively impact your admissions/invite chances.


I guarantee there will be students around to talk to as well, seeing as how grad school seems to concentrate neurotic workaholoics (case in point, I'm writing this from my lab).


I'm not sure what the other responder is getting at with "after the deadline"--no programs in a field like environmental health will have deadlines regarding when you can visit, and I can only assume that that is something unique to the particular department (professor?) they were applying to.

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I would agree with Bearcat1. Some depts are pretty strict about that "no contact" rule. The "deadlines" that they refer to are the application deadlines.


Also, I would disagree with the fact that most depts are putting off decisions for months. In fact, most schools with early deadlines will start to notify next month. It's awkard if prospective students start lingering around campus during the time that invitations go out and they are not on the short list.


Additionally, there really may not be very many students on campus. My campus is a desert. It will be until the end of next month when classes reconvene. However, some schools that have a large local student population may have more students staying on campus during the holidays. I can see this being especially true for state schools.


You're going to have to call anyway to talk to a department coordinator to arrange these visits, so I'm sure you will get a lot of these questions cleared up. Best of luck! 

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