So, your grad school applications are in, and now it’s time to anxiously wait to see which schools will invite you to visit their campus. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether you should visit or not:
1) If it is the school of your dreams, of course, VISIT!
2) If it is not the school of your dreams, but it comes close, VISIT!
3) If you got invited to MANY schools, don’t feel pressured to go to all of them (especially if there are time/money constraints). Decide which ones you are REALLY interested in visiting (and it might end up being that you do visit all of them).
4) If you got invited to a FEW (2 or 3) schools, it might be worth it to visit all of them. Even if one of them is your dream school, you should give yourself at least another option to look at.
5) Did you get an early invitation and they want you to make a decision now?– Most likely you want to go ahead and say YES, especially if you are still waiting for others to contact you. Some schools/professors organize early visits so that they get to be the first to meet with you. If they contacted you before anyone else, they most likely really want you.
When you visit, make sure to pay attention to the feel of the department, the happiness of the graduate students, and the community that surrounds the university. Remember that you will be living and working in this place for at least 5 years.
And finally, and most importantly, enjoy the visit. It’s a new place you are visiting, new people you are meeting, and most likely you will be fed lots of free food. If there is one thing form the grad school application process that I would do again, it would be the campus visits