Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prospective students visiting programs

Sean asked:

What do you think is the best way to approach a department about possibly visiting campus, meeting faculty, and possibly sit in on a class? Is this an appropriate thing to do as you begin the search process?

**Research the programs first and decide--based on your own criteria--whether or not it's worth visiting. There is no use in visiting a department that is your absolute safety or back-up program.

**If you really desire a visit to a certain program, then contact the program via e-mail inquiring (POLITELY) about a possible future visit. Make sure to introduce yourself as a potential applicant.
Most programs have a general e-mail account for questions or specify a contact person for anyone with inquiries.

**I would guage the attitude of the reply that you get from this e-mail.

**If you receive an enthusiastic reply about a potential visit--then I say schedule one based on the information they provide.

**If there is no response or a lackadaisical response--then I would not press the matter and find other ways to talk to people involved with the program.

I think it's important to remember that the best time to visit a program is when you have already been accepted.


june bug said...

don't visit. if you're that interested in a program, just apply, dude. keep in mind acceptance rates are between 1 and 10 percent. don't schedule pre-application visits in hope of narrowing down your list of prospective schools. waste of time, waste of money. cast your net as wide as you can. you'll need to.

Vince said...

i would like to add that speaking with a student who is in their first or second year is an alternative option for finding out info. the university of illinois at urbana c's M.F.A. lists its M.F.A. ers names and e-mails on it's program website having this in mind.

Lizzy said...

ditto junebug. if you must visit, save your money for when you are accepted at several places and go check out the cities then.

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