Evaluate School Materials and Admissions Staff
A school’s informational materials and admissions staff provide some of the best and most easily accessible information.
For the best source of information about a school’s programs, program strengths, curriculum, faculty, learning environment, campus services, and the student body, turn to the school’s informational materials.
When it comes to the application process, schools are there to help. They will tell you what they look for in an applicant, provide referrals to additional resources, and guide you through the process of obtaining and completing an application, either on paper or online.
Admissions professionals market their school to the right applicants and evaluate applications. They can answer your questions, tell you what the culture of a school is like, and help you gauge if their school is a good fit for you.
Meeting staff at recruiting events
One of the best opportunities you’ll have for talking personally with admissions staff is at school recruiting events such as those posted in the School Events Calendar. During an information session for an individual school, admissions staff will be eager to meet you and answer your questions. If alumni and corporate recruiters attend, you can learn more about job placements of recent graduating classes.
If you attend a multischool event, admissions staff will be focused on marketing their schools rather than evaluating individual applicants. Because they will only have a few minutes to talk to you, be prepared to ask questions that are not covered in the schools' informational materials.
To learn about other opportunities to meet with admissions staff and alumni, get in touch with the admissions offices at specific schools.
Quick Tips for Meeting Staff
- Do research on schools and programs beforehand to make sure they are a potential good fit for you.
- Be prepared to tell admissions staff about your background, goals, and interests so they can give you effective advice. (If you need help clarifying or articulating your goals or interests, the CareerLeader online self-assessment can help.)
- Ask clear, well-focused questions, such as:
- "As a prospective student studying [your intended concentration], with an interest in [the career area you want to work in], why might I want to consider your school?"
- "What parts of your application do you weigh most heavily?"
- Do NOT ask:
- "Why should I come to your school?" This questions makes you sound unfocused and unprepared for graduate school.
- What are my chances for admission?" This is an impossible question to answer, as multiple factors are considered in admissions decisions.