CAMPUS VISIT: REVISIT
Over the past month, we have been sharing insight on preparing to apply to architecture programs. We have discussed the degrees available, resources, criteria to consider when deciding, student debt, career days / college fairs, and rankings. Today, we discuss the campus visit.
One of the most helpful resources is the campus visit. Campus visits are an absolute must, especially for your top choices. When arranging one, consider spending the night with a current student to get an inside feeling about the institution. If possible, request that you stay with an architecture student. In addition, visit with a faculty member or administrator within the architecture program, ask for a tour of the program’s facilities including the design studio, and monitor a class.
In the fall, most schools host open houses as an opportunity for prospective students to meet with faculty and students and to learn more about curricular opportunities. While these are excellent opportunities, recognize that they present the campus at its best. In addition to these planned events, visit unannounced to see the campus, including the design studios, in its normal setting. Many graduate programs in architecture host an open house in the fall for prospective candidates and a parallel one in the spring for admitted candidates. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about a program and make an impression.
In the spring, universities again host open houses, but they are reserved for admitted students. Visit again if your schedule allows, but sometimes visiting on your schedule may be more helpful.
Now, let us share a personal experience —
A few years ago, my wife and I had the pleasure (honor) of accompanying my daughter during her campus visit to Miami University (Oxford, OH). Her visit was part of an admitted student day – Make It Miami. She has visited the campus in the summer after her sophomore year in high school, but now she was a senior and making the decision on her college choice.
Perhaps, you have done a campus visit to one or more institutions, but an admitted student day is slightly different. While both are helpful in gathering information, the admitted student day is more focused as you approach your final decision.
As my daughter had been admitted to the Honors Program, we started our day at a breakfast connection with faculty and other students in the program. It was a great opportunity to ask detailed questions of those attending from Miami. My daughter had a chance to connect with her eventual advisor; she thought that was cool.
After the breakfast, there was an almost overwhelming Welcome Information Session. The session was helpful by outlining why Miami would be a good choice; it was overwhelming as over 300 admitted students plus parents were in attendance. Hint: If you ever attend such a presentation, sit near the front. Later, current students (including the Student Body President) were part of a student panel answering questions from the audience.
From there, we attended a more detailed session with the academic college of my daughter – College of Arts and Sciences. This was helpful as the presenter shared the benefits of a Miami Education. After another student panel, we were introduced to over 40 faculty representing the 63 majors of the college. My daughter was able to have a one-on-one conversation with one faculty from the minor in which she is interested and the other from her major. These conversations were extremely helpful in knowing what to expect.
After lunch (free), we had a series of options from which to choose. For this, we utilized the divide and conquer approach. While I attended a session on financial aid, my daughter toured the Biology building which had recently been renovated. Later, we all attended a session by the Honors Program which included another student panel and a visit to the Honors LLC (Living Learning Community). I must admit that my daughter did enjoy the visit to a “real” room in the residence hall.
All in all, campus visits help you feel as if you are already a part of the community. Plus, it is the best opportunity to check the institution against your criteria (see posts below). Is the place that you can envision is where you wish to be for the next four years.
For my daughter, the best part was connecting with everyone – the faculty, the students, her future advisor. She added that each of them had such enthusiasm; for her, she was able to determine and confirm that Miami University was the best place for her. When we got home later in the day, she confirmed her attendance to attend Miami University.
Be sure to visit the campus and the architecture program to best make a decision.
Architectural Education – B.Arch, M.Arch, or D.Arch.
Resources for Researching Architecture Programs
Criteria – Institution
Criteria – Program
Career Days – College Fairs 2023
Criteria – You