5 Things to Ask a Professor During Your Campus Visit

by Heather Nelson

Scheduling a campus visit is an important to-do when narrowing your college choices. It is the perfect time to get a look at everything from campus size and facilities to food options in the cafeteria and cozy studying nooks. Not to mention the overall feel for the campus—how you see yourself walking the halls and pathways from dorm room to classroom.

But let’s be honest: Your campus visit is meant to show you if a university is the best fit to help you grow and eventually work toward a career path of your choosing. And a sit-down talk with a professor is the perfect way to do that.

As noted by Go See Campus, meeting with a professor can help you understand how a particular program can help you reach your career goals, and, once you choose a school, gives you a vital contact who can guide you along the way. So, as you prepare for your campus visits in the next few months, be sure to have these five questions handy to ask a professor during your visit.

1. What Do the Class Size and Workload Look Like?

One of the harder parts of starting college is adjusting to class sizes and the feeling of getting lost in the shuffle if classes are large. Be sure to ask about class size so you know what to expect. As for workload, don’t be afraid to ask how many hours students should expect to spend in class and studying. It’s best to know what professors expect of you and what will be required.

2. What Characteristics Have You Seen in Successful Students?

Your professors want you to be successful, so don’t be afraid to ask what that looks like! For the particular program you’re looking at, ask what current and past students have done to learn, grow, and graduate.

3. Which Classes Are Recommended?

Not all classes are created equal, and not all are necessary. You’ll be given a long list of classes to choose from throughout your undergraduate studies. Knowing which ones are most beneficial to reach your goals is key to getting the most out of your education. Share with the professor what your future goals are, and ask which courses will best help you get there.

4. What Resources Are Available to Me?

No student graduates without some help or resources along the way. Learning is a community effort. Knowing what is available before school starts can boost your confidence and help you feel supported. Ask about office hours, tutoring programs, department online resources, internships, and research opportunities. These are all vital learning tools that, if known before making your final decision, can ensure you feel confident in the school and program you choose.

5. What Is the Academic Community Like in Your Department or Program?

As an undergraduate, you will spend a lot of time surrounded by faculty and students in your program or department. Make sure it is a community you want to be a part of. Inquire about its mission and goals; ask about the ways students support one another; fish for an understanding of how supportive versus competitive it can be. Listen closely to the answer so you can walk away knowing if you see yourself there or not. It’s surprising what you’ll learn about a school and yourself from this simple question!

A campus visit is fun and informative—just be sure to come prepared. Taking an hour or so to sit down and ask important questions of professors will help you choose the best school for you. You’ll be calling your favorite campus home before you know it!

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