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College tour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A college tour, also called a campus tour, is a tour of a college or university's campus. Prospective students, their family members and other visitors take campus tours to learn about the college or university's facilities, as well as student life, culture on campus, academics, and programs offered by the institution. During these tours, prospective students are able to learn about the built environment and the overall look and feel of the institution. College tours may be taken individually or by school groups and educational programs as a way for many people to visit several schools over a short period of time. In addition, many colleges now offer virtual tours on the Internet.

Campus visit[edit]

A student-led campus tour at Harvard University in 1976

In most cases a campus visit involves an information session directed by an admissions officer and a walking tour of campus conducted by a student ambassador.[1] A campus visit can be taken by individual students and their families. Many colleges offer “open houses” usually consisting of a day or series of days set aside for students and their families to visit a particular school. Often there will be special programs or presentations during these times which would not be available during a regular visit.[2][3] Most colleges and universities also offer private tours and information sessions for large groups from a single school or educational program.[4][5]

Some schools provide overnight accommodation and meals, and students may sit-in on a class during their visit. Some programs pair a prospective student with a current student and allow the prospective student to shadow the current student for a day.

Information session[edit]

An admissions information session provides prospective students with knowledge about the college they are applying to. These sessions include information about admissions requirements, financial aid, and academic requirements for acceptance to that particular institution.[6][7]

Sample campus visit[edit]

Admissions waiting lounge at Lafayette College in 2012
Time Activities
9:00 – 9:15 am Arrive on campus
9:15 – 10:00 am Orientation given by the college admissions office, including:
Welcome and campus introduction
Information session
Q&A session
10:00 – 11:00am Campus walk, guided by a campus ambassador, including:
Classroom buildings / lecture halls
Gymnasium / field / stadium
Student union / cafeteria / bookstore
11:00 – 12:00pm Individual exploration of campus:
Talk with students
Visit a dorm
Shop at bookstore
Talk to professors / coaches / recruiters
Eat at cafeteria
A student leading a 2005 campus tour at UConn shows off the school's women's basketball championship banners in the university's arena

Other types of tours[edit]

  • Online photographic tour
  • Self-guided tour
  • Podcast tour[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spencer, Janet, and Sandra Maleson; “The Ten Step Plan for Successful College Visits” Introduction; Visiting College Campuses 7th ed.; Random House; New York, NY; 2004; ISBN 0-375-76400-3, page xvii
  2. ^ “Admissions: Open House”, North Carolina State University. Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  3. ^ “Western Carolina University – Open House” Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine, Western Carolina University Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  4. ^ “Campus Visit Options” Archived 2009-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Texas A&M University. Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  5. ^ “Large Group visits, Visiting Freshmen” Archived 2009-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Northwestern University, Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  6. ^ “Visit Options” Archived 2009-11-22 at the Wayback Machine The George Washington University. Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  7. ^ “Campus Visits” Archived 2009-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Texas A&M University. Retrieved on 10-28-2009
  8. ^ "Guidelines for Producing a Podcast Tour" (PDF). Stanford. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2012.