MBA Campus Visits: How Important are they?


MBA Campus Visits: How Important are they?

January 28 2024 By The MBA Exchange
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When starting your MBA admissions campaign, it’s essential to consider the benefits of visiting your target business schools. While it may seem challenging due to travel, busy schedules, or perceived lack of necessity, campus visits can provide invaluable insights that significantly enhance your application. This article explores the advantages of campus visits and offers practical tips for making the most of these opportunities, ensuring that you present a compelling case for admission to your dream MBA program.

The Importance of Campus Visits

Campus visits offer numerous benefits for MBA applicants, providing invaluable insights that can significantly enhance your application. Despite the excuses such as distance, busy schedules, or perceived lack of necessity, visiting your target business schools can be a game-changer in your admissions journey. Below are the benefits of visiting campuses:

1. Demonstrating Serious Interest:

A campus visit shows the admissions committee that you are genuinely interested in their program. Admissions committees track visitors and take note of applicants who have invested the time to visit. This demonstrates that you’ve observed a class, seen the facilities, and experienced the community firsthand, signaling your serious intent to enroll if admitted.

2. Gaining Insider Perspectives:

Visiting a campus provides direct access to current students who can offer candid insights into the program. These interactions can help you understand the student experience, faculty engagement, and the overall campus environment. Additionally, current students might even endorse your candidacy, adding a valuable layer of support to your application.

3. Enhancing Your Application:

Personal observations and insights gained during a campus visit can enrich your essays and interviews. Specific anecdotes and genuine reflections on your visit can demonstrate your authentic fit and affinity with the school, making your application stand out.

Planning a Successful Campus Visit

Thoughtful and thorough planning is essential to maximize the return on investment of a campus visit. Here are key steps to ensure a successful visit:

1. Schedule Smartly:

Check the academic calendar on the school’s website to confirm that classes will be in session when you plan to visit. Register through the official form on the website to notify the admissions office of your visit.

2. Arrange Informal Conversations:

Schedule informal meetings with current students well in advance. Showing respect for their time by arranging meetings ahead of time can lead to meaningful interactions. Hosting them for coffee, pizza, or a beer can be an excellent way to build rapport.

3. Do Your Homework:

Familiarize yourself with the school’s website, online student newspaper, and official blogs. Being well-informed about campus initiatives and issues will help you ask insightful questions and engage more meaningfully during your visit.

4. Understand Your Candidacy:

Have a clear understanding of your own MBA candidacy. Present a succinct description of your strengths, interests, and goals to others. If you’re unsure about this, get a free expert evaluation before you arrive.

5. Dress the Part:

Unless your visit includes a formal admissions interview, dress in nice casual clothes rather than a business suit. Looking like an MBA student can help you feel more comfortable and be perceived as part of the community.

Summer Campus Visits: Worth the Effort

While fall or spring visits are ideal, summer visits can still be beneficial even though most full-time MBA programs are not in session. Here are some tips to make the most of a summer visit:

1. Attend Tours and Info Sessions:

Many schools offer tours and information sessions during the summer. Register for these events so that the admissions committee knows you’ve made the effort to visit.

2. Engage with EMBA Cohorts:

Visit when an Executive MBA cohort is meeting or during late summer, pre-term sessions for incoming full-time students. This can provide a glimpse into the campus atmosphere and the types of interactions you can expect.

3. Meet with Faculty and Administrators:

Some faculty and administrators remain on campus during the summer. Schedule meetings with them to discuss the program and gain additional insights.

4. Connect with Current Students:

Some students may be on campus working on projects or local internships. Meeting them for coffee or lunch can offer a personalized campus tour and valuable perspectives.

Alternatives to Campus Visits

While visiting campuses can significantly enhance your MBA application by providing firsthand insights and demonstrating genuine interest, not visiting schools doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances of admission. Admissions committees understand that not all applicants have the time or resources to make these visits, especially for international candidates or those with demanding schedules. Instead, you can engage with the school through online information sessions, webinars, and conversations with current students and alumni. Demonstrating your knowledge about the program and conveying your enthusiasm through these alternative methods can also effectively showcase your commitment and fit for the school. 


Visiting your target business schools can significantly enhance your MBA application by demonstrating serious interest, gaining insider perspectives, and enriching your essays and interviews. Thoughtful planning and engagement, whether in-person or remotely, can provide invaluable insights and strengthen your candidacy. By incorporating campus visits into your admissions strategy, you can increase your chances of securing a spot at your dream MBA program.