Tips to Get the Most out of Graduate School Fairs

One of the most important aspects of applying to graduate school is selecting the programs that are best suited to your interests and career goals. Graduate School Fairs provide you with an opportunity to gain in-depth information from school representatives that will help you evaluate programs and find the best fit for you.

  1. Review the directory of attendees - Before the fair, login to Handshake to view the directory of who will be attending. Review graduate school websites and other sources to get a sense of the universities and their programs. This will help you identify which programs interest you and which schools to target at the fair.
  2. Rank the schools so you can visit the ones you're most interested in first.
  3. Prepare a list of questions to help you determine if there is a match between the graduate school program and your interests and goals. See our list of factors for evaluating programs. Questions may address costs, financial aid, program requirements, course offerings, facilities, location, student life, faculty, and program reputation.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time - Arrive early, and take a few minutes to review the map and directory of the fair.
  5. Be prepared to answer questions from the admissions representatives, such as, "Why do you want to attend graduate school?" and, "When?"
  6. Think ahead - Ask the representative for his/her card so you'll have a direct contact if you want to ask follow-up questions later. Use this opportunity to not only network with the representatives, but also to collect materials for later review.