What to Expect

Whether you've been on several college visits already or you are stepping foot on a college campus for the first time, we want you to feel prepared before and during your visit to Clarkson. Below is some helpful information to get you started thinking about your options. Select a dropdown menu below for more information.

Campus Tour

Our campus tours are typically 90 minutes in length and cover the majority of our buildings on the "Hill" campus in Potsdam, New York. Our tours are typically 1-3 families at a time with one admissions ambassador. Depending on the interests of the students on tour, the route may vary to show specific academic areas. This is your time to ask a Clarkson student anything you can think of, they are living the experience and love to answer questions.

This includes:

  • residence halls
  • dining locations
  • the library
  • Career Center
  • indoor athletic facilities
  • Cheel Campus Center (including ice hockey area)
  • Student Center
  • academic buildings (classrooms and laboratories)
  • SPEED labs (Clean Snowmobile, Formula SAE, FIRST Robotics, Mini Baja and more). 

TIP: To learn more about our campus tour experience, check out our student blog post about "Top 10 Questions Asked on Clarkson Campus Tours."

Meeting with a Coach

Having a one-on-one meeting with one of our athletic coaches or assistant coaches may be what you are hoping to do while on campus if you are considering playing on one of our 20 varsity sports teams, including:

TIP: Ask about open tryouts, how to best showcase your skills to them and what the time commitment of playing is like. Read our blog post, "The Top Three Benefits of Being a Student-Athlete in College."

Admissions Interview

The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to your admissions "interview" is that it isn't really an interview. We like to think of it more as a conversation where you can get to know us at Clarkson and we can get to know more about you and what you will bring to Clarkson's community.

The interview typically:

  • lasts approximately 45-60 minutes
  • is with one of our admissions staff members
  • starts with just you, and then any family members are invited to join in
  • takes place in Holcroft House, our admissions building, if you are on campus
  • takes place either directly before or directly after your campus tour

It also:

  • lets us put a face to your application
  • gives you a chance to ask questions about the application process, financial aid and scholarships and the University as a whole
  • is casual and conversational - nothing to be worried about!

TIP: Have some questions ready to ask the counselor - check out our list of the top questions to ask if you need help getting started.

Sitting in on a Class

If you come on a weekday, we may be able to fit into your schedule time to visit one of our classes in your intended area of study or a typical first-year class. Sitting in on a class allows you to get a feel of what your courses, faculty members and fellow students will be like if you are a student here. Please keep in mind that only prospective students, and not family members, are able to sit in our classes.

Sample courses for visiting typically include:

  • Small Business 113: Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation (first-year business)
  • First-year Biology
  • First-year Chemistry

TIP: Be sure to introduce yourself to the professor prior to the class beginning. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Meeting with Faculty & Staff Members

If there is a particular academic department or student service department you are hoping to learn more about, we encourage you to request a meeting with a faculty or staff member from that department when requesting your visit to campus.

Frequently requested departments/staff include:

Learn more about our Academic Programs.

TIP: Ask faculty about curriculum, current research projects, internship and co-op opportunities and career outlook.

Having a Meal on Campus

During your time at Clarkson, you may be on campus at a typical mealtime. If this is the case, our office is happy to give you meal vouchers to experience one of our on campus eateries. 

Choose from dining at:

  • Ross-Brooks Dining Hall (our all-you-care-to-eat dining facility)
  • Student Center Servery (made to order culinary stations)
  • Cheel Campus Center (Locally-sourced grill, Subway)

Learn more about Clarkson Dining.

TIP: Make sure you also check out what restaurants are available in town. Our blog post, "The Scoop on the Potsdam Food Scene."

Planning Your Travel

The vast majority of our personalized visits start at our undergraduate admissions home base, the historic Holcroft House, on our main campus in Potsdam, New York. 

  • View our Directions & Maps: Potsdam Campuses page for our address, driving directions and other recommendations on ways to travel to campus by bus or plane.
  • A great resource in planning your trip is our Clarkson Blog. It's filled with tips, tricks and suggestions for what to do in the area, where to eat and more. 
  • We also recommend utilizing the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce website to view options for overnight accommodations, restaurants, shopping and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What Should I Wear?

A. Wear whatever you are comfortable in. Your visit will be casual. Keep in mind that you will be walking around campus, so you will want comfortable shoes. Also, our weather varies throughout the year, so be sure to plan accordingly!

Q: What Should I Bring?

A. Questions and an open mind! There is no need to bring any specific, but you are welcome to bring your transcript, a resume, etc. if you would like to. 

What's your purpose? Achieve it here.