York celebrates its first Graduate Open House

The Faculty of Graduate Studies, representatives from every graduate program and the Office of Admissions joined together to produce York’s biggest event for prospective graduate students on Saturday, Nov. 11. 

Left: York welcomes prospective graduate students to the Keele campus

A total of 1,099 prospective graduate students — many of them undergraduates — registered for the opportunity to connect one-on-one with York’s graduate program professors and current students.

Vari Hall was the host space for the Open House Welcome Centre, most of the programs, student services (Alumni Services, Child Care, Housing, Sport & Recreation, Parking & Transportation, Student Financial Services), many of York’s research centres, admission support, Web site tours and the Graduate Student Cafe, serving Las Nubes coffee. The Schulich School of Business, Psychology, Fine Arts and Science programs hosted visitors in their buildings.

Potential students came to the Grad Open House prepared with questions, often for more than one program, and got right down to business with face-to-face discussions about degree requirements, program details and scholarly research. Program directors and professors were impressed with not only the high turnout but also with the high calibre of interested graduate students as judged by the scope and breadth of questions asked.

Right: Vari Hall served as the nerve centre for the Open House

Three popular general sessions were held: Why Graduate School? Why York?; Navigate the Application Process: Tips, Samples and How-to; and Graduate Funding: Showing You the Money. Potential applicants new to York and their parents took advantage of campus walking and bus tours as well as residence tours.

One visitor from another university made it a point to seek out an Admissions representative and comment, “I’m impressed with York’s Graduate Open House, no other university has done anything like this.”

Post-event survey feedback to date indicates 44 per cent of attendees are more likely to apply to York for graduate school now than they were before the event. Another 48 per cent said they intend to apply or already have. Those positive results combined with feedback from program representatives indicates the first Graduate Open House achieved high visibility on and off campus and successfully profiled York as a leading teaching and research university.