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Top College Interview Policies

  • Yale is the only Ivy that offers on-campus EVALUATIVE interviews.
  • Harvard offers on-campus interviews, but they are not added to a student’s file.
  • Neither Stanford nor MIT offers on-campus interviews.
  • Columbia and Penn allow legacies (and they count parents OR grandparents as legacies in this sense) to interview on campus.

We always recommend taking advantage of an on-campus or alumni interview when possible.

Brown: Alumni interviews recommended, but not required. Once your application is received, alumni in your area will contact you. If you do want an interview, then you’ll set up the time and place at that point. This applies to international applicants where possible too. No on-campus interviews.

CalTech: No interviews.

Columbia University: Interviews are not required. Between October and February, a member of Columbia’s Alumni Representative Committee will contact you if an interview is available in the area where your high school is located. To better your chances of getting an interview, turn in your Application for Admission I of your Columbia app as early as possible. The Alumni Representative Committee is totally separate from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, so don’t contact the admissions people if you have interview questions or issues. Note above, if you are a legacy you can arrange an on-campus interview. Columbia does not count all graduate schools into the legacy pool. Please note: applicants are considered to be “legacies” of Columbia only if they are the children of Columbia College or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science graduates.

Cornell: Cornell can get sort of confusing because you’re applying to a particular college. So, for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, no interview is required, but they do recommend visiting. For the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, for architecture applicants an interview is required, on- or off-campus. For art students, an interview is recommended. For details on setting up interviews for this college, visit; keep in mind that the deadline for interviews for early decision applicants is November 10 and for regular decision is January 31. For the College of Hotel Administration, an interview is required, on- or off-campus. Visit for more interview information and keep in mind that the early decision deadline is November 15 and the regular decision deadline is February 15. For College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Human Ecology, and the College of Industrial and Labor Relations, no interviews required.

Dartmouth: Dartmouth got rid of on-campus interviews in 2007 so they now have only the alumni interview. The alumni interview is done for early decision applicants between October and mid-November and for regular applicants from December to mid-February for freshman applicants only in the area where the applicant lives based on if there’s an alumnus in the area. The alumni will contact you. Don’t worry if you do not hear from someone, it might just be that there is no one in your area.

Duke: Interviews are optional. To be eligible for an interview with a Duke alumnus, submit the Student Supplement (Form A) by October 20 for early decision applicants and December 10 for regular applicants. Early Decision applicants are first priority for interviews. Regular applicants will be contacted at the beginning of February, but if you submit the form by the deadline and are still not contacted by November 10 for early decision or February 1 for regular decision, send an interview request form online. The whole interview process is done by mid-February. If you don’t do an interview, you can submit an additional letter of recommendation.

Georgetown: Interviews with an alumnus are required, unless it’s geographically not possible. When your application is received, the Admissions Office will send you the contact information for the alumni interviewer in your area, and you make the arrangements with them from there.

Harvard: When and where possible an alumni interview will be set up. The alumni interviewer will contact you via phone, email, or letter. International applicants should initiate contact with an interviewer; you’ll need the information that’s found in the International Interviewer booklet.

MIT: Interview is not required, but strongly recommended. If an interview can be offered to you, the name and contact information for your Educational Counselor who conducts the interview will be in your MyMIT account. Contact them early in the application process; for early action, October 20 is the last day to contact your Educational Counselor to set up the interview, November 1 is the last day to have an interview, and for regular applicants, December 1 is last day to schedule an interview, and December 15 is the last day to have it.

Northwestern: Interviews, which are conducted by alumni, are optional. You’ll get more information on alumni interviews after you’ve applied.

NYU: No interviews offered.

Princeton: You’re contacted by an alumni interviewer once you’ve submitted your application. Interviews are not required, but they recommend that you accept the invitation to do an interview if you get one. No on-campus interviews.

Rice University: Interviews are recommended, but not required. There are two types, offered to high school seniors or rising seniors: the on-campus interview with a Rice Senior Interviewer offered only until December 9, or the off-campus interview with an alumnus. After they receive Part I of your application or your Common App, they’ll send you more information. It’s your responsibility to set up the interview. For early applicants, request an interview by October 15, complete it by November 1. For interim applicants, request by November 15 and complete by December 11. For regular applicants, request by December 18 and complete by January 22.

Stanford: No interviews.

University of California:
No interviews for any of the UC campuses.

University of Pennsylvania: Interviews are optional. No on-campus interviews unless you are a child or grandchild of an alumnus; contact the Alumni Council for an interview appointment. For everyone else, interviews are offered where there are Secondary School Committees, who will contact you once you’ve submitted your Penn application. For early decision, interviews are done between November 1 and December 1. For regular applicants, interviews are during January and February.

Washington University in Saint Louis: Interviews are encouraged, but not required. There are two types: the on-campus interview or the alumni interview. You can only do one type. When you visit WashU, you can request that an interview be part of your visit, or after you submit your application (or at least your Pre-Application Data Sheet), if there’s an alumni in your area, you can schedule an alumni interview. On-campus interviews end in early March for high school seniors; alumni interviews are between September 1 and January 15.

Yale: Interviews are not required, but if you are contacted by an alumnus, you are strongly encouraged to accept. A member of the Alumni Schools Committee will contact you if they can offer you an interview after you submit your Yale application.

2 replies on “Top College Interview Policies”

Hello–as a Georgetown alumna AND former admissions officer there, I think you should clarify one point about their interview policy. When students submit PART I (also called the Personal Data Form) of the application is when they get assigned an interview. And they can do that as early as September!! Students who read the current phrasing might wait to send both parts on the deadline (Jan 10) and the admissions office would much rather spread out the interview assignments through the fall and winter.

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