If you cannot come to campus, consider taking a virtual tour. Prospective students from underrepresented and underserved minority groups are encouraged to apply for the Tigerview campus visitation program, which is an expenses-paid event held in the fall each year.
Create a list of questions you want to ask. GradSchools.com offers a helpful list of questions you might consider asking.
If you would like to conduct research with a specific faculty member, you can contact them directly before to set up an appointment. Our Academic Programs Catalog provides faculty lists with research areas of interest.
Talk to the director of graduate school about whether current students have been appointed to meet with visitors like you.
Official campus tours include lots of information specific to undergraduates, similar to the virtual tour linked above, so it might be better to ask the director of graduate school whether current students or staff from the program have been appointed to give graduate tours.
Learn more about why so many people and national publications rate Columbia as one of the top places to live.