Skip To Main Content
Principia College Logo

Travel Information

Our weekends are full of interesting, informative, and fun activities designed to give you an insider’s view of Principia College. Your visit will be a great opportunity to get to know the College and experience all that Principia has to offer.

The links below provide information that will help you plan your weekend. 

For more information or answers to other questions, feel free to contact Nicole Gervais at 618.374.5025 or by email.

Getting Here

After receiving your visiting weekend request form, the admissions office will provide the information you need to book your travel through Principia's travel agent. Read on for more information about getting to campus.

By Plane

If you’re traveling by plane, you will fly into St. Louis International Airport (STL). Once you land, proceed to the baggage claim area. If you're flying Southwest, a Principia admissions ambassador will meet you by the baggage claim exit doors. We will greet all other visitors at baggage claim carousel M-1 in the main terminal and take you to campus. On Sunday, an admissions ambassador will drive you back to the airport for your return trip.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, please plan on arriving no later than 3:00 p.m. on Thursday. Once you enter campus, you will be directed to Gehner House (the dorm where you’ll stay). There is ample parking in the surrounding lots. If no one is there to meet you, locate your room on the chart on the hallway bulletin board, and make yourself at home! Someone will arrive shortly to welcome you to the College and help you get settled.

Want more details?

Get directions on Google Maps and download our on-campus map.

By Train

Amtrak trains travel to Alton, Illinois, from cities throughout the country. An admissions counselor will meet you upon your arrival and take you back to the train station on Sunday.

Upper School Students and Local Visitors

Upper School students and local students who do not attend Principia School should meet at the School flagpole at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday. We will make every effort to return you to campus by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. 

 Visit at a Glance

Weekend Activities

Expect to do many of these things and more on your visit:

  • Explore our scenic, 2,600-acre campus
  • Learn about upcoming study abroad trips
  • Attend sporting events
  • Use the athletic facilities
  • Check out our award-winning solar car
  • See the surrounding area, including St. Louis

Thursday: Welcome to Principia

Check in and get oriented to your new surroundings—get settled in your room, meet your admissions ambassadors, roommates, and other visitors, take a campus tour, attend a special dinner with administrators, and select classes to attend on Friday.

Friday: College Student for a Day

Attend at least 3–5 classes of your choice and meet with your admissions counselor, school administrators, faculty members, and coaches.

Once your classes end, you’re free to participate in campus activities with your ambassadors, check out athletic practices, work out in the fitness center, observe theatre or dance rehearsals, lounge in the pool or spa, or hang out on campus with other visitors and students.

Saturday: Get Social

After breakfast, you’re free to relax and get to know other visitors, current students, and your ambassadors. Together you'll attend athletic games, theatre, dance, or music productions, or go on off-campus excursions with your ambassadors.

Sunday: Be Inspired

On Sunday, those who are interested may attend Sunday School in the Dining Room or the Christian Science Organization church service in the College Chapel. For many visitors, this is the largest Sunday School or church service they have ever attended. Lunch is served immediately afterward. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the new friends you’ve met, pack up, and head home.

What to Bring

Things to Pack

  • Spending money for snacks, entertainment, and souvenirs (We recommend $25.)
  • Money for any airline-specific baggage fees (Check your airline's policies for more information.)
  • Toiletries (3 oz. or less in carry-ons)
  • Notebook, pens, and pencils
  • Homework (for travel days)
  • Clothing suitable for Sunday School/church
  • Swimsuit (in case you want to use the pool or hot tub)
  • Workout clothes (if you want to work out or climb the boulder wall in our fitness center)
  • Sleep and lounge wear
  • Seasonal outerwear (check the weather report so you know what to bring)

You'll be so busy on your visiting weekend that we recommend leaving video and computer gaming equipment at home.

Do's and Don'ts

We’re glad that you're interested in visiting Principia College, and we’re excited to share our campus with you. Here are a few do's and don’ts to help you make the most of your visit.

Do . . .

  • Take advantage of all of the weekend’s opportunities
  • Keep your nametag with you. It serves as your meal ticket in the Dining Room
  • Visit classes and talk to professors, coaches, and admissions counselors
  • Share photos of your weekend with us using the #welcometoprin hashtag
  • Notify the Admissions Office if you are currently under medical care (and need to bring medication) at 618.374.5181 or 618.374.5025, so that we can support you and provide secured storage while on campus.

Don’t . . .

  • Smoke, purchase or drink alcohol, engage in sexual activity, or take illegal drugs*
  • Go off campus without an admissions ambassador unless your parent (or Upper School house parent) has made prior arrangements with our Admissions Office
  • Hesitate to ask questions at any time during your visit—we’re all here to help!

* Our community standards apply for the entire weekend whether you are on or off campus. Visitors violating these standards will be asked to return home at their own expense and may be asked to return the travel fund assistance used to pay for travel expenses. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I stay?

You’ll stay on campus in a Principia dorm (we call them houses) with your admissions ambassadors and other visitors.

Who are admissions ambassadors?

Our admissions ambassadors are current students who will be your hosts for the weekend. They’re eager to share their College experiences with you, answer your questions, introduce you to their friends, take you to activities, help you find your way around campus, and join you for off-campus excursions.

What should I expect to do on my visiting weekend?

We want you to see firsthand what it's like to attend Principia College. With this in mind, you'll visit classes and practices, talk with professors and coaches, experience life in the dorm with current Principia students, and attend Sunday School or a CSO church service on campus. For more information, check out our Weekend at a Glance.

Can I go off campus without an ambassador?

Parents, guardians, or Upper School house parents must arrange any off-campus travel with the Admissions Office. This includes travel with siblings and relatives. Please call ahead at 618.374.5025 if individual arrangements are necessary.

What should I wear?

While there is no particular dress code at Principia College, you will want to dress modestly and appropriately for the weekend and the weather. A good rule of thumb is to dress the way you would at home or at school. Sunday School dress is Sunday casual. Any footwear you’re comfortable wearing is fine. Be sure to check the weather report before you travel, though. In the St. Louis area, weather and temperatures can change quickly and drastically.

What if I need to cancel my visit?

If for any reason you are unable to come for your scheduled visit, please contact us as soon as possible at 618.374.5025. We will be happy to work with you to reschedule. Prompt cancellations will allow another visitor to attend. Thank you in advance for your courtesy regarding cancellations.