Topics and tips for writing your Admission Essays
Looking for suggestions about writing your essays? See the “Writing Your Essays” item on the Hints & Tips page.
To be complete, your application must include at least two essays. Most students should submit personal essays A and B. However, if you’re applying to a major with special requirements, you may need to submit Essay D.
The essay topics are changing starting with the summer/fall 2014 application cycle. Updates to this page will be made no later than August 1.
Personal Essay 1
Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.
Personal Essay 2
Choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.
Submit this essay in place of Essay A when applying for admission to architecture, art history, design, studio art, or visual art studies/art education.
Personal interaction with objects, images and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study (architecture, art history, design, studio art, visual art studies/art education), describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image or space effected this type of change in your thinking. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?
In addition to the two required essays, some applicants choose to submit a response to Essay C. Essay C is optional and cannot be submitted in place of a required essay. Students submitting Essay C do so in order to submit additional information to the university about special circumstances.
Special Circumstances: Essay C
There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment.
Tips on Essay Writing
By reviewing requirements for your major choices, scholarships, and programs, you may be able to keep the number of essays you write to a minimum while satisfying admission and other requirements.
If you’re writing your essays to fulfill your admission requirements only, you should try to keep them no longer than one page (single-spaced). If you plan to use your essays to fulfill admission and scholarship or honors requirements, follow the length guidelines specified by the individual program.
Take your time
Spend plenty of time writing and fine-tuning your essays, and ask for feedback from people you trust before submitting your essays.
Remember that your goal is to share important things about yourself while skillfully expressing yourself in writing.