Maybe you have been fascinated with international relations and diplomacy ever since you started learning French and playing Massive Online Multi-player strategy games that required weaving complex treaties with people from many different parties.You can write a great essay about how you hope to use Penn’s resources to pursue a major in international relations, and how you especially look forward to studying abroad — maybe to meet some of the people who you have been collaborating with from all over the world.
* Students applying to Digital Media Design and Computer & Cognitive Science should address both the specialized program and single-degree choice in their response.
For students applying to the other coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer this question in regards to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay.
First, they are trying to weed out those candidates that are just applying to Penn because it is a “fancy school.” Second, they want to learn something about your intellectual passions and interests.
Third, they want to see if you have done your research and started to figure out how you will use Penn to pursue those intellectual passions and interests.
If you are not selected for a specialized program, it does not mean that you are intellectually inferior — it just means that other students were a better “fit.” For example, the Huntsman program is incredibly selective, admitting only 45 students per year out of an incoming class of almost 2,500.
What this means is that applying for, and not being admitted to, a specialized program will not hurt your application to Penn.
For example, if you are applying to the College of Arts and Sciences, you should not be talking about “Arts and Sciences” as a whole (everything from biology to French literature! Focus on the major and classes within the school of Arts and Sciences that you want to pursue.
Maybe you want to study at Penn because of its remarkably high number of professors (10!
” You can then go on to talk about the work you’ve done studying new topics in geometry over the summer, the thrill of thinking about how billiard balls bounce around differently shaped boards, and the overlap between your interests and the unique research profile of Penn’s mathematics faculty.
An important thing to remember here is that you need to talk about both your passion for a particular subject area and what Penn has to offer you — both aspects are equally important!