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Brandeis University 2019-20 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide 

Regular Decision: 

Brandeis University 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanations.

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why

Please include a short response to one of the three prompts below (250 words or fewer).

Why would you like to attend Brandeis?

Similar to other why essay prompts, this is a straightforward question. It’s Brandeis’s Mariah Carey moment to ask, “Why you so obsessed with me?” We recommend doing some research before diving into this one. Arm yourself with examples not only of courses & professors that appeal to you, but also specifics about the local community and city – if that’s what strikes your fancy. Are you a midwestern kid with a hankering for lobster rolls? Does your family live close enough for Sunday dinners? What are the perks of living in the Boston area (besides reenacting your favorite scenes from Good Will Hunting)? Use this as a chance to share more of who you are by sharing what about Brandeis appeals to you.

Justice Brandeis said, “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” Tell us how you would implement change in society that others might think impossible.

This prompt gives you license to ignore that voice in the back of your mind that says, “Don’t even try; it’ll never happen…” How would you like to improve the world as it stands today? It can involve big social change or a small technicality that trips people up. Whatever you choose, make sure to explain why it’s a problem and what the resulting benefits would be from its solution. Additionally, don’t forget the “tell us how” portion. Your plan must include some steps of how you would accomplish this change.

What is something you have recently changed your mind about and why?

Admissions wants to know that you are teachable and open-minded, that you can consider more than one point of view. What better qualities to have in a student? This is your chance to show a bit of vulnerability and admit that you’re not perfect, but are open to learning. It could be something your parents have been drilling into you since you were little or a brand new epiphany from a stranger on the street. This is also an opportunity to flex your logic muscles; prove to the reader that when you’re presented with new information, you reason through facts and come out the other side enlightened. In a way, this is related to the community essay, showing them what a valuable asset you would be to their campus — a mind that is open and logical.


*For international students only

Brandeis attracts students from many corners of the world. As an international student at Brandeis, how would you enrich the campus community? (250 words or fewer)

Dang! Brandeis is really making its international applicants WERK! Well, here’s a quick tip: this question may seem like it’s asking about the difference between you and the domestic applicants, but it’s actually in your best interest to think about what distinguishes you from any other international student! What do you bring to campus that no one else can? What have you learned from your life experience? And there’s one last twist to this application: in order to explain how you would “enrich the campus community” you should probably know a thing or two about that campus community. So spend a little time on the Brandeis website to get a feel for the school, the students, and the surrounding community. How is the culture different from your own? Where might the two intersect? And how might that point of intersection create an opportunity for mutual learning? For more information about acing the international essay, check out this video we made just for you!

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