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The Requirements: 2 optional essays of 250 words each
While the Colorado School of Mines essays are both optional, we encourage you to seriously consider responding to one or both of the following prompts.
This is a classic Diversity Essay, through and through. In this particular instance, the question emphasizes identity, inclusivity, intersectionality, and collaboration. Admissions officers want to see a story of personal growth, a time when you worked with someone different from yourself, and your perspective changed as a result. Maybe you went to a wilderness camp with kids from all over the world and had to figure out how to work together to build a campsite despite language and cultural differences. Perhaps a potential new member made you realize that your robotics team’s hierarchy or methodologies were excluding neurodivergent students. Maybe you took an online coding course and had to lead a virtual group project with students of differing ages and opinions. No matter your starting point, be sure you tell a clear story with a beginning, middle, and end that demonstrates your commitment to creating inclusive environments.
This prompt asks you to explain why you like what you like. Tell a story about a significant experience that showcases your unique connection to your chosen course of study. The essays that stick with admissions are the ones that jump off the page with concrete descriptions from real life. What interests you and why? How have you gone about learning more about your subject of interest? What will this degree allow you to do (if you’re going in decided)? How have you already explored this topic? While you don’t need to narrow in on the exact moment you became interested in geology or music education, try to focus on one significant experience. If you’re undecided, use this as an opportunity to reveal something about what you value and what excites you intellectually. You could try to illustrate a general inclination (e.g., engineering, the environment, or medicine). Or if you really feel like you could go any direction, try to show a balance, picking majors across domains that link to each other in a way that still makes sense (biology, psychology, engineering). Since Mines is a STEM-focused school, they’ll expect their applicants to have a strong sense of how they fit into the school’s offerings, so do a little research on their programs to show them that you know exactly how your interests align with their courses, clubs, and departments.