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Georgetown University 2019-20 Essay Prompt Guide

Georgetown 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words; 2 essays of 300-400 words; 1 essay of 500-700 words.

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Activity, Why

Prompt 1: Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words)

This prompt may come first on the list, but we think you should save it for last! For the other essays on the Georgetown application, we ask you to dig deep and share personal stories that showcase talents and interests. Don’t dry the well by listing all of your (many!) skills and talents too soon. Every essay should reveal something new to admissions. So once you finish polishing your other pieces, ask yourself: what’s missing? Is there some critical puzzle piece that will help connect your other three essays? Or have you been dying to get something off your chest that didn’t fit anywhere else? This essay could be the perfect outlet for you to showcase your more personal skills, interests, and quirks. If the rest of your essays showcase your drive to work in international relations, perhaps your answer to this prompt could showcase a lighter side: your love of experimental cooking (and impressive knife skills!). Or maybe explain how learning a new language helped you learn how to whistle! While you should aim to showcase genuine skills that you have put effort into cultivating, you can also have a little bit of fun. This prompt is the most open-ended one on the application, so show admissions something they won’t find anywhere else on your application.

Prompt 2: Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (1/2 page, single-spaced, or approximately 300-400 words depending on font size) 

The Georgetown application kicks off with a fun twist on the classic activity essay, which asks you to expand on an extracurricular endeavor that you care about. For starters, we’d give you basically the same advice the prompt does: focus on one of the activities “in which you have been most involved.” Although we usually urge students to write about items that haven’t appeared elsewhere on their application, the activity essay is an exception since it specifically asks you to address an item on your resume. So, pick something with meat! When have you had the opportunity to take on a leadership role? How has four years of debate club shaped the way you communicate? Was it difficult coaching pee wee soccer as a freshman, and what motivated you to stick with it?

On the other hand, Georgetown is also giving you the opportunity to talk about camp, so if you have amazing camp stories that show your character and personality, definitely write about them! But think more along the lines of “The Parent Trap” and less along the lines of “Wet Hot American Summer.” If you don’t have a fantastic camp story about the time you saved everyone in your cabin by knowing the cure for poison ivy, think about another activity you’ve been involved in and why you’ve decided to spend so much of your time doing it. Why is it meaningful to you?

Prompt 3: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (1 page, single-spaced, or approximately 300-400 words depending on font size)

This is one of the hardest prompts! What do you mean, tell you about myself in my own words? What do you want to know?! Where do I start? Birth? School? Puberty? Calm down! Think about why they’re asking you this question and it will all fall into place. While many applications can often read similarly with impressive grades, extracurriculars, and teacher recommendations, this essay makes it so you can differentiate yourself with your personality. Do you have a very sarcastic sense of humor, do you make more dad jokes than your own father, do all of your friends refer to you as the “artsy” one? Georgetown wants to know that you’re more than your application, that you’re a real person with quirks and weird habits and endearing qualities! It also doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that G-town specifically names “personal” and “creative” as two separate categories. If you fancy yourself a writer, now could really be your time to shine.

And remember, Georgetown isn’t on the Common App! Did you write your Personal Statement on Common App prompt #1? You could be in luck. If you chose a different prompt, don’t worry, you still might be able to recycle your Common App essay here — and it’s never too late to take our good advice on writing an essay about your background!

Georgetown University School-Specific Prompts.

(Each school-specific prompt should not exceed 1 page, single-spaced, or approximately 500-700 words depending on font size)

Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

Despite the heady tone of the introductory question, this prompt is nothing more than a classic why essay. (Promise!) Try reading it in reverse: address your chosen course of study. How will Georgetown help you pursue this interest? How will this experience make you a more educated person (and what does it mean to educated)? Not so bad! Going in this order, kick off your writing process with a little research: what programs interest you? Is there something specific in the curriculum that calls out to you? A professor’s name that you recognize? Drilling into the details in your research will make it clear (if not totally obvious) why Georgetown is the perfect place for you to study chemistry, or linguistics, or religion. 

Once you have a solid map of your school-specific interests, it’s time to turn the lens back on your experiences. It’s one thing to say you want to study journalism in the nation’s capital, but it’s more convincing and memorable if you also mention your award-winning coverage of a student council election for your school paper. You can define what it means to be “educated” by showing admissions where you are now and describing how far you hope to go with the help of a Georgetown education.

School of Nursing & Health Studies: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).

If we know anything about applying to medical programs, it is this: everyone wants to help people; everyone wants to make the world a better place; everyone wants to make a meaningful contribution. Few fields lend themselves to service-oriented clichés and platitudes as readily as medicine does. To safely navigate the minefield of hackneyed generalizations, start with something personal! What one eye-opening experience that made you believe healthcare could be your calling? Perhaps it was a single moment, like accidental eye contact at the ER in a public hospital. Or maybe it was something more long-term, such as the struggle of navigating your school in a wheelchair after knee surgery. Whatever the case, use your personal story as the backdrop for your argument. What did you learn? What problems do you hope to tackle? What change do you hope to help create? As we said, it’s not enough to want these things, in general. Your job is to show admissions why health studies interest you personally.

Walsh School of Foreign Service: Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

This prompt may seem to want something other than a personal essay, but it doesn’t want a policy paper either. Think about this as an opportunity to showcase two critical aspects of your character: your values and your problem-solving skills. If this advice sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because you worked on the Common App’s fourth prompt: the solver essay. If you did, you may already have an excellent draft to draw upon for Georgetown. (Remember: they aren’t on the Common App!) And if you’re starting from scratch, the same advice applies it is important that the problem you choose is linked to your life and the world in a meaningful way. The whole purpose of this exercise is to reveal something valuable about yourself to admissions, so be sure to link the problem you highlight to your passions, actions, or aspirations. Ask yourself, what kind of mark would you like to leave on the world? How do you think you can positively contribute to a cause that is important to you? If you had the power to make a lasting impact in any area at all, what would it be? While building the personal connection is key, you’ll also want to leave yourself some space to spell out at least a few steps you might take to address your global issue of choice.

McDonough School of Business: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

If you think we’ve never seen an essay with the line, “I love money,” you would be wrong. Spoiler: this does not make a great first impression. Studying business is about so much more than dollars and cents, and the prompt offers a few other aspects of business you’ll learn about in this program including “ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives.” In order to get some perspective, we’d recommend doing your homework. Like any classic why essay, the best answers are personal and specific, so go beyond your general interest in business and try to figure out specifically why Georgetown could be the right fit for you. Is in the location? The professors? The travel opportunities? Allow yourself to follow every lead and fall down every rabbithole as you root through the program website. Your essay should paint a picture of the kind of student you will be at Georgetown, from the classes you’ll take to the activities you’ll pursue. How will this education prepare you for your dream career?

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