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University of Wisconsin-Madison 2019-20 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

University of Wisconsin-Madison 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanation

The Requirements: 1 essay of 650 words (or less)

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why


Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided please describe your areas of possible academic interest. (You may enter up to 650 words, but 300-500 is recommended).

This sneaky prompt is a twofer, though both parts cover classic why essay territory: admissions wants to know just what appeals to you about the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So, take a moment to look inside. What exactly do you want out of your college experience? Research opportunities? Weekend football games? To dip your toe into city life? Now, if you were to imagine a Venn diagram of your expectations and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s offerings, what would land in the overlap? The only way to know for sure is to do your research! As you dig through the school’s website, you’ll naturally uncover “academic, extracurricular, or research opportunities” to describe how you’ll turn your vision into a reality in Madison.

The goal is to show admissions that you’ve done your homework. Pick out classes, professors, research projects, internships, sports leagues, clubs, events, and residences that appeal to you. Make sure Admissions Officers know that you’ve already thought about what you want to do when you get there and that you’re ready to act on those hopes and dreams and so forth. Bonus points if you can honestly say that the pizza in their dining hall is not abysmal.

But, wait, there’s more! The second part of the prompt gives you the opportunity to include information about specific academic programs at Madison that appeal to you. So just as before, utilize the school’s website, but this time pay careful attention to the specific majors and academic offerings that catch your eye. What do you love about your chosen major and/or minor? If you’re interested in UW’s Gender & Women’s Studies program, can you describe what you will take away from this program and how it relates to your long-term ambitions? How did you become interested in this field, and what resources does Madison provide that will help you achieve your goals? Finally, if you’re undecided, think about what makes Madison the ideal environment for your academic exploration. How do you plan to hone in on the perfect major as you attend? Remember, the more details you include, the better.

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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