Our Common App Guide will help you choose a prompt!
Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 4
The Requirements: One 200-word essay; one 250-word essay
This is WashU’s version of a classic “Why Essay.” Even if you’re not completely sure what you want to major in yet, admissions wants to both learn about your academic interests, and see how their offerings will suit your passions. If you can build a bridge between your own interests and the resources available at WashU, you’ll be well on your way to demonstrating your fit. So set aside an hour or two and commit to some serious research on the WashU website. (Sorry, there’s no way around this, folks!) Look up information about news and research coming out of your department of interest, the kinds of courses available, and the opportunities other undergrads have had studying in your area of choice. Even if you have a wide array of interests, consider explaining how two or three departments might complement each other or foster your interest in a larger theme or cross-pollinating kind of way. Your ultimate goal is to show that your interest in WashU (just like your intellectual curiosity) runs deep!
With each of these prompts, admissions is hoping to learn more about who you are in a group setting. So choose the prompt that sticks out to you, or work backward by thinking about the communities you are a part of (whether that be your student government, your temple, your club soccer team, etc.) and consider your place within it. Maybe you’ve been thinking about writing an essay about your volunteer work within your small city and the ways in which it has expanded your perspective and introduced you to people from all walks of life who you may never have gotten the chance to get to know otherwise. An essay like that could work for any of these three prompts depending on the way you tell it. Perhaps you want to write about your experience advocating for greener waste management solutions at your high school (1) or connecting with other trans and non-binary individuals at queer meet-ups (2) or the ways your years of being the only person in the room who looks like you has impacted the way you interact with others (3). Ultimately, your goal here is to offer admissions deeper insight into the human behind the application.