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Last updated June 26, 2023

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How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays

Key Takeaway

Emory University requires you to write two short supplemental essays, one about your academic interests and another responding to a choice of prompts. Your essays should be concise and complement your overall application. narrative.

You can thank Emory now, because you’ll only be writing two short supplemental essays for your Emory application. Together, they’ll total no more than 350 words.

Let’s take a look at the prompts.

What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? (200 words)

You’ll kick things off with a pretty straightforward academic interest essay. Notice that Emory is asking you to write about more than one academic interest. You might have academic interests come immediately to mind. If so, great. If not, think about your overall application narrative. You’ll probably want to choose an academic area related to what you hope to major in. For the other(s), you could choose a secondary academic interest, perhaps something you want to double major or minor in. Or you could take it in the opposite direction and focus on a subject area you haven’t yet had the chance to explore. Of course, any academic interests you write about should be ones that Emory is suited to help you explore.

Please answer one of the following questions: (150 words)

You may seem daunted at all the options for this question, but we always like to advise students to pick a prompt that 1) resonates with them and 2) adds to their application narrative. Consider how your answer to the previous prompt and your personal statement complement each other. What parts of you are represented? What’s missing? The prompt you choose here can help you fill any gaps.

  1. Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.

    This question could be a great way to demonstrate maturity and growth. You can also use it to discuss how your own identity has intersected with those around you.

  2. When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?

    If you want to show that you have an open mind and are willing to consider the perspectives of others, then this prompt might be a good choice. Your answer may also communicate some of your core beliefs.

  3. If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?

    This prompt is pretty quirky, especially because you can pick a historical event that you think will happen in the future (time travel, anyone?). Your answer could show creativity and intellectual curiosity. You could also highlight an academic interest or an event that you find personally meaningful.

  4. Share a time when you were awestruck.

    If you haven’t yet shown much vulnerability in your application, this prompt may be your opportunity to do so. It’s a time to be reverent and genuine. You could focus your attention on a person or event or moment, but it should ultimately communicate something about your core strengths or values.

  5. Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

    The key to answering this question is the “why.” What you pick doesn’t matter as much as your explanation. You could take a more serious approach, or you could show a sense of humor and lightheartedness.

    Again, as you weigh your options, consider what’s in the rest of your application, and write this question in a way that creates a cohesiveness and balance to your overall narrative.

The Bottom Line

You won’t be writing a whole lot for your Emory supplemental essays, so make every word count. If you have any more questions before you get started writing, see our supplemental essay guide for more step-by-step help.

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