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Last updated March 22, 2024

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How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

Key Takeaway

Purdue University requires two concise supplemental essays highlighting your interests, choice of major, and how Purdue's opportunities align with these. Avoid repetition, articulate a clear narrative, and show your potential contribution to the school.

Purdue University only has two supplemental essays. Each should be fewer than 100 words in length, so you won’t have a whole lot of space. Make every word count!

Let’s take a look at the prompts.

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

In this why us prompt, Purdue asks you to write about how Purdue’s offerings will help you pursue your interests inside and outside the classroom. Now’s your chance to show off your knowledge of Purdue and, more importantly, make a case for why you’re a good fit. It’s also a chance for you to be clear about what your interests are and how you intend on pursuing them.

Also note that the prompt instructs you to talk about in and out of the classroom. While you’re applying to be a student at Purdue, Purdue admissions officers are also assessing whether you’re a good fit for their campus outside of academics. Feel free to talk about relevant extracurriculars, clubs, and internship opportunities in addition to academic opportunities (like coursework, faculty, or research projects). Your in- and out-of-the-classroom focus can be on the opportunities or on your interests.

Finally, as with any why us prompt, you want to emphasize the connections between what you want and what the school has to offer—and vice versa! Don’t forget that part of school fit is also demonstrating that you have a lot to offer the school, too.

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

And to wrap up your Purdue supplement, you have a why major essay. Remember that your Purdue admissions officer will be reading the two essays alongside each other. There may be some areas of overlap between the opportunities that will support your interests and the reasons you want to pursue your intended major.

Listen: don’t repeat yourself. Between the two essays, you only have 200 words max to say everything you need to say to your Purdue admissions officer. Repeating yourself won’t do you any favors. Before you start writing either essay, brainstorm a list of what information you want to go in each. Figure out how to disperse the information relatively evenly and in a way that makes the most sense.

Your first essay, for example, might focus more on larger-scale opportunities at Purdue, while this second essay may hone in on why you’re interested in the subject and what department resources have appealed to you.

This answer is also a great place to highlight any relevant academic or extracurricular accomplishments you want to detail for your admissions officers.

Key Takeaways

You may find that your answers to these questions have some overlap. Try to avoid repeating yourself and find a way to make each answer communicate something new about yourself to an admissions officer.

And when in doubt, consider how your essays contribute to your cohesive application narrative.



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