Great Why This Major essays convince the reader that you really know why you want to study something in particular. They blend stories about experiences with a more reflective tone about what a subject means to the writer.
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How to write a Why this Major supplemental essay
OK, we've talked about strategy and research—but how do you actually structure a Why Major essay?
I usually recommend finding a universal hook that relates to your academic interest. A hook is one of the most useful and versatile tools you can build for yourself while writing college essays. Here's an example of a good one:
Hooks do two things. First, they get the essay off to an engaging start by providing a touch of action. Second, hooks create a narrative bridge to an academic subject, embedding an intellectual topic in the real context of your life.
A hook doesn't need to be long—in fact, it shouldn't be. Why Major essays are NOT about telling a story: they're about answering the prompt and showing that you've done your research.
Once you have your hook, your next step might be to reflect a bit about the major area you've chosen to write about. You can talk about when and why you became interested in the subject. This might mean giving a brief recap about an experience you've had that relates to the major area. This section shouldn't be too long, just enough to give some background about your relationship to the field of study.
Next, you're going to transition into the bulk of the essay, where you talk about the major in question. This section is where you'll talk about the things that interest you most about the major and what you'd hope to accomplish studying it.
This is likely where you'll be introducing the research you did. You can talk openly about the courses you'd want to take, the professors you'd learn from, and the opportunities the department / major would offer you. If you've had past experiences relevant to the major, you should frame your research as an opportunity to build on or go deeper into those experiences.
This is a great time to bring up questions that you'd hope to explore as a student in the major. What are you curious about? What could you see yourself researching? It's OK to not have all the answers, and to say this in your essay, but do your best to suggest a possible area of exploration that would occupy your focus in the major.
Finally, you might want to focus on how the opportunities offered by the major will support your vision for who you want to become after graduation. Maybe you want to have a career in sports psychology, or go on to study medicine in graduate school. Don't be afraid to talk about how the major will set you up to explore these pathways and figure out what's right for you.
Talking about future-you can be a great way to give admissions officers a sense of your fit with the major. If your goal is to go into the medical field, and you know that a particular liberal arts college's biology program sends 87% of graduates on to graduate school, you should definitely bring that up as a reason for applying. It shows maturity, a sense of clarity about what you want for your future, and it'll give a reader the sense that you've done your homework.
Connecting your interest in the major with your vision for your future is always a good look. It shows that you're connecting the dots between the academic pathway right in front of you and your longer-term goals.
Why this Major Supplemental Essay Example
Example Essay: Gen-Z Votes
That((In this paragraph, the writer shows clear knowledge of their field of interest.)) was the number of voters aged 18-29 who voted in the 2022 midterm elections. That number was actually up about 7 percentage points from 2018, which saw the highest voter turnout in a midterm election in 100 years.
Gen Z is showing up. And I believe my generation will save our country.
My peers and I are the most diverse and progressive generation the world has ever seen. We are ready to combat climate change and mass shootings, protect healthcare and promote mental health, and fight global warming. And, unlike previous generations, our youngest voters are showing up at record numbers – but it is still too low.
That’s why I started my organization, Gen-Z Votes. What started as a class project morphed into a multi-high school movement, then a statewide campaign, and now leads me to apply to the political science major at Michigan((The writer explicitly connects their accomplishment with the reason they want to major in political science at Michigan.)). I am also excited to explore the liberal arts curriculum in LSA and learn more about philosophy, economics, and communication.
When recruiting peers to help lead Gen-Z Votes, I quickly learned two things: different members had different political priorities and also brought different strengths to the table. When we needed someone to meet with the superintendent to inform them of our plan to organize a walk out to protest gun violence, Brian’s ease in communication made him the man for the job. When we designed posters for a voter registration drive, Julia put her graphic design skills to work.
Similarly, I find that the global issues we care about cannot be addressed by one perspective((Clear strengths: initiative and collaboration)). If we want to combat climate change we need scientists but we also need to recruit philosophers, musicians, and writers to the cause. I am excited to explore the broad curriculum at Michigan, join the UMICH Votes organization, and bring my breadth of experience to politics after Michigan.
Want to see even more supplemental essay examples? Check out our college essay examples post.