Are you applying to the University of Pennsylvania? Penn’s 2400 freshmen arrive from around the globe to study in 4 undergraduate divisions ( College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Nursing, and the Wharton School of Business) or one of several interdisciplinary programs. Penn’s bustling, urban campus, abundant extracurricular and research activities, combined with top-flight academics in a variety of disciplines make it appealing to a large number of students.
However, you will need to sit down in front of a blank computer screen and answer their supplemental essay question:
Considering both the specific undergraduate school or program to which you are applying and the broader University of Pennsylvania community, what academic, research, and/or extracurricular paths do you see yourself exploring at Penn?
And it’s easy to write as if you’ve swallowed their brochure.
With Penn’s emphasis on research and interdisciplinary study, if you have a research background or interest in interdisciplinary studies, mention it. Many students arrive on the college campus of their choice undecided in academic interest, and that is fine. If your interests are well defined, and based upon previous experience, even if the experience is only in-depth reading about a particular topic, demonstrate your intellectual engagement within the context of this essay.
If you have visited Penn, attended an information session about Penn either in your community or high school, draw upon your reactions to what you’ve learned. If you know students at Penn, ask them what they like most about the college. Spend some time picturing yourself on the campus and use the essay as an opportunity to expand upon some of the things you find most appealing about college. You can also draw briefly on some of your past experiences to highlight how they might transition and contribute to the Penn community.
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