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The Penn application process includes a personal essay as well as supplemental short answer prompts. We read your words carefully, as they are yet another window into how you think, what you value, and how you see the world. Through your writing, we get a glimpse of what you might bring to our community, including  your voice and creativity.

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Before you begin writing:

  • Review the prompt thoroughly. Be sure you’re answering the question or prompt being asked. T opics are chosen because the Admissions Committee wants to know specific things about you. If you don’t address the them directly, we are left to make decisions regarding your application with incomplete information.
  • Consider your response carefully. We understand that you may be writing responses for different schools and you may want to reuse material, but read through your response to make sure the content is relevant to the prompt.
  • Double check your writing. Give yourself time to revisit your response. Do not rush your writing process; create space in your schedule to revise your work. Ultimately, it is up to you to polish your response before you submit.

In your Penn supplemental short answers, be precise when explaining both why you are applying to Penn and why you have chosen to apply to that specific undergraduate school. Some of our specialized programs will have additional essays to complete, but the Penn supplemental prompts should address the single-degree or single-school choice.

2023-24 Short Answer & Essay Prompts

Penn Supplemental Short Answer Prompts (Required)

  • Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!) (150-200 words, only required for first year applicants)
  • How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective, and how your experiences and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)
  • The school-specific prompt will now be unique to the school to which a student is applying. Considering the undergraduate school you have selected, please respond to your school-specific prompt below. (For example, all applicants applying to the College of Arts and Sciences will respond to the prompt under the “College of Arts and Sciences” section).

For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer this question in regard to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay.

Transfer Essay  (required for all transfer applicants): Please explain your reasons for transferring from your current institution and what you hope to gain by transferring to another institution. (4150 characters)

Penn Nursing intends to meet the health needs of society in a global and multicultural world by preparing its students to impact healthcare by advancing science and promoting equity. What do you think this means for the future of nursing, and how do you see yourself contributing to our mission of promoting equity in healthcare? (150-200 words)

To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about Penn Nursing’s mission and how we promote equity in healthcare . This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of our values and how they align with your own goals and aspirations.

The flexible structure of The College of Arts and Sciences’ curriculum is designed to inspire exploration, foster connections, and help you create a path of study through general education courses and a major. What are you curious about and how would you take advantage of opportunities in the arts and sciences? (150-200 words)

To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about the academic offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences .  This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of how the study of the liberal arts aligns with your own goals and aspirations.

Wharton prepares its students to make an impact by applying business methods and economic theory to real-world problems, including economic, political, and social issues.  Please reflect on a current issue of importance to you and share how you hope a Wharton education would help you to explore it.  (150-200 words)

To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about the foundations of a Wharton education . This information will help you better understand what you could learn by studying at Wharton and what you could do afterward.

Penn Engineering prepares its students to become leaders in technology, by combining a strong foundation in the natural sciences and mathematics, exploration in the liberal arts, and depth of study in focused disciplinary majors. Please share how you hope to explore your engineering interests at Penn. (150-200 words)

To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about Penn Engineering and its mission to prepare students for global leadership in technology . This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of academic pathways within Penn Engineering and how they align with your goals and interests.

Coordinated Dual Degree and Specialized Programs Short Answer Prompts

For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer the program-specific essay below.

** Character count that only applies to transfer students applying through Common App.

Why are you interested in the Digital Media Design (DMD) program at the University of Pennsylvania? (400-650 words / 3575 characters**)

The Huntsman Program supports the development of globally minded scholars who become engaged citizens, creative innovators, and ethical leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in the United States and internationally. What draws you to a dual-degree program in business and international studies, and how would you use what you learn to contribute to a global issue where business and international affairs intersect? (400-650 words)

The LSM program aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the life sciences and their management with an eye to identifying, advancing, and implementing innovations. What issues would you want to address using the understanding gained from such a program? Note that this essay should be distinct from your single degree essay. (400-650 words)

  • Explain how you will use the M&T program to explore your interest in business, engineering, and the intersection of the two. (400-650 words)
  • Describe a problem that you solved that showed leadership and creativity. (250 words)

Describe your interests in modern networked information systems and technologies, such as the internet, and their impact on society, whether in terms of economics, communication, or the creation of beneficial content for society. Feel free to draw on examples from your own experiences as a user, developer, or student of technology. (400-650 words / 3575 characters**)

Discuss your interest in nursing and health care management. How might Penn's coordinated dual-degree program in nursing and business help you meet your goals? (400-650 words)

  • Please list any predental or premedical experience. This experience can include but is not limited to observation in a private practice, dental clinic, or hospital setting; dental assisting; dental laboratory work; dental or medical research; etc. Please include time allotted to each activity, dates of attendance, location, and a description of your experience. If you do not have any predental or premedical experience, please indicate what you have done or plan to do in order to explore dentistry as a career.
  • Do you have relatives who are dentists or are in dental school? If so, indicate the name of each relative, his/her relationship to you, the school attended, and the dates attended.
  • Describe any activities which demonstrate your ability to work with your hands.
  • What activities have you performed that demonstrate your ability to work effectively with people?
  • Please explain your reasons for selecting dentistry. Please include what interests you the most about dentistry as well as what interests you least.

How do you envision your participation in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) furthering your interests in energy science and technology? Please include any past experiences (ex. academic, research, or extracurricular) that have led to your interest in the program. Additionally, please indicate why you are interested in pursuing dual degrees in science and engineering and which VIPER majors are most interesting to you at this time. (400-650 words)

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October 19, 2023

Tips for Answering the University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essay Prompts [2023 – 2024]

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The University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, was established in 1790 and is one of the oldest universities in America. This prestigious Ivy League school is known for its top-notch research as well as its undergraduate programs that focus on practical applications grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation. It accepts the Common Application or the Coalition Application and requires a Penn writing supplemental in addition to the general Common/Coalition Application essay. Your supplemental essay helps Penn gain a more holistic view of you as a potential student. The Penn website states, “Our ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin by applying their knowledge in ‘service to society.’” Through your Common Application, the admissions committee is aware of your grades and test scores, and understands the level of rigor in your curriculum within the context of your high school environment. Use the supplemental essay to demonstrate how you are an ideal match for Penn and how Penn will help you to accomplish your life goals. Illustrate how you engage with and think about the world around you. Communicate your thoughts, values, and perspectives so the admissions committee can understand what is important to you!

Penn offers a binding early decision option with a November 1 deadline. Consider this option if Penn is your first choice, because the rate of admission is higher during the early decision round. In addition, if Penn is your top choice and you have any alumni ties, early decision might be the best approach. In the past, candidates with alumni affiliation received the most consideration during the early decision program. Keep in mind, applying to any school via binding early decision will limit when and how you can apply to other schools. You are allowed to apply early decision to Penn and early action to other nonbinding or nonrestrictive early action programs. Always check with the specific schools for guidelines. 

Before you sit down to begin writing your essays, do your research to learn as much as possible about Penn’s approach to education. Familiarize yourself with the unique character of the school, read through the website, get a sense of the campus and academic atmosphere, visit the campus (if possible), speak with students, and imagine yourself studying at Penn. In short, identify what makes the school a good fit for you. 

Penn is located in the city of Philadelphia and offers an exceptional education in a diverse urban setting on a primarily residential campus. Penn provides many opportunities for students to investigate various areas of interest. The availability of learning hubs is an example of how the school fosters the active and dynamic exploration of ideas. Think about how you might embrace this approach and the overall academic climate at Penn.  

It should come as no surprise that Penn is steeped in tradition. Although the curriculum at Penn is flexible, it has a high-quality liberal arts and science foundation. The four undergraduate schools (College of Arts and Science, Penn Engineering, School of Nursing, and The Wharton School) pride themselves on providing an integrated and functional education. The Penn site states that students “combine theoretical and practical thinking while developing the tools they need to innovate and lead in a world that demands an increasingly broad perspective.” Consider how these values will affect your experience at Penn. 

Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!) (150-200 words, only required for first year applicants)

First, consider your overall application to Penn, because you want to shed light on something you have not mentioned in any detail elsewhere. The person you write to should be someone who has had a positive impact on you – on your life, your way of thinking, your identity, your interests, or in any other significant way. This is a short note, so use concise language to explain what you are thanking them for, how what they did (intentionally or not) affected you, and why you are grateful.

How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective, and how your experiences and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)

This prompt is meant to address the interplay of how you might add to and benefit from the extracurricular atmosphere at Penn. How will you participate in the Penn community and contribute to it in meaningful ways? You only have 200 words in which to express what excites you most about the Penn community, provide some insight into how you might engage with it, and reveal how you might both enhance and grow from it based on your individual identity and perspective. Among other things, this prompt provides an opportunity to express your cultural background and unique interests. Consider the diverse population of students and their experiences in light of your own identity and perspectives. 

Also consider the Penn community within the context of the city of Philadelphia. Remember that Penn’s founder, Ben Franklin, was focused on service to society, and that begins with the dynamic community around you and expands from there. Overlay your individual story with the community at Penn. This essay requires you to look at your identity and perspective and to consider the ways in which you mesh with the Penn community. How might it affect you, and likewise, what impact might you have on those around you? What do you bring with you based on your life experience? What might you gain though your potential interactions/opportunities/exchanges with others in the community at Penn?

The school-specific prompt will now be unique to the school to which a student is applying. Considering the undergraduate school you have selected, please respond to your school-specific prompt below. (For example, all applicants applying to the College of Arts and Sciences will respond to the prompt under the “College of Arts and Sciences” section).

For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer this question in regard to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay.

For this response, you will address the school-specific prompt (School of Nursing, College of Arts and Science, The Wharton School, or School or Engineering and Applied Science) in 150-200 words.

Although each prompt is slightly different based on the school to which you are applying, the underlying question is the same: how does Penn support your intellectual and academic interests, and how do your goals align with the specific mission of the school? Do your research into your school of choice. How will it prepare you to achieve your goals? You must demonstrate an understanding of yourself by articulating your personal connection to the program’s mission. Consider why you are a good fit for the undergraduate school (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). What specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities might enhance your journey and help you accomplish your goals? Include examples of how your personal experiences make the program at Penn a good fit for you. How will the opportunities at Penn expand, nurture, and support your interests and aspirations? In closing, remember to address why you are driven to attend the program at Penn and how a Penn education will help you to effect change in the world.

Students applying to dual-degree and specialized programs should address the prompts above in terms of the single-degree school choice in your response. Your interest in the coordinated or specialized program can be addressed in your program-specific essay. 

Note that additional essays are required if you are applying to one of the Coordinated Dual Degree and Specialized Programs offered at Penn. These responses have limits that range from 400 to 650 words. Although these individual prompts are not addressed in detail here, keep in mind that each one asks you to share specific examples and experiences that demonstrate your potential for success, along with your enthusiasm for and attraction to the particular program. These programs are a significant commitment, so you need to convey your genuine dedication. The admissions committee uses your essays to determine whether you will be a good match for the particular dual degree or specialized program to which you seek admission. 

This is a competitive application process, and you are up against an increasingly competitive group of applicants. Although Penn withheld admission rates for the Class of 2027 in an effort to put the focus back on students rather than low admissions rates, it received 59,463 undergraduate applications, and only 2,420 enrolled in the first-year class. If we look back at previous years that had fewer total applicants and similar class sizes, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 is likely in the 4% to 6% range. 

Here are a few more numbers to consider. Over 90% of the students admitted were in the top 10% of their high school class, with an average SAT score of 1535 and an average ACT score of 34.5. Effectively communicating the intangibles through your essays is the best way to differentiate yourself among this prestigious crowd. Use your essay responses to discuss what is meaningful to you, project the value you could add to the campus community, and convey how Penn is the ideal place for you to achieve your dreams for the future.

Take a deep breath, and try not to be intimidated by this process. Start early to allow yourself enough time to thoroughly research, prepare, and complete all aspects of your application. All these components must come together in a compelling way to present you as a highly competitive applicant. Penn is interested in your personal stories, life experiences, hopes, and aspirations. It seeks to attract and foster great thinkers and future leaders who will play constructive roles in society. Take the appropriate time and invest the necessary energy to reveal your best self!

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Marie Todd has been involved in college admissions for more than 20 years. Marie has both counseled applicants to top colleges and evaluated more than 5,000 applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; and Taubman College of Architecture. Want Marie to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch .

Related Resources:

  • Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application Essays
  • Four Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future
  • Three Tips for Parents of Applicants

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University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022

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Not sure how to approach the UPenn essay prompts? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the UPenn supplemental essays will show you exactly how to write engaging UPenn essays and maximize your chances of admission. Need help crafting your UPenn supplemental essays? Create your free  account  or  schedule a free advising consultation  by calling (844) 343-6272.

UPenn  Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • UPenn has an acceptance rate of 5.7%— U.S. News  ranks UPenn as a  highly competitive  school.
  • We recommend answering all UPenn supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully.

Does UPenn Have Supplemental Essays?

Yes. In addition to the main essay prompt that you’ll encounter in the  Common App  or  Coalition App , you’ll also have to answer additional UPenn essays. Both of the required UPenn essays can make a critical difference in admissions.

Need some help writing your Common App essay? Get great tips from our Common App essay  guide .

What are the UPenn Supplemental Essays?

The UPenn supplemental essays 2021-2022 are on the  Common App site . However, you can also visit the  UPenn admissions page  to view the UPenn essay prompts and other application requirements.

How Many Essays does UPenn Require?

There are  two  required UPenn essay prompts on the 2021-2022 Common App. All applicants must complete both UPenn application essays in order to be considered for admission. In addition to the UPenn supplemental essays that all applications must complete, there are additional program-specific essays that we’ll cover below.

As you look at the UPenn essays, however, you’ll also notice that there are several special degree programs with additional UPenn application essays. If you intend to apply to one of these programs, make sure you complete the specific UPenn essays referenced on the UPenn supplemental  essays page .

This guide to the UPenn essay prompts will primarily cover the general UPenn supplemental essays. However, we will walk through the prompts for the program-specific UPenn essays to help you approach them with confidence. You can also use the tips we provide in this guide to help craft your program-specific UPenn application essays.

What does UPenn Look For in Essays?

The point of UPenn supplemental essays is for the admissions officers to get a picture of how you’d fit into UPenn, both academically and socially. Simply put, the UPenn essay prompts are designed to help you show the admissions team who you would be at UPenn.

At the end of the day, the admissions team wants to build a college class full of interesting students from a variety of backgrounds. If your reader can envision how you would fit into this class, your UPenn essays have done their job.

Want to view examples of successful UPenn supplemental essays? Check out our sample UPenn application  essays  written by our advisors who were admitted to UPenn.

How to Write the UPenn Essays:

We have provided the prompts for the 2021-2022 UPenn supplemental essays below. You’ll find a breakdown of how to approach each of the UPenn essays as well as tips for creating an application narrative that will stand out in admissions.

UPenn Supplemental Essays – Question 1 (Required):

Considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected, how will you explore your academic and intellectual interests at the University of Pennsylvania?  For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer these questions in regard to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay. (300-450 words)

At first glance, the prompt for the first of the UPenn supplemental essays may seem long and elaborate. Of the two required UPenn essay prompts, however, this one is arguably more straightforward. Much of the prompt itself clarifies how students applying to a dual-degree or specialized program should approach the question.

With the fluff removed, your first UPenn essay should answer the much simpler question, “How will you explore your academic and intellectual interests at the University of Pennsylvania?” Looking at this simplified prompt for the UPenn supplemental essays, the key elements stand out. The university wants to know more about your academic and personal interests and how UPenn will help you explore them.

Academic vs. intellectual

Remember, this UPenn essay prompt breaks interests down into two components: academic and intellectual. It may be tempting to conflate these categories. However, this separation gives us insight into how to write the UPenn essays. In evaluating your UPenn supplemental essays, the admissions team wants to see that you prioritize intellectual engagement both inside and outside of the classroom.

As you approach this UPenn essay, compile a list of your interests. Sort out the interests which best show your curiosity, and then categorize them into academic and non-academic. Familiarize yourself with UPenn’s  degrees  and  course  offerings, and then see when your interests—academic and intellectual—accord with UPenn’s resources.

For example, you may plan to study music but have always had a passion for forensics. Use this space to talk about how you’d like to take UPenn’s forensic analysis course.  You may be an American history buff who awaits opportunities for exploration offered by the school’s location in Philadelphia. If there’s a course that will also deepen your understanding of American history, even better! Essentially, this UPenn essay prompt asks you to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and can articulate concrete examples of how UPenn will help you pursue your interests. Remember to draw your readers in with an opening anecdote or story. In fact, when approaching UPenn supplemental essays, remember that how you write about your topic is nearly as important as what you’re writing about.

Be specific

UPenn application essays value quality over quantity and specificity over generality. For example, don’t simply state that you want to take a political science course. Instead, describe a specific course and professor from UPenn’s class roster. Then, include an explanation of how you see yourself learning better in this situation than anywhere else. This prompt grants a generous 450 words, so you have room to be descriptive.

Finally, keep in mind that the prompt asks you to “[consider] the specific undergraduate school you have selected.” While a student applying to the  School of Engineering and Applied Science  (also known as Penn Engineering) and one applying to the  Wharton School  will both describe their passions in their UPenn supplemental essays, the passions that they illustrate should almost certainly be different. That is, make sure your prospective major accords with the rest of your application.

“Why Upenn”

In your UPenn application essay, you essentially want to determine what makes your target school right for you and communicate this to your readers. After completing the UPenn essay prompts, perform a simple test to ensure your essay meets its goals. If you can replace “UPenn” with another school and your essay still makes sense, then you haven’t been specific enough. UPenn supplemental essays should be highly specific to the school. Demonstrated interest, or your ability to show how interested you are in attending the school you’re apply to, is a key part of the application process.

UPenn Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your essay distinguish between academic and intellectual interests?
  • Do you tailor your response to the specific undergraduate school you are applying to?
  • Does your essay mention specific courses, regional attractions, professors, etc. only available at UPenn?

UPenn Supplemental Essays – Question 2 (Required):

At Penn, learning and growth happen outside of the classrooms, too. How will you explore the community at Penn? Consider how this community will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape this community. (150-200 words)

Of the two required UPenn supplemental essays, this is the shorter–both in delivery and word limit. However, the lower word limit doesn’t make this UPenn essay prompt less consequential. This UPenn essay is just as important as the other UPenn application essays, if not more.

While the first of the UPenn supplemental essays evaluates each prospective student’s intellectual life, the second one gauges each student’s community involvement. Like the other Ivy League institutions, UPenn prioritizes collective learning and engagement with peers. The admissions team hopes that each student will build a sense of community at UPenn–whether that be by joining or creating a club, participating in  school traditions , or otherwise engaging in UPenn’s various offerings. To that end, this UPenn essay serves as an opportunity for you to convey your identities in relation to the UPenn community.

Define community

Like the first UPenn essay, you can approach this UPenn essay prompt in a variety of ways. For instance, you could focus on the school’s location by speaking about the unique culture and history that Philadelphia offers. Successful UPenn supplemental essays may also discuss the school itself, focusing on specific organizations on campus.

Be sure to thoroughly research your UPenn application essays. Don’t just say you hope to join a theater organization. Instead, mention the name of the school’s thespian club (in UPenn’s case,  Quadramics Theatre Co. ). Look at UPenn’s  listings of groups and organizations  before writing, and highlight any organizations that you find appealing.

While you should use your UPenn essay prompts to tell a story about yourself, you should also use these UPenn application essays to discuss interests that don’t appear elsewhere in your application. After all, there are only so many ways to say, “I have a burning love for every possible form of mathematics.” If you’ve already addressed your primary interest in one of the other UPenn supplemental essays, you might choose to focus on a secondary passion in the second essay. In general, UPenn application essays should present a cohesive picture of you as a student and person, not a repetitive one.

Note that this UPenn essay asks how you will grow at UPenn as well as how you will influence the community around you. UPenn does not want a static student. Instead, they want you to actively contribute to your circles while learning from others around you.

Show growth

In your UPenn essay, showcase specific opportunities to learn and grow at UPenn and specify why those opportunities would promote your development. For example, one student might say, “Through Asians for Justice, I can explore my intersectional identity as an Asian American woman and further advocate for social justice initiatives.” This response shows how you hope to be informed by your peers while also clarifying how you hope to make a change in your community. The admissions officers reading UPenn supplemental essays are looking for strong and unique perspectives. Thinking about your definition of community, and how that may evolve during your four years at UPenn can be a helpful place to start.

  • Does this essay cover new ground from your first essay?
  • Do you reference specific facets of the UPenn community that you hope to participate in?
  • Do you explain how you will learn and grow at UPenn?

Program-Specific UPenn Supplemental Essays (Required, if applying to a specialized program):

Dmd: digital media design program.

Why are you interested in the Digital Media Design (DMD) program at the University of Pennsylvania? (400-650 words / 3575 characters)

Huntsman: The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business

The Huntsman Program supports the development of globally-minded scholars who become engaged citizens, creative innovators, and ethical leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in the United States and internationally. What draws you to a dual-degree program in business and international studies, and how would you use what you learn to make a contribution to a global issue where business and international affairs intersect? (400-650 words)

Interested in applying to the Huntsman Program? This extremely competitive program only admits about 50 students each year. Consequently, the admissions officers are on the lookout for UPenn supplemental essays that stand out from the crowd. Our CollegeAdvisor guide for the Huntsman Program includes tips and an essay example breakdown from an Admissions Expert who was admitted to the program!

LSM: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management

The LSM program aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the life sciences and their management with an eye to identifying, advancing and implementing innovations. What issues would you want to address using the understanding gained from such a program? Note that this essay should be distinct from your single degree essay. (400-650 words)

M&T: The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology

Explain how you will use the M&T program to explore your interest in business, engineering, and the intersection of the two. (400-650 words)
Describe a problem that you solved that showed leadership and creativity. (250 words)

NETS: The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering

Describe your interests in modern networked information systems and technologies, such as the internet, and their impact on society, whether in terms of economics, communication, or the creation of beneficial content for society. Feel free to draw on examples from your own experiences as a user, developer, or student of technology. (400-650 words / 3575 characters)

NHCM: Nursing and Healthcare Management

Discuss your interest in nursing and health care management. How might Penn’s coordinated dual-degree program in nursing and business help you meet your goals? (400-650 words)

Seven-Year Bio-Dental Program

Please list pre-dental or pre-medical experience. This experience can include, but is not limited to, observation in a private practice, dental clinic, or hospital setting, dental assisting, dental laboratory work, dental or medical research, etc. Please include time allotted to each activity, dates of attendance, location, and description of your experience. If you do not have any pre-dental or pre-medical experience, please indicate what you have done that led you to your decision to enter dentistry.
List any activities which demonstrate your ability to work with your hands.
What activities have you performed that demonstrate your ability to work cooperatively with people?
Please explain your reasons for selecting a career in dentistry. Please include what interests you the most in dentistry as well as what interests you the least.
Do you have relatives who are dentists or are in dental school? If so, indicate the name of each relative, his/her relationship to you, the school attended, and the dates attended.
Please note that there is a 250 word limit for the Bio-Dental Program supplemental essays.

VIPER: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research

How do you envision your participation in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) furthering your interests in energy science and technology? Please include any past experiences (ex. academic, research, or extracurricular) that have led to your interest in the program. Additionally, please indicate why you are interested in pursuing dual degrees in science and engineering and which VIPER majors are most interesting to you at this time. (400-650 words)

If you choose to apply for one of the specialized programs above, you must respond to the aforementioned UPenn application essays along with the additional, program-specific UPenn essay.

For these UPenn essay prompts, make sure you reference internships, research programs, clubs, or other experiences that specifically drew you to your chosen program. These programs are highly selective, so demonstrated interest is important.

These UPenn essay prompts are not unlike the ones you’ve already completed! Essentially, all of the program-specific UPenn essay prompts ask you to describe why you’re drawn to the program to which you are applying.

Answering these UPenn application essays requires a two-step approach. Firstly, explain why you’re interested in the program. Take Huntsman, for example, you’ll want to begin your response by describing how your involvement in Future Business Leaders of America has sparked your interest in business and international affairs. Secondly, the best answers to these program-specific UPenn supplemental essays will illustrate how the student’s program program of interest will help them develop personally and professionally. Do your research  —  whether it’s by speaking to students, reading The Daily Pennsylvanian, or simply browsing through the site  —  and highlight specific facets of your chosen program that will allow you to develop your interests.

Program-specific UPenn Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Have you referenced internships, research programs, clubs, or other past experiences?
  • Do you extensively convey your expertise and interest in your chosen program?
  • Does your essay draft show that you’ve done your research on your chosen program?

UPenn Supplemental Essays – Final Thoughts:

Completing the UPenn supplemental essays can seem daunting, but don’t let them discourage you from applying. Instead, view these UPenn essays as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions team.

For more information on UPenn’s application and the UPenn supplemental essays, you can view this video from their admissions team:

In fact, this  UPenn YouTube  playlist on admissions should be bookmarked by any students looking to attend. Hearing tips, straight from the university on how to approach elements of the application is a great way to clear up confusion and provide guidance if you’re stumped.

You can also check out our free webinar on UPenn, which was led by two current UPenn students. In this webinar, they discuss the ins and outs of attending the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an in-depth look at the admissions process.

When approaching the UPenn supplemental essays, remember to give them the time and attention that they deserve. A well-written set of UPenn essay prompts can work in your favor. Use this UPenn supplemental essays guide, as well as our UPenn essay examples to help you approach each of the UPenn application essays with a solid strategy and enough time to draft and revise each of your answers to the UPenn essay prompts. Good luck!

This 2021-2022 essay guide was written by  Juliana Furigay , Columbia ‘23. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on UPenn, click  here . Want help crafting your UPenn supplemental essays? Create your free  account  or  schedule a no-cost advising consultation  by calling (844) 343-6272.

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College Majors Quiz: What Should I Major In?

Picking a major can be intimidating. With so many fields out there, how do you know which one is best for you? Which one will make you feel fulfilled, help you earn enough money, and suit your preferences? This short, easy quiz will give you guidance on potential fields to explore.

Once you have your results, check out the links below for more info on your best-match majors!

Click the link to jump to resources about your best-fit major, plus more specific suggestions on fields of study.

Engineering

Hard sciences, liberal arts, math/stats/computer science, social sciences.

You have a creative talent and want a career that gives you freedom. You are okay with having a less-competitive salary as long as you feel fulfilled.

Consider these fields: Visual arts, Digital arts, Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Art History, Theater, Dance, and Music.

  • Should You Major in Film?
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You're great with people and have a strategic mind. This field is ideal for those who don't mind getting in the weeds of numbers and analytics, but still want ample face-to-face interaction and ever-changing projects.

Consider these fields: Marketing, Business, Administration, Finance, and Sales.

  • Should You Major in Business?
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You want an active career with the ability to make a big impact on others. You enjoy learning and sharing knowledge with others. Consider becoming a teacher, counselor, or school administrator.

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You can take theoretical concepts and apply them to real-world situations. You want to use your technical knowledge to solve problems and make a difference.

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You enjoy finding answers to questions and doing hands-on work with others. Hard Sciences majors can expect to have lecture-style courses and many labs. After college, they often enjoy lucrative careers.

Consider these fields: Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Biology, Neuroscience, Environmental Science.

  • Best Colleges for Chemistry
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You want to help others improve their lives. You have no problem working under pressure, are comfortable with science/math, and have great communication skills. If you go the doctor or dentist route, you should expect to take on a substantial amount of debt, but this will be rewarded with a lucrative salary later on.

Consider these paths: Athletic Training, Nursing, Nutrition, Public Health, Pre-Dental track, Pre-Med track.

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Other Health Fields

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You have a broad range of interests, love reading/writing, and want your classes involve engaging discussions.

Consider these majors: English, Religion, History, Languages, Gender Studies, Philosophy.

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You have an analytical mind and enjoy finding solutions to problems. You're very comfortable with numbers and abstract concepts. Math/Stats/CS majors often enjoy lucrative careers in traditional office settings, startups, or academia. You can expect to collaborate with others on homework and work projects, though you should also be comfortable doing individual work

Computer Science

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You want to understand how society works and what we can do to improve it. You're good with people, but also don't mind numbers/data, especially when they provide you with insights for your work.

Consider these fields: Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Criminology, Pre-Law track.

  • Should You Major in Psychology?
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Political Science

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  1. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

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  2. UPenn Supplemental Essay Examples: Breakdown and Analysis

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  3. Guide to College Essays

    upenn supplemental essays collegevine

  4. Reading The Essays That Got Me Into Penn

    upenn supplemental essays collegevine

  5. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays

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  6. How to Get Into UPenn: Requirements + Strategies (2023)

    upenn supplemental essays collegevine

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  1. What did Upenn students write their Common App essays about?

  2. Significant Post Graduate Students Research

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

    1.0. 4.0. CollegeVine College Essay Team August 26, 2023 38 Essay Guides 2023-24, University of Pennsylvania. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2023-2024. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is one of America's eight Ivy League institutions. Its beautiful campus features unique red-and-green-brick ...

  2. 7 Strong UPenn Essay Examples

    You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn't genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. Read our UPenn essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year's supplemental prompts. Essay Example #1: Why Major

  3. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2019-2020

    First, read all of the prompts. Star the one to which you think you have the strongest answer. For example, maybe you are great at cooperating with others. Or, maybe your reason for practicing dentistry makes for a great story. Write your answer to the starred question first, then spend the most time revising it.

  4. 4 Tips for Writing the Supplemental Essays for UPenn

    The University of Pennsylvania's (UPenn) three supplemental short answer prompts are significantly important to their admissions decisions. Below are some tips that will help you make the most of your 200 word count per prompt. For more information on UPenn's supplemental prompts, essays, and writing dos and don'ts, check out our post on how to write UPenn's supplemental essays.

  5. What is UPenn Looking for in the Supplemental Essays?

    Major & Career Goals. In this post, we will discuss what the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is looking for in your answers to its supplemental essay questions. It covers the importance of being authentic and tailoring your answers to show how you will be a good fit for their school. For more information on writing UPenn's supplemental ...

  6. How You Should Think About Writing your UPenn Essays

    The Supplemental Essay Prompts for UPenn The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) requires its applicants to submit a personal essay, most frequently through the Common Application, and three supplemental essays in addition. There are additional supplemental essays that are required for some applicants, such as those for particular programs or transferring from another school.

  7. How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

    Moriah Kofsky, a recent graduate of UPenn, will provide an in-depth breakdown of each of the UPenn essay prompts, discussing how to write a great essay in response to each one. He'll also share his take on the essays and topics you shouldn't write about for each prompt. Finally, he'll open up the floor for a Q&A session, where he'll answer any ...

  8. Writing UPenn's Supplemental Essays

    When attacking UPenn's supplemental essays, it's key to go beyond the superficial facts that anyone could find on their website or brochure. Begin by reflecting deeply on what draws you to UPenn specifically. Think about the aspects of your intended program that align with your academic interests, career goals, or personal values. Then connect these to your past experiences and future aspirations.

  9. How to Write the Community Essay for UPenn

    In truth, this supplemental essay may be the trickiest of the three UPenn essays to write. This is because you have to address both parts of the prompt, how UPenn is going to shape your perspective or identity, and how your identity and perspective will shape UPenn, all within just 200 words. There are a few useful tactics that you can employ ...

  10. University of Pennsylvania

    Huntsman Program Essay. Required. 650 Words. The Huntsman Program supports the development of globally-minded scholars who become engaged citizens, creative innovators, and ethical leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in the United States and internationally. What draws you to a dual-degree in business and international ...

  11. Essays

    Essays. The Penn application process includes a personal essay as well as supplemental short answer prompts. We read your words carefully, as they are yet another window into how you think, what you value, and how you see the world. Through your writing, we get a glimpse of what you might bring to our community, including your voice and creativity.

  12. How to Write the University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essays

    Step #1: Do your research. Spend 1 hr+ researching 10+ reasons why UPenn might be a great fit for you (ideally 3-5 of the reasons will be close to unique to UPenn AND connect back to you). Step #2: Use this chart to map out your research. Step #3: Decide on your approach.

  13. Guide to UPenn Supplemental Essay

    The Ultimate Guide to Writing the UPenn Supplemental Essays. The UPenn supplemental essays are an understandable cause of stress for many high school students who are eager to attend this esteemed university. While much of the application will focus on test scores, course grades, and some extracurricular activities, the UPenn supplemental essays are really the best chance you have for standing ...

  14. Answering the University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essays

    It accepts the Common Application or the Coalition Application and requires a Penn writing supplemental in addition to the general Common/Coalition Application essay. Your supplemental essay helps Penn gain a more holistic view of you as a potential student. The Penn website states, "Our ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder ...

  15. College Essay Guides

    The point of UPenn supplemental essays is for the admissions officers to get a picture of how you'd fit into UPenn, both academically and socially. Simply put, the UPenn essay prompts are designed to help you show the admissions team who you would be at UPenn. At the end of the day, the admissions team wants to build a college class full of ...

  16. 2,000+ College Essay Prompts for 2023-24 and How-To Guides

    Latest essay prompts. for the top 100 schools. At CollegeVine, our goal is to make the college application process a little less stressful, so we've compiled the latest essay prompts for the top 100 schools in one easy, searchable database. Also, every year we create free guides on " How to Write X School's Essays " for the top 100 schools.

  17. Essay Reviews

    I will read and edit your supplemental essays together (some schools offer 2 - 4 supplemental essays) and give necessary edits and comments. ... in addition to her work with CollegeVine. She is currently based in New York City. ... Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, UPenn, Duke, Northwestern and Williams College, and specializes in elite university ...

  18. College Majors Quiz: What Should I Major In?

    Lily Fang is the Content Manager at CollegeVine and an alum of Amherst College. In her spare time, she trains for marathons and blogs about sustainability, running, and travel. ... How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays 2021-2022. Essay Guides 2021-22, University of Pennsylvania. How to Spin Your High School Job Into an Impressive ...