Tulane University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

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Tulane University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why , Community

Tulane has kept it simple with its classic supplemental question, so we’ll make this introduction brief. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a straightforward supplement is a demand for perfection.  

Describe why you are interested in joining the Tulane community. Consider your experiences, talents, and values to illustrate what you would contribute to the Tulane community if admitted.

This statement should be 250 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. we strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. while submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so..

This question is a blend of the Why Essay and the Community Essay. Admissions wants to know not only why you’re interested in joining the Tulane community, but also what you will, in turn, contribute to the community should you be admitted. Now’s the time to do some research and paint a picture of what your life would be like as a Tulane student. In other words, show off your fit! Maybe you’ve been a researcher since you were a little kid, devouring books and documentaries about your favorite subjects. What excites you about attending a university that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching ranked in the top 2% nationwide for research activity? Once you’ve answered the first part of the prompt, focus on what kind of impact you want to have on Tulane’s campus. Whether you hope to bring your teamwork skills to a club sport or your leadership skills to a volunteer organization dear to your heart, be sure to tell admissions the kind of story that shows their student body will be incomplete without you.

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Tulane Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Tips

September 11, 2023

tulane supplemental essays

If you blinked at some point during the 2010s, you may have missed Tulane’s meteoric rise in selectivity that resulted in a 13% acceptance rate for the Class of 2027. However, today, this mid-size private research university in New Orleans is among the most selective schools in the country. The average incoming freshman possesses 95th percentile standardized test scores and a strong academic transcript. This brings us to the topic of this blog — the Tulane supplemental essays for 2023-24.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Tulane? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into Tulane University: Admissions Data and Strategies  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

When applying to an institution like Tulane that rejects nine of every ten applicants, you’ll need to put maximum effort into every area of the application, including the supplemental essay. Below is Tulane University’s supplemental prompt for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing a winning essay.

Tulane Supplemental Essay 2023-24

Describe why you are interested in joining the Tulane community. Consider your experiences, talents, and values to illustrate what you would contribute to the Tulane community if admitted.

This statement should be 250 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so.

Tulane is inviting you to share more about your experiences, talents, and/or values through the lens of how that will impact your experience at the university. Take note of the wide-open nature of this prompt. You are essentially invited to talk about any of the following topics:

Tulane Supplemental Essays (Continued)

  • A perspective/value you hold
  • An experience/challenge you had
  • A community you belong to
  • Your cultural background
  • Your religious background
  • Your family background
  • Your sexual orientation or gender identity
  • A particular talent/skill

Although this prompt’s open floor plan may feel daunting, a good tactic is to first consider what has already been communicated within your Common App personal statement and activities list. What important aspect(s) of yourself have not been shared (or sufficiently discussed)?

You’ll then need to discuss how your experiences, talents, and/or values will influence your distinct contributions to Tulane’s community. Further, you’ll need to explain why you’re interested in joining that community in particular. We’d recommend being as specific as possible.

For example, given your visual arts background, perhaps you’re excited about contributing to and learning within Tulane’s thriving arts scene, including the NOLA Through Visual Culture interdisciplinary experience course and Tulane Art Club . Or, perhaps your experience fighting food insecurity in your community has made you interested in Tulane’s Food Recovery Network, and you hope to contribute to Tulane’s community service-centric culture and values .

To that end, be sure you address how you will take advantage of Tulane’s immense resources both inside and/or outside of the classroom by citing specific academic programs , professors , research opportunities , service learning , study abroad programs , student-run organizations , etc.

How important are the Tulane supplemental essays?

Tulane lists four factors as being “very important” to the admissions committee: GPA, standardized test scores, class rank, and the rigor of your secondary school record. The Common App and supplemental essays are “important”.

Want personalized assistance?

Interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Tulane supplemental essays? We encourage you to get a quote  today.

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Tulane Essay Guide: 2022-2023

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Tulane Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • Tulane acceptance rate : 10% — U.S. News ranks Tulane as a highly competitive school.
  • In U.S. News list of National Universities Tulane University ranking is #44.
  • Common App essay
  • 2 (50-500 words) optional essays
  • 1 (250-word) extracurricular essay
  • Tulane application note: Students can apply via the Common App or Tulane’s online application .
  • #1 Tulane Essay Tip: Though each Tulane supplemental essay is “optional,” think of them as required. We recommend giving yourself plenty of time to answer each Tulane supplemental essay comprehensively and thoughtfully in order to stand out to Tulane admissions. 

What are Tulane’s supplemental essays?

Each Tulane essay for the 2022-2023 application cycle is posted on the Common App site . The Tulane supplemental essays asks you to discuss your experiences, background, and reasons for applying to Tulane.

Think of the Tulane supplemental essays as an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are beyond what you already wrote in your Common App personal statement . Successful Tulane essays will present a clear, cohesive, yet dynamic picture of who you are.

Tulane Supplemental Essay Requirements

Your Common App essay is a key part of your Tulane application. Tulane requires students to respond to the Common App essay prompt essays. 

Beyond the Common App essay, you’ll find three Tulane supplemental essays that are all optional this year. However, we recommend that you complete each Tulane supplemental essay to maximize your Tulane admissions odds, especially given the low Tulane University acceptance rate. Think of each Tulane essay prompt as a required part of the Tulane supplemental materials. 

Remember, Tulane also receives your personal statement submitted through the Common App or the online Tulane application. This means that you will submit your Tulane essays as well as your Common App essay.

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

How many essays are required for Tulane?

tulane essay

There are three optional Tulane essays. This year, each Tulane supplemental essay is technically optional. However, hopeful applicants should consider them all required. One Tulane essay prompt asks you to write a “Why Tulane” essay, another asks you to discuss your diverse perspective, and the third asks you to elaborate on an extracurricular experience.

In short, students are only required to complete the Common App essay in their Tulane application; all three supplemental essays are optional.

In addition, consider each “optional” Tulane essay a vital part of the Tulane supplemental materials. Tulane admissions is extremely selective. Hopeful applicants should think of every Tulane supplemental essay as an opportunity to impress Tulane admissions. While each Tulane essay isn’t technically a part of the Tulane application requirements, they still can make a huge difference in the Tulane admissions process. 

The Tulane University acceptance rate is relatively low (just 10%), so each Tulane essay can help you stand out . With so many hopeful applicants, you need to do everything possible to present yourself as a dynamic, serious, and motivated student. Competitive applicants will treat each Tulane essay as a required and important part of the Tulane application process. 

Tulane essay #1: “Why Tulane” Essay 

Please describe why you are interested in attending tulane university (up to 500 words)..

This Why Tulane essay is a classic type of essay. You may wonder whether you should write the Why Tulane essay since it’s listed as optional. However, if you are serious about being admitted, you should consider the Why Tulane essay a required part of your application. The word limit is as vague as it gets, so we recommend 300-500 words. Your Why Tulane essay will be more effective if it is focused and concise instead of long and rambling.

An effective Why Tulane essay will think beyond the Tulane University acceptance rate and Tulane University ranking. Though these factors feel important, they do not ultimately relate to your application. When answering this Why Tulane essay, don’t just write about why you want to attend Tulane. Think of this Why Tulane essay as a “why fit” essay. Your college experience is a two-way street; you will both contribute to and benefit from the Tulane community.

Successful Tulane supplemental essays will reflect the mission and key values of the school—a strong research institution with a tight-knit campus community and small class sizes. In your Tulane essays, capture the essence of Tulane’s demanding academics and community engagement.


tulane essay

If you are committed to serving others, Tulane is an excellent place for you—and this “Why Tulane” essay is a perfect opportunity to discuss your commitment. The school has many opportunities to explore service learning courses , service research projects , and service abroad .

When writing your Why Tulane essay, be specific about classes you want to take, research opportunities you want to pursue, clubs you want to join, and places you want to serve. Successful Tulane supplemental essays will take these a step further, however. Don’t just name-drop. Instead, connect them to your experiences and goals.

Strong “Why Tulane” essays will incorporate some or all of the following questions: How and why will you choose to spend your time at Tulane? In what ways will your involvement help you pursue your major ? How will the ways you spend your time light up your curiosity to learn? How will they spur you forward in your career? In your Why Tulane essay, describe specifically how Tulane’s offerings will help you succeed.

Make it personal

Avoid cliché phrases, generalizing, and overly emotional appeals. Don’t discuss traditions that are too well-known or frequently written about, either. Instead, make it personal. Perhaps you attended a campus tour that left an impression on you or you attended a webinar that inspired you to apply. Mention these specific and personal connections to Tulane in your essay. What put Tulane at the top of your college list ?

This essay prompt is so broad that you have lots of freedom. Make sure to discuss both academic and non-academic reasons for applying to Tulane. No one expects you to have your future fully planned when writing the Why Tulane essay. However, the admissions team does want to see that you can articulate a genuine plan based on your interests and goals.

For each Tulane essay, brainstorm , research, outline, draft, and proofread before submitting. Your Tulane essays should represent your best content and writing ability.

Tulane Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your essay highlight why you would succeed at Tulane specifically?
  • Is your Why Tulane essay both specific and personal?
  • Does your essay “show” instead of “tell” through vivid details?
  • Do you clearly and concisely write your response to the Why Tulane essay prompt?

Tulane Essay # 2: Diverse perspectives essay

Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. if you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here. (up to 500 words).

This Tulane essay prompt, like the Tulane why school essay, is also optional. However, we strongly recommend that you complete it to maximize your chances against the lower-than-average Tulane acceptance rate. 

By explaining a specific perspective that has shaped your background , your response to this Tulane essay prompt will enhance your application. The prompt provides several suggestions for perspectives—family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, or religious group—but also allows for others.

Does something on this list resonate with your identity? What makes you stand out among your peers? Do you have a special hobby or interest? Are you soon to be a first-generation college student ? Did you take a meaningful gap year ? What else have you not shared about yourself with Tulane? Ultimately, how can your response to this Tulane essay prompt illuminate who you are?

Since there are only three Tulane supplemental essays, you’re bound to have some part of your identity you haven’t yet shared with admissions. Rather than thinking of this Tulane essay prompt as another box to check, think of it as another opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are. Successful Tulane supplemental essays will delve into diverse perspectives you haven’t discussed elsewhere in your application.

When answering this Tulane essay prompt, you may have trouble being personal and specific when others share your identity. The most effective Tulane essays will make a broader identity unique to you by telling a compelling story and detailing how your identity has impacted your own life.

  • Does your response to the Tulane essay prompt highlight something that you have not discussed elsewhere on your application?
  • Is your Tulane supplemental essay personal and specific?
  • Do you tell a compelling story about who you are for this Tulane essay prompt?

Tulane Essay #3: Extracurricular essay

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words).

Choosing a topic for this Tulane essay prompt can feel overwhelming. Brainstorm several ideas before selecting one. Most strong Tulane applicants will have many options to choose from when responding to this Tulane essay prompt.

The most successful Tulane supplemental essays will be well-written and unique. You don’t have to write about the activity that you are most involved in, especially if you already discussed that activity in your Common App personal statement . Just make sure that the activity you choose matters to you.

Focus on impact

Effective Tulane essays will discuss why you chose to get involved in your activity or work experience , how you have dedicated yourself to it, and how this activity has impacted your community, growth, and character. As you address these questions, focus primarily on impact. What did you do, why did you do it, and what was the result? Choose the experience where you have made the biggest difference when writing your Tulane supplemental essays.

This Tulane essay prompt is quite straightforward but like some of the other Tulane essays it is very broad. You have the freedom to tell your story to the admissions committee. The best Tulane supplemental essays will either focus on one experience—one conversation, one interaction, one day—or discuss your involvement in an activity over time. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your response to this Tulane essay prompt will be.

Tell your story

When answering this Tulane essay prompt (and all others), be vivid in your storytelling. Instead of just stating what happened in your Tulane supplemental essays, use specific examples and descriptions. Be vivid without being wordy—successful Tulane supplemental essays will be concise. You only have 250 words, so don’t be too long-winded when answering this Tulane essay prompt.

Most importantly, include the “So what?” in your Tulane supplemental essays. While you should outline what you did, you should spend most of your Tulane essay describing why your actions mattered. What skills can you highlight? How did your mindset shift? What values does this activity reveal about who you are? Ultimately, why did you choose to tell this story instead of another?

  • Is your response to this Tulane essay prompt original and personal?
  • Did you select a topic that is interesting and important to you?
  • Does your Tulane essay focus on your growth, skills, and values?
  • Do you avoid repeating content that has already been discussed in your Tulane application?

How do I write the Tulane supplemental essays?

The admissions team evaluates your Tulane supplemental essays for both content and writing ability. So, what you choose to write about for your Tulane essays matters as much as your writing skill. Proofread your Tulane essays for all grammatical and syntactical errors. Finally, remember to review your essay for the message it sends to the admissions committee.

With three Tulane supplemental essays, you have plenty of freedom to explore different parts of your identity. Consider your application as a whole package. Each of your Tulane supplemental essays should provide a new and deeper window into who you are.

It may feel overwhelming to complete three Tulane supplemental essays. However, if you give yourself adequate time to plan, draft, and revise your Tulane essays, you can eliminate much of the stress in the application process. 

Additional tips for “Why School” essays

The why school essay is one of the most common types of essays that you will see during the college application process. The why school essay basically asks students to elaborate on why they want to attend that specific university. In a why school essay, students should be specific. 

In a why school essay, you can talk about the Tulane-specific programs that have caught your interest. Or you could discuss what clubs you would get involved in on campus. Alternatively, you may want to incorporate specific values and missions of the university. How do you personally resonate with that mission? What will you gain from attending that school? And what would you bring to its campus? 

Top 4 tips for writing a great “Why School” essay: 

#1 – brainstorm.

For each school that requires a why school essay, start by looking at the specific offerings. Write down what you like and would participate in. 

#2 – Demonstrate your passion

Use your brainstorming list to decide what you want to write about. You should talk about the programs or extracurriculars unique to your school that most excite you. What makes you want to apply?

#3 – The more detail the better

Remember that being general or vague in a why school essay is the kiss of death. It won’t impress Tulane admissions, or any other admissions committee. Elaborate on what interests you (unique to that school) and why. You can also mention specific professors, counselors, etc. 

#4 – Demonstrate “fit”

You want to use your why school essay to say what makes you want to attend, but you also need to show that you would be a great fit for the university. Why should you be selected out of the large pool of applicants trying to impress Tulane admissions? What will you bring to campus? And how will you carry your Tulane education into the future?

How important are Tulane’s supplemental essays?

tulane essay

The Tulane acceptance rate is just 10%. The slim Tulane acceptance rate comes from the school’s widespread acclaim. Given the low Tulane acceptance rate, the high Tulane University ranking, and the school’s holistic admissions approach, your Tulane essays can make a major difference. Your essays can strongly influence your admissions results and your chances at beating low acceptance rates .

You should approach each of the three Tulane supplemental essays with thought and care. In your response to each Tulane essay prompt, you have an opportunity to highlight different aspects of your Tulane application. Consider each Tulane essay as another one of the Tulane application requirements. 

There are several key elements of your application that you must submit in addition to your Tulane supplemental essays in order to meet the Tulane application requirements. Read the complete checklist to make sure you have everything you need. You’ll notice that Tulane admissions has gone test optional another year. This makes your essays even more important. While many students will have impressive test scores, GPAs, etc., you should use your Tulane essays to help you stand out from the pack.

Check out these college essay examples to see what makes a successful college essay. 

Five tips to make your Tulane essays stand out

Writing each Tulane essay may seem overwhelming. You may even be tempted to not add them to your Tulane supplemental materials as they technically aren’t part of the Tulane application requirements. However, that would be a huge mistake when it comes to your admissions odds. Competitive Tulane applicants need to consider each Tulane essay as “required.”

Five more tips for your Tulane supplemental essays: 

#1 – start early.

Give yourself ample time to complete each Tulane essay. In your writing process, leave plenty of time to brainstorm, draft, outline, and edit your Tulane supplemental essays. The Regular Decision deadline for Tulane is on January 15th.

#2 – Be authentic

Make it your goal to write unique and compelling Tulane essays that tell your authentic story. Your Tulane essay shouldn’t be able to pass as anyone else’s. Before submitting, reread your application and proofread your Tulane supplemental essays to make sure it truly shows who you are.

#3 – Show passion

Each Tulane essay should show your passion for the school. Don’t fake it. After brainstorming topics, choose to write on what got you genuinely excited about attending. Be sure to be specific and not vague in each Tulane essay. 

#4 – Ignore stats

When writing each Tulane essay, don’t get hung up on factors like the Tulane University acceptance rate or the Tulane University ranking. At the end of the day, focus on why Tulane is the school for you, and use your application to show the admissions team why.

# 5 – Invest time in the Why Tulane essay

The why school essay is extremely important to Tulane admissions when evaluating applicants. Make sure your application shows that you’re genuinely interested in attending Tulane. Even if the Tulane University ranking initially helped you learn about the school, you should focus on Tulane’s specific offerings in your Tulane supplemental essays

Tulane Supplemental Essays — Final Thoughts

In your Tulane supplemental essays, show the admissions committee who you are as a person, student, and community member. Research Tulane so you can write the most tailored and specific Tulane supplemental essays. Choose topics for each Tulane essay that genuinely get you excited about attending. 

Remember that the Tulane application requirements include the Common App essay prompts. Leave yourself plenty of time to write thoughtful responses to not only each Tulane essay, but to each Common App essay as well. Every Common App essay and Tulane essay is another opportunity to impress Tulane admissions. 

You can also visit resources like the Tulane University admissions blog . There, you’ll find Q&As from the Ask the Dean event and other helpful information for applicants. There is not one successful type of Tulane student, so be yourself in your Tulane supplemental essays. Good luck!

tulane essay requirements

Still not sure how to approach the Tulane essay? For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources, click he r e . Want help crafting your Tulane University supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a complimentary advising consultation online .

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tulane essay requirements

How to Write the Tulane University Essays 2023-2024

Every year, Tulane attracts tens of thousands of applicants with its world-class academics in the heart of New Orleans—did we mention the school closes to celebrate Mardi Gras?! With so many applicants vying for a spot, you’ll need more than just good grades to get into Tulane. You’ll need to have strong essays as well.

That’s where we come in. In this post, we’ll go over our tips and strategies for writing the Tulane supplemental essay to help you write an essay that will boost your chances of admission.

Read these Tulane essay examples to inspire your writing.

Tulane University Supplemental Essay Prompt

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Describe why you are interested in joining the Tulane community. Consider your experiences, talents, and values to illustrate what you would contribute to the Tulane community if admitted. This statement should be 250 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so. (250 words)


As the prompt states, this essay is technically optional, but chances are most applicants will be submitting an essay so you should too. After all, it’s only 250 words so it’s not terribly time-consuming, and it’s the only way for admissions officers to hear directly from you about your interest in Tulane.

The essay should follow a traditional “ Why This College? ” structure where you talk about your interests or goals and connect them to academic and extracurricular opportunities at Tulane.

It’s common for students to get lazy with essays like this and write general statements so they can copy and paste it for other colleges, but do not fall into that trap! In order to demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment to the school, your responses need to be unique to Tulane. Let’s look at some dos and don’ts of writing this essay.

DON’T: Talk About The Location, Weather, City, or Surrounding Area

We get it, New Orleans is a fantastic place to spend four years and it might play a role in your decision to apply to Tulane. However, your essay is not the place for you to communicate that. There are hundreds of schools in the Southeastern US with warm weather and there are other schools in New Orleans that give you access to the same city.

Think of your essay a bit like dating. You want to flatter the admissions committee and make them feel wanted—don’t make them feel like you are just choosing them for their location.

DO: Include Specific Resources That Align With Your Interests

There are two parts to this. The first is that the reasons you list for wanting to attend have to be specific and unique. If you are talking about a class you are excited to take, look through the course roster and find a class that speaks to you. Don’t pick Biology 101 or Introductory Microeconomics since you can find these at any college. Diversity of Animal Behavior and PR Event Planning however, are unique classes you should mention (these are not real Tulane courses by the way; this is just to show how specific you should get).

The second aspect of this piece of advice is to make sure the resources you mention relate to your chosen major or your interdisciplinary interests. For example, a student who is passionate about psychology should discuss her excitement in participating in behavioral neuroscience research with a distinguished professor. This aligns with her interest and would give her an opportunity to expand on why she is fascinated about the particular topic within psychology.

Yes, you might want to join club soccer or a painting club for fun, but for the sake of this essay, try to keep the majority of resources you focus on closer aligned to your core academic interests. Towards the end, you can and should share some opportunities you want to take advantage of to demonstrate you will be an active campus member, but you don’t need to spend too much space on that.

DON’T: List Out A Dozen Reasons You Are Drawn to Tulane

Along similar lines to the point above, the key is quality over quantity for this essay. Especially since you have limited space, try and limit the number of resources you mention to three to five. Focus on going in depth for each one by providing a personal connection; explain why you are drawn to the particular offering or what you hope to get out of it.

The more reasons you include, the less of an impact each one will have. There might be a lot you love about Tulane, but for the sake of being concise, narrow it down to your top picks.

DO: Include an Anecdote or Personal Details

While the main focus of this essay should be on why you are interested in attending Tulane and how you will be an active member on campus, this is also an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn about you. 

Your essay should be focused around a central theme—ideally related to your academic interests—so a great way to establish that theme off the bat is to open with an anecdote. Given the limited word count, your story can be short and sweet. Just by including a little imagery and some personal background about where you came from, what you are interested in, or what you value will make your essay more engaging and help the admissions committee get to know you better.

Remember, the anecdote as well as the Tulane resources you mention should be related in some way!

DON’T: Use Vague Emotional Appeals and Irrelevant Facts

As you’ve probably gathered by now, the key to a successful “Why This College?” essay is to be as specific as possible. Your essay should be composed of details about yourself and the school so it would only make sense as a brainchild of the two. 

It might be tempting to include phrases like “It felt like home” or “I can see myself fitting right in” but contrary to popular belief, these add nothing to the essay. You could feel at home at a dozen other schools. The admissions committee would much rather hear about the community you will build within the National Society of Black Engineers, for example, to find your home.

Also, don’t include fun facts you learned on a campus visit or brochure in your essay. The admissions committee are familiar with the annual Crawfest and know the famous alumni who walked the halls. By including details like these over ones that relate to you more personally, it signals to the admissions committee you didn’t spend a lot of time researching, and therefore you might not care as much about the school. 

DO: Describe What You Can Bring to the Campus

Many students are tempted to spend their entire essay praising the school, but don’t forget that you are a catch! Even if you feel like you don’t have much to offer to a world-renowned institution, just know there is so much you can bring to the campus.

Whether it’s your unique perspective from growing up in a different country, an instrument you love to play that you want to teach your roommates, a talent for journalism that you want to bring to the campus newspaper, or something else entirely, there are infinite ways for students to contribute to the community. 

This doesn’t have to be a large part of your essay, but sneak in a sentence or two about what you will bring and how you will enrich others with your presence and perspective.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to write a strong essay that is highly unique to both you and Tulane. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you answer this prompt, however we strongly encourage you to spend a few hours scouring Tulane’s website, and once you’ve done that, you will be equipped to write a stand-out essay in no time.

Where to Get Your Tulane Essay Edited

Do you want feedback on your Tulane essay? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

tulane essay requirements

tulane essay requirements

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Tulane University’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Why this college short response.

Describe why you are interested in joining the Tulane community. Consider your experiences, talents, and values to illustrate what you would contribute to the Tulane community if admitted. This statement should be 250 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

tulane essay requirements

Tulane University Essay Prompts

  • Why Us - Example 1
  • Extracurricular - Example 2

View our complete guide to Tulane University admissions.

Tulane University asks for three essays, the first a very long “Why Us” essay, the second a shorter essay on an extracurricular, the third an optional essay on your personal identity. The first essay has a limit of 500 words, longer than any other supplemental, and the personal statement. They don’t, however, necessarily expect you to use all of the space, though they will allow it. You should write enough to say everything which needs to be said. The second essay is a much more reasonable 250 words.

The examples we have here are from older prompts but still do a good job demonstrating what Tulane is looking for from applicants.

Why Us - Example

Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University? (0-800 words)

tulane essay requirements

Sitting in the small room accompanied only by the clickety-clack of the mechanical keyboard and the blinding light from the computer screen, I work for hours, wearing down an extensive backlog of payments. My work at Ibn Sina, a low-cost primary care clinic, gave me my first glimpse at the inner workings of a hospital. I began to familiarize myself with ICD-10 and CPT codes as well as the software used to categorize and log patients’ data. 

Yet, the most impactful lesson was the intersection between medicine and economics. In IB Economics, I was introduced to topics like scarcity, opportunity cost, and elasticity. Working at Ibn Sina, I was exposed to these concepts in real-time. Restocking perpetually low supplies of adhesive tape, syringes, and IV sets, I saw how scarce resources coupled with a large patient base forced the clinic to choose between allocating resources to one sector over another. 

Ibn Sina catered to patients from underprivileged backgrounds by lowering fees for those without health insurance, meeting specific market demand for healthcare. Unfortunately, the clinic was bereft with small-scale sacrifices necessitated by their limited budgets, such as limited time spent with patients and manual patient scheduling procedures. While it’s easy to dismiss these as the issues of one low-income clinic, the US healthcare system itself is rife with inefficiency.

My experiences at Ibn Sina introduced me to the fascinating world of health economics. While the patient’s ailments and medical procedures interested me, the way an individual’s choices shaped the function of the clinic interested me even more.

I aspire to study economics to better understand the ways people, markets and government policy affect the healthcare industry. Through Tulane’s department of economics, I will finally be able to peer through the looking glass of health economics to learn how to make better choices, so I can help others make them too.

Taking courses like Economics and Healthcare Reform (ECON 3500)  will allow me to examine the economic theories and concepts underlying current approaches to health care, while simultaneously demystifying the impact of reform on the United States healthcare system overall. As I begin to understand the reasoning behind current healthcare reform strategies, advantages, and disadvantages,  I will slowly build the tools to analyze health management and policy issues that plague small clinics like Ibn Sina. 

Meanwhile, core economics courses will broaden my understanding of the problems society faces while exposing me to the techniques and points of view developed by various economists. I plan to make use of these opportunities to develop logical reasoning and critical thinking skills that will assist me as I work towards a career in medicine.

While majoring in Economics will deepen my understanding of the economic basis of healthcare, pursuing a pre-health track will prepare me for a future as a medical professional. Courses such as organic chemistry, physics, and biology will equip me with the foundational knowledge required to think critically and deduce efficiently in the medical field, invaluable skills for future doctors. On the other hand, courses in psychology and sociology will elucidate the strategies and techniques I will need to form interpersonal relationships as I deal with patients every day. 

Additionally, I will take advantage of the many undergraduate research opportunities available. Dr. Zachary Pursell’s biochemistry research concerning the relevance of DNA polymerase epsilon with regards to cancer is especially interesting given my previous experience at an MD Anderson cancer research facility. 

Clubs such as the Pre-Medical Society and Doctors at Reach stand out to me. My interest in medicine compels me to be around like minded individuals traversing the same field I am. As an active member of these organizations, I will expand my social circle with peers I can count on to make a difference together. 

Tulane will be the perfect learning environment for me, rich with resources and opportunities that will deepen the medical and economic insights I first glimpsed at Ibn Sina.

tulane essay requirements

Why Us - Analysis

This prompt isn’t just asking “Why is this school great?” rather it’s asking “Why is this school right for you?” Admissions officers want to see that the values you hold and the reasons you want to attend fit in with their idea of what the school should be. To answer this, and to fill out the word count, the student goes deeply into why they want to study the subjects they are interested in.

There is no minimum word count for this essay, and if you want to write a more standard “Why Us” essay without the “Why Major” components, that is allowed. Tulane gives you all of this space to write for a reason however, and you should not pass it up lightly. That doesn’t mean you need to use every word; the essay above is only 650 words long, but you should make sure you have said everything worth saying.

Admissions officers only know what you tell them, and this essay is a good chance to tell them quite a lot. In the example above, the author starts by going into the background of why they are interested in economics and healthcare alike. Thus, when they discuss the resources and opportunities offered by Tulane, they are able to clearly tie them in with their own desires and passions. In this way, they concretely link what Tulane offers with their own goals.

Further, the author is very specific about which parts of Tulane appeal to them. There is room in this essay to go deeply into specifics, so the author does so. When they discuss the research being done by Dr. Pursell, it has it’s own paragraph, and is clearly tied into experiences from the author’s past, to show why it interests them  in coming to Tulane. In this way, the author is able to briefly touch on one of their own experiences, and delve further into specifics about Tulane.

When you are answering this question, determine what exactly you want from Tulane. We recommend the bulk of the essay focus on academics, unless there is some other burning passion driving you to the school. The essay above does mention clubs, but they are clearly a secondary focus. If clubs are more important to you, then you should devote more space to discussing why. 

Finally, this essay should display some of your values, and who you are as a person and student. The essay above manages this by exploring the author’s motivations for their choice of major, and desire to help people. While you don’t have to display these same values, you should display some which let admissions officers know who you are, and how you will contribute to their campus.

Other - Example

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (0-250 words)

The calming hum of the laboratory generator coupled with the scent of bulk-use solvent vapors wafts over me as I prepare the lab’s thermal cycler to run a Polymerase Chain Reaction.  Within the sterile maze that is MD Anderson, I am hard at work, seeing things I have only ever read about in textbooks. 

From learning the basics of confocal microscopy to enzyme active site crystallography, the topics that once seemed so distant became closer than ever. The lab opened my eyes, literally, as I saw things that could only be measured in microlitres. I saw my first human cancer cells, I learned to use my first pipette, and I created my first cell line. I adapted to an environment requiring knowledge levels above anything I had learned up to that point, and the satisfaction of continuously learning and challenging myself is second to none. 

More importantly, though, I learned how to be a functional part of a professional team.  As I worked alongside my medical mentors, I began to understand the genetic and biochemical bases for lung cancer metastasis with even greater depth. Our work helped develop novel therapeutic strategies based on the metastatic properties of lung cancer cells in a tumor ‘microenvironment’ – the immediate small-scale environment of an organism. 

Over the summer, I continued to build my foundational medical research skills: understanding complex experimental processes and making sense of scientific jargon, to prepare for a future career in medicine.

Other - Analysis

This prompt is quite open ended, and provides you with an opportunity to dive more deeply into one of your extracurricular activities. While Tulane does get your activities list, there is only so much which can be learned from a 150 character blurb, thus this essay is a chance for them to learn more about how you choose to spend your time outside of the classroom.

There is more to it than that alone, of course. While you discuss an extracurricular, you can also display other values of yours that you want Tulane to know about. Thus, essays you have written about your leadership abilities or how you have contributed to a community demonstrated through an extracurricular, can be used to fulfill this prompt. We recommend doing this to kill two birds with one stone; you both explore an extracurricular which shows impressive involvement, and display a core personality trait.

In the example above, the author chooses to discuss in depth an impressive extracurricular, working in a lab conducting research. While they are merely an assistant, they are still part of the ongoing scientific process, able to observe and contribute. The author covers what they learned, both in terms of concrete research skills, and the values of working with a team towards a common goal.

This is a good topic to cover, as it allows the author to show off what they have accomplished, and what skills they have acquired, in a far more extended way than an activities list allows. We recommend covering your most impressive extracurricular you don’t go into in other essays. If you only participate in a single extracurricular, due to time constraints or other reasons, then explore a different facet, or display a different value exemplified by your participation in the activity.

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tulane essay requirements


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