Many colleges require a supplemental essay that asks applicants to explain why they have chosen their major.
Writing the Why This Major Essay
Your answer needs to be in synch with what is reflected in the rest of your application. For example, if your personal statement talks about your goal to be a filmmaker, and you indicate that you want your major to be aerospace engineering, then it may appear that there is a disconnect unless you can somehow explain the connection.
Write about what attracts you to the major you are choosing. Is there a class you took that inspired you, a skill you learned either at school or on your own, or a job shadow or internship you completed that sparked your interest?
How to Structure the Why This College Essay
A good way to structure the essay is to begin with a statement about the major you are interested in pursuing, followed by examples of classes or activities that inspired you, details about those experiences, as well as how they impacted you, and what you learned. For example, someone interested in a psychology or sociology major may have witnessed specific problems in their neighborhood or society at large. The essay can conclude with the type of future work you envision for yourself or how you hope to help your town, city, or the world.
Other areas to refer to when discussing why you’ve chosen a specific major:
- Specific courses offered by the college you’re applying to
- Professors that you would like to study under
- Research projects related to the major
- Study abroad opportunities
The above information can be found by reviewing a college’s website.
When reviewing your essay, ask yourself if it truly shows that you’ve put thought into choosing your major, and if it demonstrates that you have a strong interest in pursuing the major you’ve chosen.
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