University Of Pittsburgh Essay Word Limit For Common

The Requirements: One required 150-word essay, one required 250-word essay and one optional 250-word essay.
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Topic of your choice, Community

Duke University 2017-2018 Application Essay Question Explanations

If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences/Pratt School of Engineering as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (Please limit your response to no more than 150 words.)

This is a classic why essay, albeit a short one. Your answer should be personal and, if possible, unexpected. This is not the place to detail your love of the campus or dining hall. And Duke already knows it has “world-class” professors. Admissions wants to know what excites you about the specific school within Duke to which you are applying — something that is aligned with your interests and academic background. Since this is a short essay, try to narrow your focus to one or two elements and make a bridge from Duke’s resources to your own experiences and goals for the future. Is there is a professor in your department who has done research you admire that you hope to work with? Is there a program that combines your unique interests that is not offered at any other school?  Get specific. Let Duke know what resources you will take advantage of that others might not think of or know about.

Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit)

This is a classic community essay, through and through. Admissions Officers want to know what or who has made you into the person you are today. Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person, and how has that made your perspective unique? What you focus on here can be reflective of larger cultural constructs or specific to you and only you. Admissions is looking to add diverse perspectives to the melting pot that is their student body. Is there anything you can teach your classmates about your hometown, traditions, culture, cuisine, orientation, identity, race, or ethnicity that they might not already know? Also consider why your particular background or experience will be useful in an academic setting. How will it help inspire and/or inform others? Were you raised in a Muslim family? Do you identify as genderqueer? Were you adopted as a child? What has influenced your identity? What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at Duke?

(Optional) If you would like the opportunity, we invite you to share more about your sexual orientation either below or in the Duke optional essay. (250 words)

Duke was one of the first schools to embrace the subject of sexual orientation in their essay questions (see the community essay prompt), and this is yet another step in their overt attempt to recruit a truly diverse pool of applicants. The school wants you to know that they are embracing all sexual orientations, and if you are open to discussing your own history and identity, feel free to share your story. Note that this question will likely not be applicable to all students, so if you don’t have a related story to tell, this is one of the few “optional” supplemental essays that we would encourage you to skip.

We received nearly 28,000 applications for approximately 4,000 places in the fall 2017 freshmen class.

We operate on a rolling admission policy for these places in our class. This means there is no specific deadline to apply for admission, but it is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early. This is because some of our graduate school guaranteed admission programs either have deadlines or fill up quickly.

With this in mind, here are a few things you can do to stay competitive as you prepare to apply to the University of Pittsburgh:

Preparing to Apply

  • Honors, AP, International Baccalaureate (IB), and College in High School classes. It’s good to take a number of such classes, but don’t take so many you can’t do reasonably well in them.
  • Advanced level classes. The Committee is looking for a well-rounded curriculum from all applicants. Whenever possible, go beyond the minimum requirements. Four years of French and/or math, for example, looks better on a transcript than three.
  • Taking the SAT or ACT more than once. We recommend that you test once in the junior year and once early in the senior year. We will superscore your SAT Critical Reading or Evidence Based Reading and Writing subscore and your math subscore. We will use the highest of the SAT superscore or the ACT composite score in reviewing your application for admission. You are not required to submit SAT Essay or ACT Writing test scores.
  • Retaking a class with a lower-than ‘C’ grade. If you earn less than a ‘C’ grade in a key class, think about retaking the class in the summer.
  • A rigorous senior year curriculum. We recommend a solid curriculum even in your senior year. It is to your benefit in the admissions review. Also, you’ll make an easier transition to college-level work during your freshman year.

Application Requirements

Your application is considered complete for review and will be sent to the admissions committee when we have received:

  • Completed online application for admission.
  • $45 application fee.
  • High school academic information using the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) or submitting an official high school transcript. We encourage you to complete the SRAR rather than sending a transcript to improve application processing time. Please note that we will compare your SRAR to your official high school transcript if you enroll at Pitt. Accuracy in completing the SRAR is very important. Discrepancies and misrepresentations could result in the Admissions Committee revoking your admissions decision.
  • Official SAT or ACT test results (SAT Essay and ACT Writing Test scores not required). Please arrange for all of your test results to be forwarded directly to Pitt from the testing agency.

Short Answer Questions

In lieu of an essay or personal statement, we ask interested applicants to answer a series of short answer questions. Answering the following questions is optional, but strongly encouraged. If you would like to be considered for University academic scholarships, you must submit a response to at least one of the Short Answer Questions. Your answers may increase the likelihood that you are considered for guaranteed admission to graduate or professional school or given special consideration due to extenuating circumstances. The Admissions Committee reviews responses for quality rather than length. However, the most effective responses typically range from 200-300 words per question. Responses that are longer or shorter are acceptable. You may choose to answer any or all of the following questions:

  • Describe a challenge that you think you will face in college and how you anticipate handling the challenge.
  • How have you made an impact at your high school? Choose one example and tell us about it.
  • Pitt receives nearly 30,000 applications each year. What makes you unique?

In order to submit your responses to the Short Answer Questions, you must first complete University of Pittsburgh application. If you have already completed the application, you may complete the Short Answer Questions online.

Submitting a completed application for admission will have you automatically reviewed for University Honors College eligibility, Graduate/Professional School Guaranteed Admissions Programs, and merit-based scholarships.

Letters of Recommendation

While we appreciate your teachers, counselors, and other mentors taking the time to write recommendation letters on your behalf, we find letters are beneficial in very limited circumstances (for example: providing context for variance in your overall academic performance). We recommend that you submit responses to the Short Answer Questions and use that space to explain or clarify what most recommenders would cover in a letter.

Questions about your application materials? Contact the appropriate admissions processor.

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