Emory University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Early Decision: Nov 1

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 1

Emory University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 200 words, 1 essay of 150 words Supplemental Essay Type: Why , Oddball

Academic Interests

What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college (200 words).

This required prompt is nothing more or less than an academically inclined Why essay. As you dig into the writing, aim to answer these two key questions: (1) What do you love about the subject? (2) How does Emory’s specific program meet your needs or excite your curiosity? In other words, your goal is not just to geek out (although that’s highly encouraged!), but also to demonstrate your fit for Emory specifically. If you can display a knowledge or curiosity for your chosen major alongside some school-specific facts, you’ll show admissions that you’re motivated and dedicated to their institution. If that’s not a winning combo, we don’t know what is! So, before you start scribbling away (or pounding out 300 words on your computer), remember that the backbone of any good Why essay is research! Give yourself some time to dig through the Emory website and get to know your department as well as any related programs, centers, and opportunities.

Getting to Know You

In addition, answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

In this prompt, Emory University is looking for more than just a summary of your favorite book. Admissions wants to know why a certain work of art is meaningful to you, and how it connects to your identity, history, or values. As with all supplemental essays, your goal should be to use this prompt as an opportunity to tell admissions something new about yourself through your relationship to a particular piece of art. Does “ Still I Rise ” by Maya Angelou resonate with you as a young woman of color overcoming obstacles with courage and determination? Have you always felt that you and Allison from The Breakfast Club were cut from the same cloth? How come? Be careful to avoid self-aggrandizing or pandering choices rather than writing about works that truly speak to you. Don’t write about Charlotte Brontë unless you genuinely feel connected to her life and work. When you give admissions insight into the art that you feel is representative of your personality, experiences, or background, you will be revealing a fascinating, newfound piece of the complex puzzle that is you.

Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.

Emory wants to accept applicants that are curious, open-minded, and socially aware. Admissions wants to bring students to campus who will not be afraid to question their own beliefs or biases, or to strive to consider different perspectives and points of view. So, how have you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness? Maybe you saw Juneteenth trending on Twitter this summer and had never heard of it before. Did you read articles to educate yourself? Reach out to friends or family members who were celebrating? What did you learn? Perhaps one of your friends put the kibosh on a joke you told during a Zoom party, so you took it upon yourself to better understand the subject matter and why your joke may have been insensitive or offensive. All of us are constantly learning and growing, so there’s no shame in being wrong about something as long as you seek to listen, retain information, and expand your horizons.

Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.

This is another variation of the Why Essay . In this case, Emory wants you to discuss the aspects of campus life that you feel will help you become your best self. To ace this question, you’ll need to do some self-reflection and research. How do you think college life will change you for the better? Spend some time on the school’s website researching the campus, academic programs, and student culture. Is there a certain theme community that speaks to you? Are there clubs, religious organizations, or volunteer groups that you’re excited to join? Maybe the city of Atlanta holds a special attraction? Remember to keep the essay focused on “flourishing.” How do you interpret that word? Does it mean being academically successful? Becoming a leader in student government or a fraternity? Embracing your authentic self? How will your experiences at Emory facilitate this flourishing and prepare you for life after college?

Emory University’s core mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission.

Service to humanity” can sound lofty and intimidating, but fear not! Emory’s not expecting you to cure cancer or invent perpetual motion; “service to humanity” can be as simple and personal as tutoring other students at the writing center, running psychology experiments in a lab class, or using your History major to educate your roommates about internment camps. We recommend—say it with us—research! How will your time at Emory prepare you to serve humanity when you leave? Check out the website to see if there are service groups or volunteer organizations you might join on campus; maybe there’s a special capstone project for your proposed major. And if you do plan to cure cancer, write about that, too!

Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community you have been part of where your participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.

This is a classic Community Essay, through and through. Admissions wants to know what or who has made you into the person you are today and how you have impacted your community. First of all, let us remind you that your “community” can be just about anything, from your neighborhood to your family to your Taylor Swift fan club. Pick a community that means something to you and in which you’ve been very involved. Maybe you come from a tiny town where you revived a long-lost harvest festival tradition. Perhaps you suggested team-building exercises for your baseball team that brought you all closer together. Maybe you started cooking a weekly pancake breakfast for your younger siblings after your parents got divorced. No matter your starting point, be sure you tell a clear story with a beginning, middle, and end. It might be tempting to pen a vivid description of your community and leave it at that, but the point of an essay like this is to tell a story about you and your contributions.

Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email giving advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

Emory wants to see how you’ve grown and matured over the last three or so years. The transition from middle school to high school can be almost as daunting as the transition from high school to college. Think back to eighth grade and what aspects of high school either scared you or surprised you. Maybe you worried about getting lost navigating a larger school building. Perhaps you thought biology would be a piece of cake and it was unexpectedly challenging. Maybe you were afraid to be your authentic self until you found an Anime Club where you met like-minded friends. Perhaps you moved to a huge school and encountered people with different backgrounds, beliefs, or opinions. Now that you’ve lived through it, what would you tell your younger self that would help ease those tough transitions? Try to give yourself as much time as possible to reflect on your mindset back in middle school and how it’s changed over the last few years. As always, it’s your job to tell admissions a story, one that reveals information about who you are, what you care about, and/or what inspires you. 

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Emory Supplemental Essays 2023-24 Prompts and Tips

September 12, 2023

emory supplemental essays

Emory’s 16% acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 came after they received approximately 33,000 applicants for admission, numbers that have held steady over the past several years. Whether applying to Emory College, Oxford College, or both, applicants to this prestigious Atlanta-based research university face an epically challenging admissions process ahead. Emory is a rare school where a 1500ish SAT and 3.9 GPA are often necessary, but not sufficient for admission. In addition, application components like the Emory supplemental essays need to be exceptionally well done.

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

The good news is that this school does ultimately admit over 5,000 students each year. If you have the academic chops, then getting into Emory is an achievable goal. However, you’ll need to make sure that you use the two supplemental essays to showcase your writing ability by generating powerful and detail-rich essays that will stand out to an admissions officer.

Emory Supplemental Essays Prompt 1 – Academic Interests

What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why ? (200 words)

We all have a story of what drives us to pursue a certain academic pathway and career. How did your interest initially develop? What was the spark? How have you nurtured this passion and how has it evolved over time? If you desire to go into engineering, for example, use this as a chance to talk about everything from your childhood fascination with how things work to your participation in an award-winning robotics program at your high school. Share a compelling narrative about how your love of your future area of study has blossomed to its present levels.

In addition to the above, Emory also wants to know why you desire to pursue your studies at their institution. Tie your passions into specific  academic opportunities  at Emory including courses, professors,  hands-on research programs , or any other aspects of your desired major that appeal most to you. The more specific, the better.

Emory Supplemental Essays Prompt 2 – Getting to Know You

In addition, answer one of the following questions.  Your response should be no more than 150 words.

In the university’s own words, “We encourage you to be thoughtful in your responses and not stress about what the ‘right answer’ might be, as there really isn’t one.”

a) Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

What is your favorite (or most thought-provoking) book, character, monologue, or piece of short fiction or nonfiction? Why do you identify with it? Is it the protagonist’s tenacity, empathy, sense of justice, big heart, humor, resilience, uncompromising integrity, loyalty, self-awareness, or courage? Is it the overall theme, topic, or life lesson? Use the 150 available words to explain the powerful connection you feel to your answer. If you go the song route, explain why you connect so deeply with the music and lyrics.

b) Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.

Some students may have more direct experiences related to cultural awareness than others. But—no matter your background—this is an opportunity to demonstrate that you care about justice and fairness in your local community as well as the global community. If applicable, speak about a time when you spoke up for a peer in a moment of need. Alternatively, you could describe an instance when you became involved in a larger cause or movement. This could be in the realm of politics, activism, or volunteer work.

If you don’t happen to have a deeply personal story to tell in this realm, you’ll probably want to select a different prompt. While there’s nothing wrong with simply articulating your basic beliefs in the values of inclusion, equity, tolerance, and diversity, it doesn’t necessarily make for the most compelling essay, particularly when the school is asking for a specific “experience.”

Emory Supplemental Essays (Continued)

c) Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.

There’s a lot to unpack in this prompt before you even enter the brainstorming phase of the essay-writing process. First, they want to know a bit about what “flourishing” means to you. This could be:

  • Degree-oriented
  • Career-focused
  • A combination of two or all three of the previous options.

Does “flourishing” mean that you have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research? Or does it mean taking advantage of internship opportunities? Does it mean continuing your advocacy work with a specific population? Does it mean exposing yourself to new perspectives and viewpoints?

Next, you’ll want to take note of the fact that the prompt wants to know how you hope to flourish at Emory specifically (not just at college in general). As such, you should consider discussing Emory-specific offerings that reinforce your ideas and are distinct from those mentioned in the earlier “Academic Interests” prompt.  Such school-specific detail can take an essay from good to great.

d) Emory University’s core mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission.

To truly understand where Emory is coming from with this question, one needs to look no further than the school’s own mission statement: “Emory University’s mission is to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.”

If you have been involved in some type of charitable/community service endeavor throughout your high school years, this is a great opportunity to speak about that venture in more detail. Looking forward, how might you continue the work you’ve been doing? You can also connect your aspirations in this realm to specific service opportunities that are available at Emory.

e) Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community you have been part of where participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.

“Community” can be defined in myriad ways: it could be large-scale, like an ethnic, religious, or neighborhood community, or small-scale, like a group of individuals who gather for a club, sport, or service project.

Most applicants to Emory are involved in at least one “community.” You may be the captain of a team, the editor-in-chief of your school paper, a member of your town’s trail clean-up team… but don’t just rest on those laurels—instead, bring your involvement to life. Use your writing ability to  show  what type of community member you are rather than merely  telling . What is your role within your chosen community? Within that role, how do you lead, guide, or interact with others? What have you learned and how have you grown? How have you positively impacted your chosen community? Strive for personal detail here rather than re-hashing your resume.

f) Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email giving advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

You know the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20”? Think about the transition to your freshman year of high school: What were you nervous or anxious about? What did you spend too much time thinking about? What didn’t you spend enough time thinking about? Is there anything you wish you had done or approached differently? Did you face any significant personal or academic obstacles? If any of those questions resonate, this could be a great prompt for you. Think about how you’ve grown and changed over the past four years, and what you’d tell fourteen-year-old you as a result. The goal here isn’t to lament your decisions or be hard on yourself, but instead to show the admissions committee that you’re thoughtful, self-compassionate, and capable of growth.

One piece of advice here: given the tight word count, don’t get too caught up in the “personal email” directive and spend too much valuable space on creative formatting.

How important are the Emory supplemental essays?

Emory views six factors as being “very important” to their applicant evaluation process. They are: the rigor of one’s coursework, the GPA earned, recommendations, character/personal qualities, extracurricular activities, and talent/ability. The essays are “important,” alongside standardized test scores and volunteer work.

Want personalized assistance with the Emory supplemental essays?

If you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Emory supplemental essays, we encourage you to  get a quote  today.

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Emory University Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022

Not sure how to approach the Emory essay prompts? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Emory supplemental essays will show you exactly how to write engaging Emory supplemental essays and maximize your chances of admission. If you need help answering the Emory University essay prompts, create your  free account  or  schedule a no-cost advising consultation  by calling  (844) 343-6272 .

Emory  Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • Emory has an acceptance rate of 19.0%— U.S. News  ranks Emory as a  highly selective  school.
  • In addition to your personal statement, there are  two  Emory supplemental essays you will need to complete. The first of the Emory essay prompts asks about your academic interests. The second asks you to choose from five additional Emory essay prompts so the admissions team can get to know you better.

Does Emory Require Supplemental Essays?

Yes. In addition to your  Common App  or  Coalition App  personal statement, you will also need to answer two shorter Emory essay prompts. Along with your personal statement, extracurriculars, and academic history, your Emory supplemental essays play a key role in sharing who you are with the admissions team. Be sure to take your time with each Emory University essay and consider how the topics you choose enhance your application narrative.

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

What are the Emory Supplemental Essays?

There are  two  school-specific Emory supplemental essays in the 2021-2022 application. Both Emory University essay prompts are  required , meaning you must complete both Emory University essay prompts to submit your application. While the first of the Emory University essay prompts is the same for all applicants, the second asks you to choose your own prompt.

To complete your Emory supplemental essays, you will need to take some time to decide which Emory essay prompt will best showcase who you are, what matters to you, and why you’d be a good fit for Emory.

How do I Write the Emory Supplemental Essays?

Let’s break down the Emory University essay prompts!

The Emory supplemental essays allow you to use your own voice to show your readers who you are as a person. Neither of the Emory essay prompts explicitly asks, “Why Emory?”; however, each of your responses should answer this question. When they read your Emory supplemental essays, the admissions team should be able to imagine you on their campus.

Now, as you begin considering the Emory essay prompts think about the picture you want to paint for your readers. What is important to you? Why is Emory the best place for you to continue pursuing your passions? Don’t worry if you don’t feel you’ve found your “passion” quite yet. Remember, college is all about exploring and cultivating your interests. Most importantly, your Emory supplemental essays should reveal your potential to make an impact on Emory’s campus, even if you don’t have a clear set of goals.

Make some lists

If you’re having trouble coming up with something to write about for your Emory application essay, try making two bulleted lists: “What Do I Think About” and “Characteristics of Me.” This is only a brainstorm, so include everything that comes to mind. What do you think about your stamp collection? Your dance class routines? Do you have a favorite subject in school? Are there certain aspects of your identity you have a strong connection to?

Then, turn to your own characteristics. Are you independent? Do you like doing research? Do you love collaboration? Once you have these lists side by side, look for ideas that connect with one another. Use this brainstorm as a way to consider not only  what  you will write about but  how  it connects to you.

We have provided the 2021-2022 Emory University essay  prompts  below. You’ll find a breakdown of how to approach each Emory University essay in addition to your personal statement. We’ll also discuss tips for writing Emory supplemental essays that will help you stand out in admissions.

Emory Supplemental Essays – Question 1 (Required)

What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? (200 words or less).

The first Emory application essay is about your  academic interests . When writing this Emory essay, remember to stay in the realm of  academics . Even if you are passionate about activities outside of the classroom—like athletics or the arts—you’ll want to spend this essay describing your academic engagements. In general, ground your essay in a few academic disciplines and build from there. For example, if you’re interested in Astronomy, you might focus your Emory application essay on specific classes, student groups, or research opportunities related to this topic.

Your first step in writing your Emory University essay is to pick your academic area(s) of interest. Start by looking at Emory’s list of  majors, minors, and programs . For example, if you are passionate about painting, look at the Art History Department’s  website  to see what topics and classes that Emory offers excite you. If you are interested in writing, explore Emory’s pages on English, English and creative writing, English and history, and playwriting to see which program best fits your interests.

Remember, you only have 200 words in this Emory essay. Consequently, you’ll want to be clear and concise in your response. Even if you brainstorm a list and find ten areas of study that excite you, pick two or three areas to focus on in your Emory application essay. This will let you tell a story in your Emory University essay rather than simply listing your interests. Once you have picked your topic(s), think about  why  these academic areas interest you,  what  you hope to learn about them, and  why  Emory is the right place for you to do so.

Emory Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does my response highlight an area of study Emory offers classes in?
  • Do I reflect my genuine interests in my Emory essay?
  • Does my response answer the questions of why am I interested, what do I hope to learn, and why is Emory the place to do it?

Emory Supplemental Essays – Question 2 (Required)

Answer one of the following questions (in 150 words or less):

1. Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
2. When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
3. If you could witness a historic event (past, present, or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?
4. Share about a time when you were awestruck.
5. Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

On closer inspection, the second Emory application essay is about  getting to know you . Unlike the first Emory supplemental essay, this Emory essay prompt allows you to select your own question. Take advantage of this opportunity—spend time with each of the Emory essay prompts and select the one that most engages you. When considering topics, remember to review your other essays and think about how you can share something new!

However, if the thought of picking just one of these Emory essay prompts seems daunting, try a timed freewrite, or brainstorming session. To begin, write out five lists: “cultural awareness,” “questioned truth,” “historic event,” “awestruck,” and “art made for you.” Then, take five minutes with each list and write out anything that comes to mind. Feel free to just write a few words or go more in-depth with your bullets and add details. In less than thirty minutes, you should have a substantial list of potential Emory essays.

As you narrow down your ideas to respond to the Emory University essay prompts, consider how your topic can share something important about you as a person. In general, the best Emory essays will be the most authentic. For example, if you decide to write your Emory essay for Prompt #5 about a book or character, be sure to focus on the words “ made for you .” Even if you really like a character from your favorite TV show, think about what that character really means to you.

Affirm and/or change

If you’re having trouble finding a deeper, personal connection to your Emory University essay topic, ask yourself this question: does this thing or experience  affirm  or  change  who I am or how I see the world? Following the example of Prompt #5, does this character affirm something about my identity? Did they change my perception of myself? Do we have a shared experience? Did they show me a new way of thinking?

No matter what prompt you select for your second Emory University essay, keep the 150-word limit in mind. If you are having trouble staying under the world limit, consider how to make your sentences more concise. For example, instead of repeating the prompt in your response and starting with “____ is a character that was made for me,” try diving straight into the  why  in your topic sentence and elaborating from there.

  • Does my response reflect something important to me?
  • Do I address the specific question asked in the selected prompt?
  • Does my response tell a story of my change and growth?
  • Do I avoid repeating information found elsewhere in my application?

How Important are Emory’s Supplemental Essays?

The Emory supplemental essays are extremely important to your application. Overall, the university will consider your Emory supplemental essays alongside your transcript, personal statement, and extracurricular activities before they turn to your standardized test scores. While it’s a good idea to remember that the essays are just one part of your application, you’ll want to make them as strong as possible to build the most compelling candidate profile. In fact, if you are applying with lower test scores, it is especially important you take your time with each Emory application essay and make sure your final draft is personal and polished.

Emory Essay Quick Tips:

  • Write in your own voice! Don’t focus on what you think Emory wants to hear. Instead, focus on being honest and truthful to your experiences.
  • Think about what makes you interested in the world, then choose the Emory University essay prompts that helps you best tell your story.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! If you can, ask a guardian, a counselor, or another mentor to read over your Emory supplemental essays for spelling, grammar, and clarity.

Is there an Emory Personal Statement?

No, there is no dedicated Emory personal statement. However, students who apply through the Common App or Coalition App will have to complete a  Common App  or  Coalition App  essay. This is the longest and most substantial essay Emory application essay.

When considering potential students, Emory’s admissions team looks for high achievers that want to change the world. As you begin brainstorming your Emory supplemental essays and personal statement, think about what kind of story you can tell that will show admissions what you are curious about and how that drives you to action.

Additional Tips for Writing Emory Supplemental Essays and Personal Statements:

To help prospective students, Emory’s Admissions Committee reviews Personal Statements written by current Emory students and highlights why they worked.

Below, you’ll find some tips to help you craft your personal statement. Keep in mind that every Personal Statement and Emory University essay will be different, so don’t panic if these tips don’t apply to your chosen topics. However, as you examine the Emory essay prompts, keep this advice in mind.

Let’s dive in!

Demonstrate your unshakeable curiosity

One trait that Admissions will look for in every Emory essay is curiosity. Your Emory application essay should illustrate what drives your desire to learn more about the world around you. Think about the extracurriculars you love or the classes that most interest you: Why are you drawn to them? How do these different elements of your application relate to one another? Are there similarities that show a common pattern in your thinking, or do you use a variety of approaches to different aspects of your life?

To start, make a list of the classes, sports, clubs, and activities included elsewhere in your application. Then, circle the ones where you feel most successful, motivated, and/or excited. Remember, this Emory University essay is your chance to show admissions  why  these things matter to you. If the interest you choose does not appear elsewhere in your application—like your love of fantasy novels or your interest in astronomy—that’s okay, too! If you have a strong connection to it, it will make a great topic for your Emory essay.

In their feedback for one of the example Emory application essays, the admissions team highlights how the writer communicated their desire to make a positive change in the world. As you craft your Emory University essay, recall Emory’s mission: to use knowledge to serve humanity. Once you have decided on a topic for your Emory University essay, think about why you are curious about it and how that curiosity fits into the bigger picture.

When approaching your prompts, consider telling your story in a progression: what are you curious about, how are you influenced by your curiosity, and how does your willingness to pursue this curiosity impact the world?

Describe a time your perspective shifted

Many successful Emory application essays highlight an important element of their university’s culture: community. As you review example Emory supplemental essays, notice how writers address the relationship between their own interiority and the communities they occupy. Successful Emory University essays offer the admissions team a glimpse of how a student’s community has influenced their beliefs; these essays then allow readers to imagine what this student would bring to Emory’s community.

Make a list of the communities and people that are important to you. What role do you play in these communities? How have these communities impacted you? How have you, in turn, impacted these communities?

Emory’s essays that focus on community, however, do present some challenges. As you answer the Emory University essay prompts, while you can talk about other people and experiences, make sure to center the bulk of your essay around you. Once you’ve completed a draft, write out a summary of how each paragraph connects to you. Think to yourself, how does this section of my essay reflect my curiosity? Something I’ve learned? A perspective I will bring with me into the future? Remember, if it doesn’t show Emory something about who you are, you may not need it in your essay.

If you’d like to see more examples of exceptional Emory personal statements and why they work, check out Emory’s Inside Admissions  blog .

Emory Supplemental Essays: Final Thoughts

As you work on your Emory Supplemental Essays, remember that they are part of a holistic application. Admissions will use your Emory essays and other materials to create a full picture of who you are and why you’d be an asset to Emory. You should view each Emory University essay, including your Common App Personal Statement, as complementary pieces that work together to tell the story of you. As you think about why Emory is the right school for you, allow yourself time to sit with the Emory University essay prompts, think about what is most important to you, and let your personality shine through!

If answering these Emory essay prompts seems like a challenge, remember that starting is the hardest part. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start early. This gives you the benefit of time to ensure your Emory supplemental essays are focused and clear. Give yourself enough time to write, rewrite, edit, and polish each of your responses to the Emory essay prompts.

This 2021-2022 essay guide on Emory University was written by Stefanie Tedards, Northwestern ‘17. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on Emory, click  here . Want help crafting your Emory supplemental essays? Create your free  account  or  schedule a no-cost advising consultation  by calling (844) 343-6272.

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emory supplemental essays guide

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emory supplemental essays guide

How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

September 6, 2023

emory supplemental essays guide

If you feel a strong pull towards Emory University, it's likely due to a multitude of reasons. Perhaps it's the appeal of smaller class sizes or the state-of-the-art lab facilities in Atlanta that have captured your attention. As a renowned research university, Emory looks for students who aren't afraid to take initiative in their communities and dedicate themselves to achieving their goals. By delving into your diverse interests and experiences, you have the ability to convince the admissions officers of your exceptional qualities and unwavering work ethic. In this blog post, I have provided a comprehensive discussion of the essay prompts and offered additional tips to help you successfully tackle the Emory supplemental essays for the 2023-2024 application cycle .

Emory Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

Academic interests (required), what academic areas are you interested in exploring at emory university and why (150-200 words recommended length).

The goal of this question is to assess whether you have done your research to determine if Emory is the right fit for you. InGenius Prep counselor Ken Johnson, who worked as an Admissions Officer at Emory, adds, “If you show you can write about some of Emory’s unique aspects that fit your particular academic interests or needs, then you will help admissions make a decision in your favor.”

If you have already decided on a major, visit the Academics section on Emory’s website, and thoroughly acquaint yourself with the offerings available. This will provide you with valuable insights into the courses, research programs, internships, and even professors that may be of interest to you. 

However, do not simply list what interests you. Ken adds, “The key point of the question is “why”.  Explain why the items you highlight interest you. It is better to focus on 2-3 things and explain in some detail why it is what you’re looking for and excited about. So rather than try to cover a lot of things superficially, scan and see what catches your eye. Then zero in on it and explain why.” Remember, the point is for admissions officers to gain insight into your interests and motivations, so don’t spend time reiterating information from the website.

If you are undecided and unsure about your major, don't worry! Emory has a liberal arts model of education, which means they encourage all students to explore various subjects and gain a breadth of knowledge and learning experiences. Emory's General Education Requirements are divided into four main areas, and two of these areas are particularly well-suited for showcasing why Emory is a great fit for you – even if you haven't decided on a major yet. 

First, there is “Exploration”, which encourages you to try courses from different disciplines. In this instance, Ken recommends that you mention 2 very different courses you’d like to check out. Second, there is “Experience and Application”, which presents an exceptional opportunity for students to gain practical experience and explore various career paths from the numerous organizations, research institutions, non-profits, and businesses that Emory is closely affiliated with. Ken also notes, "You might notice that the four areas of General Education requirements – exploration, communication, community/belonging, and practical experience – are related in part to the questions below."

Getting to Know You

In addition, please answer one of the following questions. (150 words)

Essay Option 1

Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you why.

For this prompt, you have the freedom to choose anything that resonates with you – whether it's from a movie, show, comedy routine, cartoon/anime, or even something outside of traditional literature like novels, short stories, or poems.

Ken adds, “The point is to explain how/why you relate to this piece of work. For example, with Japanese anime, such as the Evangelion series, I’ve seen students relate to it in completely different ways. One could relate to a character; another could relate to a philosophical theme, and another could relate to the artistic and production qualities. In explaining how you relate, you will reveal something about your own personality, interests, and even biases.” 

Essay Option 2

Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness..

Oftentimes, the first thing that comes to mind when reflecting on expanding cultural awareness is the experience of traveling abroad. While this can be a transformative experience, you don't have to choose an exotic location to impress admissions officers. What matters most is how you gained insight into a culture that is different from your own – regardless of where you were.

In fact, even without leaving your home country, there are countless ways to expand your cultural awareness. Perhaps you visited an art or history museum in your town, which exposed you to different perspectives and artistic expressions. Alternatively, maybe you immersed yourself in a different genre of music, either by attending a concert or actively listening – which opened your ears to new sounds and rhythms. Or perhaps, you watched a foreign film recently that opened your mind to different storytelling techniques and another culture's cinematic traditions. 

But sometimes, it's the simplest of experiences that can have the biggest impact – like trying a new ethnic cuisine for the first time, opening your taste buds to the rich tapestry of culinary traditions and the cultural significance of food. Even without venturing far, the possibilities for expanding your cultural awareness are endless. Reflect on how these experiences broadened your understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Did it challenge any preconceived notions or biases you may have had? Did it spark a curiosity to learn more about the history, traditions, or customs of the culture you encountered? 

By delving into these aspects, you will demonstrate not only your willingness to embrace diversity but also your ability to engage with and learn from different cultures. Throughout your response, remember to incorporate anecdotes and describe how these experiences have shaped your perspective and understanding of the world. Ken also adds, "Consider concluding this essay with a brief statement about why “expanding” your cultural awareness proved valuable to you." 

Essay Option 3

Emory university aspires for all students to flourish on campus. reflect on what flourishing at emory means to you..

“Flourishing” at Emory means more than just academic success; it encompasses personal growth and development in all aspects of life. Imagine yourself as a seed, planted in the nurturing environment of the Emory campus. Just as a seed needs the right soil, temperature, humidity, water, and sunlight to flourish and bloom, you too need the right conditions to thrive.

To get a deeper understanding of the non-academic aspects of life at Emory, take a look at the Explore section on Emory’s website . Here, you will find a wealth of opportunities and activities that can enrich your life on campus. From joining student organizations and clubs to participating in community service projects, there are countless ways that you can enrich your experience at Emory.

When writing about how you can contribute to this vibrant campus life, consider your unique skills, interests, and passions. Are you a natural leader who can organize events and bring people together? Do you have a talent for public speaking or performing arts that can add excitement to campus events? Are you passionate about community service and eager to make a difference in the lives of others?

Remember, Emory values holistic development . Reflect on how you envision yourself actively engaging in campus life – therefore, creating a fulfilling and well-rounded college experience for yourself and your peers.

Essay Option 4

Emory university’s unique mission calls for service to humanity. share how you might personally contribute to this mission of service to humanity..

If you choose to answer this question, first read Emory’s own statements of its vision and mission . Emory University takes great pride in its affiliation with Jimmy Carter's Carter Center , a world-renowned organization dedicated to promoting peace, health, and human rights. In fact, in recognition of his contributions, Emory appointed President Carter as a Distinguished Professor at the university after his presidency. Human rights were a major theme of President Carter's time in office, and the Carter Center continues to engage in numerous service projects around the world.

Therefore, Emory particularly favors students who have a strong commitment to service and community involvement, which would be evident in your Activities List section of the application. For this prompt, Ken highly recommends that you mention your interest in Volunteer Emory , a student-run organization that offers a wide range of volunteer placement opportunities. 

Throughout your response, reflect on your commitment to making a positive impact in the world and provide examples, like Volunteer Emory, for how to plan to contribute to their mission. Remember, your goal is to show the admissions officers at Emory that you are a student actively engaged in service, plan on continuing your volunteering efforts, and seek to cultivate a community of individuals dedicated to service and social responsibility.

Essay Option 5

Emory university has a strong commitment to building community. tell us about a community that you have been part of where your participation helped to change or shape the community for the better..

Like the previous question, you should only consider answering this question if you have a strong service record on your Activities List and Honors/Awards sections of your Common Application. Additionally, keep in mind that the term "community" should be interpreted broadly. It can encompass physical communities, such as neighborhoods or schools, but it can also refer to social, academic, athletic, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, or other communities. The focus for this prompt should be on how you personally contributed to improving or shaping the community. 

Ken adds, “You should refer (but not repeat the description) of a service activity, mainly focusing on the results and impact of your participation.” For instance, if you were part of a volunteer program that aimed to improve literacy rates in underserved communities, you could discuss how your dedication and efforts led to an increase in reading levels among the children you worked with. Highlight the specific strategies you employed, such as implementing interactive learning activities or creating a supportive and encouraging environment, and explain how these initiatives positively influenced the community. By expanding on your personal contributions and the tangible outcomes you achieved, you will effectively demonstrate your commitment to creating positive change in various communities.

Essay Option 6

Reflection is a central tenet of emory university’s values. craft a personal email providing advice to yourself in your first year of high school..

This is your chance to be creative! Use humor, or even be serious and lighthearted as you provide advice to your younger self.  Ken notes, "Think of things you had the most trouble with or things that you wish others would have told/warned you about. Your advice could focus on personal things – like getting to class on time, where to study, whether to join a club or team, your participation in class, procrastinating on assignments, etc.”

You could also reflect on things you wish others would have warned you about. Do you have any regrets or actions you wish you had done differently during your first challenging year of high school? As you write this email to your younger self, remember to share your personal experiences and insights to show the admissions officers a different side of you. 

Additional Tips for Writing the Emory Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

Now that you’ve taken a look at the prompts for the Emory supplemental essays , here are a few tips to help your brainstorming process: 

  • Choose your prompt strategically. Pick a topic that you believe will bring the best out of you, and help paint an accurate picture of your personality and values. You want to choose the topic that brings forward the qualities that make you a unique and valuable applicant.
  • Don’t repeat your personal statement or your activities list. The goal of the Emory supplemental essays is to provide further information on who you are and what you’re all about. Before you start writing, map out potential essays for different prompts. Compare your outlines and make sure that when side-by-side, they bring out different strengths. Most importantly, make sure that they do not repeat what’s in the rest of your application. Use every opportunity to tell the admissions office something new about you. Don’t repeat yourself!

The Emory supplemental essays 2023-2024 present an incredible opportunity to offer the admissions officers a deeper understanding of your character, passions, and ambitions – as well as how an Emory education can propel you toward success. Approach each prompt with the intention of showcasing your individuality and leaving a lasting impression as an exceptional candidate. The goal is to persuasively convey to Emory why you are a student they cannot afford to overlook!

If you are looking for a college admissions counselor to help maximize your chances of getting into your dream school, we can help! InGenius Prep has helped more than 6,000 students around the world gain admission into the most competitive schools including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, NYU, and more. Sign up for a free strategy call today and join the 6,000+ students we've helped get accepted into their dream schools.

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Emory University is a highly selective, private research university in Atlanta , Georgia , with only an 18% acceptance rate . Due to its competitive application process, there are two required Emory supplemental essays . This helps the admissions committee personalize their admission decisions among a large pool of equally qualified high school applicants with impressive GPAs and high test scores . Emory supplementals are key factors in the admissions process, so its important to familiarize yourself with past Emory University essay prompts , Emory essays that worked, and tips for writing compelling Emory supplemental essays that will help you stand apart from other applicants.

Emory University has an esteemed liberal arts college, noteworthy professional and graduate programs, and is well-known for its healthcare system. The school attracts lots of medical students and is recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in research. There are lots of reasons why Emory University receives so much attention, and there are lots of qualified applicants who would like to take advantage of the great opportunities Emory has to offer. Read on to gain insights and tips on how to write a successful supplemental essay .

Before you get started on your Emory University supplemental essays for 2022-23:

As a highly-selective institution, Emory University requires two Emory supplemental essays as a part of its application. These brief essays, both of which are under 200 words, help Emory’s admissions officers get a feel for applicants’ individual personalities, passions, and opinions. Test scores and statistics are important, but each Emory University application essay helps narrow down prospective students and personalize the admissions process. Focus on writing personal, compelling Emory supplemental essays in order to stand out and give the admission committee a reason to want to admit you. Emory supplemental essays are typically announced around the end of June. In the meantime, in order to prepare for the college application season, familiarize yourself with the Emory supplemental essays of 2021. 

How to answer the “Academic interests” Emory essay prompts

The first Emory University supplemental essay is always the same and is devoted to your academic interests . This essay is 200 words and is often referred to as the “why this major?” essay. The specific Emory essay prompt is: 

What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? 

Of course, not all incoming freshman know what they want to major in; don’t let this dissuade you. Use this Emory application essay to convey your passion for and commitment to learning — regardless of whether or not you know what you’d like to study. 

Generally, though, your college essay should answer the following questions:  Why this major? How will this major help you achieve your goals? How will  Emory University  help you specifically?  In terms of organization, addressing these questions, in this order, is straightforward, flows well, and is well-structured.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Brainstorm thoroughly before you start writing your Emory personal statement . Jot down bullet points, record your stream of consciousness, or discuss the Emory essay prompt aloud with a friend. Whatever works best for you. The point is, in order to write a powerful, concise supplemental essay (remember, you only have 200 words!) , you need to have a clear focus and already know what you want to say. Do your best to communicate your personal connection to your chosen essay prompts when drafting your short answer responses. Otherwise, you risk rambling. Take time to reflect deeply before you jump into this part of college admissions . 

emory essays

Step 2: Why This Major?

Start your Emory supplement essay by explaining why you are passionate about your prospective major. How did you develop an interest in this subject? When did you encounter or experience this subject for the first time ? How will it help you personally and professionally? Why do you believe it is important? 

Be as specific and personal as possible. Ideally, you want to tell a story. A good way to begin this essay is to share a short personal anecdote. Remember though, you only have 200 words so be concise. Just because the essay is brief does not mean it cannot be filled with lots of unique, interesting details.

Step 3: Goals and Aspirations

Discuss some of your greater, post-college goals and aspirations in this Emory University supplemental. This might be highly specific (i.e. a detailed career path), or it may be more abstract (such as pursuing a set of values or ideals). The point is to contextualize your course of study. How does your major fit into the world? Why is it important? What do you hope to accomplish by pursuing this major? Use lots of details.

Step 4: Why Emory?

Conclude your essay by discussing how Emory University , specifically, will help you reach your personal, academic, and professional goals. Again, you want to be as specific as possible, so research the university and your major carefully. Mentioning specific courses, resources, and professors by name will help communicate to the admissions officers that you are committed not only to your education, but to Emory University as well. The admissions officers want to create a dynamic campus community. Therefore, they prioritize admitting applicants who are serious about making the most of Emory University ’s unique resources. 

Step 5: Edit and Proofread

Give yourself enough time to proofread and edit. Ask for feedback on your Emory University application essay from your teachers, peers, guidance counselor, parents, etc. Be confident that your essay is free from grammatical errors.  

How to answer the academic interests Emory essay prompts

There are five essay prompts to choose from for the second Emory supplemental essay . Consider each prompt carefully. Your Emory University essays should feel genuine and natural. There are no “right” answers, so don’t get distracted by what you think might sound impressive. The admissions committee wants to get to know you, so always be truthful and genuine. 

Although the specific essay prompts change year to year, they are typically centered around something meaningful in your life that has changed you in some way. This could include an experience you’ve had, a personal insight, or a field you’re passionate about.

Emory Essay Prompt 1

Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness..

Should you choose this prompt?

Certain areas of the country are much more diverse than others. Only choose this Emory essay prompt if you have real, first-hand experiences of cultural diversity. This is a good prompt to choose if you are an international student, a cultural minority, or grew up in a culturally diverse community. Don’t choose this prompt if you are merely interested in cultural diversity, but do not have any actual, lived experiences to discuss.

The right strategy for this prompt

Like with all of the Emory supplemental essays , be specific, direct, and honest. Do not make up details to make your experience or your reaction seem more impressive. The admission committee wants to see how you interact with others and are able to gain personal insights and integrate them into your actions and worldview. Emory University has a diverse campus culture, so use this essay to show how you can contribute to Emory’s diverse student body and overall sense of community.

Emory Essay Prompt 2

When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true.

Choose this prompt if you can easily think of a time when you questioned a religious, political, or otherwise deeply personal view. For instance, did you decide to become a vegetarian after watching a documentary about factory farming? Were you raised in a homophobic household but realized that you wanted to be more open and welcoming? 

To answer this prompt well, you will need to focus on a specific event. Show how this instance inspired, challenged, and changed you. Emory University values students who are willing and able to challenge their existing beliefs and grow.  Are you intellectually curious? Are you able to change your mind? Are you comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone?

Emory Essay Prompt 3

If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why.

This essay prompt gives you the opportunity to show some of your passions, interests, and values. Choose this prompt if you can think of an answer that clearly resonates with you. Have you always been fascinated by a specific moment in time or a historical event ? Perhaps you wish you could go back in time to experience an event that was particularly impactful for a loved one so that you can understand them better. Or maybe you are passionate about Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece.

Set the scene and describe the event in detail. Use literary devices such as imagery and metaphors. Then explain why this event is important to you personally. Use the beginning of your essay to share your passion for and knowledge of the subject. Then use the remainder of your essay to explain why you’d like to witness this event.

Emory Essay Prompt 4

Share about a time when you were awestruck..

Are you a thoughtful, reflective person? Do you regularly experience awe or feel inspired by nature, music, etc.? This is a great Emory essay prompt to choose if you can think of a powerful instance of feeling inspired.

Choose a specific instance to focus on. Even if you are routinely inspired by nature, choose a specific memory and describe it in detail. The admission committee wants to know what moves you and where you find inspiration. Then focus on how this instance of inspiration has had a positive impact on your life. Make sure you clearly communicate how your experience of awe changed you.

Emory Essay Prompt 5

Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you why.

This prompt is great for avid readers, musicians, and other creative types. Your connection to this book, character, song, etc.  should feel natural and genuine.

Choose something that holds personal meaning to you. Do not try to choose an “impressive” answer. Start your essay by describing the work in detail and then showing how it connects to your larger personality, interests, and passions.

Emory essays that worked: 3 inspiring Emory essay examples

Thankfully Emory University provides top-tier examples every year of successful Emory secondary essays. In this article we will look at several Emory essay examples and discuss why each of these Emory personal statements is successful. 

Related post

emory supplemental essays guide

How to Answer the UC Personal Insight Questions

Emory essay example 1.

My interest in Gender and Sexuality Studies was sparked in my eighth grade Civics class when we studied topics pertaining to sexual equality. I went into the class knowing I believed women had a right to make choices for their own bodies and that view remained the same, but I discovered the complexity of abortion debates. I challenged myself by thinking about the disparity between actual and potential personhood and the moral rights of unconscious lives. If pregnancy had the same consequences for men as it does women, how might the debate be different? Would this debate even exist? 

A year later, I shadowed an OB/GYN at a nearby hospital. On my first shift, I watched an incarcerated woman receive a postpartum exam after giving birth in her cell toilet with just Advil, and the issues discussed in Civics suddenly became urgent and real.

My school projects have often focused on reproductive rights. I’ve spent numerous hours delving into summaries of Supreme Court cases on abortion and contraception, and I’m even known as the “Tampon Fairy” at school because I frequently restock the school bathrooms with tampons and condoms.  

I’m interested in exploring how Gender and Sexuality Studies connect to Public Health and Reproductive Biology, as well as Public Policy and Law. The interdisciplinary nature of this major will allow me to investigate many other areas of study and create a more nuanced understanding of how this particular field interacts with our world and society. 

There is no one “right” way to write successful Emory supplementals. In fact, Emory University says “We encourage you to be thoughtful and not stress about what the right answer might be. We simply want to get to know you better.” A general sense of direction can be helpful, however, so here are some helpful tips to get you started on your Emory essays. 

Why did this essay work?

This essay is concise, contains interesting details, and follows a clear narrative arc. The student shows how she is willing to change her mind and follow her passion in interesting ways. This student is clearly passionate about her course of study and shows a commitment to the subject matter, academically through her research, and personally through their unique actions as the “Tampon Fairy.” This Emory personal statement is detailed, emotional, passionate, and grants the reader insight into the student’s various ways of learning and interacting with the world. 

Emory Essay Example 2

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” the book goes, then the mouse will ask for a glass of milk. If you ask me a question, I’ll answer with another question. 

I’m naturally inquisitive. As a girl, I’d interrogate my parents during 13-hour flights to Beijing: “If we’re traveling to a later time zone, does that mean we’re entering the future?” or “If planes have autopilot, why do we need pilots?” 

Today, my curiosity has transitioned to topics like thermodynamics. Through questioning, I’ve made boring lectures more engaging for me and my peers, while also helping us better internalize the information and develop an appreciation for scientific theories—the ideal gas law and atomic configuration—that help us make sense of our surroundings. 

Questioning my surroundings has allowed me to find my voice in the crowd, letting me step out of my comfort zone while furthering my and my peers’ knowledge.

The opening of this essay is creative and concise. This fictional mouse is known for its dizzying insistence and humor and is an effective cultural touchstone. It hooks the reader, is witty, and demonstrates the student’s personality clearly. Overall, this essay covers a lot of ground in a short amount of space, spanning from childhood to present day. It is humorous, warm, and clearly demonstrates the student’s inquisitive nature and how this will enhance Emory’s academic culture.

Emory Essay Example 3

In 2018, I was eager to see the Senate vote on DACA, an issue I only knew through debate, so I sat in the Senate gallery for 8 hours, surrounded by DREAMers in neon-orange shirts. When Senator McConnell quoted the White House calling the DREAMers unlawful immigrants, we exchanged grimaces. When Senator Schumer listed all he was willing to give up to save DACA, I smiled at the woman next to me. 

As we sat for hours with no food, water, or bathroom breaks, I began to understand the gravity of the issue, realizing the impact 60 people can have on millions, through just one vote. After the government shut down without passing protections for DREAMers, I understood the human impact of our immigration policies. This experience expanded my awareness of the struggle that immigrants go through, and I recognized my responsibility in seeking justice for others. 

This Emory secondary essay hones in on a specific event and shows how the student is willing and able to learn and form new opinions, and apply personal insights to policy. The fact that the student attended this Senate Vote shows that they actively seek out new learning experiences, surround themselves with new people and communities, and are eager to enact change.

Extra tips for a killer Emory supplemental essay

emory essays

Include lots of details. Try to be as specific as possible. Use precise words. You only have 200 words or less to communicate something important in each of these supplemental essays . Do your best to make each word count . 

Establish a tone. Emory University wants to know who you are, so try your best to convey your personality. Try to write the way you talk. If you’re bubbly and personable, do your best to convey that. If you’re shy and thoughtful, try to communicate that. If you have an interesting sense of humor, use that!

Choose a unique topic or approach your topic in a unique way. You want to be memorable so brainstorm interesting topics or unique ways to structure your essay. For example, if you love theater,  write your essay with stage directions. If you’re involved in orchestra, use music theory vocabulary to discuss something non music-related. Your topic itself could be fairly common and straightforward, but if you have an interesting, unique way of discussing it, you’ll have a better chance of being remembered.

Connect your story with the present. The experience you write about doesn’t necessarily have to be recent, but try to convey how your experiences continue to have meaning in the present. The admission committee wants to know how you learn, grow, and create meaning. 

Key takeaways on Emory essays

There are lots of factors to consider when writing a successful Emory supplemental. There are countless decisions to make about your topic, which Emory essay prompt to choose, vocabulary, style, etc. but there are also some more logistical questions to consider. In the following section, we will go over some of these frequently asked questions and answers.

Emory requires 2 supplemental essays . The first essay is academic-focused and is 200 words. The second essay is more reflective and should grant the admissions committee insight into your personality. Emory supplemental essays give you the opportunity to make your application stand out and be memorable.

Emory University is a test-optional school that allows students to either self-report or send official score reports. The test-optional application component, along with the two ways of reporting is meant to increase student accessibility. The writing portion of the SAT is also optional for this reason. 

Emory supplemental essay prompts come out during the summer, typically around the end of June. The first essay prompt , however, is always the same: What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? The five essay prompts for the “ getting to know you ” essay vary year to year. Past essay prompts , however, can help you begin brainstorming before the prompts are available. Check the Emory website to stay up to date. 

Think outside the box! How can you be creative while still being genuine? If your essay is gimmicky, the admissions staff will know. Authenticity is key. There are lots of ways to stand out. Think about what makes you unique and brainstorm from there. The possibilities are endless!

Emory University is a highly-selective institution with an 18% acceptance rate . Lots of qualified students apply, but there are only so many available slots. Emory supplemental essays give you a chance to stand out from your peers by sharing who you are as a person and what you care about. Choose your essay question carefully; ideally, choose a prompt that differs from your common app college essay . 

  • November 10, 2020
  • 12th Grade , College Admissions

How to Write Emory Supplemental Essays: 2022-23 Guide

emory supplemental essays guide

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Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

emory supplemental essays guide

By Eric Eng

Emory University bridge

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is known for its strong education programs. Known for its rigorous programs and innovative research, Emory attracts students from all corners of the globe. It boasts a rich history dating back to 1836.

It has since evolved into a university that offers a multitude of undergraduate and graduate degrees, recognized for its contributions to the arts and sciences, business, law, and healthcare. The university’s reputation is anchored in its commitment to empowering students not just to learn but to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.

For the Class of 2027, Emory University accepted only 16% of its roughly 33,000 applicants, a consistent trend over recent years. Here, scores around 1500 on the SAT and a 3.9 GPA are common among hopefuls, but these alone don’t guarantee a spot. A standout application for Emory University must also include top-notch supplemental essays.

How Many Supplemental Essays Does Emory University Have?

Applicants are required to answer two additional short answer questions , one about their academic interests and one to help the admissions committee get to know them better. The academic interests question asks applicants to write about 150 words on what academic areas they are interested in exploring at Emory University and why.

The second question is a choice between six prompts, and applicants are asked to answer one of them in 150 words or less. The prompts include topics such as a book, character, song, or piece of work that seems made for the applicant, reflecting on a personal experience where they intentionally expanded their cultural awareness and Emory University’s unique mission of service to humanity.

Emory University Campus

What Are Emory University’s Supplemental Essays for 2023-2024?

Emory University has released its supplemental essay prompts for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. In addition to The Common Application’s Personal Statement, applicants to Emory’s Class of 2028 are asked to respond to two 150-word short-answer essay prompts. The first prompt is about academic interests, and the second prompt allows applicants to choose from several options to help the admissions committee get to know them better.

What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why? (150 words recommended length)

In addition, answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

  • Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
  • Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  • Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.
  • Emory University’s core mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission.
  • Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community you have been part of where participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.
  • Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email giving advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

How to Answer Emory University’s Supplemental Essay Prompts

Before you start writing, read the questions thoroughly. Emory’s prompts are crafted to draw out specific aspects of your personality and intellect. There’s often a deeper question beneath the surface. What they are really asking is, “Who are you?” and “How do you fit within the Emory community?”

This prompt is focused on understanding a student’s academic interests and motivations for wanting to study those areas at Emory. The university is seeking insight into the student’s passions, intellectual curiosities, and how they align with what Emory offers. Here are four key points a student should consider when answering this prompt, along with detailed explanations:

1. Specific Academic Interests and Programs at Emory: Students should start by identifying specific academic areas they are passionate about and then research how Emory University supports these interests through its programs, courses, faculty, research opportunities, and resources. Mentioning particular courses, professors, or unique aspects of Emory’s academic offerings demonstrates genuine interest and informed decision-making. Following this identification, students are encouraged to conduct thorough research into how Emory University actively supports and cultivates these academic interests. This involves delving into the university’s programs, courses, faculty members, research opportunities, and available resources that align with the identified interests. For instance, mentioning unique courses that Emory offers, distinguished professors in the chosen field, or specific research initiatives demonstrates not only a genuine interest but also a well-informed decision to apply to Emory.

2. Personal and Intellectual Growth: Explain how these academic interests have developed over time. This could include personal experiences, high school subjects, extracurricular activities, or specific incidents that sparked or deepened their interest in these areas. Connecting past experiences to future aspirations shows a clear trajectory of growth and intellectual curiosity. Students should explore and highlight personal experiences that have played a pivotal role in shaping their academic interests. This could involve sharing anecdotes, challenges overcome, or meaningful moments that sparked their curiosity. For instance, a volunteer experience, a family background, or exposure to a specific event might have contributed to the development of their academic interests.

3. Alignment with Career Goals: Discuss how studying these subjects at Emory will help achieve long-term career goals. This involves showing an understanding of how Emory’s curriculum and opportunities can provide the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the chosen career path. It’s about making a clear connection between academic interests, Emory’s offerings, and future ambitions.

4. Contribution to the Emory Community: Reflect on how these academic interests will enable the student to contribute to the Emory community. This might involve participating in specific clubs, research projects, or community service initiatives. It’s about demonstrating a readiness to engage with the university community actively and how their unique perspectives or skills will enrich the campus environment.

In crafting the response, students should aim for conciseness due to the word limit, while also ensuring their passion and genuine interest in Emory University’s offerings shine through. The essay should be personal, specific, and reflective, painting a picture of a student who is not only academically driven but also ready to contribute and grow within Emory’s community.

These questions are designed to explore various aspects of a prospective student’s personality, experiences, and aspirations. Each prompt is crafted to elicit thoughtful, personal responses that reflect the student’s individuality, cultural awareness, potential for growth, commitment to service, sense of community, and reflective abilities. Here’s a breakdown of the prompts and some brainstorming ideas for each:

1. Personal Connection to Creative Works: This prompt asks for a work that resonates deeply with you. Consider a book, character, song, or other creative pieces that you feel was almost created with you in mind. Reflect on why this work is meaningful to you. Does it mirror your experiences, aspirations, or challenges? Has it shaped your worldview or inspired your creativity? The key is to reveal something personal about yourself through your connection with this work.

In elaborating on this connection, students should reflect on why the chosen work holds particular significance. Does it mirror their life experiences, aspirations, or challenges? Are there elements within the creative piece that resonate with their identity or journey? By examining these aspects, students can unveil the personal layers of their connection, revealing how the creative work has become a meaningful part of their lives.

Furthermore, students should explore whether the chosen work has played a role in shaping their worldview or influencing their creativity. Has it sparked new ideas, prompted self-reflection, or inspired a particular way of thinking? By delving into these questions, students showcase not only their personal connection to the work but also its broader impact on their intellectual and creative development.

2. Cultural Awareness and Growth: The focus here is on a deliberate effort to expand your understanding of different cultures. Think of a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone to engage with a culture different from your own. This could be through travel, community service, learning a new language, or engaging in cultural events. Discuss what you learned and how it altered your perspective.

In detailing the experience, students should discuss the specific circumstances, such as the location, the community involved, or the nature of the cultural exchange. They should then delve into what they learned from this experience and how it influenced or altered their perspective. This might involve gaining insights into different traditions, customs, values, or ways of life.

For instance, if the student participated in community service in a culturally diverse neighborhood, they could reflect on how interacting with individuals from various backgrounds enriched their understanding of diversity and fostered a sense of cultural sensitivity. Alternatively, learning a new language might have opened a gateway to a different culture’s nuances, leading to a deeper appreciation of linguistic diversity.

3. Vision of Flourishing at Emory: This prompt invites you to envision your life at Emory University, focusing on personal growth and success. Consider what flourishing means to you. Is it academic achievement, personal development, involvement in campus activities, or forming meaningful relationships? Describe how Emory’s environment and opportunities align with your vision of flourishing.

Firstly, students should reflect on what success and personal growth look like in their perspective. For some, it might involve excelling in their chosen field of study, while for others, it could entail personal development and acquiring new skills. Involvement in campus activities, such as clubs, sports, or community service, might be a crucial component of their flourishing. Additionally, forming meaningful relationships—whether with peers, professors, or mentors—could contribute significantly to their overall vision of success.

Following this self-reflection, students should then draw a connection between their vision of flourishing and the specific aspects of Emory University’s environment and opportunities that align with this vision. For instance, if a student envisions academic achievement as a central part of their flourishing, they might discuss Emory’s rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, or research opportunities. If personal development is key, they could explore how Emory’s emphasis on a well-rounded education, extracurricular offerings, or mentorship programs align with their goals.

4. Service to Humanity: Emory values service. Reflect on how you can contribute to this ethos. Think about your skills, passions, and experiences. How could these be used to benefit others at Emory and beyond? Examples could include volunteer work, leadership roles, or initiatives you hope to start or join.

Firstly, students should identify their skills, passions, and experiences that can be leveraged for meaningful service. This could involve specific talents, academic strengths, leadership abilities, or experiences that have shaped their worldview. For instance, if a student is passionate about healthcare, they might consider how their interest in biology or previous volunteer work at a hospital aligns with Emory’s commitment to service.

Next, students should envision concrete ways in which they could contribute to the service ethos at Emory. This might include participating in established volunteer programs, taking on leadership roles within service-oriented organizations, or initiating new initiatives that address specific needs within the community. For example, a student with a passion for education might envision starting a tutoring program or joining an existing initiative that promotes literacy.

It’s crucial for the response to include specific examples and to convey a genuine commitment to making a positive impact. Whether through previous volunteer experiences, leadership roles in high school, or personal initiatives, students should highlight instances where they have actively engaged in service and express a sincere desire to continue this commitment at Emory and extend it beyond the university community.

5. Building and Shaping Community: This prompt is about your experience in community building and improvement. Discuss a community you were actively involved in. What role did you play? Focus on specific contributions that led to positive changes or growth in the community. This could be a school club, local organization, or even an online community.

Firstly, students should identify a community they have actively engaged with. This could be a club, team, organization, or any collective group with a shared purpose or goal. The chosen community should be one where the student played a meaningful role in fostering positive changes or growth.

Next, the response should focus on the specific contributions made by the student. What initiatives, projects, or actions did they undertake to impact the community positively? Whether it’s organizing events, implementing new programs, fostering inclusivity, or addressing specific challenges within the community, students should provide concrete examples of their active involvement.

The emphasis should be on the outcomes of their contributions—how these efforts led to positive changes or growth within the community. For instance, if the student was part of a school club, they might discuss how their leadership role resulted in increased membership, improved engagement, or the successful execution of impactful projects.

6. Reflection and Personal Advice: A unique prompt asking you to write an email to your younger self, emphasizing reflection. Think about the lessons you’ve learned since starting high school. What advice would you give your younger self? This could be about academic decisions, social interactions, handling stress, or pursuing passions. The goal is to showcase your growth and self-awareness.

To effectively respond to this prompt, students should start by reflecting on their personal journey since the beginning of high school. What experiences, challenges, or achievements have shaped their character and perspective? Identifying key turning points or pivotal moments allows them to craft a narrative that demonstrates personal growth.

The email should be structured as if it were addressed to their younger self. In this format, students can impart valuable insights and advice gained through their experiences. For example, they might advise their younger self on the importance of time management, the significance of balancing academic and extracurricular pursuits, or navigating the complexities of social relationships.

Including specific anecdotes or instances where lessons were learned adds authenticity to the reflection. For instance, if the student initially struggled with time management but developed effective strategies over the years, sharing this journey provides concrete evidence of personal growth.

In each response, students should aim to be authentic, reflective, and specific. The essays are a chance to show Emory University who you are beyond grades and test scores. Incorporating the term “Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024” can be done naturally by tying your responses to how they align with Emory’s values and what you hope to bring to and gain from the university during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Additional Strategies

1. Start with Self-Reflection: Begin by reflecting on your experiences, values, and aspirations. Think about moments that have shaped who you are. What stories can you share that highlight your unique qualities? Emory wants to see the person behind the grades and scores, so choose anecdotes that give them a peek into your life.

2. Research Emory University: Spend some time on the school’s website researching the campus, academic programs, and student culture. Give yourself some time to dig through the Emory website and get to know your department as well as any related programs, centers, and opportunities.

3. Create a Connection: Your essay should connect your personal narrative to Emory University’s ethos. Does a particular Emory tradition excite you? Can you see yourself contributing to a specific campus organization? Make it clear that you’re not just looking for any college experience—you’re looking for the Emory experience.

4. Be Authentic: Honesty is your best ally. Admissions officers can spot insincerity from miles away. Speak in your own voice and be true to yourself. Authenticity makes your essay memorable and helps you stand out in a sea of applicants.

5. Keep It Structured: Good storytelling has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Your essay should follow this structure with an engaging introduction, a body that builds on your story or argument, and a conclusion that ties everything together. This will keep your writing focused and ensure that your message is conveyed effectively.

6. Show, Don’t Tell: Instead of just stating your qualities or achievements, demonstrate them through your experiences. If you’re talking about leadership, for instance, don’t just say you have leadership skills—describe a situation where you led a team and the outcome of that effort.

7. Get Personal: The supplemental essays are your opportunity to share what’s not on your transcript. Use this space to talk about your personal journey. What challenges have you overcome? How have these experiences prepared you for college?

8. Be Specific: Vague statements don’t leave an impression. If you’re passionate about a field of study, explain why. If a particular professor or course at Emory excites you, mention it by name. Specific details show that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in Emory.

How to Structure Your Supplemental Essays

The structure of supplemental essays, particularly for Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, plays a crucial role in conveying a clear, coherent, and impactful message to the admissions committee. A well-structured essay not only makes your ideas more digestible but also demonstrates your ability to organize thoughts logically and effectively. Here are three key points for structuring these essays:

1. Introduction with a Hook and Thesis:

Start each essay with a compelling introduction that includes a hook – a creative opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. It could be a vivid description, a provocative question, or an intriguing statement. Follow this with a thesis statement that briefly presents the main idea or theme of your essay.

For example, in the Emory University Supplemental Essay about a cultural experience, open with a vivid memory or a striking cultural observation that directly leads to your thesis about the growth and insights gained from this experience.

2. Body with Clear, Focused Arguments:

Divide the body of your essay into paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect or example that supports your thesis. Use topic sentences to introduce the main idea of each paragraph, followed by supporting details, such as personal anecdotes, reflections, and relevant experiences.

In the context of Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, if you’re discussing how you envision flourishing at Emory, dedicate each paragraph to different aspects, such as academic goals, community involvement, and personal growth, ensuring each point ties back to your overall vision.

3. Conclusion that Reflects and Projects:

Conclude your essay by succinctly summarizing the key points and reflecting on what they reveal about you. This is also an opportunity to project forward – how your experiences and insights prepare you for your time at Emory.

For instance, in an essay about contributing to Emory’s mission of service to humanity, conclude by articulating how your past experiences have shaped your perspective on service and how you plan to apply these lessons at Emory University.

Remember, the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024 are not just about responding to the prompts; they are about presenting a story – your unique story – in a structured, engaging, and meaningful way. Use this structure to guide the reader through your experiences, insights, and aspirations, connecting each element to how it prepares you for and aligns with the values and opportunities at Emory University.

Emory University Hospital sign and building

Final Checklist

Before you consider your essays complete, go through a final checklist:

  • Did you answer the essay prompt completely?
  • Have you included specific details and examples?
  • Are your essays within the word limit?
  • Did you avoid repeating information that’s already in your application?
  • Is each essay free of grammar and spelling errors?

Once you are satisfied with your essays, it’s time to submit them. Double-check that you’re sending them to the right place, and keep copies for your records. With your essays polished and ready, you’re one step closer to becoming part of the Emory community.

The Importance of Supplemental Essays in the Admissions Process

When applying to Emory, students quickly discover the pivotal role supplemental essays play in the admissions process. These essays are not just a formality; they are a window into an applicant’s soul.

They offer a narrative that grades and test scores cannot convey, providing a platform to demonstrate one’s unique perspective, experiences, and aspirations. In a pool of academically qualified applicants, it’s the supplemental essays that often make a candidate stand out, showcasing their potential to contribute to the Emory community in distinctive ways.

Discussion on Emory’s Mission and Values

Emory University is grounded in a mission that seeks to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity. This lofty goal is underpinned by values such as integrity, empathy, and intellectual curiosity.

At Emory, education is seen as a journey of moral and ethical discovery, where students are encouraged to engage with global challenges, seeking solutions that serve the public good. The university values diversity of thought and experience, and it fosters an environment where students can learn from each other and grow together.

How Understanding Emory’s Culture Can Guide the Essay Writing Process

To write a compelling Emory supplemental essay, applicants must first understand the university’s culture. This understanding informs how they approach their essays, ensuring that their writing reflects the values and ethos of the institution.

Prospective students should reflect on how their personal goals align with Emory’s mission, considering how their unique experiences and insights can contribute to a dynamic campus environment. Through their essays, applicants have the opportunity to show that they are not just seeking education from Emory but also a chance to be part of a community that values social responsibility and the pursuit of knowledge to better the world.

In essence, the essay becomes a platform for applicants to showcase their potential to not only thrive academically but also to actively contribute to a community that shares their values and commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

What to Expect at Emory University

Upon setting foot on campus, students are greeted by a blend of historic architecture and modern facilities, reflecting the university’s commitment to providing a robust educational environment.

At Emory, students can expect a rigorous academic experience with a curriculum designed to challenge and inspire. The university is home to a diverse and inclusive community where open dialogue and academic inquiry are encouraged.

Emory’s faculty includes leaders in their fields, offering students the opportunity to learn from researchers and professionals who are actively shaping the future of their disciplines.

Emory also places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, allowing students to cross traditional academic boundaries and explore complex real-world issues from multiple perspectives. This approach prepares graduates to be versatile thinkers and problem solvers, equipped to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Beyond academics, Emory’s vibrant campus life includes a variety of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations, ensuring that students can pursue their passions and interests. From arts and culture to athletics and community service, there is no shortage of ways to get involved and make lasting connections.

Prospective students should also note Emory’s commitment to service and leadership. The university encourages students to engage with the larger community, both locally and globally, through service learning and volunteer opportunities.

This dedication to civic engagement is woven into the fabric of Emory’s ethos, fostering a sense of responsibility and a desire to make a positive impact on society.

With all that Emory has to offer, students here are not just earning a degree; they are being equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to lead and succeed in an interconnected world.

How to Effectively Revise and Proofread

Revising and proofreading are critical steps in ensuring that your Emory University Supplemental Essays for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle are polished and impactful. Here are four detailed strategies for effective revision and proofreading:

1. Step Away, Then Revisit

After completing your initial draft, take a break before revisiting your essay. This allows you to return with a fresh perspective, making it easier to identify areas that need improvement. When you look at your essay again, read it as if you are an admissions officer. Does it capture your unique voice? Does it align with the ethos of Emory University?

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, revisit each essay after a day or two and evaluate whether your response effectively addresses the prompt while showcasing your personality and ambitions.

2. Seek Feedback from Trusted Sources:

It’s valuable to have someone else read your essays. Choose individuals who know you well and can provide constructive feedback. This could be a teacher, a guidance counselor, or a mentor. Their insights can help you see aspects of your essay you might have overlooked.

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays, ask your reviewers specific questions, such as whether your essay authentically represents you and if it clearly demonstrates why you are a good fit for Emory University.

3. Focus on Clarity and Conciseness:

During revision, prioritize clarity and conciseness. Remove any redundant phrases, and ensure each sentence adds value to your essay. Pay attention to the flow of ideas; transitions between sentences and paragraphs should be smooth and logical.

With the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, ensure that each sentence contributes directly to answering the prompt. If a sentence doesn’t serve this purpose or reveal something meaningful about you, consider revising or removing it.

4. Proofread for Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation:

The final step is a thorough proofread to catch any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or punctuation issues. Don’t rely solely on spellcheck. Read your essay aloud or backward (starting from the last sentence and moving to the first); this technique helps to catch errors that you might skim over otherwise.

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, pay extra attention to proper nouns, such as the names of programs or professors at Emory, ensuring they are spelled correctly. This shows attention to detail and respect for the institution.

Remember, effective revision and proofreading can transform your essays from good to exceptional, significantly enhancing your chances of impressing the admissions committee at Emory University.

Student writing college or university application.

As you near the end of your Emory University application, the supplemental essays stand as a pivotal component of your journey. They offer a unique opportunity to showcase your individuality and how you resonate with Emory’s ethos. Remember, while grades and test scores are significant, your essays breathe life into your application, providing a voice to your achievements and aspirations.

Approach your essays with both earnestness and creativity. Emory seeks students who are not only academically capable but also ready to contribute to their vibrant community. Take this chance to reflect on what you can bring to the campus and how Emory can help you reach your potential.

Be mindful of the submission deadlines. Late applications typically do not get considered, and you wouldn’t want a timing issue to stand in the way of your opportunity to join the Emory University family.

Good luck with your application. We hope your essays are just the beginning of a successful and fulfilling experience at Emory University.

It is important to have all the necessary information before making any decision. AdmissionSight is always here to help you with any questions or concerns. We have over ten years of experience helping students successfully navigate the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out how we can help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are fully informed and prepared for the application process. We will work with you to develop a personalized plan that meets your specific needs and goals. We will also provide you with access to our team of experts who can help you with everything from choosing the right schools to writing your essays .

Don’t let the admissions process overwhelm you. Contact AdmissionSight today and let us help you achieve your dreams.


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emory supplemental essays guide

How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays

Emory supplemental essays

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/6/24

Writing a compelling supplemental essay can be your key to getting accepted into Emory University. 

Nestled in the heart of Atlanta, Emory University is known for its rigorous academic environment, vibrant student life, and strong emphasis on community engagement. As such, the supplemental essay is not just a formality in the admissions process; it's an opportunity for you to showcase your unique personality, intellectual curiosity, and how you align with the university's values.

In this article, we will guide you through the nuances of crafting a standout essay. We'll explore strategies to effectively convey your story, align your goals with Emory's ethos, and demonstrate your potential as a future member of their community. 

Whether you're an aspiring scientist, a budding entrepreneur, or a creative thinker, this guide is designed to equip you with the essential tools for crafting an Emory supplemental essay that truly resonates with the admissions committee. 

Emory University Supplemental Essay Prompts 2023-2024

For the 2023-24 application cycle, Emory requires applicants to respond to two short-answer essay prompts.

"What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why?" (200 words)
Applicants must also write a response to one of the following six essay prompts in a recommended length of 150 words.
  • Option A : Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
  • Option B : Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  • Option C : Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.
  • Option D : Emory University’s unique mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission of service to humanity.
  • Option E : Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community that you have been part of where your participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.
  • Option F : Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email providing advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

These essay prompts are a vital opportunity for applicants to highlight their unique attributes and articulate their suitability for Emory University.

How to Write Each Essay Prompt for Emory University

Here is a guide on how to approach Emory’s essay prompts, including key strategies for crafting captivating responses. It's important to tailor your essays to reflect the university’s unique values and culture, ensuring that your voice and experiences shine through.

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #1 + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt #1 : This prompt seeks to understand your academic passions and how they align with Emory's offerings. Begin by introspecting on the subjects or fields that ignite your curiosity, drawing from your academic and extracurricular experiences. 

Reflect on why these areas intrigue you, whether it's due to personal experiences, career ambitions, or a drive to solve specific challenges.

  • Show Why You Care : Dive deep into your personal motivations and experiences that drive your academic interests. Emory seeks students who are genuinely passionate about their fields of study. Reflect on experiences that sparked your interest in a particular subject and how they have shaped your academic journey.
  • Fill Your Essay with "How You Will Contribute" Language : Discuss how you plan to use Emory's resources to further your academic and personal growth. Be specific about Emory’s clubs, organizations, or research opportunities that you are excited to be a part of, and discuss how you see yourself making a positive impact.
  • Engage with Emory's Unique Culture and Values : Discuss how your personal beliefs and experiences align with Emory's ethos. Mention specific cultural aspects, traditions, or initiatives at Emory that resonate with you and how you plan to actively participate or contribute to these facets of university life. 

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-A + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-A : This prompt invites you to explore your deep personal connection with a piece of creative work and articulate why it resonates with you. It's an opportunity to reveal your values, interests, and the aspects of your identity that align with the chosen work.

  • Paint a Vivid Picture : Create a well-phrased hook that captures the essence of your chosen work, setting the stage for a detailed exploration of why it resonates with you.
  • Consider Incorporating Annecdotes : Share anecdotes or specific instances from your life to illustrate the deep connection you have with this piece, emphasizing its role in shaping your perspectives.
  • Move Beyond the Surface-Level : Explore the nuances of the characters, themes, or lyrics, and discuss how these elements resonate with your own beliefs, experiences, or aspirations. Analyze specific passages or moments that have left a lasting imprint on your mind.

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-B + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-B : Reflecting on a moment where you actively sought to understand a culture different from your own shows openness, adaptability, and a commitment to diversity. This prompt values personal growth and the recognition of a global community.

  • Craft a Compelling Narrative : Use descriptive language to transport the reader into the experience, focusing on the sensory details that made this cultural journey memorable.
  • Emphasize the Impact : Dive deep into the impact of this experience on your cultural understanding and personal growth. Reflect on how your perspectives evolved, detailing the moments of realization or revelation. Don’t be afraid to also explore the emotional and intellectual shifts that occurred as a result of this intentional cultural exploration.
  • Bridge Awareness to Action in Diverse Communities : Provide concrete examples of situations where your heightened cultural awareness played a role in fostering positive interactions or overcoming challenges within diverse communities. Illustrate how the lessons learned have shaped your attitude, communication style, and overall engagement with diverse individuals and groups. 

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-C + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-C : This prompt seeks to understand your vision of personal and academic success within Emory’s unique environment. It reflects on your expectations for college life and how you envision taking advantage of the opportunities at Emory.

  • Consider a Holistic Definition : Clearly define what flourishing means to you in both academic and personal contexts. Articulate your vision for success, encompassing not only scholarly achievements but also personal growth and fulfillment. 
  • Align Yourself With Emory : Relate your definition of flourishing to specific aspects of Emory's culture, resources, or opportunities. Showcase a deep understanding of what the university offers, tying in elements such as academic programs, extracurricular activities, or unique campus traditions. 
  • Illustrate Personal Growth :  Choose anecdotes that highlight your adaptability, resilience, or moments of self-discovery. This helps the reader understand not only your vision for success but also the journey of personal transformation you anticipate at Emory.

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-D + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-D : Emory’s mission emphasizes social responsibility and service. This prompt asks you to reflect on how your personal goals and experiences align with this mission, showcasing your commitment to making a positive impact.

  • Use Concrete Examples : Share a specific example of how you have served others or outline a tangible plan for future service. Whether through past volunteer experiences, community projects, or a detailed proposal for future endeavors, provide a clear and impactful illustration of your commitment to service.
  • Highlight Your Strengths and Passions : Connect your personal strengths, passions, or experiences to the broader mission of service to humanity. Articulate how your unique attributes make you well-suited to contribute meaningfully. Discuss specific qualities, skills, or experiences that position you as an advocate for positive change.
  • Showcase Your Fit : Discuss how Emory’s resources or community can help you further contribute to the mission of service to humanity. Highlight specific aspects of Emory's environment, programs, or support systems that align with your service goals. Illustrate how being part of the Emory community will enhance and amplify your impact.

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-E + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-E : Emory values community engagement and transformation. This prompt allows you to demonstrate your ability to contribute positively to a community, highlighting leadership, empathy, and initiative.

  • Specify Your Role and Contributions : Describe your specific role and contributions within a particular community. Provide a detailed account of the responsibilities you undertook, the initiatives you spearheaded, or the unique role you played in fostering positive change within the community. Ensure your narrative highlights the depth and breadth of your involvement.
  • Highlight Changes and Impact : Emphasize the changes or impact that resulted from your participation in the community. Quantify the measurable outcomes or qualitatively describe the positive shifts that occurred as a direct result of your contributions. 
  • Explain How You’ll Make a Positive Impact at Emory : Reflect on the lessons learned from your community engagement and how they prepare you to contribute to Emory’s community. Discuss how your experiences have shaped your understanding of effective community building, leadership, and empathy. 

How to Write Emory University Supplemental Essay #2-F + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Prompt 2-F : Offering advice to your younger self encourages introspection and demonstrates growth. This reflective exercise reveals your capacity for self-awareness and your values.

  • Be Authentic and Personable : Adopt a sincere and personal tone, as if you're genuinely advising your younger self. Create a conversational atmosphere that reflects the depth of your introspection. Speak from the heart, offering insights that you wish you had known during your early high school years.
  • Be Insightful and Share Practical Advise : Be specific about the lessons you want to impart, ensuring they are relevant and impactful. Consider moments of growth, resilience, or self-discovery that have left a lasting impression on you.
  • Relate Your Lessons Back to Emory : Tie your personal growth directly to the values and ethos of Emory University. Illustrate how these lessons have not only shaped you as an individual but have also equipped you to thrive within Emory's community that values reflection and personal development.

When writing your essay for Emory University, make sure it's straightforward and to the point, but also share a story or example that shows who you are. This story should help the reader understand you better, showing how you've grown or what you're passionate about. It's important that your essay sounds like you and reflects your own views and goals. 

Make it clear how you fit in with what Emory values and how you see yourself making the most of what Emory has to offer. By keeping your essay clear, personal, and true to your own voice, you'll be able to show Emory why you'd be a great addition to their campus.

Examples of Emory University Supplemental Essays That Worked

Each of the essays highlighted below was written by a successful applicant to Emory University. We have also provided feedback on these Emory essay examples , explaining why the admissions committee found them compelling.

Sample Essay #1

Strategy and management consulting as a primary area is exactly what I have always wanted to do in college. After researching this area, I see it can bring together and develop my diverse interests such as psychology, economics, and political science. Entrepreneurship would be the perfect secondary area. It can teach me the strategy of starting a venture, and also give me a practical approach to bringing value. Emory’s Goizueta School of Business is an amazing school and can teach me all the skills to become an effective leader in the business world.
I honestly can’t remember a time when business hasn’t been my chosen path, so naturally the Strategy and Management BBA program at Emory’s Goizueta School of Business is my primary academic area of interest. I’m especially keen to complete coursework in the psychology of leadership, negotiation, and Goizueta’s marketing consultancy practicum while pursuing a secondary focus in entrepreneurship. 
Currently, I’m interning for an executive coaching company. My internship has exposed me to the psychology of leadership as well as how a business works. I’ve also been able to assist with the company’s online marketing strategies and evaluation of marketing tactics. In years past, I’ve run a dog-walking business, dove for and peddled sand dollars to tourists at the beach, and volunteered for nonprofit enterprises such as [NAME OF ORGANIZATION]. I often spend time brainstorming ideas for new companies as well. Meanwhile, I love exploring the business of sports, specifically football, and am endlessly researching blockbuster deals, contracts, and trades. For all these reasons, I’ve become enamored with business as my chosen pathway to making a significant impact on the world around me. At Emory, I look forward to uplifting both my community and my business propensity to new heights.

Why Essay #1 Worked

This essay effectively communicates the applicant's passion and commitment to a career in strategy and management consulting. It successfully links the applicant's diverse interests in psychology, economics, and political science to their chosen field, demonstrating a well-rounded and thoughtful approach to their academic and career goals. 

Including specific examples, such as the internship experience and entrepreneurial ventures, also provides concrete evidence of the student’s engagement and skills in business. 

Additionally, the essay clearly articulates how Emory’s Goizueta School of Business aligns with their aspirations, showcasing a strong fit between the applicant's goals and the program's offerings.

Sample Essay #2

Prompt : “Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why? ”

The hair stood up on my arms the first time I heard Frederic Chopin’s “Suffocation” (Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No.4). After just two musical phrases, I was gripped. I’m convinced that, in 1839, Chopin composed this piece just for me. In a way, it's like that movie scene in The Shining where Lloyd the bartender says to Jack, “You are the caretaker. You’ve always been the caretaker.” I am the pianist, I’ve always been the pianist. 
“Suffocation” contains precious little composer notation, so it’s my job to interpret it. To start, Chopin notates espressivo piano, so I show my soft, kind side. He writes stretto, and I build with confidence and exuberance. Scattered crescendos/decrescendos highlight my intensity and spirit. A final smorzando pianissimo exhibits my calm and grounded nature. Mr. Hallorann from The Shining says, “Some places… shine, and some don’t.” For me, this piece shines.

Why Essay #2 Worked

Essay 2 effectively resonates with the prompt by vividly illustrating a deep, personal connection with Chopin's "Suffocation" (Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No.4). It skillfully intertwines the music with the writer's identity as a pianist, demonstrating how the piece mirrors and expresses their own characteristics and emotions. 

This personalization, coupled with references to "The Shining," adds a unique and compelling layer to the narrative, making the essay stand out.

FAQs: How to Write the Emory University Supplemental Essays

Below are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about the supplemental essays:

1. Does Emory Have Supplemental Essays?

Yes, Emory does require supplemental essays as part of its application process. These essays are an important component of the application, providing applicants the opportunity to showcase their individuality, interests, and how they align with Emory's values and community.

2. How Many Essays Do You Need to Write for Emory?

You typically need to write two supplemental essays for your Emory application.

Final Thoughts

The Emory supplemental essay is your chance to highlight the unique attributes that distinguish you from other candidates. Your essay should be thoughtfully composed and captivating while effectively conveying your values and aspirations. 

A well-written essay can significantly enhance your prospects of securing a place at Emory University. Best of luck!

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How to Write the Emory University Essays 2020-2021

emory supplemental essays guide

Emory University is a highly competitive college — and it’s no wonder why, given that the Princeton Review ranked it as the top university nationwide for quality of student life, and it consistently ranks in the top 30 universities overall. The class of 2024 saw an acceptance rate of 16.6% at Emory, and Oxford College’s acceptance rate was not much higher at 23.8%. 

Emory is unique in that it offers two options for incoming students to begin their undergraduate careers: the research-focused main campus or the liberal arts college, Oxford. Oxford college offers an “unusually intensive focus on the liberal arts, leadership, and service as well as the close attention of committed and outstanding faculty,” according to their website .  Both campuses are located in Atlanta, Georgia. Regardless of which campus students begin at Emory, all will spend at least the second two years on the main campus and have access to Emory’s world renowned resources.

Emory students typically score between 1400-1550 on the SAT. These scores are comparable on the Oxford campus (1390-1550). Accepted students on both campuses typically score upwards of a 31 on the ACT. Given such competitive testing metrics, and the fact that there will be applicants with the same test scores for every available seat in a class, essays are an excellent opportunity for candidates to set themselves apart.

An application to Emory University requires a completed Common Application as well as two supplemental essays. We’ll be going over how to write strong responses to those essays in this post. Want to know your chances at Emory? Calculate your chances for free right now.

Want to learn what Emory University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Emory University needs to know.

How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays

In addition to a Personal Statement, Emory University requires applicants to write two short supplemental essays. Applicants can choose one prompt from each of the following categories. Each essay should be no more than 150 words. 

“Reflections” Category

Option 1: Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true.

Option 2: If you could go back in time, what advice would you offer yourself at the beginning of secondary/high school?

Option 3: Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.

“Tell us about you” Category

Option 1: Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why?

Option 2: If you could witness a historic event first-hand, what would it be, and why?

Option 3: Introduce yourself to your first-year Emory University roommate.

Before You Begin

As Emory’s website states in regard to these essays, “ We encourage you to be thoughtful and not stress about what the right answer might be. We simply want to get to know you better.” This space is an opportunity for you to present yourself as a complex and unique human being. Remember that before reading your essays and recommendations, your admissions officers will only have seen data points and test scores that describe you. While these numbers are important, you are so much more than a test score . Admission officers want to sympathize with you. They want to root for. They want you to give them a reason to admit you. And this is such a great place for you to give them one! Don’t be afraid to be your true, gloriously weird self.

It’s worth noting that the word limit for these essays is only 150 words. That’s not a lot of space, so the name of the game is brevity . This is not the place for purple prose or modifiers — instead of very hungry, try famished. Consider using sprinted instead of ran as fast as possible. It may seem like a small change, but every word is important here. We recommend that you try to get as close to the 150 word count as possible, and stay within 10-15 words of the limit. 

Reflections Category

These prompts ask candidates to reflect on a moment or period of growth in their lives. Though they have different spheres of focus, they each ask the same core question: How have you grown? High school and college are both times of extreme personal development, and colleges want to know how you’ve changed for the better, as this gives them insight into how you will continue to develop and to what your values are. A well-written essay for these prompts should answer not only how you’ve grown but what that says about who you are . 

Option A:  Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true. (150 words)

Here, admission officers want you to talk about a time when you realized you were wrong about something. Now, you may be wondering, why on Earth would I spend 150 words explaining why I was wrong about something when I’m trying to convince the reader that I’m good enough for their school? Emory is looking for a few things here: self-awareness, humility, and honesty. All of these require confidence and a lot of introspection — all things that make an applicant more likely to succeed in college. For that reason, this prompt is good for those who are particularly introspective and are comfortable being a little bit more vulnerable.

For this essay, you’ll want to think of something personal and specific. Offering up such an anecdote requires a great deal of vulnerability, but it is this humanity that lets you connect with admission officers on a more personal level. Maybe you grew up believing in one religion based on your family’s affiliation, but later realized another religion better suited your personal beliefs. Maybe you were a supporter of abstinence-only sex-ed until your friend had an unplanned pregnancy. By sharing this story, you’re giving readers the opportunity to learn more about your core values and to see your strengths as an independent thinker.

However, not all stories have to be so serious, so don’t shy away from this prompt just because there’s never been as drastic a change in your life. For example, maybe you used to identify as a Ravenclaw but now see yourself more as a Hufflepuff! Using a lighter topic like this still gives you ample opportunity to express your personal values and explain who you fundamentally are. It even opens itself up to using humor, which can be a useful tool to winning over admission officers. 

Option B:  If you could go back in time, what advice would you offer yourself at the beginning of secondary/high school? (150 words)

While many of us joke about getting “No Ragrets” tattooed across our chests, the truth is that almost all of us have regrets. Hindsight is 20/20, and there’s always something we wished we’d handled better or done differently. This prompt asks you to reflect on a particular instance during the past 4 years and think about how Current You might be able to guide Past You. Let me tell you, there is A LOT I wish I’d done differently in high school — how did I manage to be both clueless and pretentious at the same time?

There is no specific context for this advice, so it’s a great opportunity to be both creative and personal. If you are an athlete, consider writing about how Current You would give wisdom to Past You about your sport of choice — whether it be in regards to the game itself, your attitude, or a teammate. Perhaps you’re a student researcher and want to write about how you wish you’d set up your experiment differently.

This is a perfect time to address any weaknesses in your application and explain how you wish you could have changed them. For example, if you are worried that your application is lacking in extracurriculars, you might give the advice to your younger self to realize that life is about more than just hitting the books — it’s about relationships and experiences as well. We know that it may sound scary to write in an application that you wish you’d studied less, but demonstrating that you now know how to balance your personal and academic life is huge when it comes to succeeding in college. Remember that admissions officers are looking for well-rounded individuals who they think have what it takes to be both successful and happy in college.

A helpful tactic for planning this essay might be to think of (or even write down) a transcript of a hypothetical conversation between Current You and Younger You. What do you have to say? How do you think your younger self would have reacted?

This prompt is great for more creative thinkers. It’s also important to pick an anecdote that shines a different light on you than what’s already been discussed in your Personal Statement. For example, if you talked about ballet in your Personal Statement, you might not want to give any dance-related advice in this essay.

Option C: Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness. (150 words)

This prompt is ideal for those who have prioritized cultural sensitivity and have engaged with people from diverse backgrounds.

This prompt is a little bit more specific and directed than the other two, because it requires you to think about a time when you intentionally expanded your horizons. While all three prompts address growth, this one requires you to reflect on an instance where you did something deliberate that catalyzed your growth. For example, my lab partner had a different cultural background than me would no longer be applicable since you didn’t actively do something. Think instead of a time when you consciously made the decision to expand your cultural awareness — like the time you went out of your way to sit with the “different” kid or the time you studied abroad.

When talking about cultural awareness, a lot of people throw around the term “cultural competency.” While this has been a big buzzword in academia in recent years, you might consider reaching instead for a term like “cultural humility.” Acknowledge that you will never know everything there is to know about other cultures and the best thing you can do is to commit to growth and learning, which is exactly what all of these prompts are about.

When talking about experiences with those different from us, it’s important to acknowledge some cliches that exist. Many applicants have had a voluntourism experience — that is, a volunteer mission trip. Not only can voluntourism stories come off as cliche, they can also make you sound privileged and condescending. Every admissions officer has ready countless “I was there to teach them, but really they taught me” essays. That said, you can still talk about your service trip experience! Try to put a unique spin on it, by focusing on a personal anecdote that only happened to you. The more specific, the better. Acknowledge your privilege and explain how you grew from it.

With a prompt like this, it’s easy to focus on another individual (such as your lab partner). But with only 150 words, don’t waste too much space talking about someone else. Remember that you are the protagonist of this story and you are the one applying to Emory. If you’re wondering if you’ve fallen into the trap of spending too much time describing someone else, look at your verbs. You should be the subject of most of those verbs, because you are the star of the story. For example, you might consider changing “ My lab partner taught me about her culture and allowed me to grow” to “ By engaging in vulnerable conversations, I developed into an empathetic and sensitive ally.”

As the category’s name suggests, all of these prompts require you to describe yourself. While the “Reflections” prompts may seem more conducive to a narrative structure (whereas this is a bit more straightforward and factual), you can definitely still tell a story here if you want. Just because the questions are more direct doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) be creative. Just remember that 150 is not a lot of words. At all. So don’t waste your time with rambling stories or over-the-top detailed descriptions. Get to the point and stick to the point.

Option A: Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why? (150 words)

This is a great prompt for people who have a piece of media that they feel really strongly about — and let’s face it, most of us are at least a little obsessed with some kind of media. Think about a piece of media that you feel like you can identify with on a deep, personal level. You should then go a step further and think about why you identify so strongly with that person or thing. What does it say about you?

Once you have your what (or who) and your why , search for an anecdote that explains your personal connection to this piece of media. For example, maybe you really identify with Katniss (your who ) Everdeen because you’re super protective of your little sister (your why ), so then you can tell the story about that time that you drove 45 minutes late at night to pick your sister up because she was uncomfortable at a party. The more specific the anecdote, the more the admissions officers will get to know you (“Wow what a responsible and selfless sibling this applicant is!”).

A really easy trap to fall into with a prompt like this is to give the answer that you think admissions officers are looking for. Like maybe you think the admissions officers are looking for you to say that you just love studying so much , so you choose Hermione Granger even though you don’t even like Harry Potter. As in life, you should always be true to yourself in your essays for two main reasons: a) you’re amazing as you are, so let people know the real you and b) trying to pander to an admissions officer is transparent and can reflect poorly on you.

Option B:  If you could witness a historic event first-hand, what would it be, and why? (150 words)

This prompt is perfect for any history buffs, but you don’t need to be a prospective history major to tackle this one. One approach is to pick a historic event that has always spoken to you — maybe you’ve always been fascinated by the building of the Great Pyramids, and would’ve loved to see them built. Or maybe you have a friend who thinks the moon landing was faked and you wish you could witness it yourself to prove them wrong! There are so many different directions to take this prompt.

However, if nothing is jumping out at you, you might consider thinking about what you want to say to the admissions committee that hasn’t already been said. Let’s say that you’re really passionate about gender equality and that’s not really indicated anywhere else in your application. This essay might be a great place to talk about how you’d love to have been a part of the women’s suffrage movement — and then explain why.

This probably goes without saying, but make sure that your essay is accurate. Fact check anything you say with a quick google search. You don’t want to accidentally say, for example, that you would’ve loved to have been in DC when the Declaration of Independence was signed, when it was really signed in Philadelphia.

Whatever event you pick, make sure that you have some sort of personal connection to it. Spending 150 words talking about how great Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech was is not only boring, it’s not really relevant. Everyone knows that it was an incredible moment, and any student can write that essay. But more importantly, MLK isn’t applying to college — you are. So spend maybe a sentence or two hyping up MLK and then move on to why it matters to you. 

Option C: Introduce yourself to your first-year Emory University roommate. (150 words)

This is definitely the most open-ended of the “tell us about yourself” prompts, so it’s a good choice if you want to be more creative or feel trapped by the specificity of the first two. What this prompt is really asking is “Who are you? What makes you special?” We know that’s a daunting task, so let’s break it down a bit more.

Now in the real world, if you were introducing yourself to your new roommate, you’d probably spend at least the first 100 words talking about your hometown, your major, if you’re clean or messy, and if you’re a night owl or an early riser. This however, is not the real world. It’s a college admissions essay, so there’s no time to waste on all that practical stuff. Jump right into the nitty-gritty of what makes you a unique person.

Now might be a great time to let your “roommate” know that you speak four languages (and two of them are made-up ones) or that you plan on bringing a ton of blankets that you knit yourself. And oh, you’re deathly afraid of spiders, so if you hear murderous screaming one day, it could just be a spider. Just remember to keep the bragging to a minimum. Show us how great you are, but “hey roomie, I cured cancer my sophomore year and have three Olympic medals” comes off a little obnoxious.

Another thing to keep in mind with this prompt is tone. You can address your “roommate” directly if you want or structure it as a letter, but you certainly don’t have to. This opens the essay up to a more conversational tone and can definitely facilitate a bit of humor if that’s your thing. Just don’t over do it. It’s still an admissions essay, so you should still use proper grammar, spell check, and avoid overly informal language. 

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