How to Write the Georgetown Supplemental Essays

Georgetown asks students to complete three short supplemental essays. Here is some advice for writing all three!

Short Essay

Briefly (approximately one-half page, single-spaced) discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.

By asking this question, admissions officers are really asking; how does this student contribute to their community?

The first keywords to pay attention to in this prompt are, “in which you have been most involved’. You have the option here of choosing between a summer or a school activity. It’s important that you choose only one activity. Choose the activity to which you have devoted most of your time to. This prompt provides you the opportunity to demonstrate both your values and what a commitment means to you, since an activity you devote much of your time to is one you value, and your commitment can be demonstrated in your presence and impact.

The second key words to pay attention to are ‘discuss the significance to you.’ They indicate that you should devote less time to a literal description of your activity, and more space to reflecting on it. A reflection on significance can cover a broad range of topics, such as what you learned from this experience, how you made an impact or why it was important or meaningful to you. Use your reflection as an opportunity to demonstrate maturity and growth.

Ideally, your writing will demonstrate that you would fit well into the Georgetown community. For example, if you choose to write about volunteering at a soup kitchen, your admissions officer can learn that you value community service, which is one of Georgetown’s core values. This demonstrates that you would continue to perpetuate the culture Georgetown wishes to maintain. Your admissions officer can also assume that you would likely become involved in one of the many service based clubs on campus should you attend the school. You can even nod in this direction and include a sentence about your desire to continue your community service involvement in college.

Compose two brief essays (approximately one page, single-spaced each) on the topics given below. Essays should be typed.

Essay One ALL APPLICANTS: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.

Take this essay as an opportunity to let your personality shine through! Try to focus less on what you think an admissions officer wants to hear, because following a script will prevent you from showcasing who you are. Rather, think about what you’ve been dying to say on your applications but haven’t yet had the chance to.

The great thing about this prompt is that it allows you a lot of freedom. You have the choice between personal or creative writing, which means you can even choose to submit poetry or fiction if you would like. Take advantage of this flexibility as a way to share a side of you that admissions officers won’t see in any other part of your application. Distance yourself from the academic checklist and think about who you are, really. Who is the person your best friend knows?

Admissions officers want to build a community that speaks to the schools’ values. Keep this in mind as you write. You might choose to write an essay or story that highlights one of the values you share with Georgetown. On the other hand, don’t force this – you want your writing to be authentically true to you!

Essay Two: The essay prompt for the second essay varies depending on the school to which you are applying; Georgetown College, School of Nursing and Health Studies, The Walsh School of Foreign Service, or the McDonough School of Business. This essay should be approximately one page in length with single-spaced text.

APPLICANTS TO GEORGETOWN COLLEGE:

What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

This prompt is a veiled version of the “why this school” question. You should answer it in both an abstract and concrete manner.

Abstractly, you’ll want to speak to write about why Georgetown’s educational philosophy speaks to you. You might choose to write about Restless Inquiry and your curious nature. You might be drawn to Georgetown’s Jesuit foundation or traditions, such as people for others, and write about using your degree to make a positive difference in the world. You’ll want to tie this research into your answer to what it means to be educated. It’s okay to be direct here – you might begin your essay by writing; ‘To be educated means to’

Next, you’ll want to segway into a concrete plan to achieve this educated ideal. This is the supplement in which you should directly discuss your intended plan of study and how you plan to involve yourself in the Georgetown community. If you know what you want to study, you can write about why you want to pursue your major. Are there specific classes you look forward to taking or professors you want to learn from? If you aren’t sure what you want to major in, worry not! You can write about why you think Georgetown is the school where you want to figure it out! What attracts you about their academic options? Are there a few different areas you are interested in exploring? You should also address opportunities outside of the classroom. Is there a research laboratory or institution that you can see yourself becoming involved in? Community wise, is there a student life organization that you look forward to joining?

APPLICANTS TO THE SCHOOL OF NURSING & HEALTH STUDIES:

Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).

This essay prompt asks less about abstract educational values and more about your motivation. Perhaps you had a personal experience with the healthcare world that motivated you to pursue a healthcare profession, or you’re particularly fascinated by an aspect of global health or human science. You should write about what motivates you to study what you plan to study, and why you want to pursue it at Georgetown. Why study nursing at Georgetown over one of the other top nursing programs in the country? You should read through the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Mission, Vision and Values, as well as research the specific program to which you are applying, and write about why.

APPLICANTS TO THE WALSH SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE:

Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

By asking this question, your admissions officer is seeking to understand both what you are curious and passionate about, as well as how you think and reason. The issue you choose to address should directly relate to the Walsh major you intend to pursue. You’ll need to explain both why it is important and suggest how to deal with it.

In discussing the importance of your issue, you’ll want to address its current or future effects on relevant systems or populations. Then, you’ll want to offer a plan of action to mitigate the damage or increase potential positive impact. Keep in mind that you are neither expected to understand the complexities of the issue nor expected to have the correct answer – in fact, one correct answer probably doesn’t exist for the sorts of issues you might choose to address.

Rather, use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in what you’ll study, and your ability to reason with the information you do have. Be careful not to write a history lesson. Even if your admissions officer doesn’t have all of the details, they’re more interested in your proposed solution and the rationale behind it.

APPLICANTS TO THE MCDONOUGH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS :

The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

This prompt describes the school’s pedagogy. They’re saying, if you come study here, you’ll leave with these perspectives on the world. This is the mindset with which you will enter graduate school or the workforce.

Your job is to explain why you value those perspectives, and how they will equip you to tackle your future endeavors. You should both write about past experiences that have led you to apply to business school, and what you aspire to do with your degree. If you dream of working for a large international company that operates on a global scale, a global perspective will help you to understand cultural dynamics at play cross culturally, and how they are different from those at a national or even a local level. Or maybe you want to attend law school and practice international corporate law. You’ll need a business foundation to properly understand the clients you will be representing in the future.