emory essays

Emory Essays 

Emory University, nestled in Atlanta, Georgia, is known for its commitment to intellectual rigor and interdisciplinary exploration. The Emory essays offer students a great chance to stand out in the competitive admissions process. So, as you prepare to apply, you should ensure you understand the Emory essay requirements. 

As one of the nation’s top private research universities and the top university in Georgia, Emory attracts a diverse array of bright minds each year. The allure of Emory’s vibrant campus resides in its robust academic offerings and its rich extracurricular landscape. Wondering how to get into Emory? Well, given the competitive nature of admissions, the Emory essays hold considerable weight within the Emory application process. 

Strong Emory essays form a critical part of any successful application. In this guide, we’ll walk you through each of the Emory University essays. 

We’ll also discuss:

  • Each of the Emory essay prompts
  • Tips for writing the Emory supplemental essays
  • Where to find successful Emory essay examples
  • Other Emory requirements

We hope this guide provides useful insight into how to get into Emory University!

Emory Supplemental Essays: Quick Facts

Emory University Essays Quick Facts

  • Emory University Ranking Overall: Ranked #22 among National Universities.
  • Emory University Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate is 13%. U.S. News considers Emory University highly selective.

Essay Requirements:

  • Common Application Essay/Personal Statement
  • 1 Short Answer Focused on Academic Interests (Why Major Essay)  (150 words) 
  • 1 Short Answer Focused on Getting to Know Applicant (Get to Know You Essay)  (150 words) 

Admissions Application options:

  • Emory University uses the Common Application. Students will use the Common App to upload all materials, including the Emory supplemental essays. 

Emory University Application Types & Deadlines:

  • Early Decision I: November 1st
  • Early Decision II: January 1st 
  • Regular Decision: January 1st

Emory University Supplemental Essays Tip:

  • Emory University publishes strong Emory supplemental essays from previous candidates. In these Emory supplemental essays, note how the writers use engaging rhetoric, highlight their intellectual curiosity, and offer genuine responses.

Please note that essay requirements are subject to change each admissions cycle, and portions of this article may have been written before the final publication of the most recent guidelines. For the most up-to-date information on essay requirements, check the Emory admissions website.

Does Emory have supplemental essays?

Yes. Alongside the Common Application personal statement, all Emory University applicants must complete two Emory supplemental essays. 

The Emory supplemental essays include two short answer questions focusing on your academic and personal interests. Additionally, the Emory supplemental essays are shorter than those you might encounter at other schools—less than 150 words each. Therefore, applicants should make the most of every word in their Emory University essays.

How many essays does Emory require?

emory essays

In total, students will complete three Emory essays, including the Common App personal statement. 

On the Emory application, students will complete two additional Emory essays. These two additional Emory essays are less than 150 words apiece and ask students to share their academic and personal interests. 

In the next section, we will review the prompts for each of the Emory supplemental essays. We’ll also highlight where students can find successful Emory essay examples.

What are the Emory essay prompts?

emory essays

As stated, Emory requires the Common Application personal statement and two Emory supplemental essays. While the Common Application personal statement aligns with the standard Common Application prompts for 2023-2024, the Emory supplemental essays have two specific prompts. 

The first of the two Emory supplemental essay prompts focuses on academics. This Emory essay prompt is considered a ‘Why Major Essay” prompt. 

The first Emory University essay prompt states: 

What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why?

The second Emory supplemental essays prompt focuses on getting to know the applicant. With six different Emory essay prompts to choose from, these “Getting to Know You” Emory essays allow students to share a bit about themselves. 

For the second of the Emory supplemental essays, students can choose from the following six prompts: 

Emory University Supplemental Essay Prompts

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Each of these Emory University essays allows you to share something a bit different about yourself and what you’d bring to campus. So, choose your topic carefully for the second of the Emory University essays. 

Emory Common App Essays

The Common App essay plays an important role in the Emory admissions process. So, use it as a chance to introduce yourself in a unique way. You can write about your background, a major moment in your life, or your future goals. Through your Emory University essay for the Common Application, you can show Emory who you are and why you’re a perfect fit.  

Remember that Emory requires two additional supplemental essays. So, when crafting your Emory essay for the Common Application, try to avoid topics you’ll cover in later Emory supplemental essays (or those for other schools).

Emory Essays – Why Major Essay

The first of the required Emory University supplemental essays asks you to describe your interest in your intended major. This Emory essay prompt—asking applicants to explore their academic interests at Emory University—challenges students to convey their passion and commitment within a 150-word count. In this section, we’ll guide you through strategies for these Emory University supplemental essays.

Here’s the first Emory essay prompt:

Prompt: What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why?

In order to tackle this Emory essay prompt, start by pinpointing the academic areas that genuinely resonate with you. Be specific—mention departments, courses, or research opportunities that captivate your interest. Think about both your general academic interests and the specific offerings of Emory University. 

Share why these areas excite you—whether it’s a unique curriculum, esteemed faculty, or research initiatives. Highlight how Emory’s programs align with your academic aspirations and why you believe Emory is the ideal place to foster your intellectual growth. 

With only 150 words, you should maximize every sentence to convey your enthusiasm. Overall, strong Emory University supplemental essays will use specific details about what Emory offers. Avoid general statements and focus on specifics that showcase your deep interest and preparedness for your chosen academic areas. 

This Emory essay is your opportunity to show that you’ve researched the university’s offerings and envision how they will support your academic journey. However, remember that this essay should still be about you. So, don’t just repeat information about Emory—instead, focus on how Emory’s offerings meet your individual needs. 

Emory Supplemental Essays – Getting to Know You

emory essays

While the first of the Emory essays focuses on your academic interests, Emory University’s “Getting to Know You” essay lets applicants showcase their personality, experiences, and aspirations. A key difference within this Emory essay is that you are given a choice of six prompts. While the topics are different, the word count is the same. You guessed it—you only have 150 words. 

With a choice of six Emory essay prompts, each essay prompt offers applicants distinct avenues for self-expression. Ultimately, the second of the Emory essays allows you to highlight an important facet of your character. To help you choose the strongest Emory essay prompt, let’s take a closer look at the options.

Be mindful that you only have 150 words to stand out, so choose your prompt carefully. Furthermore, this Emory essay should not only showcase your unique perspective; it should also complement your other application materials.

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

You should choose this Emory essay prompt if you deeply connect to a creative work that has shaped your perspective. Your chosen work should reflect your unique identity, values, or experiences. Strong Emory essays won’t just discuss a piece of creative work that the applicant likes—instead, they will use this work to say something deeper about the applicant’s identity. 

Once you select your work, be sure to thoughtfully explain your selection and connect it to other facets of your identity. The best Emory essays, moreover, will teach the admissions team something they don’t already know about the applicant. However, this doesn’t mean that your chosen work can’t connect to other interests in your application—just make sure that the second of your Emory essays adds a new dimension to your profile. 

Make sure the work you select is authentic to you, so avoid picking something just to impress the admissions committee. Most importantly, be cautious of what you pick. Avoid divisive or graphic content that might distract from your intended message and the positive impression you aim to create.

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

You should choose this Emory essay prompt if you’ve engaged in meaningful cross-cultural experiences. Notice the word “intentionally”—have you engaged in activities where you actively sought to learn more about the world around you? You could write about a meaningful trip abroad, a volunteer experience in a different community, or a variety of other experiences. Remember, no two Emory essays will be the same. 

Additionally, make sure the second of your Emory essays highlights your personal growth through this experience. Again, don’t just tell your readers what you think they want to hear. Instead, use the Emory essays to thoughtfully demonstrate your commitment to cultural understanding and your desire to contribute to a diverse community. Make sure to connect your intentional expansion of cultural awareness to your desire to enrich Emory’s campus.  

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

You should choose this Emory essay if you’re excited about embracing opportunities and growth at Emory. Think about what “flourishing” means to you—intellectual stimulation? Community? Giving back? Then, use the second of the Emory essays to specifically explain how Emory will allow you to flourish. Strong Emory essays will discuss specific academic programs, extracurricular activities, or campus resources that align with a student’s goals and aspirations. 

Highlight how the university’s environment aligns with your values and ambitions. Avoid generalities and clichés; instead, focus on unique experiences or qualities that make Emory a special place for you to flourish.

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’re dedicated to positively impacting society, this Emory essay prompt suits you. Strong Emory essays will show a student’s genuine commitment to serving their communities. Additionally, the best Emory essays will look both backward and forward—that is, they’ll share how a student’s past interests and experiences will allow them to create change in college. 

Outline specific ways you have engaged in service or contributed to the well-being of others in your community. Discuss your values, experiences, and skills that align with Emory’s mission of service. Avoid generic statements about helping others; instead, use concrete examples of how you’ve translated your commitment into action. Then, highlight how you’ll continue to serve your community at Emory. 

5. Emory University is strongly committed 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.

The fifth prompt for the Emory essays slightly resembles the previous prompt. However, it expands from the concept of “service” and, instead, speaks more generally about building community. If this resonates with you, you might consider this Emory essay prompt. 

The best Emory essays will recount a specific experience in which the applicant actively contributed to enhancing a community. You’ll need to provide some context about the community you were part of, whether it was a school club, volunteer organization, or any other group. However, make sure you quickly move into a discussion of what this community meant to you. Detail how you created positive change within that community through leadership, collaboration, or innovation. Additionally, highlight the outcomes of your efforts and how they positively impacted the community. 

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.

Choose this Emory essay prompt if you enjoy self-reflection and have valuable insights to share. For this Emory essays prompt, address your younger self genuinely and empathetically, offering advice based on your personal growth and experiences since then. 

Reflect on the challenges you’ve overcome, the lessons you’ve learned, and the insights you’ve gained. Strong Emory essays will share practical advice that reflects Emory’s emphasis on personal growth and self-discovery. Additionally, in your response, avoid clichéd or superficial advice. Instead, provide thoughtful, meaningful guidance that showcases your maturity and depth of understanding.

To recap, Emory University’s “Getting to Know You” supplemental essay invites you to share your unique perspective and experiences in just 150 words. By selecting the right prompt and responding concisely, you can effectively convey your character and aspirations.

How to write Emory supplemental essays

Outstanding Emory University supplemental essays can make your application stand out to the admissions team. The best Emory essays will show who you are, share your experiences, and explain how you’d fit in at Emory University. 

Here are some quick tips to help your Emory supplemental essays shine:

Learn About Emory

First, before writing your Emory University supplemental essays, learn about the school’s values and programs. Use what you’ve learned to show you’re genuinely interested in Emory. Furthermore, take advantage of Emory’s resources, such as their admissions blog, to help you craft your Emory essays and create a strong application for Emory University.

Be Yourself

Next, write your Emory University supplemental essays in a way that shows your true self. Share personal stories that have influenced you. Stay away from generic answers and talk about what makes you special.

Tell a Good Story

Also, make your Emory supplemental essays interesting by telling a story. Use descriptive words to keep the reader interested.

Check and Improve

Before sending your Emory University supplemental essays, proofread them and fix any mistakes. Check for good grammar, punctuation, and clear writing. Since you have a limit on how many words you can use, pick your words carefully and avoid saying the same things too much.

By following these tips for your Emory University supplemental essays, you can create an application that shows your unique qualities and explains why you’d fit well at Emory University.

Emory essays examples and more

We hope this guide has helped you better understand how to get into Emory with strong Emory University essays. Next, let’s look at some more resources—including Emory essay examples—that can help you tackle the admissions process. By reading successful Emory essay examples, you can learn more about what the admissions team looks for in applicants. 

Emory University Essay Resources

  • Emory University Essays That Worked: This article provides a collection of successful Emory essays. In it, we showcase how students approached the Emory supplemental essays in past admissions cycles. While some prompts may change from year to year, the same strategies remain effective. 
  • Client Success Stories: Cequiyia & Kelsey York: Check out this spotlight on Cequyia York—a CollegeAdvisor student who got into Emory’s class of 2027. In it, Cequyia shares her experience with the admissions process and discusses how one-on-one college advising helped her succeed. 
  • How to Win a HOPE Scholarship: This article provides insights into the HOPE Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship program in Georgia. It also offers guidance on how to strengthen your merit scholarship applications. 
  • Strong Personal Statements: Poetry & Prose Can Elevate Your Essay: This article from Emory University highlights exemplary personal statements from previous applicants. It demonstrates the diverse range of topics that can effectively showcase a student’s character, curiosity, and voice. By featuring these statements, the article underscores the significance of a well-crafted personal statement.

Emory Supplemental Essays: Final Takeaways

emory essays

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the Emory requirements and prepare to write strong Emory supplemental essays. To craft standout Emory essays, you need more than just strong writing skills—you need a strategic approach that aligns with the university’s values and aspirations. 

Let’s recap the five key takeaways to help you master the Emory supplemental essays:

1. Keep your Emory supplemental essays authentic.

Authenticity is the cornerstone of success in your Emory supplemental essays. The admissions team knows how to recognize genuine experiences and insights. Instead of molding your responses to fit a preconceived notion of what’s expected, focus on sharing your unique stories, experiences, and thoughts. When it comes to your Emory University essays, authenticity will always resonate the most.

2. Weave Emory’s values into your narrative.

Emory University isn’t just a backdrop for your academic journey; it’s a community with a mission and core values. As you approach your Emory supplemental essays, take the time to understand Emory’s values. Weave these values into your Emory University essays, illustrating your genuine interest in and alignment with the university’s distinctive character.

3. Reflect and connect.

Emory supplemental essays offer you a space to showcase your past, present, and future. Reflect on your journey and the experiences that have shaped you. Then, connect these reflections to Emory’s opportunities—whether through its innovative academic programs, dynamic campus culture, or commitment to community engagement.

4. Make sure your Emory supplemental essays dig deep.

Emory values diversity in all its forms, and your Emory supplemental essays are the perfect place to display your identity. Embrace the chance to showcase how your unique background, perspectives, and experiences can contribute to Emory’s community. Use these Emory University essays to demonstrate not only your individuality but also your potential to enrich the university’s diverse environment.

5. Embrace your Emory supplemental essays as a chance to reflect.

The journey of crafting Emory supplemental essays is both a reflective process and an opportunity to align your aspirations with Emory’s mission. You can create strong Emory essays that connect with the admissions committee by using your responses to weave in Emory’s values, reflect on your experiences, and showcase your diversity. Therefore, let your passion for Emory University and your personal growth shine through in your Emory University essays.

If you feel you need more insight into Emory admissions and how to approach your Emory essays, check out this virtual information session from Emory University admissions officers:

We hope this guide and the other resources we have suggested have helped you better understand the Emory requirements and prepare for the Emory application process. If you want more guidance on the Emory supplemental essays as you prepare to apply, we’re always here to help.

emory essays

This article was written by senior college advisor Ashley Hollins. Are you looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. In your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.