University of Minnesota supplemental essay image; collegadvisor.com: a photo of Burton Hall on UMN-Twin Cities campus

Not sure how to approach the University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompts? With tips from an Ivy League graduate, CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the University of Minnesota essay prompts will show you how to write strong University of Minnesota application essays and increase your chances of University of Minnesota admission.

For more resources on UM, click here. Want help crafting your University of Minnesota supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a free consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • The University of Minnesota has an acceptance rate of 70%—U.S. News ranks University of Minnesota Twin Cities as a competitive school. 
  • We recommend answering all University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompts with thought and care.

Does University of Minnesota require essays?

Yes. In addition to the Common App Personal Statement, there are two University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompts. Although the University of Minnesota essay prompts are optional, we suggest writing all the University of Minnesota application essays. This will help boost your chances in the University of Minnesota admissions process. 

Need tips on writing your Common App essay? Check out our blog article.  

How do I get into the University of Minnesota?

The University of Minnesota admissions process is like any other. You should apply via either the Common App or the University of Minnesota portal, the Golden Gopher Application. The platform you use will not affect your University of Minnesota admissions chances.  

You should include your extracurriculars and awards. You should also highlight what makes you unique. Additionally, you should write strong University of Minnesota supplemental essays. Your application should show University of Minnesota admissions officers who you are and how you’ve grown throughout high school. 

You do not, however, need to submit your ACT/SAT scores, letters of recommendation, or academic transcript. Some of those materials may be required for other colleges, but not for University of Minnesota admissions. You can view the University of Minnesota admissions process in more detail here

How many essays are there for University of Minnesota?

There are two University of Minnesota essay prompts. Both of these University of Minnesota application essays are optional. However, we suggest that you write both University of Minnesota supplemental essays. This will help increase your odds in the University of Minnesota admissions process. 

You can view the University of Minnesota Twin Cities supplemental essays on the Common App website

What does the University of Minnesota look for in essays?

In the University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompts, your readers want to see clear, well-written prose. They also want to see how you’ve grown during your high school career. In your responses to the University of Minnesota essay prompts, University of Minnesota admissions officers want to see what makes you special. You should highlight what makes you unique as you complete the University of Minnesota essay prompts. 

Be authentic

Your University of Minnesota application essays should also show that you’ve done research on the school. Colleges like to know why they are special to you. So, use the University of Minnesota application essays to discuss why UM would be the best fit for you. Most of all, you should strive to sound genuine and thoughtful in your University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompts. Strong essays will boost your chances in the University of Minnesota admissions process. 

University of Minnesota Supplemental Essay 1 (Optional)

Please include an explanation of why you would like to study the major(s) you have selected. You may also use this space to indicate your interest in other major(s) in the colleges listed above. (Maximum 150 words)

How do I write the University of Minnesota essays?

This University of Minnesota application essay is the classic “Why Us” question with a little twist. Rather than asking why the school attracts you, this University of Minnesota supplemental essay asks about your chosen major. Here are a few guidelines to follow as you complete this University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompt. 

To best answer this University of Minnesota essay prompt, you should read all you can about your major on the UM website. You could even read about the courses you would take in your chosen program. This will help you write an informed response for this University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay.

Avoid general statements such as “I think the University of Minnesota has a great biology program.” Instead, use details to show what makes the UM biology major special. The more specific you can be, the better.

In this University of Minnesota supplemental essay, you might also address what made you want to pursue this major. You could also include an anecdote that sparked your passion for whatever you intend to study. Don’t just talk about what you want to study; instead, highlight why this field matters to you.

Don’t list

As this University of Minnesota essay prompt notes, you can also express interest in more than one major. You should, however, remain concise. After all, you only have 150 words, so make the most of them. You don’t want your University of Minnesota application essay to just list all the majors which might appeal to you. Instead, make sure you address the why of this University of Minnesota essay prompt rather than just stating the what. 

For example, if you are applying to major in Electrical Engineering, you should first read the entire department website. You could also check out their faculty news and student & alumni news pages to get a full overview of the department. The University of Minnesota Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers two degrees: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (BEE degree), and Bachelor of Computer Engineering (BCompE). Make sure you use the right language when discussing your future major in your University of Minnesota application essay. 

Connect your interests to career goals

If you know you want to study Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice, you should, again, read the website. You could discuss how this major will prepare you for a career in healthcare or policy. As you research, look at what makes this program unique. For instance, you could address how this program lets you pursue advanced courses in one of four different clusters. Then, you could talk about which cluster interests you and why. 

Overall, for this University of Minnesota supplemental essay, ensure you have done detailed research about your chosen major. You only have 150 words to respond to this University of Minnesota essay prompt. However, you can maximize the space you have by doing in-depth research. Be specific, concise, and detailed.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Essay Prompt Key Questions :

  • Does your essay demonstrate that you’ve done research on the school?
  • Do you explain what unique programs at UM interest you? 
  • Does your draft provide details about what you hope to do on UM’s campus?  

University of Minnesota Supplemental Essay 2 (Optional)

The University values diversity, broadly defined to include diversity of experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and talents. Enrolling a diverse community of scholars interested in learning with and from each other fosters discussion and discovery inside and outside of the classroom. Please share briefly how you might contribute to, or benefit from, our community of scholars. (Maximum 150 words)

This University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompt is twofold. First, you should describe how you will enrich the University of Minnesota community. Then, you should address how you will benefit from a diverse learning environment.

The wording of this University of Minnesota essay prompt suggests that you can answer only the first or second part. However, we suggest you address both sections of this University of Minnesota essay prompt to strengthen your essay. Your readers want to see that you’ve addressed all parts of the prompt.

This University of Minnesota supplemental essay may be listed as optional. However, you should still complete it. Some students might ignore this prompt, so writing this essay can help you stand out. 

A diverse learning experience is the cornerstone of any college campus. Your response to this University of Minnesota essay prompt should show why this diversity matters to you on both an academic and personal level.

Pick something unique

For the first part of this University of Minnesota supplemental essay, choose something that makes you unique. This might be an identity, a view, an experience, or even a rare talent. Then, you should discuss how this aspect of yourself would enrich UM’s campus. How will you use your chosen skill or experience to engage with other students? Your readers want to be able to see how you will fit in into their student body. This means your University of Minnesota application essays should show how you will add to UM’s campus. 

Then, turn to the second part of this University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay. In this part of your essay, describe how a diverse college experience will benefit you. Perhaps you come from a very homogeneous area, either racially, politically, or economically. How will engaging with those from other backgrounds broaden your views and enhance your education? Despite the word limit, you should still address both parts of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities essay prompt. 

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Essay Prompt Key Questions:

  • Does your essay describe an experience, background, or talent that you have which would enrich the University of Minnesota campus?
  • Have you shown a desire for growth and collaboration during your time as a student at UM?
  • Do you use concise and specific language to maximize the space you have in this prompt? 

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Supplemental Essay Final Thoughts

The University of Minnesota supplemental essays can seem daunting. However, don’t let that keep you from applying. The University of Minnesota supplemental essays will help you show who you are to the University of Minnesota admissions team. The University of Minnesota supplemental essays can boost your application if you have a below-average GPA or SAT score.

Use this guide as a step-by-step aid for the University of Minnesota supplemental essays. Start writing earlier than you think you should. Given the University of Minnesota acceptance rate, these optional University of Minnesota supplemental essays are even more crucial.

Some students might ignore this part of the University of Minnesota admissions process. So, writing these essays will strengthen your application. Don’t be afraid to ask for edits; it’s helpful to have someone check your University of Minnesota supplemental essays for grammar, tone, and clarity. Good luck!


This guide was written by Laura Frustaci, Harvard ’21. This guide to the University of Minnesota supplemental essays shows you how to write strong essays and increase your chances in the University of Minnesota admissions process. For more resources on UM, click here. Want help crafting your University of Minnesota supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.