Why Major Essay Examples
At many schools, the why major essay forms a crucial part of the college application process. In addition to your Common App essay, many schools require supplemental essays. One of the most popular supplemental essay prompts is the why major essay.
The why major essay allows colleges to learn more about you and your interests. This guide will give you some why major essay examples from popular colleges. It will also offer some tips on how to write a why major essay.
This guide includes why major essay examples from the following colleges: The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Southern California, Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Pomona College. These college essay examples can act as a great source of inspiration for your why major essay. By looking at these college essays that worked, you can learn more about how to approach various supplemental essay prompts.
What are examples of why major essay prompts?
The why major essay examples in this guide have varying prompts. Here are the why major essay prompts from our college essay examples:
|Why Major Prompt
|Please describe your interest in your intended major and how your interest in the field developed.
|Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first-and second-choice major selections.
|Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person … any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College
|Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and what opportunities at Georgia Tech will prepare you in that field after graduation?
|What gets you excited about your academic interest selection(s) above?
“Why major” essay requirements
As you can see, most why major essay examples will have between 250-300 words. However, some college essay examples will have more. Additionally, some why major essay examples will focus on college-specific information. In general, these essays ask why you’ve picked your intended major, so try to be as specific as possible. These why major essay examples are a great place to start if you need help with your why major essay.
The college essay examples in this guide also reflect the level of research needed for a why major essay. As you research colleges, look for a class you want to take or a research opportunity that interests you. Then, be sure to include that in your why major essay for that school. If a prompt mentions the college’s name or asks why you’re interested in their school, focus on school specifics. The college essay examples we’ve included in this guide can help you jumpstart the writing process.
Who has a why major essay?
Many schools have a why major essay, as these essays help colleges understand you and your academic passions. The why major essay examples in this guide come from UT Austin, USC, Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Pomona College.
In addition to these schools, many other colleges also have a why major essay. Some of these include Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, University of Michigan, and Rice University.
Beyond the why major essay, many colleges will also have a why this college essay. This essay asks why you’re interested in that specific college. Some schools may combine the why this college essay and the why major essay. It can be helpful to compare colleges to help you decide which schools you prefer. In these essays, try to mention specific courses and professors. Some of the why major essay examples in this guide also function as why this college essay samples. You can find more college essay examples here.
Choosing your major
It’s okay if you don’t have a designated major in mind yet. While many schools will allow you to apply as an undecided student, some schools will require you to pick a major as part of your application. However, this choice often is not binding.
Reading why major essay examples can help as you choose your major and prepare to apply. If you’re not sure about your major, you can read our guide on How to Choose a Major.
In our why major essay examples, you’ll see how your personal interests and passions can help you choose a major. Our why major essay examples demonstrate how helpful it can be for colleges to know why you’re interested in your intended major. Where do you see yourself working? What’s your favorite subject in school? Thinking through these kinds of questions (and reading college essay examples) can help you navigate the different majors available.
Why This Major Essay Example
We’ve included five different why major essay examples below. Pay attention to how these why this major essay examples include specifics about each college. These why major college essay examples can help you understand what colleges look for in a Why Major essay. Overall, by reading college essays that worked, you can learn more about how to brainstorm and structure your own essays.
Now, let’s look at some why major college essay examples.
UT Austin Essay Examples
Please describe your interest in your intended major and how your interest in the field developed. (250 Words)
UT Austin Essay Example
Some of you may wonder ‘When will I ever use derivatives in real life?’ Welcome to when.” My physics teacher, Mr. Welsh, described engineering as the “when” math and physics were applied to real problems. That is what is so attractive about engineering; it gives me the ability to apply intriguing concepts to fascinating projects. I love how engineering combines creative freedom with mathematical certainty to create projects that can impact and change the world.
During the Chain Reaction Contraption competition, a local competition, my team and I created a Rube Goldberg machine to complete a certain task. I found a love for the hands-on, creative portion of mechanical engineering and design. Other engineering activities also provided important experiences that contributed to my desire to pursue engineering. In my engineering design class, I enjoyed using computer programs like Solidworks and AutoCAD to create designs and visualizations of ideas. In FTC Robotics, I discovered that in addition to building the robot, I also loved the programming aspect behind mechanical design.
Reflecting on these experiences with engineering, particularly mechanical engineering, I am certain that engineering is the best path for me. I hope to apply my Mechanical Engineering degree to the Aerospace field. My dad is a pilot, so I have grown up hearing about and being around airplanes. As a child, I watched war plane documentaries with my dad and have had a passion for Aeronautics since then.
Why this essay worked
This why this major essay example works because it utilizes a personal story. By using a specific experience, this essay reflects on why this student is interested in mechanical engineering. Starting with a personal anecdote is a great way to introduce your essay. By including any experience you have with a club or extracurricular, you can help the reader understand your experience within the field.
Reading UT Austin essay examples can help you start writing your why major essay. Read through the UT Austin Degree Programs and pick the major that best aligns with your interests. Try to think about what experiences, both inside and outside of school, have piqued your interest—this can be a great way to start your why major essay. Use the UT Austin essay examples to help guide your writing process. As you draft, these why major essay examples can be a great source of inspiration.
USC Why Major Essay
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first-and second-choice major selections. (300 Words)
USC Why Major Essay
The perks of being an English major is that you have a lot of opportunities, which I fully plan on partaking in during my time at USC. First and foremost, I hope to form close connections with my professors and to take advantage of the world-class education I’d be receiving. There is also a study abroad program specifically entwined with English that I hope to be able to participate in during my time at USC. I intend to participate and eventually help with the events that USC’s English department puts on as well.
As a sophomore, I hope to be a research assistant to a professor, hopefully someone who specializes in Romanticism or the niche field of ‘Law and Literature.’ I plan on starting research to write my own thesis during my junior year and hope to publish by my senior year. I plan on being a research assistant first because it would give me insight on the mechanics of research in the humanities and would help me formulate some ideas for my thesis early on. Since I am on the pre-law track, I hope to take advantage of USC’s resources by starting an internship.
While I have yet to declare a minor, I would like to capitalize on my love for languages by minoring in a language, and since Los Angeles and the campus of USC itself is a multicultural hub, I could immerse myself into the cultural aspects that come with learning a “new tongue.”
Why this essay worked
This why this major essay example works because it focuses primarily on how this student will utilize the resources at USC to pursue their intended major. In this, the essay fully answers the prompt set by the USC Admissions Office.
This USC Why Major essay mentions the specific study abroad program and the research opportunities available. In doing so, it shows how familiar this student is with the English program at USC. This USC essay also helps demonstrate the student’s excitement for the opportunities available at USC. Detailing a rough plan for each year in college is a great way to show the USC Admissions Office what you know about their school’s programs.
This USC Why Major essay is a great example of combining a Why This Major essay example and a Why This College essay sample. Compared to the other Why Major essay examples you may read (including the one above), this USC essay is specific. Other Why Major college essay examples may be used for more than one school—often, you’ll include similar information in your supplemental essays for different schools. However, the USC Why Major essay can only be used for USC. The USC Admissions wants you to detail exactly what about USC you find appealing, and this USC essay does this very well.
Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay example
Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person … any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College. (650 Words)
Cornell Arts and Sciences Supplement Essay Example
When 6:35 AM alarm rings, I find myself considering the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility–if I hit the snooze button, will my eight minutes of fragmented slumber garner more utility than a fresh-brewed cup of coffee? The trend continues throughout the day: with the release of the newest Yeezys, I contemplate bounded rationality. Though the sneakers scarcely justify the price tag of $550, the rapidly-depleting supply almost overwhelms my rational decision-making capabilities: textbook behavioral economics. As soon as I realized that my daily decisions could be explained by economics, I was determined to learn more.
To many, the subject conjures images of stockbrokers painstakingly laboring over Excel spreadsheets; it’s easy to forget it governs our everyday lives. Half a century ago, the creation of the unassuming mortgage-backed security set the stage for the global 2008 Recession. Simultaneously, the power of economics can be awe-inspiring: Muhammad Yunus’ work with microfinance pioneered new ways to address global poverty. Studying AP Economics, participating in countless rounds of debate both in and outside the United States, self-studying courses like Professor Chetty’s Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems, and managing the budget of our schools debate team taught me that market principles govern our world; through my education, I hope to learn how to harness them for good.
After a summer working for Congressman DeSaulnier, I realized that economics and politics are intertwined. One of my most memorable projects was preparing a brief on H.R. 4674 (the College Affordability Act)–for two weeks, I scrutinized the social, political, and economic effects of the legislation, and concluded with a half-hour presentation on my findings to the Congressman. In the process, I realized that even seemingly minor pieces of legislation affect all of society; by helping disenfranchised communities gain access to education, the bill addresses cyclical poverty at the root. When the Congressman announced he would become a co-author, it was a personal victory–it cemented my desire to intertwine my passion in economics with our political process, and learn how to craft innovative legislation designed to benefit millions.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell is the ideal environment for me to pursue those passions. As an aspiring Economics major, I’m incredibly excited to learn from world-renowned economists like Professor Basu. Beyond fascinating courses like Game Theory and Strategic Economics, which synthesize economics, business, politics, and diplomacy, it would be a privilege just to attend his office hours and learn from his experience as former Chief Economist at the World Bank and President of the International Economic Association. In addition to my classes, I’d love to get involved in the Hatsfield Undergraduate Research program and further my understanding of how economics can be applied. Papers like Professor Battaglini’s “The Political Economy of Weak Treaties” are fascinating to read, and it would be a phenomenal experience to receive mentorship from veterans in the field while aiding them in their work.
I’d also love to minor in Public Policy, which seems almost tailor-made for my own career goals; the synthesis of an unparalleled education in the fundamentals of economics with courses designed to help students craft tangible policy would literally be a dream come true. Programs like Cornell in Washington promise the opportunity to get hands-on experience from Capitol Hill itself. I’d be more than happy to use my education in a Congressional Committee and get an insider perspective on the steps that go into developing, amending, and passing legislation.
The College of Arts and Sciences combines that with a robust undergraduate community, which offers unique opportunities to collaborate with a large student body and start developing a professional network–whether I’m catching a game of ice hockey or participating in Dragon Day, I know there’ll never be a dull moment. All in all, Cornell promises four truly life-changing years–I can’t wait to become a member of the Big Red community.
Why this essay worked
Reading through Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay examples, like the one above, can serve as an excellent case of how to combine a Why Major essay and a Why This College essay.
Out of all the college essay examples we’ve included here, the Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay examples contain the most detail. This why this major essay example showcases how important it is to have exact details available about the college or program you are applying to. This student highlights several different professors at Cornell, as well as their specific work and research. The Cornell Admissions Office appreciates the time and effort put into these essays, so it’s crucial to do your research!
This why this major essay example also uses the longer word count well. In particular, it offers personal anecdotes while showcasing the writer’s knowledge of economics. The reader gets to know the student better, and the Cornell Admissions team can see that the writer is serious about studying at Cornell.
As you can see in these why major essay examples, the more specific details you can include about the college, the better. Reading multiple Cornell supplemental essay examples can help you explore the different programs students look forward to joining. Be sure to explore the Cornell Admissions website to review their offered fields of study. If you’re undecided on a major, you can read through our guide on Cornell Majors here for some inspiration. You can also read more Cornell supplemental essay examples here.
Georgia Tech Essay Examples
Next, let’s look at some essay examples from Georgia Tech. Here’s the prompt:
Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and what opportunities at Georgia Tech will prepare you in that field after graduation? (300 Words)
Georgia Tech Essay Example
March 29, 2019. 11 AM EST. GT Shadow Day. I remember it all so clearly: Descending the red-brick steps of the Old Civil Engineering Building. My friend and I, chatting up a storm, our minds blown by our newfound perspectives.
We had just walked out of ECON-4060: Money & Capital Markets, taught by Dr. Belton. To say that it changed my life would be no exaggeration; within an hour, Dr. Belton had upended my perception of society and defined my future aspirations.
We had been asked to consider a popular commodity, diamonds. Hardly rare, fast-decaying, and intrinsically worthless. So why do we buy them? Dr. Belton had then illuminated the factors in our economic behavior that cause us to gift a ring in marriage rather than something with real value, say a treasury bond. These realizations were enough to rock me back on my heels, for I had never before noticed the large degree to which our everyday economic decision-making is irrational.
Craving more than that one splendid hour, I knew where and what I wanted to study for the next four years. I saw myself strolling through Bobby Dodd Way, bumping into old friends as I made my way to Midtown Atlanta. Then, I imagined myself exploring the realm of economics, probing questions ranging from price formation to income disparity. I saw myself at a place that felt familiar enough to call “home,” learning in a way that felt genuine enough to call “discovery.”
Educating myself on the mechanics of economics is just a glimpse of my great desires. Through the senior research project, I seek the one-on-one guidance of faculty in yielding a publishable journal paper. Someday, with the support of the program’s alumni network, I plan to pursue career and internship opportunities in the great company headquarters of Atlanta.
Why this essay worked
Like many of the why major essay examples we’ve highlighted, this why major essay starts with a personal anecdote. Our Georgia Tech essay examples can be used as a why this college essay sample as well.
The student’s personal story is tied to Georgia Tech. This makes it a great addition to a Georgia Tech application. Our Georgia Tech essay examples also drive home the importance of bringing specific details about a college into your why major essay. The Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples can help spark your inspiration on what details to include. This why this major essay example does a great job of building on a personal experience with Georgia Tech. It also highlights what prompted the student’s interest in economics.
Learning from Georgia Tech essay examples
Reading through Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples like the one above can teach you a lot. As you approach your essays, make sure you showcase how important it can be to reference specific classes or professors offered by a college. Use Georgia Tech essay examples to get some inspiration for your research and writing.
If you are interested in submitting a Georgia Tech application, be sure to familiarize yourself with the offered majors. These can be found here. The Georgia Tech supplemental essay examples can be a great research tool as well if you are unsure about picking a major.
For more help on a Georgia Tech application, be sure to read through our guide on Georgia Tech Admissions as well. Reading through more Georgia Tech essay examples can help if you’re feeling stuck on your why major essay—it can be helpful to target your search for the major you’re interested in. The Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples illustrate the importance of building connections between your interests and what each college offers.
Pomona College Essay Examples
What gets you excited about your academic interest selection(s) above? (300 Words)
Pomona College Essay Example
I’m a cis-gender gay man. I came out to my family during my sophomore year and to my entire school in an assembly my junior year.
My queer identity has inspired my involvement at Tony’s Place, my research on LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, and my involvement in changing my school’s LGBTQ+ policies. Being gay has become a primary lens through which I view the world.
The Gender & Women’s Studies Program would provide me with a critical lens to further understand my own experiences and ways I can become a better activist.
The LGBTQ+ community is distinct from other marginalized groups because it is an umbrella of different experiences, and it takes a high level of literacy to understand these differences. The Gender & Women’s Studies Program’s emphasis on including diverse perspectives in the curriculum is crucial in my understanding of other perspectives and ways I can support others.
For my Modern Middle East final, I wrote a forty-five page paper on LGBTQ+ movements in Middle Eastern countries. Writing this paper made me think about LGBTQ+ rights from an international perspective. Pomona’s Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality in Asian/America can advance my understanding of the cultural implications of Western colonization. In doing so, I’ll discover ways the United States can assist an LGBTQ+ social movement in other nations without imposing an imperialist definition of pride.
While researching alongside a University of Houston professor, I had to consider the relationship between disabilities and LGBTQ+ homeless youth’s mental health outcomes. Taking The Disability Studies: Foundations, Intersections, & Future class will help me better empathize with the different communities represented in my future research endeavors.
By linking queer theory to disciplines such as economics, media studies, and politics, The Gender & Women’s Studies Program will prepare me for a lifetime of activism.
Why this essay worked
This why this major essay example does a great job of connecting this student’s personal identity and experiences to their intended major. This Pomona essay gives the reader insight into who the student is. It also highlights how their identity has informed their academic passions.
Out of all the Pomona majors, this student describes a specific program that spoke to their long-term goals. Reading through the Pomona College essay examples can help you structure your Pomona essay. This why this major essay example also has a great structure. It opens with a personal anecdote and segues into specific details about Pomona naturally. As such, this why this major essay example feels cohesive and clear.
When reading through college essay examples, pay attention to how closely they follow the exact prompt directions. The Pomona College essay examples highlight how important it is to answer the prompt. Your Pomona essay should explain why your intended major excites you. Make sure you read through the offered Pomona majors, found here. The Pomona College essay examples can also help you narrow down your options from the many Pomona majors offered. The reader can feel how excited this student is to pursue their major at Pomona, making it a great why this college essay sample as well!
How to write a Why Major Essay
After reading through the why major college essay examples, you may still feel stuck on how to write a why major essay. The first step to writing a why major essay is to pick your major.
While this may seem obvious, this can be a difficult step for a lot of students. There are many great guides on picking a college major, including our own guide. There are also guides from U.S. News, Research.com, and Coursera. Additionally, you can review the data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics on the most popular college majors. Reading about different majors (and reading different why did you choose this major essay examples) can help you decide which path of study is best for you.
You can also read a number of college essays that worked from Johns Hopkins University here. These can help you explore different areas of study and see how other students have described their experiences. Additionally, you can read our guides on college search, building a college list, and how to compare colleges.
Beginning your writing process
Once you know what major to pick, the fun part starts. Read some why did you choose this major essay examples and think of your own experience. Was there a class you took that sparked your interest or a club that inspired a new academic passion? What subjects or topics within this major speaks to you the most? Start reading why major essay examples for your intended major—they may help you focus your interest.
Let’s think through how a student may tackle a why major essay. Imagine a student named Isla who plans to study biology in college. When sitting down to write her why major essay, she might research each school’s biology programs in depth. Then, she might pick one or two classes for each school and look up what research projects the professors design.
She’ll also think about why she wants to study biology. She can still remember how captivated she was during her biology classes and how excited she was to learn more—this can be a great start to her essay. Isla can build her why major essay around her personal interests and the research she’s done. The Why Major essay gives Isla a great opportunity to explain her passions and to show schools she is serious about her goals.
Why engineering essay
If you’re interested in applying to engineering programs, your why engineering essay should detail what subjects within engineering you find compelling. Some schools will have you write a why engineering essay as part of their application process. Some of these include Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and the California Institute of Technology.
When writing your why engineering essay, it can be helpful to include the specific field you’re interested in, such as mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, or computer engineering. Research the programs you’re applying to. Then, try to include any recent projects or news in your why engineering essay. Overall, a why engineering essay should explain your interest, include relevant information about each school and showcase your knowledge in engineering.
In addition to the UT Austin why this major essay example included in this guide, research other college essays that worked specifically to engineering. Reading why major essay examples for engineering programs can teach you more about the programs that interest you. If you’re feeling stuck, read more why did you choose this major essay examples for some inspiration!
Why business major essay
As the most popular major for undergraduate students, writing a why business major essay can be intimidating. Since business is such a popular major, many why major essay examples will focus on business. Some schools will have you write a specific why business major essay. For example, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business require them. You can also refer to the Cornell why this major essay example included in this guide.
Try to include specific details about your experiences to ground your why business major essay. Think about your future career goals—do you have a dream company you’d like to work for? Look into each business program as well. Do they have any exciting internship programs, or connections with local businesses? Breaking down your goals and detailing what makes you excited about the specific program can help you write your why business major essay.
Reading college essay examples specific to business programs can help as well. You may find more essays geared towards graduate degrees, but researching why did you choose this major essay examples for business can help target your search. Reading why major essay examples for business programs can also help you see what specific schools look for.
Why nursing essay
Nursing is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. Writing a why nursing essay can be a core component of applying to nursing programs. This includes applying to programs at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Los Angeles. So, reading a why this major essay example for nursing can help jumpstart your writing process.
Your why nursing essay should explain your passion for the field. In your why nursing essay, be sure to include any personal stories you may have regarding nursing and the health field. Many why major essay examples for nursing include personal stories to help explain the student’s interest in healthcare.
Your why nursing essay should also be as specific as possible. Is there a specialization you’re interested in? Be sure to reflect on caretaking and share any personal experience you may have. These can elevate your why nursing essay. Additionally, if you’ve volunteered in a healthcare facility or have any experience with the profession, include these details in your essay. Overall, your why nursing essay should explain to the reader why you’re passionate about such an important field. It should also outline your future career goals within healthcare.
Other CollegeAdvisor Resources on College Majors
If you’re still feeling stuck on picking a major for your why major essay, CollegeAdvisor is here to help. In addition to these why major essay examples, you can review our guide on college majors here. This guide includes college-specific resources, but we also have a guide on listing a college major. Beyond that, we have guides for business majors and computer science majors. Additionally, we have guides on college enrollment, study abroad, and test scores.
Reading these different guides, alongside these why major essay examples, can help you navigate the wide array of majors. Once you find a major you’re interested in, reading why major essay examples for your specific major can help you start writing your why major essay.
Why This Major Essay Examples – Final Thoughts
Applying to college may feel overwhelming, but researching schools and majors is a crucial first step. Reading college essays that worked can help you understand what goes into a great why major essay.
Even if you’re not sure about your intended major, reading through why did you choose this major essay examples can help in the decision-making process. Arming yourself with information about each program will help, too. Reading why major college essay examples can provide specific inspiration for the programs you’re interested in. Focus on what excites you about each school’s program, and you’ll have a great starting point for your why major essay!
This essay guide was written by senior advisor, Jess Klein. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile. We will 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.