Essay Scoop: University of Pennsylvania Essay

Natalie Thompson
Natalie Thompson

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University of Pennsylvania is an urban university with about 10,000 undergraduate students. It is #8 in the list of top 50 schools in the U.S. as a whole, which is impressive. When you apply to U Penn you will write an essay about your interests, and include why you have chosen one of the four undergraduate schools. Let’s analyze how to respond to the University of Pennsylvania essay prompts to give yourself a strong impression.

Campus layout

All the undergraduate majors at UPenn are housed in one of four schools: College of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, School of Nursing, and Wharton (Business). The university’s most popular majors are Finance, Nursing, and Biology.

Social life

You can join greek life or a wide variety of clubs. Athletics are also strong—the University’s basketball and lacrosse teams are well recognized.


When you apply, you can complete the Common App or the Coalition App. In addition, you will answer a question specific to UPenn.

If you decide to apply to a duel-degree program or specialty program, then you answer an additional essay question for one of those seven programs.

“How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania?”

The admissions board wants to see that you are unique, want specifically to attend the University of Pennsylvania, and can do well in college. Remember, the keywords are “you” and “your . . . interests.”


Planning your University of Pennsylvania Essay

Select a major in one of the 4 undergraduate colleges, then plan an essay that connects a personal trait or experience to your desired area of study. Then create an outline similar to an academic essay using main points and supporting evidence.

For example, if you want to study Material Science and Engineering, you will explain in your college essay your interest in the subject and how U Penn would be a great place for you.

Research what your major courses will include and student life at U Penn. Then you can work details in which blend your personal strengths with elements an admissions officer will recognize.

In summary….

You could explain how courses in materials synthesis and materials performance would be similar to your high school interest in physics. Using funny examples and a sense of your quirky side would make the essay stand out. Empowerly can help you prepare for college from selection through the application.

Questions? Let us know!