How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays: Guide + Examples 2023/2024

purdue supplemental essays guide

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • What are the Purdue University supplemental essay prompts?
  • How to write each supplemental essay prompt for Purdue
  • Prompt #1: "Why us? essay"
  • Prompt #2: "Why major?" essay
  • Prompt #3: "Why [alternate] major?" essay

Want to get a better sense of what Purdue is looking for? 

You’ll find an extensive, by-the-numbers look at Purdue’s offerings, from enrollment and tuition statistics to student life and financial aid information, on its Common Data Set. For deep insights into how this public research university envisions its role and how it wants to grow and evolve, read its Foundations of Excellence Report  (it’s 74 pages … yikes ... but you can skim). Reading through this will give you a strong idea of what Purdue values and how those values may be shifting. 

BUT, please don’t just copy and paste chunks of the plan into your essay because a) that’s plagiarism and it's basically an academic crime, and b) anyone could do that. 

Think about this: What aspects of Purdue’s plan speak to you? From reading the report, you would also discover that most students are admitted into one of Purdue’s highly individualized bachelor’s degree programs. So, if you have a clear sense on what you want to study and crave a strategic path to your future career, perhaps as an engineer, Purdue may be right for you! Think about what resonates with you and keep reading to find out how you can connect the dots. 

What are the Purdue supplemental essay prompts?

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the alternate major you have selected. (Respond in 250 words or fewer.)

How to Write Each Supplemental Essay Prompt for Purdue

How to write the purdue supplemental essay prompt #1.

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer)

This is a very short variation on the “Why us?” prompt (an essay you’ll see quite a few schools require). 

Because it’s so short, the key will be finding 2-3 reasons that set Purdue apart from all the other schools you’re applying to and focusing on connecting to your academic and non-academic interests. 

Here’s the “Why us?” essay guide —in this case, the Cornell example is a good one, but it’s pretty long, so be sure to check out the Tufts example too. Here’s the short version of the guide, to (hopefully) pique your interest:

Spend 1 hr+ researching 5+ reasons why Purdue might be a great fit for you (ideally 2-3 of the reasons will be unique to Purdue and connect back to you).

Make a copy of this chart to map out your college research.

Create an outline for your essays based on either Approach 1, 2 (recommended), or 3 in our  full guide above.

Write a first draft!

As you write, try to  avoid these common mistakes: 

Six Common Mistakes Students Make on “Why Us?” Essays

Mistake #1: Writing about the school's size, location, reputation, weather, or ranking.

Mistake #2: Simply using emotional language to demonstrate fit.

Mistake #3: Screwing up the mascot, stadium, team colors, or names of any important people or places on campus.

Mistake #4: Parroting the brochures or website language.

Mistake #5: Describing traditions the school is well-known for.

Mistake #6: Thinking of this as only a "Why them" essay.

Below is a great sample essay for this prompt.

Recently, to become part of the “Smart Cities Initiative”, my hometown was awarded a $50 million grant. I wish to research robotics and autonomous sensing at Purdue’s Smart Informatix Laboratory. Specifically, mentorships such as “Smart Cities” (EPCS 10100) with Dr. Mohammad Jahanshahi will allow me to contribute to other prospective smart cities. Additionally, I am passionate about music, specifically the violin. Purdue’s philharmonic and symphony orchestras will satisfy my musical desire and introduce me to people who carry similar interests. Organizations like the Purdue Music Producers (PMP) will connect me to like-minded individuals who share my passion for music production. — — —

Tips + Analysis

If you have a specific academic focus in mind, consider including it. This student directly states his interest in researching robotics and autonomous sensing and takes it a step further by demonstrating he’s done his research and knows that Purdue has a Smart Informatix Laboratory. If you read the Provost’s Report linked at the top, you’d know that something unique about Purdue is its highly individualized bachelor’s degree programs and that most students are admitted into these. What that means is robotics + autonomous sensing is much better to reference than engineering or a more general interest. Dig through Purdue’s list of majors and get specific. 

Pick an academic and a non-academic interest: The prompt asks you how Purdue will support “your interests, both in and out of the classroom,” so you want to make sure to pick at least one academic interest and one non-academic interest. Why? Because the golden rule of supplemental essays for college is to answer the question. This student combines robotics and autonomous sensing with an interest in smart cities (academic + research) and music, specifically violin. He takes it a step further by showing exactly where he’ll fit in as a violin player at Purdue: “Purdue’s philharmonic and symphony orchestras” and the Purdue Music Producers club. 

PSA: Try to avoid using the word “passionate,” as this is one of the most frequently used words in college essays.

Here’s another example for this prompt: 

Example:  

I hope to pursue a B.S in Computer Science, giving me the opportunity to take courses such as Data Mining and Machine Learning and Virtual Reality Technologies to elevate TeamBST, the social entrepreneurship venture I co-founded, to the global level at the RCHE. I’m inspired by Professor Yexiang Xue’s research paper titled DESK, and I look forward to collaborating with him regarding the applications of machine learning in healthcare. While Purdue Mechatronics will give me the platform to push technological boundaries with like-minded tech enthusiasts, Boiler Baaz will introduce me to the Bollywood fanboy community. — — —

How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essay Prompt #2

This is another super short variation of a classic supplemental essay: the “Why Major?” essay. 

You’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing this essay at this link , which we recommend reading through, but here’s the short version:

Step #1: Imagine a mini-movie of the moments that led you to your interest and create a simple, bullet-point outline.

Step #2: Put your moments (aka the “scenes” of your mini-movie) in chronological order, as it’ll help you see how your interests developed. It also makes it easier to write transitions.

Step #3: Decide if you want to include a specific thesis that explicitly states your central argument—in this case what you want to study and why. This thesis can be at the beginning, middle, or end of your essay.

Step #4: Write a draft!

Here’s an example for this prompt: 

Having attended college Physics classes every Saturday for a year, I’ve embraced the wisdom from centuries-old mathematics and the vast potential of computers, a realization I can honor by pursuing Computer Science and Mathematics. Much of my interest in AI lies in its basis in the human brain, which I can pursue in a Psychology concentration. And Electrical Engineering allows me to connect the virtual world with the physical, as I currently do in robotics. Purdue will fuel my interdisciplinary interests that stem from my curiosity about connections between the materials and systems in the world around me. (98 words) — — —

Consider naming your major at or near the start. You don’t need to be completely straightforward (“I plan to major in X”), but if you’re struggling to come up with a compelling hook, keep it simple and move forward. Value information over poetry. 

Consider expanding (briefly) on what you’ll explore outside the major-specific classes you’ll take. Purdue has niche major/research opportunities, for example. This student also adds to his major in Computer Science and Mathematics with a concentration in Psychology and additional interests in Electrical Engineering, which shows he might be a good fit for Purdue’s highly specialized academic programs. 

Briefly say why you became interested in this major. Following the “Why Major?” outline above will help with this step. This student tells us that his interest began after taking college physics classes every Saturday for a year (bonus points for taking this on outside of school). 

If you have room, say how you’ll contribute to society in the future. Show how you’ll use the knowledge you’ll gain at Purdue to help make society (or your community, or the whole wide world) a better place in a specific way. This student plans to push the fields of AI and robotics further using his cross-disciplinary knowledge. 

We know, that’s a lot to do in just a few words. You don’t have to do all these things; just do your best.

Here’s another example for this prompt:

Bonus Example:  

Programming brings a unique logic-based aspect of creativity to my life. It provides me with a universal platform to express myself, where my hands do the talking. Syntax plays the role of grammar, and the various programming languages can be thought of as accents: different ways of achieving the same task.  Over the years, I have grown fascinated by machine learning and robotics, and by their innumerable applications in our world. Through a B.S in Computer Science, I’ll strive to expand my knowledge in these fields, pushing the boundaries for technological innovation. — — —

How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essay Prompt #3

This is just like the prompt above—a “Why Major.” So see that previous section for guidance and examples + analysis.

Special thanks to Andy for writing this blog post.

purdue supplemental essays guide

Andrew Simpson, CEG’s Editorial Director, has worked as an educator, consultant, and curriculum writer for the past 15 years, and earned degrees from Stanford in Political Science and Drama. He feels most at home on mountain tops and in oceans.

Top Values:  Insight/Growth | Truth | Integrity

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purdue supplemental essays guide

Undergraduate Admissions

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Application Essays

Below are essay prompts for the 2024-2025 Common Application. First-time college students (future freshmen) will use the Common Application to  apply to Purdue .  

When applying to Purdue you should use the Common Application.

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Purdue's own  Online Writing Lab  offers advice on  writing essays for college applications .

The Common Application Freshman Essay Prompts 

Required minimum-maximum word count: 250-650

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

Purdue Questions 

Respond in 250 words or fewer.

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.

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College Essays

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Known for its highly ranked engineering program and huge array of academic programs, Purdue University is an excellent public university to consider for college. To apply here, though, you will need more than just good grades— you will need to write unforgettable essays as part of the Purdue supplement .

In this guide, we go over the current Purdue essay prompts and offer helpful tips on how to write each Purdue supplemental essay you're required to submit. 

Feature Image: Wes Jackson /Flickr

What Is the Purdue Supplemental Essay?

Freshman applicants to Purdue are required to submit two short answers; there's also one optional longer Purdue supplemental essay. You must additionally write an essay in response to one of the Common Application or Coalition Application prompts , depending on which application system you apply through.

In total, then, you'll be writing three to four Purdue essays of varying lengths.

For each Purdue supplemental essay, you'll get a specific prompt to answer . (By contrast, the Common App/Coalition App personal essay offers you multiple prompts to choose from.) Every Purdue supplemental essay prompt has its own word limit and angle.

Here are the prompts for the 2022-2023 application cycle:

  • [OPTIONAL] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words max)

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

The first Purdue supplemental essay above must be no longer than 250 words , whereas the two short answers may only be up to 100 words. Note that there is no minimum word count for any of the essays.

Now, how can you ensure you're writing your best Purdue supplemental essay possible?

Every Purdue University Essay Prompt, Analyzed

In this section, we'll look at each Purdue University essay prompt in more detail and give you tips for writing a highly effective response.

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Purdue Supplemental Essay

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

As a reminder, this longer Purdue supplemental essay can be up to 250 words and is optional (though we highly recommend answering it) . The prompt here's pretty straightforward: just give a bit more detail about one of your extracurricular activities listed on your application.

The activity you choose could be pretty much anything , from a sport or instrument you play to an animal shelter you volunteer at on weekends.

The admissions committee at Purdue asks you to elaborate on one of your activities because they want to see other facets of your personality and learn more about what drove you to do a specific activity.

The key is to pick an activity or experience that has helped define you in some way. The best activity to choose is one that showcases an important and unique quality of yourself, such as your leadership skills, your can-do attitude, your adaptability, etc. You should also be heavily passionate about the activity you choose.

Here are examples of activities you could write about for your Purdue University admission essay:

  • Clubs or organizations you're a member of
  • Volunteer service
  • Arts and music
  • Work or internships
  • Family responsibilities
  • Any activity or experience that is meaningful to you

When trying to decide on an activity, it might help to ask yourself these questions :

  • Do you have a story to tell about this activity?
  • How has this activity positively impacted or influenced you?
  • If you're still doing this activity, why is that? What about it makes you want to keep doing it?
  • Have you already written about this activity in another Purdue essay? If so, consider choosing a different topic for this essay.

Don't feel obligated to pick your most "impressive" activity either. For example, maybe you've been figure skating competitively since middle school and have won many big national awards, but you'd rather write about your more recent experience with trying out for and making your school's basketball team after realizing you wanted to get involved in a new sport.

Be sure to explain what the activity is, when/how you started it, and what kind of meaning it holds for you. You won't have a lot of room here (just 250 words!), so make sure to keep the focus on its significance.

Purdue Short Answer 1

This first Purdue short-answer question is essentially a mini "why this college" essay that's asking you to answer the basic question, "Why Purdue?"

A cogent essay will answer these two questions:

  • What does Purdue offer academically that makes it a good fit for you? 
  • What does Purdue offer in terms of extracurriculars, student clubs and sports, professional connections, contests, etc. that makes it a good fit for you?

Note that you don't need to go into much detail about your major here, as that's what the second short answer is for (see below). But you will still need to identify two key points about Purdue (one academic, one non-academic) that drew you to apply to this university specifically .

To start, do some research on the university by browsing the official Purdue website . Look for any defining features that stand out to you, such as a professor with whom you wish to work, a course you can't wait to take, a club you'd like to join, a study abroad program you want to do, etc. Think about how these qualities, both academic and non-academic, could help support your own aspirations, whatever they may be.

For example, maybe you visited a Purdue art gallery and felt inspired to apply after realizing, as an artist yourself, just how much Purdue values creativity and freedom of expression.

Finally, be extremely specific here . You want it clear that your essay is about Purdue only . So use actual names and places while avoiding generalizations that can apply to other colleges!

Purdue Short Answer 2

This second short-answer question is all about your intellectual curiosity. Admissions officers want to know not only why you have selected your major, but also how studying this major at Purdue will help you achieve your goals .

Like the Purdue supplemental essay above, you don't have a lot of room here (just 100 words!), so you'll need to be concise but effective.

While it's great to mention how you got interested in your field, you should also try to steer your response toward your academic and professional goals. What do you plan to do with your major once you graduate? How will Purdue help you do this?

For example, perhaps you've been fascinated by bugs since you were little and now plan to major in insect biology.

In your essay, you could talk about what propelled your interest (perhaps a bully tried to shove an ant in your face once, but instead of being scared, you were enamored with the insect's tiny body), mention what you've done to further that interest (e.g., taken some classes and built your own ant farm), and then discuss how the insect biology program at Purdue gives you the opportunity to do real fieldwork and participate in the College of Agriculture's Career Fair so you can find jobs in pest management.

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How to Write a Great Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Tips

To wrap up, here are four tips to help you write a great supplemental Purdue University admission essay.

#1: Write Succinctly and Purposefully

All three Purdue supplemental essays you need to write are pretty short, with one 250-word essay and two 100-word essays. You'll have to really use your space wisely if you want to produce solid and memorable essays in the end. This means that you should practice being more concise.

If you have a tendency to go on and on or add way too many details or flowery language to your writing, take some time to practice writing more directly and more crisply . You likely won't have enough room to throw in any extended metaphors, so don't even try—just write honestly about your passions and goals.

Additionally, be sure to cut out any words, phrases, or sentences that don't directly answer the prompt or reveal more about you as a person.

You might feel that your writing is boring, but as long as you're telling your story openly and with real emotion, you're sure to write an unforgettable Purdue essay.

#2: Be Extremely Specific

One thing lots of students struggle with in their college essays is being specific enough . Especially when it comes to such short essays, you want to ensure you're telling admissions officers the most important and essential information you can give them about yourself.

Remember, they already know the basics about your achievements—they can see your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars. But what they don't have is a clear understanding of what makes you you . It's your job to paint this picture for them.

For example, don't just write that you want to major in Jewish studies because you're Jewish. What specifically drew you to this major over all the others out there?

Maybe you had a special experience that cemented your connection to Jewish history and culture, or maybe somebody you deeply admire inspired you to research your ancestry, making you want to use this knowledge to support and empower other young Jews like yourself.

Whatever you choose to write about for your Purdue essays, just be sure that you give admissions officers the "what" and "why."

#3: Always Bring It Back to Purdue

As we saw with the Purdue supplement essay example we analyzed, it's critical that you bring your essays (mainly the two short answers) back to Purdue and why this school is ultimately a good fit for you, your talents, and your ambitions .

Avoid bland, meaningless compliments, such as "Purdue is very prestigious," and instead focus on the unique and specific aspects that you believe make this school worth applying to.

Here are some qualities of Purdue you could mention in your essay(s):

  • A professor whom you wish to work with
  • A specific class you're excited to take
  • A piece of equipment, facility, lab, etc. you really want to use
  • Opportunities for career building, such as its 30+ annual career fairs
  • Schoolwide competitions or events you want to take part in
  • A student club or organization you plan to join
  • Its emphasis on inclusion and diversity
  • Its vocal support of the arts

Regardless of what aspect of Purdue you choose to focus on in your response to the Purdue University essay prompt, just be sure to tie this characteristic back to yourself somehow and explain how it will help you achieve your goals.

#4: Polish It Up

Our final tip is to spend ample time editing and proofreading each Purdue essay you write.

Once you've written a rough draft, put the essay away for a few days. Then, take it out again and look it over with a fresh set of eyes. Note any irrelevant, incorrect, or unclear places and edit as needed. Do this process a few times until you have a fairly clean draft.

Next, hand your essay off to someone you trust, such as a parent or teacher, and ask them to read it over and edit for content, structure, and grammar. Use their feedback to tweak your essay until you're satisfied with how it sounds.

Right before you submit your application to Purdue, proofread your essay one final time . Follow these tips and you're guaranteed to have one great Purdue supplemental essay!

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What's Next?

Want to learn more about what it takes to get into Purdue? Then check out our Purdue admission requirements page to see what GPA and SAT/ACT scores you'll need to aim for.

Applying to other colleges in and around the Midwest? Then it might help to look at our college essay guides for Notre Dame , UIUC , and the University of Michigan .

If you're getting ready to write your long Common App essay , you'll definitely want to read our in-depth guide to all Common App prompts and how to answer them effectively .

purdue supplemental essays guide

Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.

Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges.

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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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Purdue Supplemental Essay 2022-2023

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Purdue Supplemental Essay: Quick Facts

  • Purdue University acceptance rate: 67%— U.S. News ranks Purdue as a more selective school.
  • Purdue application: Purdue only accepts the Common Application , not the Coalition Application.
  • 2 (100-word) required essays
  • 2 (500-word) Purdue Honors College essays (required if applying to the Honors College)
  • Purdue Essay Tip: We recommend answering both Purdue University supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully, highlighting in each of your Purdue essays why Purdue is the perfect school for you.

What are Purdue University’s essays?

In addition to the Common App essay , students must also complete the Purdue supplemental essay prompts. 

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts:

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts for Honors College applicants are:

  • One Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue (500 words)
  • An additional Purdue supplemental essay about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study (500 words)

These Purdue application essays represent the final step in the Purdue application process. Strong responses to the Purdue supplemental essays can help your Purdue application stand out among the almost 60,000 applications the university receives each year.

So, if you want to get into Purdue, it’s important to spend time on your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. A solid set of Purdue application essays can make a major difference in the Purdue admissions process.

In this guide, we’ll break down each of the Purdue essay prompts and provide expert tips on how to make sure your Purdue application essays shine. Keep reading to learn how to approach your Purdue University supplemental essays!

Purdue application essay requirements

purdue supplemental essay

Many selective colleges require supplemental essays beyond the standard Common App essay, also known as the Personal Statement . The Purdue application requirements are no exception to this. 

There are two Purdue essay prompts required of all applicants. Additionally, Honors College applicants must complete two additional Purdue University supplemental essays. Pay close attention to which Purdue supplemental essays you should complete, as it varies by program. 

So, if you are applying to Purdue University, you must complete at least two 100-word Purdue essay prompts. Each Purdue supplemental essay is designed to give you a chance to show Purdue admissions officers who you are, beyond the rest of your application. You should treat each Purdue supplemental essay as an opportunity to showcase a part of yourself that isn’t highlighted elsewhere within the Purdue application requirements.

Honors College essay requirements

Like many schools, Purdue has additional requirements for the Purdue Honors College. If you apply to the Purdue John Martinson Honors College, you must complete two more 500-word Purdue Honors College essays. These additional prompts help Purdue Admissions ensure that Purdue Honors College applicants go above and beyond the typical Purdue application requirements. 

You should be sure to set aside more than enough time to craft strong Purdue Honors College essays and Purdue supplemental essays.

Purdue Supplemental Essay- Prompt 1 ( Required )

How will opportunities at purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom (100 words maximum).

The first Purdue essay asks applicants to reflect on their academic and personal interests. Then, it asks them to explain how Purdue will help them pursue those interests. In other words, the first of the Purdue essay prompts asks why you want to attend Purdue over any other school. 

You’ve probably encountered similar “why this college?” essay prompts on other applications. So, as you might expect, this Purdue application essay must be specific to Purdue. You won’t be able to copy and paste another school’s essay to answer this Purdue supplemental essay. 

Brainstorming your topic

Before starting to write this Purdue supplemental essay, think about your interest in Purdue. Write down a list of reasons why Purdue made your college list. Does Purdue offer a particular program that interests you? Or does Purdue’s campus culture fit your vision for your college experience? The best responses to the Purdue essay prompts will include specific details.

purdue supplemental essays guide

Building your narrative

Once you have created your list of interests, identify several that you would like to write about in your Purdue supplemental essays. This Purdue supplemental essay doesn’t give you much space; picking one or two interests, therefore, will help you stay within the word count and give your essay some structure. 

When deciding which interests to focus on, remember your other Purdue essay. You can discuss your intended major in the second of the required Purdue essay prompts. With this in mind, make sure you don’t delve into topics better suited for other Purdue essay prompts. Instead, use this Purdue supplemental essay to talk about interests that you have not discussed in other areas of your application. After all, you want each Purdue supplemental essay to showcase a different part of your identity.

Making it specific

Next, research Purdue to see how your interests overlap with opportunities Purdue offers. The Purdue essay prompts are a chance to show off the research you’ve done; for example, talking to Purdue admissions representatives or visiting campus. If any of these interactions relate to one of your chosen themes, mention them in this Purdue supplemental essay. This shows your knowledge of Purdue’s strengths as a university. 

For example, a prospective student could use this Purdue application essay to discuss the state-of-the-art kinesiology labs she visited and how they would help her pursue her interest in physical therapy. Make sure you discuss what you experienced along with how it relates to your interests. Once again, the best Purdue University supplemental essays will use specific details to show why you belong at Purdue.

Writing your essay

Now that you’ve done the brainstorming and research for this Purdue supplemental essay, you can start writing. Because you only have 100 words for this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to make each one count. Avoid unrelated topics, vague wording, and forms of “to be.” Instead, use clear language and strong action verbs in each Purdue essay. Compare these two sentences below:

“There is no school that is a better fit to support my interests than Purdue University.” (16 words)

“Purdue possesses the resources to support my interests.” (8 words)

The second sentence conveys the same message as the first, but it uses much stronger language and fewer words. Specific details and short, powerful sentences will help your Purdue essay stand out. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your Purdue essay refer to 2-3 strong interests from your list?
  • Do you present information not found in other areas of your application?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay contain specific information about Purdue based on your research?
  • Do you clearly explain to Purdue admissions how Purdue will help you pursue your interests?

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Prompt 2 ( Required )

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words maximum).

The second of the Purdue supplemental essays is the typical “why major essay.” The “why major essay” is a common supplemental essay question that many schools require. Purdue is no different—they want to understand why you aim to pursue the field you’ve indicated on your application. 

The reality of the “why major essay” question is that schools want to know you’ve done your research on their programs. As a result of this, your “why major essay” for each school must relate to that school’s unique offerings. While you can include some general details, you should make sure this essay remains school-specific. 

Not all students know what they plan to major in. Choosing your college major is a big decision, and it requires plenty of forethought. This Purdue supplemental essay can be especially daunting if you’re unsure of your major, so let’s explore how to get around that. 

Brainstorming your major

purdue supplemental essay

Before starting to write this “why major essay,” think about the school subjects you enjoy. You may already identify as a lover of math or know you have the most fun in English class. However, Purdue University offers more than 200 different undergraduate majors across their 11 different colleges, so check the full list for options. This research will also help you show demonstrated interest in this Purdue supplemental essay.

When selecting a major for this Purdue application essay, think about the career you might want to pursue. You might consider the topics you have liked learning about, both inside and outside the classroom. If you’re having trouble selecting one major for this Purdue supplemental essay, choose the major you have the most compelling reasons to pursue.

Selecting a field of study for this Purdue supplemental essay might feel daunting. However, don’t be stressed about choosing a major. Instead, as you write your Purdue supplemental essay, focus on showing your intellectual curiosity and engagement with your studies. You can always change your major once you arrive on campus.

Using details

In order to write the best essay possible, include experiences that have made the biggest impact on your academic career. Have you had a teacher who drove you to explore more about their subject? Have you had work or volunteer experience that inspired you to pursue a particular major? Do you have a burning passion to support a specific cause? 

Your Purdue application essay should tell a story. So, highlight stories where you’ve engaged deeply with your chosen subject, whether directly or indirectly. In doing so, you’ll help readers understand why your chosen major excites you. This can help your Purdue supplemental essay showcase your intellectual curiosity.

Whatever major you choose, don’t just discuss the basic reasons why you enjoy it in this Purdue essay. Instead, go deeper. Think of this Purdue essay as a short narrative where you share moments in your life that have influenced you. A student who wants to major in electrical engineering might talk about getting a circuitry kit for Christmas and watching his dad repair wires around the house. She might then share how she helped the school robotics club win a competition. Find those formative moments in your life and use them as the foundation of your Purdue supplemental essay. Again, the best Purdue supplemental essay will be the most specific!

  • Does your Purdue essay focus on the major that most interests you?
  • Do you use specific details about how you came to love that major?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay help your reader learn something new about you?

Purdue Honors College Essay Requirements

The Purdue Honors College is a separate program within Purdue University specifically designed for high-achieving students. Recently, the Purdue Honors College became formally known as the John Martinson Honors College. According to their website , “Martinson supports new programmatic initiatives which promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, leadership and professional development, global and community engagement, and innovative pedagogies.” 

You should research the Purdue Honors College thoroughly before deciding if you want to apply. Once you make the decision that the Purdue Honors College is right for you, it’s time to crack down on the Purdue Honors College essays.

The Purdue Honors College supplemental essay requirements are:

  • 1 (500-word) Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue
  • 1 (500-word) Purdue essay prompt about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study

Now, let’s break down each of the Purdue supplemental essays for the Purdue Honors College and talk about strategies to tackle each one. 

For more help on writing supplemental essays, click here . For help standing out in the college admissions process, read this article .

Purdue Honors College Essays- Question 1 

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at purdue. please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the john martinson honors college. (500 word maximum).

In order to answer the first of the Honors College Purdue essay prompts effectively, you need to reflect on your reasons for applying to the Honors College. Then, you need to connect those reasons to the four pillars that express the Honors College’s values. The best Purdue application essays will directly connect an applicant’s academic goals with the four pillars of the Purdue Honors College.

Understanding Purdue

Before starting this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to have a firm understanding of the four pillars mentioned in the prompt. These pillars are: community and global engagement, undergraduate research, leadership development, and interdisciplinary academics. Reviewing the Honors College mission statement will give you more information about the four pillars. You do not need to reference all four of these pillars in your Purdue essay; instead, focus on whichever ones best fit with your future plans.

Researching the Honors College beyond the four pillars can also help strengthen your Purdue supplemental essay. Start by browsing this year’s Honors College course list . Review some of the research projects done by past Honors students. As you brainstorm for your Purdue admissions essays, look for programs and projects that connect to your interests. You might see a course or research project that lines up with one of your passions. You can use that as evidence in your Purdue essay that the Honors College will provide an ideal learning environment to nurture your interests.

Making it about you

This Purdue essay prompt asks you to imagine how you would spend your time as a Purdue Honors student. That future will likely be rooted in your past experiences. Strong Purdue application essays, therefore, should use the four pillars of Purdue Honors to connect your past experiences to your future at Purdue. 

When you talk about your future, try to be as specific as possible. For instance, saying that you want to travel to India to study their culture is not as powerful as saying that you want to travel to India to research how native fashions have changed due to modern technology in this Purdue essay.

purdue supplemental essay

You can begin brainstorming for this Purdue supplemental essay by doing a fr e e-write based on this prompt: “If I could have any academic experience I want in college, what would it be?” Think about the questions you might explore or problems you would like to solve if you had the freedom to choose. Don’t limit yourself—the best way to start writing is to free yourself from any perfectionism. 

Use this Purdue admissions essay to share the subject that you could stay up all night researching or the idea you cannot get out of your head. Let your ambition come across in your writing, using the four pillars of the Honors College as the foundation for achieving your goals. Finally, help your reader envision how you would contribute to the Honors College in this Purdue supplemental essay.

  • Does your Purdue essay clearly describe your goals for attending the Honors College?
  • Do you include references to at least one of the four pillars of the Honors College?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay indicate specific projects you might undertake or resources you might use as an Honors student?

Purdue Honors College Essays — Question 2

Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (examples: you might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.) (500 word maximum).

The second of the Purdue application essays asks how your chosen subject connects to other fields. At first, this Purdue essay can seem daunting. After all, most high school classes are separated by subject without much room for interdisciplinary work. However, with a little creative thinking, you can develop relationships between just about any set of subjects and use those relationships to write a strong Purdue essay.

Finding an intersection

To get you started, here are a few examples of interdisciplinary study that would make good material for Purdue application essays:

  • Creating a business plan for a health care clinic combines medicine with economics
  • Volunteering at a music therapy provider combines Psychology and Music into an interdisciplinary field grounded in helping those with mental illnesses
  • A project about the evolution of manufacturing technology combines history with engineering

These example topics for a Purdue supplemental essay represent a tiny fraction of the ways you could answer this prompt. Each of these potential Purdue application essays could also tie in with some of your activities from high school. 

You might also use your Purdue essay to consider what you have learned working with people who have different interests than yours and how you could bring that knowledge to your studies. Strong Purdue admissions essays can come from anywhere, so don’t limit yourself. 

Getting creative

If you struggle to form connections between academic fields based on your personal experience, you can use your imagination to come up with hypothetical situations that might foster collaboration across fields. These imaginary situations can still make for a great Purdue supplemental essay. 

For instance, as a lover of computer science, you might imagine its applications in the world of digital art to create vivid settings for a video game. The best Purdue supplemental essays will be unique and creative. Additionally, strong Purdue application essays will tell a story. The more you can use narratives to illustrate the wide range of uses for your discipline, the more successful your Purdue admissions essay will be.

Essays Reflection Questions for Purdue Honors College :

  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen field?
  • Do you include a variety of possible connections between your chosen fields and other fields?
  • Does your Purdue admissions essay use stories and examples to illustrate the connections between fields?

Want more helpful tips on how to approach your Purdue supplemental essays and other aspects of Purdue University’s application process? Check out this video below from Purdue’s senior assistant director of admissions! 

What does Purdue University look for in essays?

Your Purdue supplemental essays help the admissions team get to know you beyond your demographics, transcript, and activities list. Each Purdue essay also provides valuable insight into what kind of student you would be.

These specific Purdue essay prompts help the Purdue admissions committee understand how you will use your education at Purdue. Purdue looks for students who can articulate their interests and describe how Purdue’s resources will help them pursue these interests. Your Purdue application essays, then, should show the Purdue admissions team how Purdue would help you meet your goals.

Demonstrated Interest

The committee wants to see you show demonstrated interest (DI) in Purdue. DI is a gauge that universities use to determine how interested a student is in attending their school. To take advantage of this, use your Purdue application essays to explain exactly what about Purdue interests you. You don’t need to physically visit the campus to write strong Purdue supplemental essays. However, if you don’t visit , it helps to find other ways of showing your interest. These include contacting admissions officers, reviewing the school’s website, or attending a virtual information session/webinar.

The Purdue admissions team also wants to know if you can write clearly and concisely—an important skill for succeeding in college. So, ensure your writing is strong, clear, and free of any errors. Your Purdue application essays also show your attention to detail and passion for learning. Students who use the Purdue essay prompts to showcase their passions will definitely impress the admissions team.

How do I get into Purdue University?

Getting accepted into Purdue starts with filling out the Common Application and meeting the Purdue application requirements. On the Common Application, you will report your GPA, list your high school activities, and write a 250-650 word Common App essay. 

For the fall and spring of 2023, Purdue is test flexible . This means if you have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT, Purdue admissions would prefer you do. This is different from test optional because test optional schools truly have no preference for test scores. Purdue, however, makes it clear that they would like to review test scores as part of your application if possible. Strong scores will only enhance your application . 

Purdue application requirements

Your GPA , course schedule, test scores, Common App essay, letters of recommendation , supplemental essays, and extracurricular activities comprise the Purdue application requirements and will all factor into the committee’s decision.

Last year, approximately 60,000 students applied to Purdue University. The median GPA range of accepted applicants was 3.5-3.9, the median SAT was 119-1410, and the median ACT was 26-33. As you can see, Purdue admits students with high scores, which contributes to the U.S. News Purdue University ranking.

Purdue Application

In 2022, U.S. News assigned its Purdue University ranking among national universities at #51 overall. US News also named Purdue as one of the Top 10 most innovative universities in the last four years. Among public universities , the Purdue University ranking is #18 in the country. Purdue University’s top academic programs include Aerospace Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #5) and Biological/Agricultural Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #2). This makes Purdue a great fit for students specifically interested in those fields.

Finally, the Purdue University ranking attracts many applicants who view Purdue’s rankings as a sign of prestige. This means that Purdue supplemental essays will be used to determine which students are interested in attending for reasons beyond the Purdue University ranking. Remember, your Purdue supplemental essays are your chance to show the admissions team your genuine interest in the school. 

Looking to put your best foot forward when filling out the Common Application and writing the Common App essay? Check out this guide for helpful tips.

Top 5 Purdue Supplemental Essay Tips

How to write an outstanding purdue supplemental essay:, #1 – start early.

Be sure to leave yourself time to edit and revise each of your Purdue University supplemental essays. You don’t want to be drafting and editing a Purdue supplemental essay down to the wire.

#2 – Look at the big picture

When writing your Purdue supplemental essays, consider your application as a whole. Make sure that each Purdue supplemental essay explores something new about you. 

#3 – Be authentic

Don’t lie or exaggerate on your Purdue University supplemental essays. Each Purdue application essay is a chance for you to showcase who you are.

#4 – Show your unique self

These Purdue supplemental essays are an opportunity for you to stand out to Purdue admissions. Don’t generalize in your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. Instead, get specific about your experiences. Use the opportunity to not only demonstrate who you are, but also to show off your writing style.

#5 – Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Edit your essays . You don’t want to craft a stellar Purdue supplemental essay, only to have it marred by poor grammar or a spelling mistake. Have another person look over each Purdue supplemental essay before you submit it. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Final Thoughts

Although each Purdue supplemental essay is short, they are also incredibly important. Don’t think that a short essay will take you less time to write—often, short essays are the hardest to write. Given the Purdue University ranking, you should use every chance you get to stand out. This includes crafting strong Purdue supplemental essays.

Be yourself

The Purdue essay prompts help the admissions committee get to know the person behind the grades and test scores. Make sure that your Purdue supplemental essays are full of anecdotes and stories that show why you will succeed as a Purdue student! Let your readers know in each Purdue supplemental essay that you have done your research and thought about why you want to attend Purdue.

Ask for help!

And finally, seek help from trusted sources with editing your Purdue supplemental essays; sometimes a second opinion can help you improve your Purdue essays in unexpected ways.

Purdue supplemental essay

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Prompt's How-to Guide for Purdue's Supplemental Essays

How to nail the purdue university supplemental essay prompts..

Two straight-forward supplemental college essay prompts. Four hundred words (maximum). One Purdue application. What could go wrong?

Well, absolutely nothing! This one’s a cinch, particularly if you tackle these questions after reading our complete guide to mastering Purdue’s supplemental essays — drawn from our long experience at Prompt helping applicants get accepted.

And if you’d also like personalized guidance from people who’ve done this thousands of times, get started with us here .

Purdue supplemental essays for 2020-2021

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

  • Hint : for more help with “why this college?” questions - see our complete guide here .

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

  • Hint : for more help with “why major?” questions - see our complete guide here .
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How to Respond to the 2023-2024 Purdue University Supplemental Essay Prompts

purdue supplemental essays guide

Purdue University is a public university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Voted a Top 10 Public University in 2021, many students are hoping to gain entrance into one of Indiana’s best public colleges. This means you will have to use your very best writing skills and personal creativity to help you stand out in the Purdue supplemental essays. 

The Purdue University supplemental essays

For the regular undergraduate admissions application, you will have two 100 word prompts to write, and an additional optional 250 word prompt. It is always a good idea to write the optional essay, because this gives the admissions team at the university a better idea of the type of person that they could potentially be adding to their community and demonstrates your interest in attending.

Supplemental prompts on the traditional application focus on why you think Purdue would be a good fit for you, whereas the Honors College prompts are more focused on discovering what you may offer the college. Let’s break down the prompts for each application to give you a thorough idea of how to respond to all of them:

Also see: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts

If you are applying with the traditional application

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (250 words or fewer)

This prompt is a classic, as it can tell the individual reading your application more about you as a person than your transcript can. This is your opportunity to highlight what makes you you . There are multiple facets to this question, and although both are important, the “in the classroom” part of the question is going to tell Purdue what you can offer them academically. 

Every person has something different to offer, but there are some things that you want to avoid writing about that are seen as cliche. Think about what makes you interesting that is different from what makes your peers interesting. You could talk about how learning a foreign language in high school has inspired you to study international affairs at Purdue, or how the musical instrument that you decided to pick up during the pandemic made you decide to pursue a degree in music. 

Questions to consider

  • What makes you interesting as a student? 
  • What interests have you pursued in and/or out of the classroom? 
  • In what ways have you pursued those interests and how would you continue that pursuit at Purdue?
Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (250 words or fewer)

Every person chooses their major for a reason. Whether it is something you have wanted to pursue your entire life, or it was a recent find that sparked your interest, now is time to tell the story of how it came about. 

You want to draw the reader in with something enticing that makes them want to keep reading. Making sure to add specific details is something that will make you stand out among other applicants. 

Questions to consider:

  • Did you choose Purdue for the program you want to go into? 
  • What made their program stand out enough for you to decide to apply?
  • What are you passionate about academically?
  • What does your desired major say about you as a person, academically or extra curricularly?

Related: Show, don’t tell essay primer

If you are applying with the honors application*

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the Honors College. (500 words)

The honors application prompts can look like a doozy at first glance, so let’s break it down. Ultimately, they want to understand how Purdue will benefit from you being a student there. This may sound intimidating, but realistically, most colleges want to know that when looking for students to accept. How will you use what you already know to further not only your education, but also the people around you and your university? 

The four pillars of Purdue’s John Martinson Honors College are leadership development, undergraduate research, community and global experiences, and interdisciplinary academics. Visualize what you want for your future and how those goals align with what Purdue looks for in a student attending their Honors College. Let those goals guide your writing. 

  • What career path do you want to pursue and how did it lead you to Purdue?
  • How will your career benefit from your time at Purdue and from the opportunities offered by the Honors College?
  • If you imagine yourself as a Purdue student, what do you see yourself doing?
Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (Examples: You might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.) (500 words)

This is a unique question, but an important one to answer. They want to know if your mind works like a team player. Are you able to think about how what you do affects others, or is your mind a one way road looking at just your journey through college and into your career? Take this question and run with it.

You want to think of a career that compliments yours well. For example, if your major is journalism, talk about the ways that a major like food science or history can impact your work, and vice versa. As a journalist, it is important to have sources, and on the other careers side, they need journalists for publicity. This can go both ways for any career, just try to be creative with it. 

  • What career compliments yours best?
  • Is there another major that you would want to work closely with?
  • What goals can you accomplish better if you worked as a team?

* Students must select “yes” on the last question of the Purdue application (“Are you interested in applying to the Honors College?”) for the two Purdue Honors College questions to appear.

Summing up the Purdue supplemental essay s

We made it through all of the Purdue supplemental essays! In general, for any essay that you choose to write for college admissions, you want to be open and honest about any and all experiences that you write about. Admissions readers will be glad to hear your honesty and transparency, and they will value that in the long run. Make sure to read over your responses and consider giving your essay to a peer or advisor to read over before you submit it. We also recommend taking a break from your essay and going back to it another day to get a fresh pair of eyes. 

Other colleges to apply to

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Campaign, IL)
  • Pennsylvania State University (Throughout PA)

Additional resources

While you continue your college decision process, you have a lot to think about. Let us take some of that pressure off of your shoulders, and check out some of our helpful resources that can help alleviate some of the stress! Learn about how many colleges to apply (including reach, match, and safety schools ) and what looks good on college applications . When it comes time, learn  how to choose the right college ! Throughout the process, make sure that you apply to all the scholarships you qualify for! 

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Blog > Essay Advice , Private University , Supplementals > How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

Admissions officer reviewed by Ben Bousquet, M.Ed Former Vanderbilt University

Written by Kylie Kistner, MA Former Willamette University Admissions

Key Takeaway

Purdue University requires two concise supplemental essays highlighting your interests, choice of major, and how Purdue's opportunities align with these. Avoid repetition, articulate a clear narrative, and show your potential contribution to the school.

Purdue University only has two supplemental essays . Each should be fewer than 100 words in length, so you won’t have a whole lot of space. Make every word count!

Let’s take a look at the prompts.

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

In this why us prompt, Purdue asks you to write about how Purdue’s offerings will help you pursue your interests inside and outside the classroom. Now’s your chance to show off your knowledge of Purdue and, more importantly, make a case for why you’re a good fit. It’s also a chance for you to be clear about what your interests are and how you intend on pursuing them.

Also note that the prompt instructs you to talk about in and out of the classroom. While you’re applying to be a student at Purdue, Purdue admissions officers are also assessing whether you’re a good fit for their campus outside of academics. Feel free to talk about relevant extracurriculars, clubs, and internship opportunities in addition to academic opportunities (like coursework, faculty, or research projects). Your in- and out-of-the-classroom focus can be on the opportunities or on your interests.

Finally, as with any why us prompt, you want to emphasize the connections between what you want and what the school has to offer—and vice versa! Don’t forget that part of school fit is also demonstrating that you have a lot to offer the school, too.

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

And to wrap up your Purdue supplement, you have a why major essay. Remember that your Purdue admissions officer will be reading the two essays alongside each other. There may be some areas of overlap between the opportunities that will support your interests and the reasons you want to pursue your intended major.

Listen: don’t repeat yourself. Between the two essays, you only have 200 words max to say everything you need to say to your Purdue admissions officer. Repeating yourself won’t do you any favors. Before you start writing either essay, brainstorm a list of what information you want to go in each. Figure out how to disperse the information relatively evenly and in a way that makes the most sense.

Your first essay, for example, might focus more on larger-scale opportunities at Purdue, while this second essay may hone in on why you’re interested in the subject and what department resources have appealed to you.

This answer is also a great place to highlight any relevant academic or extracurricular accomplishments you want to detail for your admissions officers.

Key Takeaways

You may find that your answers to these questions have some overlap. Try to avoid repeating yourself and find a way to make each answer communicate something new about yourself to an admissions officer.

And when in doubt, consider how your essays contribute to your cohesive application narrative .

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How to write the purdue university essays 2020-2021: your complete guide.

Purdue University is a byproduct of President Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862. A decade later, the doors were open to students, and Purdue’s legacy began.

Today the university hosts over 40,000 students and has educated innovators and inventors who will have an impact on our society for many years to come.

  • Purdue has an acceptance rate of 57%.

Holding fast to ethics and integrity on the journey to innovation lies at the heart of Purdue University’s mission. The school further believes that “ Our responsibilities and obligations toward the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement in the University and in Indiana extend to our nation and the world.”

This mission can be seen woven into the fabric of university culture.

What Are the Purdue Essay Requirements?

Purdue University gives prospective students two different options to apply for admission. You may choose to apply via the Coalition for College Access, Affordability, and Success Application or through the Common App.

Check out our advice for the Coalition App  and the Common App .

In this guide, we will focus on the supplemental writing prompts that are nearly identical on both application platforms.

Purdue Supplemental Essays: How to Write Them!

Click above to watch a video on how to write Purdue Supplemental Essay.

  • These responses are short –  each 100 words or less.

Before you get started, it’s important to know that Purdue University is well known for their Online Writing Lab. In fact, you have probably used this website at some point in your high school career.

On their admissions page, Purdue notes that they expect your essay to demonstrate “your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and… [to] distinguish yourself in your own voice.”

Additionally, they are looking for what “you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores”. They even suggest you seek out writing help from their Online Writing Lab .

Clearly, Purdue values writing as a skill and, therefore, the admissions committee will be looking for much more than content in your essays.

Below, we will outline advice for writing these specific supplemental responses, as well as general writing advice that will help you to tighten up the style and form of your writing.

The two standard prompts are as follows:

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.(Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

For reference, the first two paragraphs of this blog post are roughly 115 words.

While you may have a lot to say about each topic, you will be forced to be brief, as the online application will not allow you to break the word count limit.

If you choose a second major, then you will have to answer a prompt that is similar to the second one:

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

There is an honors prompt , which we will address toward the end of this guide:

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the Honors College. (500 word maximum)

Purdue Supplemental Essay 1: Your Interests & Purdue

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?

The first writing supplement question is the type of essay prompt that you will see asked in a similar fashion on many college applications. It’s the quintessential “ Why This College ” essay prompt.

Purdue opens your response up to elements in and out of the classroom. Since the second prompt asks specifically about your intended major, you should probably only quickly mention this in your essay in order to conserve your word count.

  • First, explore Purdue’s website to learn more about the many opportunities the school provides, such as study abroad options, intramural sports, and clubs.
  • Look over the activities you have listed on your admission application.
  • What activities, sports, clubs, etc. interrelate?
  • Are there activities that you have always wanted to try but never had the chance to? Perhaps they are offered at the university.
  • For example, maybe you pursued swimming or diving throughout high school because you did not have the opportunity to pursue sailing.
  • There are many activities in college, such as sailing, archery, and rifle club, which you would not usually be exposed to as a high school student.

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Next, perform the same process with researching academic programs and activities at the university.

  • Are there any particular research fellowships that you are interested in?
  • Did you do research in a lab during your summer breaks that got you interested in a particular field? For example, you might have competed in a science fair based upon your research in a biology research lab.
  • You might be interested in pursuing similar research further with the intent of publishing, or you might be interested in pursuing something completely orthogonal. The main point here is to explain your motivations and where they are coming from.
  • Any professors that you have heard about and would like to take a class with?
  • How do these match up with the classes you completed in high school or topics that you are interested in moving forward?

Be specific in describing how your academic and non-academic interests align with Purdue’s opportunities.

  • For example, let’s say that you have been a strong student in high school taking mostly honors and Advanced Placement/IB courses when available.
  • You could have taken AP Computer Science A and then developed your own web apps or games. You could be interested in taking this further and going into software engineering principles, something you could pursue through class offerings at Purdue.
  • You might be particularly drawn to the leadership opportunities available to students who are members of Purdue University’s Honors College.
  • Perhaps you were in a leadership position of a service such as Beta Club in high school. You could be interested in further developing your academic and service leadership experience through similar organizations at Purdue.

In your response, link your high school experience in rigorous classes with your expectations of yourself as a college student.

  • You might write about how taking classes in the Honors College would allow you to branch out of your major classes, collaborate together with other students on a team, and work on gaining leadership skills, which are important to you as an aspiring professional.

When describing your out-of-classroom interests, you might write about Purdue’s theatre program.

  • In high school, you may have worked on many school plays on the technical side rigging lights.
  • However, you’re excited about the opportunity to volunteer in other avenues of production, such as costume design and makeup.
  • In your actual response, focus on activities that either further your current interests or allow you to try something new.

In both of the above scenarios, we chose specific examples of opportunities actually offered by Purdue University. You should do the same.

Not only will it reflect well in your essay, but it will also allow you to gain a better understanding of whether this university is the right home for you.

Purdue Supplemental Essay 2: Your Major(s) at Purdue

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. Optional: Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

This prompt is also fairly standard in the college application realm. The admissions committee is interested in understanding how your experiences led you to choose this particular major.

You do not randomly select crop science as a major; rather, you are drawn to it.

  • There are many different reasons you could list for choosing the major that you have, but you should avoid simply listing money or status as your intention.
  • While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a decent living, you should push yourself to list more intrinsic motivations for your choice.

Just like the previous question, you should make an effort to be specific.

  • Being interested in crop science because you think farming is interesting and you took one horticulture class isn’t going to cut it.
  • Instead, describe what it is about farming that specifically interests you – the ability to cultivate living plants, providing food for people, watching the process of farm to table, etc.
  • You might personally know some farmers or been involved in your high school’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) club in high school. There are a lot of innovations being applied to agriculture, from IoT to crop growth simulation and forecasts.
  • By focusing on the specifics of what interests you, you will be able to convince the reader that you are engaged in what you would like to pursue at Purdue.
  • You could definitely write about that horticulture class but, instead of mentioning it in passing, add detail about what you learned , how it changed the way you think about plants, and how it opened your eyes to careers you had never even heard of.

If you are unsure of your major, you can still address this prompt.

Choose a field that you could see yourself working in. Remember, this is not a contract you are bound to for the rest of your life, so it doesn’t hurt to explore one of your “maybe” options.

Let’s say that you might be interested in pursuing a degree in an English-related field. In high school, you took three years of creative writing and joined a tutoring club, where you helped students whose first language isn’t English.

  • In your essay, you could describe how much you enjoy writing and imagining landscapes but also that you felt rewarded by working with your peers.
  • You could see yourself working full-time in a writing field or maybe even becoming an ESL teacher.
  • Explain how you plan to explore these interests while taking introductory-level English classes at Purdue.
  • You might even mention specific programs, clubs, and activities you are interested in.

It’s common to not know exactly what you want to major in during your freshman year of college. However, don’t let this be a weakness in your essay when it could be a strength.

If approached correctly, this essay could show that you are passionate and motivated to find a career that you will thrive in.

This journey, you believe, will benefit you the most if traveled at Purdue University.

Purdue Honors Essay

Now that you have more of a word count to work with, take the liberty to brainstorm a story or anecdote that connects to your desire to engage in rigorous learning and the pillars of the Purdue Honors College.

The pillars of the Purdue Honors College are leadership development, undergraduate research, community and global experiences, and interdisciplinary academics

  • Perhaps you are an immigrant who appreciates the opportunity to learn more during your formative years. You want to learn more because your home country had much fewer resources for students.
  • You have a secondary goal to build bionic arms and legs for kids is in Laos who’ve stepped on landmines and lost limbs. You firmly believe that an honors education at Purdue would give you the knowledge and practical expertise to jumpstart this dream.

Once you’ve found your story, connect it to how you’d take action as a Purdue honors student. In the same case as the standard two Purdue essays, do your research and list how you’d become a proactive student:

  • Do you want to start a club, nonprofit, or charity on campus?
  • Perhaps you want to organize town halls to discuss solutions to economic inequality.
  • Is there a program or fellowship you want to take advantage of?
  • Do you want to apply for a tech grant and perform research in the artificial intelligence field?
  • Perhaps you want to join a study-abroad program in Guatemala that promotes the building of Internet infrastructure in villages.

Pick one or two of these actions. Then, explain their significance to you and how you’d build momentum to make a difference in the Purdue community or world at large.

Whatever you choose, focus on action. Tell the reader how you’d use Purdue’s resources and values to improve the world around you.

A good way to structure this essay is to use an example from your past – perhaps a volunteer or leadership experience – and connect it to what you want to accomplish as a Purdue Honors student.

This is what the structure of your essay could look like:

  • Flashback anecdote that tells us a quick story about your past
  • Tell us how your past inspired you
  • Discuss what you want to do in the future and how this relates to the Purdue Honors Pillars
  • State what you want to do at Purdue Honors and how you will take advantage of its resources

Conclusion: The Purdue Supplemental Essays

Once you have written a draft of your responses, it’s time to revise . At a most basic level of revision, you should:

  • Spell Check
  • Grammar Check (use your best judgment, since not every suggestion will be accurate)
  • Ask a Peer/Adult to Review

For further impact, analyze your word choice. Have you chosen words that carefully express your ideas? In a 100-word (or less) response, this is particularly important since there is not much room for explanation.

  • For example, instead of writing that “I really liked horticulture class and learned a lot of new stuff,” you might instead say, “I enjoyed horticulture and the opportunity to explore new concepts through experimentation.”

Both of these sentences are 12 words in length, but the latter is much more effective in its message.

As you can see, specific word choice is not about choosing long and difficult words to sound “smarter.” In fact, this strategy often backfires and “your voice” disappears from your essay.

Varying sentence structure is another way you can increase the effectiveness of your responses.

Avoid writing that sounds like a list or opens with the same structure.

For example:

  • “I would like to become an English teacher. I think tutoring was a great experience in high school. I will be majoring in English and Education. I want to graduate and then teach at a private school.”

Instead, you should vary your sentence structure by writing:

  • “I would like to become an English teacher. As a tutor, I learned about the relationship between student and teacher. It was a great experience and has led me to believe that teaching at a small private school would be ideal. Therefore, I intend to major in both English and Education at Purdue.”

The second example captures the reader’s attention. This is unlike the first example, which is boring and difficult to take seriously at an academic level.

Finally, read your responses while looking for a clear progression of ideas. Do you jump from topic to topic, or do you wrap up one idea before transitioning to the next? Consider reorganizing your sentences so that similar topics are together. Use transition words such as “additionally” and “also” to bridge your writing.

Purdue University’s advice is solid, so it is worthwhile to check out their Online Writing Lab . It has many resources that could help you to write their supplements as well as essays for other college applications (shh, we won’t tell).

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purdue supplemental essays guide

Purdue Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Advice

July 26, 2023

purdue supplemental essays guide

Purdue is a school where the non-scary acceptance rate figures are not truly indicative of just how competitive the admissions process actually is. This public land grant research university in Indiana is actually a draw for students from around the world—out-of-staters apply at three times the volume of Hoosier State residents. Highly renowned academic programs in areas such as computer science, engineering, and business are part of the reason that the average enrolled applicant attending Purdue today possesses an SAT of 1300+ and a 3.7 unweighted GPA. This brings us to the topic of the Purdue supplemental essays.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Purdue? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Purdue University: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

In a competitive admissions environment, Purdue’s essay prompts are viewed by the committee as being “important” to the evaluation process. Therefore, it is vital that all Boilermaker applicants dedicate a significant amount of time to these three essays. Below are Purdue University’s supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing winning essays.

Purdue University Essay Prompt #1 (Required)

1) How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

Purdue’s essay may not directly ask the applicant, “Why Us?”, but make no mistake—this is very much a classic “Why Us?” essay. This one is going to require some research and you’ll need to be judicious with your language as the 100-word count can be a bit restrictive.

Examples of items that quality “Why Purdue?” essays touch upon include:

  • Firstly, opportunities available through the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • Purdue has more than 30 study abroad programs .
  • The 600 student organizations on campus.
  • The Pathmaker Internship Program.
  • Numerous combined degree opportunities for ambitious students.

Of course, these are just five out of countless features that could be part of a successful essay. You may also wish to address items like specific courses you are excited about, particular professors, or internship/co-op placements that you would aim to take advantage of.

Purdue Supplemental Essays (Continued)

Essay Prompt #2 (Required)

2) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Share an authentic story here of why you are interested in your selected discipline. What books have you read on the subject? What documentaries have you watched? Which podcasts have you listened to? What subtopics most intrigue you? Did a teacher excite you about a topic or was it a parent or outside mentor? Do you know where you want to take this knowledge post-bachelor’s degree? Do you aim to one day go on to pursue a graduate/professional degree or is there an occupation you are shooting for right out of undergrad? Include as much detail as possible.

You can structure the narrative of this essay as a soup-to-nuts chronicling of your entire journey toward your discipline of interest (even in limited space) or you could share one or two vignettes that illustrate your burgeoning passion for engineering, history, French, computer science, business, psychology, etc.

Essay Prompt #3 

3): Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

This may say “optional” but this essay should be considered mandatory for all serious applicants. Unlike many “optional” essays that may or may not apply to you (e.g. COVID impact, gap in education, gender identity, etc.), just about every applicant has at least one extracurricular or work experience worth elaborating on.

With this prompt, Purdue is not necessarily asking you to write about the activity where you earned the most prestigious awards or held the highest position of leadership. The university is going to see all of your activities in that section of the Common App. As such, you want to ask yourself which of your entries is crying out for more explanation and detail. Which one is closest to your heart and most representative of your unique passions? Pick the option that will allow you to deliver additional detail that may be memorable to the admissions reader. For example, you may be a volunteer EMT and have compelling, drama-filled experiences to share.

Alternatively, you may have worked in a local restaurant and learned more about the lives of your undocumented coworkers. Start this process by asking yourself, “What is the most interesting and consequential moment that I have experienced in one of my extracurricular activities?” If you can identify one clear-cut moment, that is likely the activity worth sharing with the Purdue admissions staff.

Essay Prompt #4 (Required if listing a second major)

4) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

See answer #2 re: your first-choice major. You are essentially repeating this process for a different field. However, you probably don’t want to have two completely unrelated majors/career goals. For example, if your first choice was business and your second choice was economics, it’s easy to explain the relationship. If the fields are more disparate (e.g. Dance & Chemical Engineering, be sure to provide a thorough explanation.

How important are the Purdue supplemental essays?

The essays (both the Common App essay and three supplemental essays) are “important” to the Purdue admissions committee, given the same weight as recommendations, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, and first-generation status. This places the essays behind only GPA, standardized test scores, and the rigor of your secondary school record which are designated as “very important” by Purdue.

Purdue Supplemental Essays – Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Purdue supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote today.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Essay Writing

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help.

The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.

Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.

Before delving into its various genres, let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay.

What is an essay?

Though the word essay has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English, its origins provide us with some useful insights. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English; tracing it back further, we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere , which means "to examine, test, or (literally) to drive out." Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.

Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition. As is evidenced by this list of attributes, there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing.

The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from his or her purpose; the writing must be deliberate and interesting.

This handout should help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres.

This handout includes a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing:

  • Expository essays
  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Argumentative (Persuasive) essays

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Supplemental Essay Guide 2023-24

What do the 2023-24 supplemental essay prompts really mean, and how should you approach them? CEA's experts are here to break them all down.

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Agnes Scott College 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

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purdue supplemental essays guide

3 Purdue University Essay Examples

Home of the Boilermakers, Purdue University was established in 1869 and is steeped in history and tradition. From the first 39 students to attend in 1874, to over 33,000 in attendance today, Purdue is matched in tradition only by innovation. Known for its world-class faculty, curricula, and facilities, Purdue attracts many future engineers.

As it is a selective university, you will need a strong application to stand out. A crucial aspect lies in your essays. To get some inspiration for your Purdue essays, we will be sharing three essays by real students who applied to Purdue in this post. We will also go over what they did well and where they could’ve improved. 

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our Purdue essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

Essay Example #1

Prompt: Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected (100 words)

To most Gen Z, life without computers and smartphones is like life without food: it’s impossible. However, I only started to appreciate the work behind the scenes (and screens) in the summer of 9th grade, when I created a small chatting program to exchange jokes with my sister in the next room. Through programming, I have found a clear and compelling way to reach the world beyond my fingertips. By majoring in computer science, I hope to build a solid foundation in AI, algorithms, UX design and more, with which I’ll help bring society a new generation of digital food.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay is short and sweet; every sentence is intentional and conveys a new idea clearly and concisely. Comparing their generation’s reliance on technology to “ life without food ” speaks volumes more than the three words it takes up. They simply explain what they did and why without any extraneous fluff or flowery language: “ I created a small chatting program to exchange jokes with my sister in the next room. ” Getting creative with your prose is great for a longer essay, but this is not the time or place, and this student understood that. They also get straight to the point when discussing what they hope to gain and achieve from a degree in computer science—another plus.

Despite the limited space, this student still manages to work in some of their personality. The analogy of smartphones being as crucial as food is a humorous example of hyperbole that helps humanize the student.  The phrase “ behind the scenes (and screens) ” is another way of them expressing their playful side while also adding a rhyme to make the essay more interesting. Including these little crumbs with humor, coupled with the knowledge they learned to program to share jokes, makes the student come across as a fun person admissions officers would want on their campus.

What Could Be Improved

Although the opening line about Gen Z is a chance for the student to inject some of their personality, in reality it is not the best use of space. As we said above, every word counts in an essay this short, and although the observation about Gen Z did contribute to the essay, it’s not as crucial to include as additional details about the student.

They could have kept the analogy to food, but instead of generalizing to all of Gen Z, this student should have made themselves the focus of the sentence. For example, they could say something like this: “ At this point my phone is a permanent appendage of my hand; life without it is like life without food. ” This sentence focuses the attention on the student right from the beginning, telling us about their phone addiction rather than everyone else’s.

Essay Example #2

How much duct tape would my boat need to stay afloat?

I will never forget my first Do-It-Yourself Project of building a boat with cardboard. While the outcome of the project was bitter-sweet as my boat sank, my passion for engineering surfaced. Subsequently, I voyaged across countless pursuits until I reached an epiphany while developing a customized voice assistant for an enterprise; I was fascinated by the multifaceted applicability of technology. Hence, I intend to pursue Computer Engineering because the skills from this major will enable me to pursue my widespread goals of lobbying for technological advancements in under-developed societies.

Starting the essay with a question is a great way to catch the reader’s attention in a short amount of space. Right off the bat, we are asking ourselves why are they using duct tape, what’s the boat for, how much duct tape do they need,  all of which get us engaged and excited for what is to come.

The student also does a nice job of incorporating sailing-related language with lines like “ my passion for engineering surfaced ” and “ I voyaged across countless pursuits. ” This is a creative way of linking the main points of their essay with their anecdote.

The student’s realizations are a bit underdeveloped. They don’t explain how they realized the “ multifaceted applicability of technology ” or why exactly they want to lobby “ for technological advancements in under-developed countries. ” They could’ve perhaps been better-served by eliminating the boat anecdote and beginning with the voice assistant story, which would allow them to explain their realization and goals. 

A common mistake students make with this prompt is that they think they have to include the very moment they got interested in the major. You certainly can use this technique, but it may not always be the best way to approach this essay, especially when there is such limited space. Instead of starting with the introduction, students should first focus on writing the reasons they like the major and what they hope to accomplish with it, and find a story or moment that flows with these points.

Essay Example #3

Prompt: How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

The Computer Engineering course at Purdue has a dynamic combination of fundamental courses and enthralling electives such as ‘Engineering Environmental Sustainability’, allowing me to apply my engineering proficiency to resolve complex global issues such as technological disparity. Furthermore, by joining the Engineers Without Borders – Purdue organization, I will gain first-hand experience in tackling real-world humanitarian problems and push my intellectual ability to higher stakes. Having followed EWB- Purdue’s pioneering Bolivia project, I aspire to contribute in both the Technical and the Leadership team. Hence, Purdue is the best institution for me to grow as an enthusiastic humanitarian engineer. 

Right off the bat, the student is specifically noting courses the school offers that they are eager to take. This is great! They show that they’ve been following a specific organization within the school, and already have ideas as to how they could contribute. They really specified why they wanted to attend the school, and personalized the essay accordingly. 

This student also chose two opportunities at Purdue that seamlessly fit into their future career. They want to be a humanitarian engineer, so discussing a class about environmental sustainability and an organization that creates solutions to humanitarian issues around the world is a great way to demonstrate their affinity to their career throughout the essay. When they tell us their career aspirations at the very end of the essay, it makes perfect sense to the reader based on the 100 preceding words we just read.

The main issues in this essay come from minor grammatical mistakes that could confuse the reader. For example, the first sentence covers too much ground: The Computer Engineering course at Purdue has a dynamic combination of fundamental courses and enthralling electives such as ‘Engineering Environmental Sustainability’, allowing me to apply my engineering proficiency to resolve complex global issues such as technological disparity. Instead, the reader should separate these ideas into two sentences. In the first sentence, the student can explain the courses they are interested in, and the second can give reasons why and explain what the student’s career goals are. Overall, it very clearly addresses the prompt, shows the student has done their research, and shows their ambitions after graduation. It is very well done. 

Where to Get Your Purdue Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Purdue essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

purdue supplemental essays guide

Crafting the Purdue Supplemental Essays (Guide)

how to write purdue supplemental essays

Looking to gain admission into Purdue University? Then you’ll need to tackle their supplemental essays! These essays are an important part of your application and provide the admissions team with a deeper understanding of who you are as a person.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of writing compelling responses that showcase your unique qualities and make you stand out from other applicants.

First off, it’s crucial that you understand the prompts. Purdue’s supplemental essays cover a range of topics, from leadership and community involvement to academic interests and personal experiences. By carefully reading through each prompt, you can identify which ones resonate with you the most and begin brainstorming ideas for your responses.

Once you have a solid understanding of what each prompt is asking for, it’s time to move on to outlining your thoughts and crafting well-written essays that will impress the admissions committee at Purdue University.

Key Takeaways

  • Purdue supplemental essays are an important part of the application process and provide a deeper understanding of the applicant through prompts that cover a range of topics.
  • To write an effective essay, applicants should use mind mapping techniques, incorporate vivid details and personal anecdotes, and take a narrative approach to showcase their personality, values, and goals.
  • It’s important to connect anecdotes to one’s interest in Purdue and reflect on what was learned and how it will shape future endeavors. Additionally, seeking peer feedback and running a grammar check can improve the chances of acceptance.
  • To stand out, applicants should focus on their strengths and personality, showcase a unique perspective and voice, and avoid cliches and generic statements while staying within the word count limit. It’s also important to research the school and its programs, show enthusiasm and passion for the school, and use clear and concise writing style while revising and editing multiple times.

Understanding the Prompts

Now, let’s dive into understanding the prompts and figuring out what Purdue University is looking for. When it comes to supplemental essays, analyzing the requirements and prompt interpretation are crucial.

You need to read the prompts carefully and understand exactly what they’re asking for before starting to write. The first step in understanding prompts is to break them down into smaller parts. Look at each keyword or phrase used in the prompt and try to figure out what it means.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re being asked to do before beginning your essay. Analyzing these requirements will help you determine what kind of essay you need to write.

Prompt interpretation is also a vital part of writing successful supplemental essays for Purdue University. You need to think about why they’re asking this particular question and how it relates to their values as an institution. What are they trying to learn about you through this prompt?

Answering these questions will help you craft a compelling essay that showcases your fit with Purdue’s mission and values.

Brainstorming and Outlining

To really get your creative juices flowing and craft a standout essay, you’ll want to start brainstorming and outlining your ideas for Purdue’s supplemental prompts.

Begin by doing some freewriting exercises where you jot down any and all thoughts that come to mind without worrying about grammar or structure. This can help you identify key themes or experiences that you can use in your essay.

Once you have a list of potential ideas, try using mind mapping techniques to organize them into a cohesive narrative. Draw a circle in the center of a piece of paper with your main idea or prompt in it, and then create branches with supporting details or anecdotes. This can help you visualize how your essay will flow and make it easier to write.

Remember, the goal is not to have a perfect outline right away but rather to generate as many ideas as possible and find connections between them. Be open to new perspectives and don’t be afraid to revise your outline as needed until you feel confident in the direction of your essay.

With these tips, crafting an engaging Purdue supplemental essay should be within reach!

Writing Compelling Responses

You can easily captivate the reader with your responses to Purdue’s prompts by incorporating vivid details and personal anecdotes. Don’t just list your accomplishments or mention generic reasons for wanting to attend Purdue. Instead, take a narrative approach and tell a story that showcases your personality, values, and goals.

Start by identifying a specific moment or experience that has shaped you in some way. It could be something as simple as a conversation with a friend or as transformative as overcoming a major obstacle. Build on this foundation by describing the setting, characters, emotions, and actions involved. Use sensory language to engage the reader’s senses and create imagery that is both vivid and meaningful.

Next, connect this anecdote to your interest in Purdue by highlighting how it relates to your academic or professional aspirations. Maybe this experience sparked your curiosity about science or inspired you to pursue a career in engineering. Be specific about what you hope to gain from attending Purdue, whether it’s access to cutting-edge research facilities or exposure to diverse perspectives.

Finally, wrap up your response by reflecting on what you’ve learned from this experience and how it will shape your future endeavors at Purdue and beyond. Show the admissions committee that you’re not only capable of achieving great things but also committed to making an impact in the world around you.

By writing compelling responses that showcase your unique perspective and potential contributions to Purdue’s community, you’ll stand out among the thousands of applicants vying for admission each year. So take the time to craft thoughtful narratives that truly reflect who you are as an individual – it could make all the difference in securing acceptance into one of the nation’s top public universities!

Editing and Revising

Editing and revising your responses is crucial in ensuring that your writing is polished, refined, and reflects your best self. It’s important to remember that the admissions committee will use your supplemental essays to evaluate whether you are a good fit for their school. Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to review and refine your responses.

One way to improve your writing is by seeking peer feedback. Ask a friend, family member, or teacher to read over your responses and provide constructive criticism. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own writing that we miss small errors or unclear phrasing. Having someone else review our work can help us see things from a new perspective and make necessary changes.

Another crucial step in editing and revising is running a grammar check on all of your responses. Simple mistakes like incorrect verb tense or subject-verb agreement can detract from the overall quality of your writing. Use tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Word’s built-in grammar checker to catch these errors before submitting your application.

Incorporating these tips into the editing process will not only help you produce stronger supplemental essays but also improve your overall writing skills. Remember, taking the time to refine and polish your responses shows dedication and attention to detail – qualities that colleges value in their applicants.

Tips for Success

Improving your chances of acceptance can be a breeze with these handy tips for success! When approaching the Purdue supplemental essays, it’s important to have a strategy in place. Before you begin writing, take some time to brainstorm and outline your thoughts. This will help you stay organized and focused throughout the writing process.

One common mistake that many applicants make is trying to fit too much information into their essays. Remember that the supplemental essays are meant to provide additional information about yourself that may not be included in your application or other essays. Choose a specific topic or experience that showcases your strengths and personality, and focus on that.

Be sure to also proofread your essay carefully before submitting it – typos and grammatical errors can detract from an otherwise strong essay.

Another approach strategy is to showcase your unique perspective and voice. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your writing – admissions officers want to get a sense of who you are as a person beyond just test scores and grades. Use vivid language and descriptive details that bring your experiences to life.

By following these tips for success, you’ll be well on your way to crafting standout Purdue supplemental essays that showcase all of the qualities that make you an ideal candidate for admission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i reuse my common application essay for purdue’s supplemental essays.

Don’t recycle your Common App essay for Purdue’s supplemental essays. Admissions officers want to see how you fit with their specific school, not just any school. Originality is key.

Is it more important to focus on my academic achievements or extracurricular activities in my responses?

When answering Purdue’s supplemental essays, balance your academic achievements with your interests and passions. Highlight unique experiences that showcase innovation. Engage the reader by being efficient and precise in your writing style.

Should I include information about my intended major in my essays, even if it’s not required?

Including your intended major’s significance and personal anecdotes can differentiate your essays. It shows passion, goals, and relevance to the university’s values. Take advantage of this opportunity even if not required.

How much personal information should I share in my responses?

Balance personal and academic info in your Purdue supplemental essays. Use a tone that’s engaging, yet professional. Keep it concise and precise. Don’t be afraid to showcase innovation in the language you use.

Are there any specific formatting or length requirements for Purdue’s supplemental essays?

When crafting your Purdue supplementals, keep in mind the essay structure and word limit provided by each prompt. Analyze and brainstorm before writing, making sure to engage with innovative ideas that showcase your unique voice.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the process of writing Purdue supplemental essays. By understanding the prompts, brainstorming, and outlining your ideas, you’ve crafted essays that showcase your unique qualities and qualifications.

But don’t stop there — remember to take the time to edit and revise your work to ensure it’s polished and error-free. And always keep in mind the tips for success: be authentic, stay focused on the prompt, and use specific examples to illustrate your points.

Now armed with these strategies, you can confidently tackle any supplemental essay prompt that comes your way.

So go ahead and submit those applications — you’ve got this!

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays: Guide

    What are the Purdue supplemental essay prompts? Prompt #1 How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.) Prompt #2 Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.) Prompt #3

  2. How to Write the Purdue University Essays 2023-2024

    The Purdue supplemental essays give you a chance to explore your interests and activities, so you can show admissions officers what you care about and why. Read these Purdue essay examples written by real students to get some inspiration. Purdue University Application Essay Prompts All Applicants

  3. Purdue University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 15 We can help you draft in time for submission! Purdue University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 2 short answers of 250 words Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Short Answer How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?

  4. Application Essay

    Purdue Questions Respond in 250 words or fewer. How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. The Common Application Freshman Essay Prompts. Required minimum-maximum word count: 250-650

  5. Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Top Tips for Writing Yours

    The first Purdue supplemental essay above must be no longer than 250 words, whereas the two short answers may only be up to 100 words. Note that there is no minimum word count for any of the essays. Now, how can you ensure you're writing your best Purdue supplemental essay possible? Every Purdue University Essay Prompt, Analyzed

  6. Purdue Supplemental Essay

    Laura Frustaci Purdue University Purdue Supplemental Essay 2022-2023 Purdue Supplemental Essay: Quick Facts Purdue University acceptance rate: 67%— U.S. News ranks Purdue as a more selective school. Purdue application: Purdue only accepts the Common Application, not the Coalition Application. Purdue supplemental essay requirements:

  7. Prompt's How-to Guide for Purdue's Supplemental Essays

    Well, absolutely nothing! This one's a cinch, particularly if you tackle these questions after reading our complete guide to mastering Purdue's supplemental essays — drawn from our long experience at Prompt helping applicants get accepted.

  8. How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

    Writing strong essays will certainly help you stand out, and we at CollegeVine have provided several tips below to help as you undertake the Purdue supplemental essays. Want to know your chances at Purdue? Calculate your chances for free right now. Purdue University Application Essay Prompts Prompt #1

  9. How to Respond to the 2023-2024 Purdue University Supplemental Essay

    This means you will have to use your very best writing skills and personal creativity to help you stand out in the Purdue supplemental essays. The Purdue University supplemental essays For the regular undergraduate admissions application, you will have two 100 word prompts to write, and an additional optional 250 word prompt.

  10. Guide to the Purdue University Supplemental Essays (2022-23)

    Guide to the Purdue University Supplemental Essays (2022-23) Purdue University asks applicants to write three short supplemental essays as part of their admissions application.

  11. Purdue University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Regular Decision: Purdue University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words, 2 short answers of 100 words Supplemental Essay Type (s): Activity, Why, Short Answer Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (Respond in 250 words or fewer.)

  12. How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

    Purdue University requires two concise supplemental essays highlighting your interests, choice of major, and how Purdue's opportunities align with these. Avoid repetition, articulate a clear narrative, and show your potential contribution to the school. Purdue University only has two supplemental essays.

  13. How to Write the Purdue University Essays: Your Complete Guide

    In this guide, we will focus on the supplemental writing prompts that are nearly identical on both application platforms. Click above to watch a video on how to write Purdue Supplemental Essay. These responses are short - each 100 words or less.

  14. Purdue Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    Purdue University supplemental essays in 2022-23 are revealed. We cover everything aspiring Boilermakers need to know.

  15. Essay Writing

    Academic Writing Essay Writing Essay Writing Essay Writing This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum.

  16. What are Purdue's supplemental essay prompts for this ...

    I'm glad to hear you're getting started on your Purdue application essays! As of the latest application cycle, Purdue requires all applicants to respond to two supplemental essays, one on why you want to attend Purdue and one on why you want to study your intended major. Honors College applicants will have two more essays to write, on why you're pursuing the Honors program and the ways in ...

  17. Examples of successful Purdue supplemental essays?

    1. Answer the Prompt: Make sure you understand the prompt and focus your essay on answering it clearly. Purdue prompts usually focus on why you're interested in your chosen major, your future goals, and how Purdue can help you achieve them. 2. Be Specific: Show that you have done your research about Purdue and its programs.

  18. Supplemental Essay Guide 2023-24

    What do the 2023-24 supplemental essay prompts really mean, and how should you approach them? CEA's experts are here to break them all down. ... Purdue University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide. ... Washington and Lee University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Guide. Read more » ...

  19. How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays 2019-2020

    Introduction (0-2 sentences) You most likely won't need two sentences to introduce your response here. If you're choosing to write about organizations that relate to just one interest, you might consider making an umbrella statement about that interest here. For example: "My friends call me a political junkie.".

  20. Crafting the Purdue Supplemental Essays (Guide)

    In this article, we'll walk you through the key steps for writing strong Purdue supplemental essays that will impress admissions officers and help you stand out from other applicants. First things first: understanding the prompt is crucial. The supplemental essays require you to answer specific questions about yourself and your fit with Purdue.

  21. 3 Purdue University Essay Examples

    3 Purdue University Essay Examples. Home of the Boilermakers, Purdue University was established in 1869 and is steeped in history and tradition. From the first 39 students to attend in 1874, to over 33,000 in attendance today, Purdue is matched in tradition only by innovation. Known for its world-class faculty, curricula, and facilities, Purdue ...

  22. Crafting the Purdue Supplemental Essays (Guide)

    Purdue's supplemental essays cover a range of topics, from leadership and community involvement to academic interests and personal experiences. By carefully reading through each prompt, you can identify which ones resonate with you the most and begin brainstorming ideas for your responses.