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Defining intellectual interests

I've been asked about my 'intellectual interests' for college applications, but I'm not quite sure what that means. Is it just about academic subjects, or can it include hobbies and passions outside of school? I'd love some clarification on how to approach this topic in my applications.

6 months ago

When colleges ask about your intellectual interests, they're looking for a deeper understanding of what sparks your curiosity and drives you to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. While this can certainly include academic subjects (like a passion for history or chemistry), you can also discuss hobbies, passions, or extracurricular activities that have an intellectual component to them.

For example, if you're an avid reader and enjoy exploring different genres and literary techniques, that would be considered an intellectual interest. Similarly, if you love solving puzzles and logic problems, that's another intellectually-driven pursuit. Other examples could include learning a foreign language, playing a musical instrument, participating in a debate club, or engaging in scientific research.

When addressing this topic in your applications, be authentic and specific. Explain how you've pursued these interests and what you've gained from them. If you've expanded your intellectual interests through activities or experiences beyond your school curriculum, mention these as well to show that your passion extends outside the classroom.

Ideally, your intellectual interests should be areas where you've developed a genuine expertise or demonstrated commitment over time, as this will not only help paint a clearer picture of you as a person but also signal to colleges your potential for continued growth and success in your chosen field or fields of interest.

6 months ago

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