3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Spikes in applications

Hey! I'm currently a sophomore and I'm really interested in philosophy, languages, and humanities. My dream school is Harvard and I need a spike for my applications. I do debate (my school doesn't do captains but I'm trying to change that), Latin outside of school, I'm on track to have a book published by an indie press, and I'm also on track for an internship at the Boston Foundation. Do you have any suggestions on what my spike could be? Thanks!


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Accepted Answer
3 years ago

All of your interests are actually pretty closely tied so it shouldn't be hard to develop a spike. The hardest part will be tying in the languages, but you could say something like, "I want to fully understand philosophy so I know I should major philosophical works in their original language since translations can hide so much." Again, it is super easy to tie in stuff from related content areas (such as humanities) than it is to tie in, for example, linguistics and biology. I recommend you keep going with the humanities spike. I'm a humanities spike (but I lean more toward writing/ Journalism) so I hope my tips help you out!

1.) Keep an eye on opportunities. As a humanities spike, try to aim for programs like TASP (Telluride Association Summer Program) in your Junior year. I also recommend writing contests like Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, where you can write further about Philosophy. Look for programs by googling stuff and writing them down in a Google Doc or Word (or you can do Excel but I ain't that tech-oriented).

2.) Found clubs. Depending on where you are, you can establish clubs. I come from a really rural area with almost no clubs so I am aiming to help establish more clubs. I get this idea gets a lot of slack in this community (since many see it as being lazy and not doing anything) but it is a helpful way to show colleges you are interested in helping out your school and community.

3.) Read. Read as many Philosophers as you can. This can make your essays more interesting since many people may not know about more obscure philosophers and it can show a genuine passion for the area in interviews.

4.) Take AP English (both Literature and Composition), AP Capstone (since it focuses heavily on many of the key skills in Philosophy), as well as History. Philosophy is intertwined in History, so doing allows you to further see the context many philosophers were in during their lives.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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