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George Washington University | GW

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George Washington University | GW’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Honors Program Interdisciplinality Essay

300 Words

With small classes and a dedicated faculty, the University Honors Program (UHP) embraces the ideals of a liberal arts education. Within the UHP, students take classes in many different academic fields (philosophy, science, history, art, social science, etc.) and hone their critical thinking skills. Explain why, as a member of the UHP, you would value the opportunity to engage with topics outside your major field(s) of study.

Honors Program Community Essay

300 Words

The UHP represents a community of scholars at GW. First-year UHP students live and take classes together on the Mount Vernon Campus. Upper-level UHP students remain connected to our community for the remainder of their time at GW through courses, faculty mentoring, advising, research, an optional Foggy Bottom housing opportunity, and our many co-curricular/social activities. How do you see yourself contributing to and/or benefiting from this community as a member of the UHP?

Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute Essay

500 Words

At the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, community is central to our approach to leadership. Therefore, Cisneros Scholars are selected as a cohort that navigate their four years at GW together. How would you contribute to a sense of comunidad in your cohort if you were selected as a Cisneros Scholar?

Select-A-Prompt Essay

Not Required
500 Words

Every applicant can choose from one of the following two essay prompts to submit.

Option 1

At the George Washington University, our students frequently interact with policymakers and world leaders. These experiences and those of our alumni can shape the future of global affairs. If you had the power to change the course of history in your community or the world, what would you do and why?

Option 2

The George Washington University encourages students to think critically and to challenge the status quo. Thus, civil discourse is a key characteristic of our community. Describe a time when you engaged others in meaningful dialogue around an issue that was important to you. Did this exchange create change, new perspectives, or deeper relationships?

Common App Personal Essay

650 words

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? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Option 1

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.

Option 2

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?

Option 3

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

Option 4

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?

Option 5

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

Option 6

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?

Option 7

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.

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