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University of San Francisco | USF

San Francisco, CaliforniaPrivate

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University of San Francisco | USF’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Diversity Short Response

200 Words

We are interested in learning more about you. Please respond to the prompt below with a response of no more than 200 words. This response should be different and distinct from the one used for your main Common Application essay.

The University of San Francisco‘s Jesuit tradition emphasizes community engagement and education for social justice, inspiring our students to become passionate agents for others. How do you see yourself becoming a part of this mission?

Nursing (BSN) Short Response

200 Words

What will be your responsibility to others as a Jesuit-educated, BSN professional registered nurse?

St. Ignatius Institute Prompt 1

200 Words

Please explain why you would like to join the Institute.

St. Ignatius Institute Prompt 2

200 Words

SII tries to foster solidarity in action to honor the Jesuit ideal of being people with and for others. Can you give an example of service you performed in the past? What did you do and why?

St. Ignatius Institute Prompt 3

200 Words

What does spirituality mean to you? Please specify if you currently or formerly have a faith tradition and any religious formation experiences.

St. Ignatius Institute Prompt 4


What do you know about the Jesuits?

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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