The nation’s oldest Jesuit institution of higher learning is also its most selective, as Georgetown University welcomed just 12% of applicants to the Class of 2026 onto its historical and notably beautiful Washington, D.C. campus. Whenever you are applying to a school of Georgetown’s caliber, where the average admitted applicant has a 1470 SAT score and is at (or near) the top of their high school class, you need to find ways to set yourself apart from the pack. Toward that aim, prospective Hoyas need to take advantage of the Georgetown supplemental essays.

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

The goal is to write compelling, standout compositions. Your essays should showcase your exceptional writing ability and reveal more about who you are as an individual. Below are Georgetown’s essay prompts for the 2022-23 admissions cycle along with tips about how to address each one.

Georgetown Supplemental Essay Prompt 1

Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words)

If you are a world-class athlete, you are likely already in the recruitment process. If you placed high in AIME or won a National Merit Scholarship, that is already stated in the awards section. Therefore, using the prized 250 words of real estate to merely rehash the fact that you won an award for something you are good at would not be an inspiring move. Instead, use this essay as an opportunity to offer a new level of depth and understanding about your talent(s). In addition to discussing the talent you possess, touch on the journey of how you developed your abilities.

A few years back, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that becoming an expert at anything takes 10,000 hours of practice. Consider talking about the grind and sacrifice it took you to become great at a given skill. Describe how you see that skill becoming even more finely-tuned/developed over time. If this skill fits into your future academic/career plans, all the better—share that too!

Georgetown Supplemental Essay Prompt 2

Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (approximately 1/2 page, single-spaced) 

Perhaps you are the captain of a team, the editor-in-chief of your school paper, or the president of a club. On the other hand, you may simply be a valuable contributing member. Regardless of whether you are a leading man/woman or a still-essential bit player, make sure that you use your writing ability to show the admissions officer what type of involved team member you are rather than merely telling them.

You can also discuss how you have engaged with your high school local/community. Share what you have learned from interacting with people of a different ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, etc. Draw on past evidence of your commitment to being a positive force in the context of your activity/activities. Also be sure to speculate how that is likely to manifest on Georgetown’s campus. Research and cite Hoya student-run organizations, local nonprofit groups, or anything else you are drawn to. The admissions committee wants to understand precisely how you will contribute to their campus community of 7,000+ undergrads. Drawing the link between your past efforts and future aims is critical here. For example, if you’ve done work with Habitat for Humanity throughout your teens, it will be most impactful if you express your commitment to joining Georgetown’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity in the future.

Georgetown University Supplemental Essay Prompt 3

As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (approximately 1 page, single-spaced)

Whether you decide to write about yourself in a way that is light, creative, humorous, personal, sincere, or vulnerable (any are perfectly fine), aim to reveal a picture of yourself that cannot be gleaned from elsewhere in your application materials.

Take note of the wide-open nature of this prompt. While there are no limits to the way in which you approach this essay, here are some angles to consider:

  1. A perspective you hold
  2. An experience you had
  3. A community you belong to
  4. Your cultural or family background
  5. Something you’ve had to overcome

The admissions officer looking at your essay is hoping to connect with you through your written words. So be open, humble, thoughtful, inquisitive, emotionally honest, mature, and insightful. No matter what type of story you tell, the goal is to have the reader come away saying, “I can definitely see this applicant as a contributing member of our talented and engaged student community.”

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — The School-Specific Essay

Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

In any “Why Us?” composition (like this prompt essentially asks for), you need to show that you’ve done your homework on a given school, but you don’t want it to read like a robotic list of items that you Googled ten minutes before writing the essay.

In addition to the pure research element, a lot of the time and skill required in creating a stellar  essay will involve connecting the classes, professors, opportunities, etc. of interest that you have uncovered to your distinct values, talents, aims, proficiencies, and future goals.

Elements of a great Georgetown “Why Us?” essay

  • Cite school-specific academic programs, professors, research opportunities, internship/externship programs, and study abroad programs.
  • Reference student-run organizations at Georgetown that align with your passions.
  • Describe how you take advantage of Georgetown’s immense resources both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Make sure to touch on both a) why Georgetown is the perfect fit for you and) why you are the perfect fit for Georgetown. Covering both topics is essential.

Common mistakes on a Georgetown “Why Us?” essay.

  • Fawning over the picturesque Gothic-style Georgetown campus (it is quite beautiful, but they already know that).
  • Georgetown is top-ranked, prestigious, and has a great reputation. Again, they know!
  • Too many generic expressions of feeling (e.g. It has been my dream since I was a toddler to be a Hoya…).
  • Recycled statements from your other “Why Us?” essays that come across as stale, impersonal, or worst of all–irrelevant/inaccurate.

School of Nursing & Health Studies: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).

“A nurse is not what you do, it is who you are.”

This quote from an anonymous source captures the idea that becoming a nurse is a calling; not a profession you just stumble into. Nurses are willing to work long shifts in the service of others, be on the frontlines of a pandemic, and many deal with life’s toughest challenges (e.g. suffering and death) on a regular basis. Many applicants share stories of caring for sick relatives or experiencing a tough medical episode themselves as inspiration for studying nursing. This essay is a chance to show the admissions committee that you are a passionate and mature nursing candidate and that nursing is genuinely “who you are.”

Of course, if you are studying a different program like Global Health or Health Care Management and Policy, your approach may vary slightly. However the key still remains communicating the same level of passion and dedication for the well-being of others.

Walsh School of Foreign Service: The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?

International service is not something every 17/18-year-old in the country is dreaming about doing as a vocation. There is likely a very interesting story surrounding what motivated you to apply to the Walsh School of Foreign Service and this essay invites you to share this very narrative. You don’t need to look any deeper than today’s headlines to identify powerful and immensely challenging global problems. Whether you are aiming for a B.S. in Business and Global Affairs, a B.S. in Foreign Service, or a B.S. in Global, International, and Comparative History, you likely have a highly-specific set of academic and career goals taking shape in your mind.

If you can communicate these goals and the motivations behind them while sharing a vision for how you will contribute to the betterment of humankind in one or multiple regions of the world, then you are likely to end up with an excellent Walsh essay.

McDonough School of Business: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

To stand out as an applicant to the McDonough School of Business, applicants need to show that they have availed themselves of every opportunity to dive into the business world during their high school years. Of course, not everyone has parents who hand them money to invest in the stock market or land them an internship at Goldman Sachs in 9th grade. Relevant experiences can include high school investing clubs, participation in activities like FBLA, summer programs/courses in business/finance/economics, running your own local small business or e-business (Etsy, landscaping, etc.), or just a regular old retail job. The important thing to highlight is what you learned from your experience(s). Explain how you will bring that newly acquired knowledge to the classroom at Georgetown.

How important are the Georgetown supplemental essays?

There are a whopping 8 factors that Georgetown considers to be “very important” to the evaluation process. These are: rigor of secondary school record, character/personal qualities, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and most relevant to this blog—the application essays. The essays undoubtedly play a significant role in the admissions process at Georgetown. They can help the committee decide who to admit when choosing between similarly-credentialed (GPA, test scores, etc.) applicants.

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