University of Pennsylvania has released its 2023-2024 supplemental essay prompts for first-year applicants.
All first-year applicants to Penn will complete several Penn-specific short essays; yet, for the first time, the exact prompts students respond to will depend on the school within the university that they are applying to.
2023-2024 Penn Supplemental Prompts
Required of All Applicants:
1. Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!) (150-200 words)
2. How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective, and how your experiences and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)
Required of College Applicants Only:
3. The flexible structure of The College of Arts and Sciences’ curriculum is designed to inspire exploration, foster connections, and help you create a path of study through general education courses and a major. What are you curious about and how would you take advantage of opportunities in the arts and sciences? To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about academic offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences at college.upenn.edu/prospective. This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of how the study of the liberal arts aligns with your own goals and aspirations. (150-200 words)
Required of Engineering Applicants Only:
3. Penn Engineering prepares its students to become leaders in technology, by combining a strong foundation in the natural sciences and mathematics, exploration in the liberal arts, and depth of study in focused disciplinary majors. Please share how you hope to explore your engineering interests at Penn. To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about Penn Engineering and its mission to prepare students for global leadership in technology here. This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of academic pathways within Penn Engineering and how they align with your goals and interests.
Required of Nursing Applicants Only:
3. Penn Nursing intends to meet the health needs of society in a global and multicultural world by preparing its students to impact healthcare by advancing science and promoting equity. What do you think this means for the future of nursing, and how do you see yourself contributing to our mission of promoting equity in healthcare? To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about Penn Nursing’s mission and how we promote equity in healthcare here. This information will help you develop a stronger understanding of our values and how they align with your own goals and aspirations. (150-200 words)
Required of Wharton Applicants Only:
3. Wharton prepares its students to make an impact by applying business methods and economic theory to real-world problems, including economic, political, and social issues. Please reflect on a current issue of importance to you and share how you hope a Wharton education would help you to explore it. To help inform your response, applicants are encouraged to learn more about the foundations of a Wharton education here. This information will help you better understand what you could learn by studying at Wharton and what you could do afterward.
Penn also has additional essay requirements for first-year applicants applying to its highly selective special programs, which include DMD: Digital Media Design Program, DMD: Digital Media Design Program, Huntsman: The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, LSM: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, M&T: The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, NETS: The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering, NHCM: Nursing and Healthcare Management, Seven-Year Bio-Dental Program, and VIPER: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research.
As most high school seniors applying to Penn do so through the Common Application, most Penn applicants will also need to respond – and respond well – to one of the Common App’s main essay prompts in order to be considered for admission at Penn.
Good luck to all those students applying to join Penn’s Class of 2028. Start drafting!
Meanwhile, the 2023-2024 supplemental essay prompts for students applying to be first-year students at fellow Ivy League institutions Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale have now also been released. Only Princeton has yet to release its supplemental essay prompts for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.