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How to Write a “Why This Major” Essay

knowledge of major field essay

What do you want to major in and why? The “why this major ” topic is one of the most common supplemental essay prompts used by colleges. It helps schools understand your academic interests, intellectual passions, and what you plan to do professionally. In this guide, we’ll talk about how you can write a stellar “Why this Major” essay. 

Also see: Overview of common scholarship essay prompts

Tips for writing the “Why this Major” essay

There’s no standard formula for writing a good “Why this Major” essay, but an effective one usually addresses the following three questions: 

  • How did you become interested in this major? 
  • What do you hope to accomplish by majoring in this subject? 
  • Why is this school a good fit for pursuing this major? 

Let’s discuss how you can effectively answer each of these questions and put together a well-rounded essay. 

Also read: How to choose a major

1. Share your origin story

The first objective is to explain how your interest in the major developed in the first place. One way to do this is by telling a story. To put things in Marvel terms, think of your academic passion as your superpower and how you discovered this interest as your origin story. Of course, you don’t actually have to picture yourself as a superhero. But it helps to tell a good story. 

Anecdotes bring color to your narrative and help the reader get to know you better. If you’re an aspiring English major, you might describe how you fell in love with books as a child. Or if you plan on pursuing an engineering degree, perhaps you describe your fascination with technology and how it shaped you from a young age. Ultimately, your goal is to connect your background to your current interest. 

While it can be engaging to share a brief story at the beginning of your essay, just make sure your anecdote is relevant and free of unnecessary details. Don’t get carried away and share your entire life story. Additionally, you don’t have to point to a singular experience that made you realize you wanted to pursue this major. Instead, you can paint a picture of how certain moments throughout your life led you to this point. 

Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

2. Outline your goals

The next step is to describe your vision for the future. You should outline your college goals and your career goals, and how majoring in a certain field will help you achieve them. Think of your education as a tool you can use to craft your future. What are you trying to build, and why is your major the right tool for the job? The English major, for instance, may explain that their field of study can help them hone their writing skills and launch their career as an author. Or the engineering major might describe how they want to get a job as an environmental engineer and address problems such as waste disposal and water pollution. 

You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) focus exclusively on your career goals, though. If you’re not sure what kind of job you want after graduation, that’s totally okay. Instead, focus on what you hope to accomplish during your college years. What do you hope to learn by pursuing this major? What projects do you want to produce? Do you have plans to perform research in this field? Your answers to these questions will demonstrate your passion for your major and your motivation behind choosing it. 

Also see: How to write a 250 word essay

3. Explain your school choice 

Finally, you should mention why this particular school is a good fit for pursuing your major. While this doesn’t have to be a big part of your essay, you should still weave in your excitement about the school. Colleges want students who believe that their institution is the right path to achieving their goals. Try to go beyond superficial answers like “this college is ranked highly for this major”. Get specific and discuss unique aspects of the program, courses that interest you, or faculty members you’d like to work with. 

Related: How to choose a college

What if I’m undecided? 

If you’re unsure of your major, try to pick 1-3 potential fields of study and describe how you feel about them. Why are you interested in these subjects, and how do they relate to your potential career goals? Explain why you haven’t settled on a particular major yet. And if you can, describe how your various interests connect with each other. You’re essentially writing the same type of essay described above, but acknowledging that you don’t know what you want to major in. Colleges understand that and actually expect many of their incoming students to be undecided. That’s why it’s still possible to write the “Why this Major” essay even when your academic interests aren’t set in stone. 

Read more: Is it bad to apply to college as an undeclared major?

Example essay prompts

Although it’s a fairly straightforward question, it can take many forms. Here’s a few examples of how different colleges phrase the “Why this Major” essay prompt: 

Yale University : Students at Yale have plenty of time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided. (100 words)

Purdue University : Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (250 words)

North Carolina State University : Explain why you selected the academic program(s) above and why you are interested in studying these at NC State.

Brown University : Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might pursue them at Brown. (200-250 words) 

Georgia Tech : Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech? 

Top tips for how to write a “why this major” essay 

Make it personal .

No matter what major you choose, it is meaningful to detail a true representation of your passion. Be authentic and use storytelling to emphasize your love for your intended major! Try to write about a time in your life when you realized what your passions were. 

Also see: Supplemental essays: how important are they? 

Be specific! 

When you are writing about your major or the school, you be as specific as possible! Try to avoid broad statements that do not reveal much about your interests. Rather, be specific about certain aspects of your life and journey to discovering what you want to major in. Additionally, when detailing the school mention specific classes, professors and buildings that can help you achieve your career goals. 

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the “why this major” essay is the tie back to the school itself. It’s important to detail why the school itself is a perfect fit for pursuing your major interests. In order to successfully write about why the school is a good fit for you need to adequately research the institution. You can do this by scrolling through the school’s social media pages and their website. 

Related: How to write a great supplemental essay

Mistakes to avoid in your “why this major” essay

Repeating the website.

Do not just parrot the school website! Rather, take the information from the website and turn it into your own words. Be sure to describe how you will take advantage of the resources available rather than just stating them. 

Choosing the wrong major

Do not feel pressured to just write about a random major! If you are undecided, then write about that! Or, if you want to pick a less popular major to stand out from the rest of applicants, this can end in an inauthentic and boring essay. Rather, choose a major that genuinely aligns with your interests, even if it may be a more “basic” option. Ultimately, admissions officers just want to get a good idea of who you are and why you want to study what you want to study.

Choosing too many majors

If you are someone who is interested in multiple topics, this may not be the best outlet to detail all of your passions. Rather, try to stick to 1 or 2 majors you want to pursue. If you do not assert a strong opinion or passion on 1 major it can lead to a broad and hard-to-follow response which may cause you to seem apathetic. So, dive in! Submerge yourself into one major and make sure your excitement shines through. You can always consider mentioning how another interest could become a minor or double major.  

Also see: Should you double major or minor? 

Final thoughts

Remember that an effective “Why this Major” essay accomplishes three main objectives: 

  • Ties your background to your current interest in the major
  • Connects your interest in the major to your goals for the future 
  • Explains how the school in question is a good fit 

By touching on these three areas, your essay will have a complete narrative arc. Happy writing! 

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How to Write the “Why this Major” College Essay + Example

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How to Write the “Why This Major” Essay If You’re Undecided→

The “Why This Major?” essay is a common prompt that nearly every college applicant will have to answer. In this post, we’ll be going over the purpose of this essay, examples of real prompts, sample responses, and expert tips for writing your own essay. If one of the colleges on your list asks you to respond to this prompt, you’ll be well-prepared after reading this post.

What is the “Why This Major” Essay?

In the college admissions process, you’ll need to submit two main types of essays: the personal statement and supplemental essays. The personal statement is your main application essay that goes to every school you apply to. The goal of this essay is to share more about who you are and your development.

On the other hand, s upplemental essays only go to specific schools, and each school requests their own essays. The goal of these essays is to showcase your fit with the school. Common prompts include “ Why This College? ”, “ Describe an Extracurricular ,” and “Why This Major?”.

As a supplemental essay, the “Why This Major?” prompt asks you to explain your interest in your intended major. Colleges want to understand your academic background, what your intellectual passions are, and what you plan to do professionally. It’s also meant to gauge your academic fit with the college, as you should also cover the school-specific resources that will help you achieve your goals. This prompt should actually be considered “Why This Major at This School?”.

Examples of “Why This Major?” Essay Prompts

Before we dive in, let’s first take a look at some real-life examples of these prompts.

For example, Yale requests that students write a supplemental essay based on the following prompt:

Students at Yale have plenty of time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided. Why do these areas appeal to you? (100 words or fewer).

Similarly, Purdue asks applicants to write 100 words in response to the below statement:

“Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.”

Another top college, Carnegie Mellon requires students to discuss the evolution of their proposed field of study in 300 words:

“Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time—what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?”

Finally, UPenn asks students to craft a slightly longer essay (300-450 words) explaining how they chose their major:

“How did you discover your intellectual and academic interests, and how will you explore them at the University of Pennsylvania? Please respond considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected.”

“Why This Major?” Essay Example

To give you a better idea of what these essays should actually look like, here’s an example of a response to the “Why This Major?” prompt.

Prompt: If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering as a first year applicant, please discuss why you want to study engineering and why you would like to study at Duke (250 words).

One Christmas morning, when I was nine, I opened a snap circuit set from my grandmother. Although I had always loved math and science, I didn’t realize my passion for engineering until I spent the rest of winter break creating different circuits to power various lights, alarms, and sensors. Even after I outgrew the toy, I kept the set in my bedroom at home and knew I wanted to study engineering. Later, in a high school biology class, I learned that engineering didn’t only apply to circuits, but also to medical devices that could improve people’s quality of life. Biomedical engineering allows me to pursue my academic passions and help people at the same time.

Just as biology and engineering interact in biomedical engineering, I am fascinated by interdisciplinary research in my chosen career path. Duke offers unmatched resources, such as DUhatch and The Foundry, that will enrich my engineering education and help me practice creative problem-solving skills. The emphasis on entrepreneurship within these resources will also help me to make a helpful product. Duke’s Bass Connections program also interests me; I firmly believe that the most creative and necessary problem-solving comes by bringing people together from different backgrounds. Through this program, I can use my engineering education to solve complicated societal problems such as creating sustainable surgical tools for low-income countries. Along the way, I can learn alongside experts in the field. Duke’s openness and collaborative culture span across its academic disciplines, making Duke the best place for me to grow both as an engineer and as a social advocate.

This student does a great job of sharing how their interest in biomedical engineering developed. They begin the essay with an anecdote, which is more engaging and personal than simply stating “I want to study X major because…” The student also details how Duke specifically can help them achieve their goal of being an engineer and social advocate. It’s clear they’ve done their research, as they’re able to name resources at Duke, such as DUhatch, The Foundry, and the Bass Connections program.

Tips for Writing the “Why This Major?” Essay

Answering the “Why This Major?” essay prompt may seem like a difficult task. However, there are tips to help simplify the process and ensure your response addresses the question fully and effectively. Here are three steps for writing a standout essay about your major of choice:

1. Share how your academic interest developed. 

The first step in crafting an effective “Why This Major?” essay example is explaining your emotional resonance with the subject, and your background in it. While you might be tempted to write about your passion for the subject in flowery language, it’s better to share specific experiences that show how your interest developed. You should cover both the coursework that you’ve done and any relevant extracurricular experiences. If you have space, you can also add in the specific subtopics that interest you within the major (i.e. analyzing gender relations or racism within the broader topic of sociology).

You might also consider sharing a short anecdote related to your interest in the major. This is especially effective at the beginning of the essay, as telling a story will draw in the reader while providing context for your academic interest. For example, if you’re interested in attending Yale University to study English, you could start your essay by describing a childhood ritual in which you and your dad went to the library every Saturday. 

While anecdotes are effective components of a college essay, students should choose what details to include with care. The most impactful essays tell a story, so you should refrain from listing all of your extracurricular activities that relate to your chosen major. This is not a resume! Instead, find ways of connecting your initial anecdote with your desire to pursue your major. For example, perhaps your early experiences at the library led you to get a job at a local bookstore and organize author readings for the community.

2. Detail your reasoning and goals. 

It’s not enough to express your passion for a particular subject. You also want to describe your goals and explain how majoring in a field will help you achieve them. Perhaps your early experiences with authors inspired you to start a novel. You can further explain how majoring in English will enable you to study the great works of literature, thereby providing you with the background and foundation needed to find success as a writer. 

3. Explain your school choice. 

Finally, a “Why This Major?” essay should reveal how the college in question will help you achieve your goals. Your reasons should extend beyond “the college is highly ranked for this major,” and should dive into the curriculum, teaching methodology, and specific classes or resources.

For example, if you’re passionate about becoming a writer one day, take time to explain how Yale’s English program will set you on the road to success. Perhaps you’re interested in studying British greats through the famed Yale in London study abroad program. Or, maybe you plan on pursuing the Writing Concentration as a senior to further your creative writing skills. You could also mention a desire to take a particular course, study with a certain professor, or work on the school newspaper. Just be careful not to “name-drop” professors ⁠— only mention a specific faculty member if their work is actually highly-relevant to your interests. Otherwise, your interest will look disingenuous.

What to Do If You’re Undecided

Just because you haven’t decided on a concentration doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to writing the “Why This Major?” essay. If you’re still undecided, you can opt to write about 1-3 potential majors, while detailing how the school can help you meet your goals. For best results, include personal anecdotes about a few academic subjects or courses that have inspired you, and share some potential career paths stemming from them. For more tips, see our post on how to write the “Why this major?” essay if you’re undecided .

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

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Why Major Essay Examples

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At many schools, the why major essay forms a crucial part of the college application process. In addition to your Common App essay , many schools require supplemental essays. One of the most popular supplemental essay prompts is the why major essay.

The why major essay allows colleges to learn more about you and your interests. This guide will give you some why major essay examples from popular colleges. It will also offer some tips on how to write a why major essay. 

This guide includes why major essay examples from the following colleges: The University of Texas at Austin , The University of Southern California , Cornell , Georgia Tech , and Pomona College . These college essay examples can act as a great source of inspiration for your why major essay. By looking at these college essays that worked, you can learn more about how to approach various supplemental essay prompts. 

What are examples of why major essay prompts?

The why major essay examples in this guide have varying prompts. Here are the why major essay prompts from our college essay examples: 

“Why major” essay requirements

As you can see, most why major essay examples will have between 250-300 words. However, some college essay examples will have more. Additionally, some why major essay examples will focus on college-specific information. In general, these essays ask why you’ve picked your intended major , so try to be as specific as possible. These why major essay examples are a great place to start if you need help with your why major essay. 

The college essay examples in this guide also reflect the level of research needed for a why major essay. As you research colleges, look for a class you want to take or a research opportunity that interests you. Then, be sure to include that in your why major essay for that school. If a prompt mentions the college’s name or asks why you’re interested in their school, focus on school specifics. The college essay examples we’ve included in this guide can help you jumpstart the writing process. 

Who has a why major essay?

why major essay

Many schools have a why major essay, as these essays help colleges understand you and your academic passions. The why major essay examples in this guide come from UT Austin, USC, Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Pomona College. 

In addition to these schools, many other colleges also have a why major essay. Some of these include Yale University , University of Pennsylvania , Emory University , University of Michigan , and Rice University.  

Beyond the why major essay, many colleges will also have a why this college essay. This essay asks why you’re interested in that specific college. Some schools may combine the why this college essay and the why major essay. It can be helpful to compare colleges to help you decide which schools you prefer. In these essays, try to mention specific courses and professors. Some of the why major essay examples in this guide also function as why this college essay samples.  You can find more college essay examples here.  

Choosing your major

It’s okay if you don’t have a designated major in mind yet. While many schools will allow you to apply as an undecided student, some schools will require you to pick a major as part of your application. However, this choice often is not binding.

Reading why major essay examples can help as you choose your major and prepare to apply. If you’re not sure about your major, you can read our guide on How to Choose a Major.  

In our why major essay examples, you’ll see how your personal interests and passions can help you choose a major. Our why major essay examples demonstrate how helpful it can be for colleges to know why you’re interested in your intended major. Where do you see yourself working? What’s your favorite subject in school? Thinking through these kinds of questions (and reading college essay examples) can help you navigate the different majors available. 

Why This Major Essay Example

We’ve included five different why major essay examples below. Pay attention to how these why this major essay examples include specifics about each college. These why major college essay examples can help you understand what colleges look for in a Why Major essay. Overall, by reading college essays that worked, you can learn more about how to brainstorm and structure your own essays.

Now, let’s look at some why major college essay examples. 

UT Austin Essay Examples

Why Major Essay

Please describe your interest in your intended major and how your interest in the field developed. (250 Words)

Ut austin essay example.

Some of you may wonder ‘When will I ever use derivatives in real life?’ Welcome to when.” My physics teacher, Mr. Welsh, described engineering as the “when” math and physics were applied to real problems. That is what is so attractive about engineering; it gives me the ability to apply intriguing concepts to fascinating projects. I love how engineering combines creative freedom with mathematical certainty to create projects that can impact and change the world.

During the Chain Reaction Contraption competition, a local competition, my team and I created a Rube Goldberg machine to complete a certain task. I found a love for the hands-on, creative portion of mechanical engineering and design. Other engineering activities also provided important experiences that contributed to my desire to pursue engineering. In my engineering design class, I enjoyed using computer programs like Solidworks and AutoCAD to create designs and visualizations of ideas. In FTC Robotics, I discovered that in addition to building the robot, I also loved the programming aspect behind mechanical design.

Reflecting on these experiences with engineering, particularly mechanical engineering, I am certain that engineering is the best path for me. I hope to apply my Mechanical Engineering degree to the Aerospace field. My dad is a pilot, so I have grown up hearing about and being around airplanes. As a child, I watched war plane documentaries with my dad and have had a passion for Aeronautics since then.

Why this essay worked

This why this major essay example works because it utilizes a personal story. By using a specific experience, this essay reflects on why this student is interested in mechanical engineering. Starting with a personal anecdote is a great way to introduce your essay. By including any experience you have with a club or extracurricular, you can help the reader understand your experience within the field. 

Reading UT Austin essay examples can help you start writing your why major essay. Read through the UT Austin Degree Programs and pick the major that best aligns with your interests. Try to think about what experiences, both inside and outside of school, have piqued your interest—this can be a great way to start your why major essay. Use the UT Austin essay examples to help guide your writing process. As you draft, these why major essay examples can be a great source of inspiration.  

USC Why Major Essay

Why Major Essay

Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first-and second-choice major selections. (300 Words)

The perks of being an English major is that you have a lot of opportunities, which I fully plan on partaking in during my time at USC. First and foremost, I hope to form close connections with my professors and to take advantage of the world-class education I’d be receiving. There is also a study abroad program specifically entwined with English that I hope to be able to participate in during my time at USC. I intend to participate and eventually help with the events that USC’s English department puts on as well.

As a sophomore, I hope to be a research assistant to a professor, hopefully someone who specializes in Romanticism or the niche field of ‘Law and Literature.’ I plan on starting research to write my own thesis during my junior year and hope to publish by my senior year. I plan on being a research assistant first because it would give me insight on the mechanics of research in the humanities and would help me formulate some ideas for my thesis early on. Since I am on the pre-law track, I hope to take advantage of USC’s resources by starting an internship.

While I have yet to declare a minor, I would like to capitalize on my love for languages by minoring in a language, and since Los Angeles and the campus of USC itself is a multicultural hub, I could immerse myself into the cultural aspects that come with learning a “new tongue.”

Why this essay worked 

This why this major essay example works because it focuses primarily on how this student will utilize the resources at USC to pursue their intended major. In this, the essay fully answers the prompt set by the USC Admissions Office. 

This USC Why Major essay mentions the specific study abroad program and the research opportunities available. In doing so, it shows how familiar this student is with the English program at USC. This USC essay also helps demonstrate the student’s excitement for the opportunities available at USC. Detailing a rough plan for each year in college is a great way to show the USC Admissions Office what you know about their school’s programs. 

This USC Why Major essay is a great example of combining a Why This Major essay example and a Why This College essay sample. Compared to the other Why Major essay examples you may read (including the one above), this USC essay is specific. Other Why Major college essay examples may be used for more than one school—often, you’ll include similar information in your supplemental essays for different schools. However, the USC Why Major essay can only be used for USC. The USC Admissions wants you to detail exactly what about USC you find appealing, and this USC essay does this very well. 

Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay example

Why Major Essay

Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person … any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College. (650 Words)

Cornell arts and sciences supplement essay example.

When 6:35 AM alarm rings, I find myself considering the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility–if I hit the snooze button, will my eight minutes of fragmented slumber garner more utility than a fresh-brewed cup of coffee? The trend continues throughout the day: with the release of the newest Yeezys, I contemplate bounded rationality. Though the sneakers scarcely justify the price tag of $550, the rapidly-depleting supply almost overwhelms my rational decision-making capabilities: textbook behavioral economics. As soon as I realized that my daily decisions could be explained by economics, I was determined to learn more. 

To many, the subject conjures images of stockbrokers painstakingly laboring over Excel spreadsheets; it’s easy to forget it governs our everyday lives. Half a century ago, the creation of the unassuming mortgage-backed security set the stage for the global 2008 Recession. Simultaneously, the power of economics can be awe-inspiring: Muhammad Yunus’ work with microfinance pioneered new ways to address global poverty. Studying AP Economics, participating in countless rounds of debate both in and outside the United States, self-studying courses like Professor Chetty’s Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems, and managing the budget of our schools debate team taught me that market principles govern our world; through my education, I hope to learn how to harness them for good.

After a summer working for Congressman DeSaulnier, I realized that economics and politics are intertwined. One of my most memorable projects was preparing a brief on H.R. 4674 (the College Affordability Act)–for two weeks, I scrutinized the social, political, and economic effects of the legislation, and concluded with a half-hour presentation on my findings to the Congressman. In the process, I realized that even seemingly minor pieces of legislation affect all of society; by helping disenfranchised communities gain access to education, the bill addresses cyclical poverty at the root. When the Congressman announced he would become a co-author, it was a personal victory–it cemented my desire to intertwine my passion in economics with our political process, and learn how to craft innovative legislation designed to benefit millions.

The College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell is the ideal environment for me to pursue those passions. As an aspiring Economics major, I’m incredibly excited to learn from world-renowned economists like Professor Basu. Beyond fascinating courses like Game Theory and Strategic Economics, which synthesize economics, business, politics, and diplomacy, it would be a privilege just to attend his office hours and learn from his experience as former Chief Economist at the World Bank and President of the International Economic Association. In addition to my classes, I’d love to get involved in the Hatsfield Undergraduate Research program and further my understanding of how economics can be applied. Papers like Professor Battaglini’s “The Political Economy of Weak Treaties” are fascinating to read, and it would be a phenomenal experience to receive mentorship from veterans in the field while aiding them in their work. 

I’d also love to minor in Public Policy, which seems almost tailor-made for my own career goals; the synthesis of an unparalleled education in the fundamentals of economics with courses designed to help students craft tangible policy would literally be a dream come true. Programs like Cornell in Washington promise the opportunity to get hands-on experience from Capitol Hill itself. I’d be more than happy to use my education in a Congressional Committee and get an insider perspective on the steps that go into developing, amending, and passing legislation.

The College of Arts and Sciences combines that with a robust undergraduate community, which offers unique opportunities to collaborate with a large student body and start developing a professional network–whether I’m catching a game of ice hockey or participating in Dragon Day, I know there’ll never be a dull moment. All in all, Cornell promises four truly life-changing years–I can’t wait to become a member of the Big Red community.

Reading through Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay examples, like the one above, can serve as an excellent case of how to combine a Why Major essay and a Why This College essay.  

Out of all the college essay examples we’ve included here, the Cornell Arts and Sciences supplement essay examples contain the most detail. This why this major essay example showcases how important it is to have exact details available about the college or program you are applying to. This student highlights several different professors at Cornell, as well as their specific work and research. The Cornell Admissions Office appreciates the time and effort put into these essays, so it’s crucial to do your research! 

This why this major essay example also uses the longer word count well. In particular, it offers personal anecdotes while showcasing the writer’s knowledge of economics. The reader gets to know the student better, and the Cornell Admissions team can see that the writer is serious about studying at Cornell. 

As you can see in these why major essay examples, the more specific details you can include about the college, the better. Reading multiple Cornell supplemental essay examples can help you explore the different programs students look forward to joining. Be sure to explore the Cornell Admissions website to review their offered fields of study .  If you’re undecided on a major, you can read through our guide on Cornell Majors here for some inspiration. You can also read more Cornell supplemental essay examples here . 

Georgia Tech Essay Examples

Next, let’s look at some essay examples from Georgia Tech. Here’s the prompt:

Why Major Essay

Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and what opportunities at Georgia Tech will prepare you in that field after graduation? (300 Words)

Georgia tech essay example.

March 29, 2019. 11 AM EST. GT Shadow Day. I remember it all so clearly: Descending the red-brick steps of the Old Civil Engineering Building. My friend and I, chatting up a storm, our minds blown by our newfound perspectives. 

We had just walked out of ECON-4060: Money & Capital Markets, taught by Dr. Belton. To say that it changed my life would be no exaggeration; within an hour, Dr. Belton had upended my perception of society and defined my future aspirations. 

We had been asked to consider a popular commodity, diamonds. Hardly rare, fast-decaying, and intrinsically worthless. So why do we buy them? Dr. Belton had then illuminated the factors in our economic behavior that cause us to gift a ring in marriage rather than something with real value, say a treasury bond. These realizations were enough to rock me back on my heels, for I had never before noticed the large degree to which our everyday economic decision-making is irrational.

Craving more than that one splendid hour, I knew where and what I wanted to study for the next four years. I saw myself strolling through Bobby Dodd Way, bumping into old friends as I made my way to Midtown Atlanta. Then, I imagined myself exploring the realm of economics, probing questions ranging from price formation to income disparity. I saw myself at a place that felt familiar enough to call “home,” learning in a way that felt genuine enough to call “discovery.”

Educating myself on the mechanics of economics is just a glimpse of my great desires. Through the senior research project, I seek the one-on-one guidance of faculty in yielding a publishable journal paper. Someday, with the support of the program’s alumni network, I plan to pursue career and internship opportunities in the great company headquarters of Atlanta.

Like many of the why major essay examples we’ve highlighted, this why major essay starts with a personal anecdote.  Our Georgia Tech essay examples can be used as a why this college essay sample as well. 

The student’s personal story is tied to Georgia Tech. This makes it a great addition to a Georgia Tech application.  Our Georgia Tech essay examples also drive home the importance of bringing specific details about a college into your why major essay. The Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples can help spark your inspiration on what details to include. This why this major essay example does a great job of building on a personal experience with Georgia Tech. It also highlights what prompted the student’s interest in economics. 

Learning from Georgia Tech essay examples

Reading through Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples like the one above can teach you a lot. As you approach your essays, make sure you showcase how important it can be to reference specific classes or professors offered by a college. Use Georgia Tech essay examples to get some inspiration for your research and writing. 

If you are interested in submitting a Georgia Tech application, be sure to familiarize yourself with the offered majors. These can be found here .  The Georgia Tech supplemental essay examples can be a great research tool as well if you are unsure about picking a major. 

For more help on a Georgia Tech application, be sure to read through our guide on Georgia Tech Admissions as well. Reading through more Georgia Tech essay examples can help if you’re feeling stuck on your why major essay—it can be helpful to target your search for the major you’re interested in. The Georgia Tech supplemental essays examples illustrate the importance of building connections between your interests and what each college offers. 

Pomona College Essay Examples

Why Major Essay

What gets you excited about your academic interest selection(s) above? (300 Words)

Pomona college essay example.

I’m a cis-gender gay man. I came out to my family during my sophomore year and to my entire school in an assembly my junior year. 

My queer identity has inspired my involvement at Tony’s Place, my research on LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, and my involvement in changing my school’s LGBTQ+ policies. Being gay has become a primary lens through which I view the world. 

The Gender & Women’s Studies Program would provide me with a critical lens to further understand my own experiences and ways I can become a better activist. 

The LGBTQ+ community is distinct from other marginalized groups because it is an umbrella of different experiences, and it takes a high level of literacy to understand these differences. The Gender & Women’s Studies Program’s emphasis on including diverse perspectives in the curriculum is crucial in my understanding of other perspectives and ways I can support others. 

For my Modern Middle East final, I wrote a forty-five page paper on LGBTQ+ movements in Middle Eastern countries. Writing this paper made me think about LGBTQ+ rights from an international perspective. Pomona’s Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality in Asian/America can advance my understanding of the cultural implications of Western colonization. In doing so, I’ll discover ways the United States can assist an LGBTQ+ social movement in other nations without imposing an imperialist definition of pride.

While researching alongside a University of Houston professor, I had to consider the relationship between disabilities and LGBTQ+ homeless youth’s mental health outcomes. Taking The Disability Studies: Foundations, Intersections, & Future class will help me better empathize with the different communities represented in my future research endeavors. 

By linking queer theory to disciplines such as economics, media studies, and politics, The Gender & Women’s Studies Program will prepare me for a lifetime of activism.

This why this major essay example does a great job of connecting this student’s personal identity and experiences to their intended major. This Pomona essay gives the reader insight into who the student is. It also highlights how their identity has informed their academic passions. 

Out of all the Pomona majors, this student describes a specific program that spoke to their long-term goals. Reading through the Pomona College essay examples can help you structure your Pomona essay. This why this major essay example also has a great structure. It opens with a personal anecdote and segues into specific details about Pomona naturally. As such, this why this major essay example feels cohesive and clear. 

When reading through college essay examples, pay attention to how closely they follow the exact prompt directions. The Pomona College essay examples highlight how important it is to answer the prompt. Your Pomona essay should explain why your intended major excites you. Make sure you read through the offered Pomona majors, found here. The Pomona College essay examples can also help you narrow down your options from the many Pomona majors offered. The reader can feel how excited this student is to pursue their major at Pomona, making it a great why this college essay sample as well! 

How to write a Why Major Essay

After reading through the why major college essay examples, you may still feel stuck on how to write a why major essay. The first step to writing a why major essay is to pick your major. 

While this may seem obvious, this can be a difficult step for a lot of students. There are many great guides on picking a college major, including our own guide . There are also guides from U.S. News , Research.com , and Coursera . Additionally, you can review the data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics on the most popular college majors. Reading about different majors (and reading different why did you choose this major essay examples) can help you decide which path of study is best for you. 

You can also read a number of college essays that worked from Johns Hopkins University here . These can help you explore different areas of study and see how other students have described their experiences. Additionally, you can read our guides on college search , building a college list , and how to compare colleges . 

Beginning your writing process

Once you know what major to pick, the fun part starts. Read some why did you choose this major essay examples and think of your own experience. Was there a class you took that sparked your interest or a club that inspired a new academic passion? What subjects or topics within this major speaks to you the most? Start reading why major essay examples for your intended major—they may help you focus your interest. 

Let’s think through how a student may tackle a why major essay. Imagine a student named Isla who plans to study biology in college. When sitting down to write her why major essay, she might research each school’s biology programs in depth. Then, she might pick one or two classes for each school and look up what research projects the professors design. 

She’ll also think about why she wants to study biology. She can still remember how captivated she was during her biology classes and how excited she was to learn more—this can be a great start to her essay. Isla can build her why major essay around her personal interests and the research she’s done. The Why Major essay gives Isla a great opportunity to explain her passions and to show schools she is serious about her goals. 

Why engineering essay

Why Major Essay

If you’re interested in applying to engineering programs, your why engineering essay should detail what subjects within engineering you find compelling. Some schools will have you write a why engineering essay as part of their application process. Some of these include Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and the California Institute of Technology . 

When writing your why engineering essay, it can be helpful to include the specific field you’re interested in, such as mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, or computer engineering. Research the programs you’re applying to. Then, try to include any recent projects or news in your why engineering essay. Overall, a why engineering essay should explain your interest, include relevant information about each school and showcase your knowledge in engineering. 

In addition to the UT Austin why this major essay example included in this guide, research other college essays that worked specifically to engineering. Reading why major essay examples for engineering programs can teach you more about the programs that interest you. If you’re feeling stuck, read more why did you choose this major essay examples for some inspiration!

Why business major essay

Why Major Essay

As the most popular major for undergraduate students, writing a why business major essay can be intimidating. Since business is such a popular major, many why major essay examples will focus on business. Some schools will have you write a specific why business major essay. For example, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business require them. You can also refer to the Cornell why this major essay example included in this guide. 

Try to include specific details about your experiences to ground your why business major essay. Think about your future career goals—do you have a dream company you’d like to work for? Look into each business program as well. Do they have any exciting internship programs, or connections with local businesses? Breaking down your goals and detailing what makes you excited about the specific program can help you write your why business major essay. 

Reading college essay examples specific to business programs can help as well. You may find more essays geared towards graduate degrees, but researching why did you choose this major essay examples for business can help target your search. Reading why major essay examples for business programs can also help you see what specific schools look for.

Why nursing essay

Why Major Essay

Nursing is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. Writing a why nursing essay can be a core component of applying to nursing programs. This includes applying to programs at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Los Angeles . So, reading a why this major essay example for nursing can help jumpstart your writing process. 

Your why nursing essay should explain your passion for the field. In your why nursing essay, be sure to include any personal stories you may have regarding nursing and the health field. Many why major essay examples for nursing include personal stories to help explain the student’s interest in healthcare.

Your why nursing essay should also be as specific as possible. Is there a specialization you’re interested in? Be sure to reflect on caretaking and share any personal experience you may have. These can elevate your why nursing essay. Additionally, if you’ve volunteered in a healthcare facility or have any experience with the profession, include these details in your essay. Overall, your why nursing essay should explain to the reader why you’re passionate about such an important field. It should also outline your future career goals within healthcare. 

Other CollegeAdvisor Resources on College Majors

If you’re still feeling stuck on picking a major for your why major essay, CollegeAdvisor is here to help. In addition to these why major essay examples, you can review our guide on college majors here . This guide includes college-specific resources, but we also have a guide on listing a college major . Beyond that, we have guides for business majors and computer science majors. Additionally, we have guides on college enrollment , study abroad , and test scores . 

Reading these different guides, alongside these why major essay examples, can help you navigate the wide array of majors. Once you find a major you’re interested in, reading why major essay examples for your specific major can help you start writing your why major essay. 

Why This Major Essay Examples – Final Thoughts

Applying to college may feel overwhelming, but researching schools and majors is a crucial first step. Reading college essays that worked can help you understand what goes into a great why major essay. 

Even if you’re not sure about your intended major, reading through why did you choose this major essay examples can help in the decision-making process. Arming yourself with information about each program will help, too. Reading why major college essay examples can provide specific inspiration for the programs you’re interested in. Focus on what excites you about each school’s program, and you’ll have a great starting point for your why major essay!

Why Major Essay

This essay guide was written by senior advisor, Jess Klein . Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile. We will help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

knowledge of major field essay

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