In addition to the Common App personal statement and activities list, the Chapman Application has three 200-word supplemental essays and a series of short answer questions. This guide will help you develop strong topics that show your interest in Chapman University and paint a picture of your values, interests, and goals.
Why This Major Essay
Please tell us about your interest in the major you selected (200 words or fewer).
In this essay, admissions readers will be looking for connections between your main academic interest (your major) and Chapman’s resources. In other words: Why is Chapman the best place for you to study this major?
- Note: If you’re not 100% sure of your major, that’s okay! Write about the major you feel most interested in at this time.
Your first step will be research!
Dig into the Chapman website. Here’s a page that will help you explore Chapman's undergraduate majors. Find yours, and look for 3-5 specific examples of resources within your major that excite you.
- For example: courses, concentrations, faculty, research opportunities, internships, study abroad opportunities, relevant student groups, etc.
As you build your list, jot down a few notes about why you like each resource.
Here’s an example student’s brainstorming list:
- Major: Business Administration with International Business emphasis
- Resources at Chapman:
- Electives like Business Across Cultures and International Marketing
- International Business study abroad program in Grenoble, France
- Lecture series on International Business in the Schmid Center
- Chapman Women in Business student group
Why Chapman Essay
Out of the thousands of universities and colleges, why are you interested in attending Chapman? (200 words or fewer)
To start your brainstorming process, identify about 3-5 specific things you like about Chapman. Explore the Chapman website to help you add details, then jot down some notes about why you like each item on your list.
- Try not to repeat content from your Why Major essay.
Note: If you’ve visited campus or interacted with Chapman admissions staff, it’s great to include this in your essay!
Let’s revisit the example student from above. Here’s her Why Chapman brainstorming list:
- Spanish Minor – Elective courses to improve business vocabulary, like Spanish for Business
- Positive experience during my campus visit – enjoyed attending Spanish and Business classes and talking to students about campus life
- Volunteer opportunities – Alternative Break program and Chapman Day of Service
- Club Rowing team
Choose 1 of 2 Essay:
For your next Chapman application essay, you’ll be asked to choose from 1 of 2 prompts. Here are some tips to help you choose the best prompt for your application.
- Option 1 – Inclusion:
Chapman University is committed to providing an education of distinction by fostering inclusion for all campus community members. These efforts can be seen throughout our community: Cross-Cultural Engagement Center, Fish Interfaith Center, and The Chapman Experience. Please speak to how you practice inclusion or how a public figure’s message about inclusion resonates with you.
First of all, what’s inclusion? It’s the act of promoting diversity.
What have you done to promote diversity in your school or community? If you read that question and quickly thought of something you’ve done in your own life, this prompt could be a great choice for you. This essay will be short, so focus on one area of your life. For example, you could write about joining a campus diversity group or attending a protest.
This prompt could also be a great choice if you feel a strong connection to a public figure who promotes inclusion. However, make sure to connect the public figure to your own life. How have they influenced your actions, interests, or goals?
- For example: maybe an engineer who advocates for universal design inspired your research project. Maybe a filmmaker who’s outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights inspired you to write an article in the school paper. Admissions readers want to get to know you, so make sure you’re the star of your essay!
- Option 2 - Diversity:
Every Chapman student comes to campus with their own unique background and experiences which contributes to our community of diverse perspectives. The I Am Chapman campaign and the Chapman Diversity Project are just two of the examples that work to promote and enhance these perspectives on campus. If one of these initiatives speak to you, how would you get involved? If not, what suggestion do you have for another campus-wide initiative and how would you get this initiative off the ground?
This prompt is a great choice if you are passionate about a specific culture or underrepresented group.
If you’re thinking about using this prompt, try to make sure you can provide clear answers to these questions:
- Why are you passionate about this specific group?
- What ideas, skills, or perspectives would you be able to contribute to the Advisory Group?
Complement your Common App Essay
When you choose your Chapman essay topic, consider how it compares to your Common App essay topic.
Try to use your Chapman application essay to discuss values, interests, or goals that you didn’t discuss in your Common App essay.
Here’s how an example student handled this:
- Common App essay topic: Helping her school’s Black Student Union organize a Black History Month event
- Chapman “Choose 1 of 2” essay topic (Option 1): Creating an Advisory Group for immigrant students
Why This Works: She had already addressed her experience as a Black student in her Common App essay. So, for her Chapman “Choose 1 of 2” essay, she chose a topic that will allow admissions readers to learn about some of her other values and interests.
Please answer the following questions in one word, phrase, or sentence. There are no right or wrong answers here. We hope you enjoy working on this section as much as we’ll enjoy reading it.
- What is your dream job?
- Please list three words to describe yourself.
- What song should we be listening to while reading your application?
- Who is your role model?
- Name one dish you would cook for our admission team.
- What is your favorite quote and by whom?
- What is your favorite subject?
- What is the top thing on your bucket list?
- What is your most prized possession?
- What makes you happy?
- What are you most grateful for?
- What do you spend too much time doing?
- What most “essential” item could you most easily give up?
- Submitted by a prospective student of the Fall 2019 class: If Chapman’s admission team came to visit your hometown, what site would you take them to and why?
- Submitted by a prospective student of the Fall 2020 class: What can you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?
These fast facts may have a 200 character limit each, but your answers can still provide compelling information about who you are and what you value.
- Try to connect each response to a broader value, interest, or goal of yours.
- For questions that ask about something you like or something you want (ie. a dream job, a theme song, a favorite subject), try to explain why you like it.
- Focus on one idea for each question - don’t try to write a list unless the prompt specifically asks for it.
Here’s an example student’s response to one question:
- Question: What makes you happy?
- Draft 1: Playing with my dog, painting, going running, spending time with my family and friends
- Draft 2: Playing with my dog, a rescue pit bull, whose recovery from an injury in his early life inspired my goal of becoming a veterinarian.
- Why Draft 2 Works: He focused on one specific topic, and explained how his dog connects to one of his goals.