UPDATE: There is a new prompt option for the Brandeis supplement essay for 2019-20. Check out our updated guide!
If you’re applying to Brandeis, you’ll have to choose one of three prompts to answer in 250 words. With this Brandeis supplement essay, you can give admissions readers a glimpse into your personality and passions, and show them a side of yourself that doesn’t appear in other parts of your application.
In order to best accomplish this, which Brandeis supplement essay prompt should you pick?
Below, we’ll look at the Brandeis essay questions and some reasons you might choose each one.
Please include a short response to one of the three prompts below (250 words or fewer).
Justice Brandeis said, "Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." Tell us how you would implement change in society that others might think impossible.
Pick this prompt if: you have a specific or semi-specific goal that involves improving the world in some significant and meaningful way. (It might help if you’re something of an optimist, too!) Your plans don’t have to be based around activism or social justice—though they could be. Perhaps you’re committed to revolutionizing some aspect of medicine, technology, athletics, art, music, or even philosophy. (I feel, therefore I am?) The key is that your proposed change would improve people’s lives (be sure to explain why this change is important to you) and that you have some semi-specific plan for how you would enact such change. Be creative and audacious (after all, you’re supposed to reach for the “impossible” here)—but also realistic!
Why would you like to attend Brandeis?
Pick this prompt if: you can name specific resources, opportunities, or characteristics that make Brandeis the perfect fit for you. This prompt in particular calls for you to research the school’s offerings, both in your main area of interest and in terms of the school’s overall ideals and educational philosophy. Connect your interests and passions to what Brandeis offers. (Yes, this is basically a mini “Why Brandeis” essay.)
- For example, a student interested in literature from around the world might mention courses such as COML 171A: Literary Translation in Theory and in Practice, the overall interdisciplinary nature of the Brandeis comparative literature major, and opportunities such as studying abroad in the APA/Paris or Sarah Lawrence/Cuba programs.
Create a college course that no one but you could teach and tell us about it.
Pick this prompt if: you have a unique, specialized, and perhaps surprising skill or body of knowledge. (No, tying knots with your toes probably doesn’t qualify here, unless this has been an unusually enriching aspect of your life and you truly believe it could enrich others’ lives as well.) Or if you’ve pursued or hope to pursue some intellectual inquiry that you think isn’t addressed in either the Brandeis course catalog or, for that matter, higher education in general. Make sure to include a catchy title and a brief description that would make you want to take the course. Don’t forget also to explain why this course is fascinating to you and why you would be best qualified to teach it. A great topic might combine several key interests of yours.
- For example: “The True History of the Banjo: We’ll examine this quintessential American instrument’s little-known roots in West Africa, and explore how to build one out of a cookie tin and a broomstick.” This student would then discuss their own fascination with banjo history and their experience with making homemade instruments.
Be concise and specific when writing your Brandeis supplement essay; with just 250 words, there’s no room to ramble!