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How to Write the Case Western Reserve University Supplemental Essays for the Pre-Professional Scholars Program

Case Western’s Pre-Professional Scholars Program is for undergraduate students who feel certain that they want to pursue a career in medicine, dentistry, law, or social work. If you’re applying to this program, you’ll need to write two supplemental Case Western application essays that show admissions readers you’re ready for this commitment. This guide will help you develop strong topics for these essays.

Let’s take a look at the first Case Western Reserve University supplemental essay prompt!

Why Pre-Professional Scholars?

By applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, you are applying to gain admission to professional school earlier than students who apply in the traditional way. Please indicate why you’re interested in your chosen profession. How do you see yourself being particularly suited to this field? What events and/or experiences have led you to your choice? This essay should be between 250 and 500 words in length.

This prompt can be summarized with one question: why are you certain that you’ve chosen the right career path?

First, make a brainstorming list of 3-6 experiences that helped you understand your chosen career and made you feel like it was the perfect fit for you. They could be structured experiences, like an internship, volunteer experience, or a favorite class. Or they could be unstructured experiences, like helping someone in need, learning about a profession from someone you know, or exploring an interest through a personal project.

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list!

Professional path: Medicine


  • Internship with a nearby research hospital
  • Volunteering as a licensed EMT with my local EMS crew
  • Helping with my grandmother’s care when she had cancer
  • Watching an open heart surgery from the gallery with my Future Medical Professionals student group
  • Talking to a family friend about her experiences in medical school

From your brainstorming list, choose the 2-4 experiences that you feel had the greatest impact on your choice of career. To structure your Case Western Reserve University essay, begin with a moment from the most impactful experience, then go on to devote one section to each experience.


An Experience Not on Your Resume

In the college application process, you are constantly prompted for a list of your achievements, awards, and accomplishments. While this information is useful to us, we are interested in hearing more about you. Describe an event, achievement, or experience of which you are particularly proud but that will not show up on a resume, may not garner any recognition, and does not appear anywhere else on your admission application. This essay should not exceed 750 words in length.

In this essay, CWRU is looking for a new insight into your values or interests. A key phrase in this prompt is “may not garner any recognition.” Write about something you did without any expectation of a reward.

To start, make a list of 3-4 experiences that you are proud of. These could be “big” experiences, like helping someone in an emergency, or “small” experiences, like cleaning up trash on the beach. Try to pick experiences that have a connection to your broader interests, values, or positive traits.

Let’s take a look at an example student’s brainstorming list.

  • Experience: Teaching my mother to use social media to promote her artwork
    • Connection to Values: I like helping others succeed
  • Experience: Completing the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writing challenge
    • Connection to Personal Traits: I’m creative and I like to challenge myself
  • Experience: Mediating an interpersonal conflict in my robotics team
    • Connection to Personal Trait: I have strong problem-solving skills and I’m a good listener

Once you have your list, pick the topic that you feel best represents who you are outside of class!

After choosing your topic, you’ll be ready to create an outline. If you need more help developing a detailed outline for your Case Western Reserve University supplemental essay, sign up for a free account to gain access to our prewriting modules!


Click here for our guide to the Common App essay

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