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How to Write the Boston College Engineering Essay: Showcasing Compassion and Intellectual Curiosity

School Supplements
Bex Ehrmann
Bex Ehrmann

    Boston College’s Human-Centered Engineering program launches in Fall 2021. This exciting new program will give students the opportunity to develop solutions to critical issues that humankind faces today. If you are interested in applying to the Human-Centered Engineering major, you will need to write a program-specific essay! (If you are looking for information on the other Boston College supplemental essay options, click here for our guide.)


    Let’s start by taking a look at the prompt.

    For Human-Centered Engineering major applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College strives to develop people who will integrate technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. How would a Boston College engineering education enable you to contribute towards these goals? 


    This prompt has many components, but don’t worry! We’ll break it down into steps to help you write a compelling Boston College engineering essay.

    Step 1: You’ll notice that this prompt begins with a description of Boston College’s Jesuit values. So, let’s start by thinking about how these institutional values align with your personal sense of morality. What societal challenges do you find yourself dwelling on? How do you hope to make the world a better place for others through your work as an engineer?

    Step 2: Next, identify the skills and knowledge you’ll need to gain in order to accomplish these goals.

    • For example, a student who wants to engineer cost-effective solutions to air pollution might need to learn about chemical analysis, mechanical engineering, and business incentives in order to understand the multi-dimensional nature of this problem.

    Step 3: Finally, do a deep dive into the Boston College engineering website. What course offerings can help you gain the technical skills you’ll need to accomplish your goals? How will you take advantage of the liberal arts requirement to gain a humanistic perspective on the issues that most interest you? Which internships offered by the Career Center will you pursue to gain hands-on experience?

    • The student above might describe how the Human-Centered Engineering major will enable them to gain the engineering skills to create air cost-effective air filtration systems. In addition, they might speak to their interest in non-major courses like Microeconomic Theory and Chemistry and Society.

    Chances are, you’re highly motivated to make the world a better place. To write a successful Boston College supplemental essay, you just need to display empathy for others and show the reader that you have the curiosity and drive to succeed as an engineer. Happy writing! 

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