Applicants are asked to submit a supplemental essay in addition to the Common Application or Coalition Application Personal Essay. This supplemental essay will allow you to further express your interest in your academic area of choice.

Each student who completes an application for admission by the completion deadline will be considered for the appropriate academic scholarship for the division indicated on the application. As you write your supplemental essay, you should keep in mind that it will be used by the scholarship committees in selecting the scholarship finalists. Therefore, you may wish to craft your response within an academic framework.

How long should the supplemental essay be?

While we don’t want to limit you from fully expressing your ideas and responding to our supplemental essay question, we recommend that you keep your response to around 250 words. The word allowance on the Common Application and Coalition Application forms is 300 words. This is to give you flexibility and to ensure your essay is not cut off. You should use only the number of words you need to express your answer.

Writing supplement prompt

Tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity and compels you to explore more in the program/area of study that you indicated. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit.

Beyond Boundaries writing supplement prompt

If you indicate an interest in the Beyond Boundaries program on your application for admission, you will be asked to respond to a different prompt.

Many of our students broadly explore the connections across WashU’s five undergraduate divisions and three graduate schools and engage with the community before declaring a major. The Beyond Boundaries Program equips students to make a difference in a complicated world where challenges do not come pre-packaged as the territory of a single discipline. Tell us what great challenge you might want to tackle leveraging two or more of WashU’s schools and how you would pursue a path of study in an interdisciplinary way.

Submitting your writing supplement

To get to the writing supplement, log into your Common Application account and add Washington University in St. Louis to “My Colleges.” Then click on the “Writing Requirements” tab with your “Dashboard” to find our College Questions and Writing Supplement.

You must first reply to the question “Do you wish to be considered for a special program?” in the College Questions section in order to see the prompt for the Writing Supplement.

Common App Screen Capture

For Coalition Application users, log into your account and add Washington University in St. Louis to your Colleges. Our supplemental essay will be found in the “Application Questions” section:

Supplemental Essay Webinar

Webinar recorded on October 9, 2019. Please refer to our website for updated information and deadlines.

Please note: It was stated in the webinar that QuestBridge applicants do not need to complete a supplemental essay. This is incorrect–QuestBridge applicants do not need to complete a separate application, but they do need to complete the supplemental essay in the WashU Pathway.

Remember, our team is here to help you through the application process! Please don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns at (800) 638-0700 or (314) 935-6000.