Undergraduate Business
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Admission Essay Requirement

All students applying to the Tippie College of Business submit an admission essay of 300-500 words as part of their application to the college.

The admission essay requirement reinforces the college's emphasis on competency in written communication and on taking personal responsibility for your actions and learning from them.

For each application period there are two topics; applicants may choose to write on one of the two topics.

The Spring 2015 Admission Essay Questions will be posted on this site around the end of July.

Fall 2014 Admission Essay Questions (Choose one to write on):

  1. If money were not a factor, what career/life path would you take? Name a friend or family member who would be surprised by that path and why.
  2. Reflect on a time you turned down a good opportunity. What was the thought process behind your decision? Would you make the same decision today?

What to keep in mind when you write your admission essay

  • Do focus on only one (at most two) key ideas or experiences
  • Do provide insight into what drives you
  • Do engage with the topic in a specific manner—answer the question being asked
  • Do evaluate your experiences—take a specific position or stance—be thoughtful
  • Do proofread for grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling errors

Weak admission essays also share certain characteristics.

What to avoid when writing your admission essay

  • Don't repeat information already contained on the resume
  • Don't go over 500 words—longer statements will not be read past the 500 word mark
  • Don't use boring or over-used (clichéd) introductions and conclusions
  • Don't describe a situation—the admission essay is not the same as a descriptive essay
  • Don't preach or offer opinions about what other people or institutions should/should not do

Admission Essays must meet at least two of the following three criteria:

  • Admission essay presents a clear snapshot (picture) of the applicant—the applicant is able to differentiate himself or herself in some distinct way
  • Admission essay shows evidence of the applicant's engagement in the topic and takes a thoughtful approach to future goals and/or past experiences
  • Admission essay is free of distracting errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling

Students whose admission essays meet none, or only one of the criteria above will be required to revise and resubmit their admission essay, which will be evaluated again according to the same three criteria.

For more information, please refer to the Standard Admission FAQ.