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How to Write a Great Essay About Your Ideal College Major

Writing about why you're pursuing a major and your passions in an admission essay can feel vulnerable, but it's powerful. Here's how to go about it easily!

The idea of writing a college admission essay is daunting for most—whether you’re just entering high school or getting ready to start applying. Believe it or not, these essays play a pivotal role in making or breaking your application. They’re a great way to boost your application (when written well!) and also give admission officers a chance to get to know you better. What better way to do this than by shining a spotlight on the major you plan to pursue and building a narrative about why it’s important to you? Let's discuss your prospective major first and foremost before exploring how to write about it in your college application essays.

Embrace your prospective major

Regardless of your passion—astronomy, anthropology, art history, or something else entirely—there's a reason you've set your sights on it. Perhaps it stemmed from an early fascination with constellations, an ingrained interest in historical civilizations, or a passion for brushstrokes. Accept it for what it is and start considering how you can build a future with that passion! You have the opportunity to highlight your unique qualities and demonstrate how your major choice aligns with both your academic and personal goals in your college essay.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Declaring a Major on Your College Applications

Build a gripping storyline

Now, let’s take on the difficult task of coming up with a gripping storyline about your interests. Consider your college essay to be a story in which you play the lead role as it develops. What life-changing events or moments inspired you to set your sights on your future major? Make sure you really put thought into where the idea to pursue your major came from, because the moment it happened is often deeper than you realize. Then carefully craft the story of what led you there, making sure to give vivid details and an engaging picture of your journey. During the writing process, be sure to keep the essay conversational but not overly casual—although college essays are less academic, it’s important to keep in mind that they are still being read by higher education professionals.  

Use emotions to express your passion

To captivate a reader, it’s best to use descriptive emotions to express your passion for your chosen major. The feelings you have about the major and what inspired you to become interested in it will drive your commitment going forward through your college journey. After explaining the way your field of interest makes you feel, talk about what you want to do with a degree to fulfill your goals. Why do you want to study this major, other than the event that caused you to think about pursuing it? What are your future plans for actually working in the field? Thinking beyond college is a great way to impress admission counselors and ensure you’d be a hardworking, goal-oriented member of their student community. 

Related: An Essay About You: How to Tackle Your College Essay

Writing about your intended major in your college admission essay doesn’t have to be this big, intimidating thing. Think of it more as an exciting opportunity to tell someone, unfiltered, why you’re passionate about your interests. As a quick reminder, the Common App releases its essay prompts each year and often keep some of the same from the previous year. As \one of the options, applicants can usually answer a prompt of their choice, whether it’s one they have already written or one they have designed. This means you can utilize this option to talk about the major you plan to pursue right in the Common App, where all your other materials are!

We have a whole book’s worth of advice to help you craft your story for admission. Tackle this task with all Our Best Advice for Writing Your College Application Essays.

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About Zymal Ahmed

Zymal Ahmed is passionate about writing about a wide range of topics, spanning from informational pieces to fictional ones. Writing is how she expresses herself most often.


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