Short Answers for Admission Essay
- There is a breadth of intellectual opportunities here at Rice. Further explain your intended major and other areas of academic focus you may explore. (150 word limit)
This first question is about intellectual opportunities. Remember, Rice is a highly-academic university, and if you don’t know that by now, you probably shouldn’t be applying there. In your answer, you should discuss classes and opportunities for undergraduate research you’d like to take advantage of, and any other academic offerings that appeal to you. Be straightforward and to the point.
One note: DO NOT say that you don’t know what you want to do. Even if you don’t know what you want to major in, don’t let on. You must be specific and decisive here. What you say in this application is not binding. Show Rice (and all schools for that matter) that you’ve done the research, you know what they have to offer, and you’re a perfect match for these very specific reasons. Write about a hyper-focused interest and early in your response, tie in why that interests you.
- What aspects of the Rice undergraduate experience excite you and led you to apply? (150 word limit)
Your response here should be about everything else Rice has to offer that you didn’t write about in the first question. Talk about the extra-curriculars you’d like to do. (Just make sure they are an extension of whatever you’re doing in school now). Remember, show focus and decisiveness. Even if you’re really sick of leading your school’s mechanical engineering club and you just want to do rhythmic gymnastics when you get to college, don’t let on here. You can also talk about the location of Rice located in Houston’s historic Rice Military neighborhood. It’s right next to one of the world’s most prominent medical centers, in one of the country’s most diverse and progressive cities, and also, in a place that just survived a major natural disaster.
If you are hyper-academic, you could double-down on talking about research opportunities here, but since it’s only 150 words and you just talked about academics, it’s better to talk about something else.
For more information,
Rice Short Answer 1 (All Applicants)
There is a breadth of intellectual opportunities here at Rice. Further explain your intended major and other areas of academic focus you may explore.
This first short answer wants you to summarize your (main) intended field of study as well as any other fields you’re interested in studying at Rice. It’s a deceptively simple prompt that’s about a lot more than just what you plan to study at Rice.
The crux of this essay isn’t just summarizing your majoróit’s explaining why you’ve chosen this field and why Rice specifically will be a good fit for your goals and interests.
Here are the questions this prompt is really asking you to answer:
Why do you want to study this particular field?
Why do you think Rice is a good fit for you and your academic interests?
As you write your response, try to focus on specifics. Don’t just say you’ve always had an interest in writing stories. What specifically drove you to declare a major in English? For instance, you could discuss your deep fascination with Shakespeare, specifically with Macbeth, and how you’re excited about Rice’s array of Shakespeare-centered classes.
If you have enough space (remember that your answer can only be 150 words max), you could also (or instead) elaborate on what you plan to do with your intended major after college and how Rice will help you achieve this goal. If you’re hoping to study music, for example, you could write about how you believe Rice’s Navigating Music Careers portal and accomplished music faculty will help prepare you for establishing a successful career in music.
If you’re still undecided about what you want to major in, this is a great time to explain what kinds of fields you’re considering studying and why they intrigue you. Maybe you recently developed an interest in architecture after seeing the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and are now thinking of taking some architecture classes at Rice.
Whatever the case, be clear about what you (might) want to study and why
What do you want to study at Rice?
Rice Short Answer 2 (All Applicants)
What aspects of the Rice undergraduate experience excite you and led you to apply?
Unlike the prompt above, this prompt is not limited to academics (though you are welcome to talk about those here as well, as long as you don’t repeat anything you wrote for your other short answer). Basically, Rice just wants to know this: why Rice?
This prompt is actually a variation of the “why this college” essay, which many colleges ask for in their applications. Specifically, this prompt is asking you to focus on why Rice is an ideal fit for you.
Here are some examples of topics you could write about:
A particular academic program or major you’re interested in doing, possibly one that’s not offered elsewhere or is somewhat rare
The small community atmosphere at Rice and the fun activities and traditions it offers students, such as O-Week and Beer Bike
The diversity of the Rice student body and why this positive, blended environment would be ideal for you as a student
Its urban location in Houston and how you intend to use the resources of the big city to further your academic and/or professional interests
A certain professor or faculty member whom you wish to work with
Remember to be specific don’t just say you’re interested in Rice because it’s known for quality research or because it’s ranked highly on many “best colleges” lists. What specific features does Rice have that made you apply?
If you’re not sure what to write about for this Rice essay, I recommend doing some research on Rice. Start by visiting the official Rice website to see what the school offers in terms of academics, extracurricular activities, professional opportunities, internships, study abroad programs, etc. You can read more about anything that sticks out to you or resonates with your interests.
You can also refer to community-based websites, such as College Confidential and Reddit, to see what current students have to say about life at Rice.
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