College Of Arts And Sciences Cornell Essay Supplement

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The “Why Us” supplemental essay is one of the trickiest college application essays to write. Applying to Cornell? Here are 5 successful Why Cornell essay excerpts. 

Cornell University only requires one additional writing supplement—the “Why Cornell” supplemental essay. Applicants are asked to share why they are interested in studying at Cornell and are asked to respond to the specific essay prompt from the undergraduate college or school they are applying to. Cornell University has a total of 8 undergraduate colleges/schools: 

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cornell SC College of Business: Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Cornell SC College of Business: School of Hotel Administration 
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations 

Each of the colleges/schools listed above have a unique supplemental essay prompt. Here are 5 examples for 4 of the schools listed above: 

Maxw2021

Cornell University ‘21

For the School of Industrial and Labor Relations:

Like the Strait, I’m a fluid connective body, but instead of serving as natural barrier or political divide, I seek to reconcile strained relations. Given my strong interests in cross-cultural mediation, inclination to manage disputes, coursework in interdisciplinary social sciences, and leadership and employment positions, I seek “to solve human problems [and] manage and resolve conflicts” within Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). Read his full “Why Cornell” supplemental essay!

Echen98

Cornell University ‘20

For the College of Engineering:

I must have wanted to be an engineer long before I knew what the word meant. On almost every fork we own, the middle two prongs are pulled half an inch back, a homage to a time before I became strong enough to open a soda can and resorted to making a lever with a fork. I tore through thousands of plastic bags, searching for the perfect cut that would allow me to parachute off a self-made cliff of couch cushions and pillows. Unlock her full successful Cornell application file. 

Cornell2021

Cornell University ‘21

For the College of Engineering:

People in my community believe the only way to be successful is to pursue medicine or engineering and arts are looked down upon here.I have a science background but am also interested in the deeper questions of existence, such as one encounters in philosophy. I don’t want to let go of my passions. Instead, I want to study at Cornell, where, far from being looked down upon, interdisciplinary study that includes the liberal arts are treasured through its unique independent study option, independent major, and distributional requirement system which will give me freedom in designing my curriculum and will let me explore a wide range of fields, from philosophy to literature. Continue reading his Why Cornell supplemental essay. 

Bweintraub

Cornell University ‘21

For the School of Hotel Administration:

I am an anomaly among my peers. While many of them wrestle with the uncertainty of not knowing what they want to do or be in the future, I have always known. Even in elementary school, when the popular options were superhero or sports legend, I had altogether different aspirations. If you had asked me then, my answer would be the same as it is today: I want to work in the hospitality industry. Unlock his full successful Cornell application file. 

Paula2020

Cornell University ‘20

For the College of Arts and Sciences:

I am interested in working with the UN to give researchers in developing countries access to a uniform and politically acceptable set of translation and ethical guidelines. This ensures that work conducted in developing or recently industrialized countries will not be dismissed due to doubts about the way it was conducted or a language barrier. To accomplish my goals of bringing the international scientific community closer together, I will need to study my intellectual interests of biology, foreign languages, and international relations. I am confident that Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences will be the perfect place to pursue my goals.

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About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.




Any advice is appriciated!
Thanks

College of Arts and Sciences:

Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

Chemistry with Mrs. Ammons was the stuff of legends. Even walking by her room, one could sense the fear, stress and frustration of everyone inside. Her class was like the flu: the only solace was that it had to be over eventually. I was struggling in chemistry because I could never relate it to the real world; however, that all changed after doing a lab one day. In this particular lab, we were given sodium bicarbonate, acetic acid, and plastic bag of unknown volume and assigned to react the two chemicals in such a way that enough carbon dioxide would be produced to fill up the bag completely. What?!? It took all of five seconds for my lab group to give up and accept yet another failing lab grade, but I was determined to prove to Mrs. Ammons that I was a force to be dealt with. The next day I came equipped with a carefully drawn out schematic that detailed exactly how the desired results could be achieved. To my surprise, we made a perfect grade. Though I knew that certain traits of nature could be predicted, as I had been doing all my life, it seemed like almost a privilege this time. Rocks fall to the ground when dropped and cookbooks burn if they get too close to the burner but I had learned those particular laws of nature through observation; now I could use my knowledge of science and mathematical calculations to predict something I had never imagined or seen before. It was as if I had been given the right to look into the engine of Mother Nature and configure it to achieve any number of results. This marked the beginning of an ongoing quest to better understand the world around me through the study of science.

We are taught to thank our family for what we have, but what about nitrogen, carbon, hemoglobin, DNA polymerase or even mucus. By deciphering each of these biological switches, something I strive to do, one could perhaps understand exactly what it means to be human. It seems almost profane to say that the most valued of human traits, love and compassion among them, are simply the products of a complex series of chemical interactions in the body. Through the study of medicine, this information could be used to cure and understand the many ailments that afflict humans. The diverse number of programs and research opportunities at Cornell University's College of Arts and Science will allow me to explore my interest in both chemistry and biology as I complete my pre-med requirements. The renowned research facilities and the highly respected professors will enable me to gain the knowledge necessary to pursue the answer to the mystery of the human body and apply that knowledge to improving our quality of life in some small way.

wow, i really liked it, nice job. i do think that you should probably say more specifically how the college of arts and sciences (or should it be college of agriculture and life sciences?) will help you explore your interest in biology - like what specific programs.

other than that, it was well written.

I don't see how your interest have evolved. One minute you were struggling, the next minute you became a genius.

It will probably benefit you more if you just focus on one subject and describe how you become interested in it and its evolution while interconnecting it with other interests.

"Though I knew that certain traits of nature could be predicted, as I had been doing all my life, it seemed like almost a privilege this time"- awkward sentence.

Also, I think you need to do more with "tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences"

Good luck!

good job,
but you failed to address HOW you will utilize Cornell to further develop your interests. I understand how your interests evolved, but why is cornell the place for you? the cornell admissions will look for students who not only are passionate about their interests but also have an idea of how to contribute to the cornell campus life

the stuff of legends

too informal

What?!?

here again. especially with the ?!?

it maybe just me but i'm not very fond of your continuing metaphors. i think it distracts me a little. just my two cents.

and yes it answers the quesiton but the first paragraph could be use some work. better way of describing it and don't make it sound so informal

Chemistry with Mrs. Ammons was the stuff of legends. ..

All this (above is good material). If you can say it in fewer words, you can keep the focus of the essay on the INTERESTS rather than the story. The whole essay is one big exposition of your

interests, intended major, or field of study

so you have to organize your essay around those three. It's going to be great, because with all this material you have, it will be easy to enhance the way you present it in order to directly accommodate the prompt. And every time you re-think something, it gets a little better...

now, for this part below, I'll try to reword an unclear sentence:

It has always seemed normal that certain traits of nature could be predicted (I had been doing all my life), but now it seems almost like a privilege. Rocks fall to the ground

Cool, and the rest of this material can be organized into paragraphs, and you can use topic sentences that show that you are responding appropriately to the prompt.

:)

"Polymerase or even mucus", I think you can remove the "or" to make it more succinct, flow better
"Interest in chemistry " it's unnecessary
"I complete {the} pre-med requirements" requirements are the same for everyone
'and highly respected professors" the is unnecessary
I think if you are a little more succinct in portraying your INTRESTS rather than just details, you will have a smashing essay!
=]

Even walking by her room, one could sense the fear, stress and frustration of everyone in her class .

(TOO INFORMAL. THINK OF ANOTHER WAY TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS.)

It took all of five seconds for my lab group to give up and accept yet another failing lab grade, but I was determined to prove to Mrs. Ammons that I was a force to be dealt . (DON'T END WITH A PREPOSITION.)

Rocks fall to the ground when dropped and cookbooks burn if they get too close to the burner, but I had learned those particular laws of nature through observation; now, I could use my knowledge of science and mathematical calculations to predict something I had never imagined or seen before.



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