Writing Prompts for First-Year Applicants

Following are our writing prompts for first-year students applying for fall 2024 admission.

Major-Specific Prompts

You'll answer two to three prompts as part of your application. The questions you'll answer will depend on whether you're applying to a major or to our undeclared program, and if you've selected a second choice. Each response should be approximately 150 words. If you're applying through Common App, you'll find our major-specific writing prompts in the "Writing" tab of our supplemental questions after adding us as one of your colleges.

If You're Applying to a Major:

  1. Explain, in detail, an experience you've had in the past 3 to 4 years related to your first-choice major. This can be an experience from an extracurricular activity, in a class you've taken, or through something else.
  2. Describe your personal and/or career goals after graduating from UIUC and how your selected first-choice major will help you achieve them.

If You're Applying to Our Undeclared Program in the Division of General Studies:

  1. What are your academic interests? Please include 2-3 majors you're considering at Illinois and why.
  2. What are your future career or academic goals? You may include courses you took in high school and how these impacted your goals.

If You've Selected a Second-Choice Major (Including Undeclared):

  1. Please explain your interest in your second-choice major or your overall academic or career goals.

Essay Prompts

You'll also answer one essay prompt as part of your application. Prompts are the same whether you apply through myIllini or the Common App. Select and answer the prompt of your choice from the full list found on the Common App website. Your essay response can be anywhere from 250 to 650 words total.