Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Emory University bridge

Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is known for its strong education programs. Known for its rigorous programs and innovative research, Emory attracts students from all corners of the globe. It boasts a rich history dating back to 1836.

It has since evolved into a university that offers a multitude of undergraduate and graduate degrees, recognized for its contributions to the arts and sciences, business, law, and healthcare. The university’s reputation is anchored in its commitment to empowering students not just to learn but to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.

For the Class of 2027, Emory University accepted only 16% of its roughly 33,000 applicants, a consistent trend over recent years. Here, scores around 1500 on the SAT and a 3.9 GPA are common among hopefuls, but these alone don’t guarantee a spot. A standout application for Emory University must also include top-notch supplemental essays.

How Many Supplemental Essays Does Emory University Have?

Applicants are required to answer two additional short answer questions, one about their academic interests and one to help the admissions committee get to know them better. The academic interests question asks applicants to write about 150 words on what academic areas they are interested in exploring at Emory University and why.

The second question is a choice between six prompts, and applicants are asked to answer one of them in 150 words or less. The prompts include topics such as a book, character, song, or piece of work that seems made for the applicant, reflecting on a personal experience where they intentionally expanded their cultural awareness and Emory University’s unique mission of service to humanity.

Emory University Campus

What Are Emory University’s Supplemental Essays for 2023-2024?

Emory University has released its supplemental essay prompts for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. In addition to The Common Application’s Personal Statement, applicants to Emory’s Class of 2028 are asked to respond to two 150-word short-answer essay prompts. The first prompt is about academic interests, and the second prompt allows applicants to choose from several options to help the admissions committee get to know them better.

Prompt #1

What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why? (150 words recommended length)

Prompt #2

In addition, answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

  1. Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
  2. Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  3. Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.
  4. Emory University’s core mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission.
  5. Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community you have been part of where participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.
  6. Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email giving advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

How to Answer Emory University’s Supplemental Essay Prompts

Before you start writing, read the questions thoroughly. Emory’s prompts are crafted to draw out specific aspects of your personality and intellect. There’s often a deeper question beneath the surface. What they are really asking is, “Who are you?” and “How do you fit within the Emory community?”

Prompt #1

What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why? (150 words recommended length)

This prompt is focused on understanding a student’s academic interests and motivations for wanting to study those areas at Emory. The university is seeking insight into the student’s passions, intellectual curiosities, and how they align with what Emory offers. Here are four key points a student should consider when answering this prompt, along with detailed explanations:

1. Specific Academic Interests and Programs at Emory: Students should start by identifying specific academic areas they are passionate about and then research how Emory University supports these interests through its programs, courses, faculty, research opportunities, and resources. Mentioning particular courses, professors, or unique aspects of Emory’s academic offerings demonstrates genuine interest and informed decision-making. Following this identification, students are encouraged to conduct thorough research into how Emory University actively supports and cultivates these academic interests. This involves delving into the university’s programs, courses, faculty members, research opportunities, and available resources that align with the identified interests. For instance, mentioning unique courses that Emory offers, distinguished professors in the chosen field, or specific research initiatives demonstrates not only a genuine interest but also a well-informed decision to apply to Emory.

2. Personal and Intellectual Growth: Explain how these academic interests have developed over time. This could include personal experiences, high school subjects, extracurricular activities, or specific incidents that sparked or deepened their interest in these areas. Connecting past experiences to future aspirations shows a clear trajectory of growth and intellectual curiosity. Students should explore and highlight personal experiences that have played a pivotal role in shaping their academic interests. This could involve sharing anecdotes, challenges overcome, or meaningful moments that sparked their curiosity. For instance, a volunteer experience, a family background, or exposure to a specific event might have contributed to the development of their academic interests.

3. Alignment with Career Goals: Discuss how studying these subjects at Emory will help achieve long-term career goals. This involves showing an understanding of how Emory’s curriculum and opportunities can provide the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the chosen career path. It’s about making a clear connection between academic interests, Emory’s offerings, and future ambitions.

4. Contribution to the Emory Community: Reflect on how these academic interests will enable the student to contribute to the Emory community. This might involve participating in specific clubs, research projects, or community service initiatives. It’s about demonstrating a readiness to engage with the university community actively and how their unique perspectives or skills will enrich the campus environment.

In crafting the response, students should aim for conciseness due to the word limit, while also ensuring their passion and genuine interest in Emory University’s offerings shine through. The essay should be personal, specific, and reflective, painting a picture of a student who is not only academically driven but also ready to contribute and grow within Emory’s community.

Prompt #2 

In addition, answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

  1. Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
  2. Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  3. Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.
  4. Emory University’s core mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission.
  5. Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community you have been part of where participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.
  6. Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email giving advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

These questions are designed to explore various aspects of a prospective student’s personality, experiences, and aspirations. Each prompt is crafted to elicit thoughtful, personal responses that reflect the student’s individuality, cultural awareness, potential for growth, commitment to service, sense of community, and reflective abilities. Here’s a breakdown of the prompts and some brainstorming ideas for each:

1. Personal Connection to Creative Works: This prompt asks for a work that resonates deeply with you. Consider a book, character, song, or other creative pieces that you feel was almost created with you in mind. Reflect on why this work is meaningful to you. Does it mirror your experiences, aspirations, or challenges? Has it shaped your worldview or inspired your creativity? The key is to reveal something personal about yourself through your connection with this work.

In elaborating on this connection, students should reflect on why the chosen work holds particular significance. Does it mirror their life experiences, aspirations, or challenges? Are there elements within the creative piece that resonate with their identity or journey? By examining these aspects, students can unveil the personal layers of their connection, revealing how the creative work has become a meaningful part of their lives.

Furthermore, students should explore whether the chosen work has played a role in shaping their worldview or influencing their creativity. Has it sparked new ideas, prompted self-reflection, or inspired a particular way of thinking? By delving into these questions, students showcase not only their personal connection to the work but also its broader impact on their intellectual and creative development.

2. Cultural Awareness and Growth: The focus here is on a deliberate effort to expand your understanding of different cultures. Think of a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone to engage with a culture different from your own. This could be through travel, community service, learning a new language, or engaging in cultural events. Discuss what you learned and how it altered your perspective.

In detailing the experience, students should discuss the specific circumstances, such as the location, the community involved, or the nature of the cultural exchange. They should then delve into what they learned from this experience and how it influenced or altered their perspective. This might involve gaining insights into different traditions, customs, values, or ways of life.

For instance, if the student participated in community service in a culturally diverse neighborhood, they could reflect on how interacting with individuals from various backgrounds enriched their understanding of diversity and fostered a sense of cultural sensitivity. Alternatively, learning a new language might have opened a gateway to a different culture’s nuances, leading to a deeper appreciation of linguistic diversity.

3. Vision of Flourishing at Emory: This prompt invites you to envision your life at Emory University, focusing on personal growth and success. Consider what flourishing means to you. Is it academic achievement, personal development, involvement in campus activities, or forming meaningful relationships? Describe how Emory’s environment and opportunities align with your vision of flourishing.

Firstly, students should reflect on what success and personal growth look like in their perspective. For some, it might involve excelling in their chosen field of study, while for others, it could entail personal development and acquiring new skills. Involvement in campus activities, such as clubs, sports, or community service, might be a crucial component of their flourishing. Additionally, forming meaningful relationships—whether with peers, professors, or mentors—could contribute significantly to their overall vision of success.

Following this self-reflection, students should then draw a connection between their vision of flourishing and the specific aspects of Emory University’s environment and opportunities that align with this vision. For instance, if a student envisions academic achievement as a central part of their flourishing, they might discuss Emory’s rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, or research opportunities. If personal development is key, they could explore how Emory’s emphasis on a well-rounded education, extracurricular offerings, or mentorship programs align with their goals.

4. Service to Humanity: Emory values service. Reflect on how you can contribute to this ethos. Think about your skills, passions, and experiences. How could these be used to benefit others at Emory and beyond? Examples could include volunteer work, leadership roles, or initiatives you hope to start or join.

Firstly, students should identify their skills, passions, and experiences that can be leveraged for meaningful service. This could involve specific talents, academic strengths, leadership abilities, or experiences that have shaped their worldview. For instance, if a student is passionate about healthcare, they might consider how their interest in biology or previous volunteer work at a hospital aligns with Emory’s commitment to service.

Next, students should envision concrete ways in which they could contribute to the service ethos at Emory. This might include participating in established volunteer programs, taking on leadership roles within service-oriented organizations, or initiating new initiatives that address specific needs within the community. For example, a student with a passion for education might envision starting a tutoring program or joining an existing initiative that promotes literacy.

It’s crucial for the response to include specific examples and to convey a genuine commitment to making a positive impact. Whether through previous volunteer experiences, leadership roles in high school, or personal initiatives, students should highlight instances where they have actively engaged in service and express a sincere desire to continue this commitment at Emory and extend it beyond the university community.

5. Building and Shaping Community: This prompt is about your experience in community building and improvement. Discuss a community you were actively involved in. What role did you play? Focus on specific contributions that led to positive changes or growth in the community. This could be a school club, local organization, or even an online community.

Firstly, students should identify a community they have actively engaged with. This could be a club, team, organization, or any collective group with a shared purpose or goal. The chosen community should be one where the student played a meaningful role in fostering positive changes or growth.

Next, the response should focus on the specific contributions made by the student. What initiatives, projects, or actions did they undertake to impact the community positively? Whether it’s organizing events, implementing new programs, fostering inclusivity, or addressing specific challenges within the community, students should provide concrete examples of their active involvement.

The emphasis should be on the outcomes of their contributions—how these efforts led to positive changes or growth within the community. For instance, if the student was part of a school club, they might discuss how their leadership role resulted in increased membership, improved engagement, or the successful execution of impactful projects.

6. Reflection and Personal Advice: A unique prompt asking you to write an email to your younger self, emphasizing reflection. Think about the lessons you’ve learned since starting high school. What advice would you give your younger self? This could be about academic decisions, social interactions, handling stress, or pursuing passions. The goal is to showcase your growth and self-awareness.

To effectively respond to this prompt, students should start by reflecting on their personal journey since the beginning of high school. What experiences, challenges, or achievements have shaped their character and perspective? Identifying key turning points or pivotal moments allows them to craft a narrative that demonstrates personal growth.

The email should be structured as if it were addressed to their younger self. In this format, students can impart valuable insights and advice gained through their experiences. For example, they might advise their younger self on the importance of time management, the significance of balancing academic and extracurricular pursuits, or navigating the complexities of social relationships.

Including specific anecdotes or instances where lessons were learned adds authenticity to the reflection. For instance, if the student initially struggled with time management but developed effective strategies over the years, sharing this journey provides concrete evidence of personal growth.

In each response, students should aim to be authentic, reflective, and specific. The essays are a chance to show Emory University who you are beyond grades and test scores. Incorporating the term “Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024” can be done naturally by tying your responses to how they align with Emory’s values and what you hope to bring to and gain from the university during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Additional Strategies

1. Start with Self-Reflection: Begin by reflecting on your experiences, values, and aspirations. Think about moments that have shaped who you are. What stories can you share that highlight your unique qualities? Emory wants to see the person behind the grades and scores, so choose anecdotes that give them a peek into your life.

2. Research Emory University: Spend some time on the school’s website researching the campus, academic programs, and student culture. Give yourself some time to dig through the Emory website and get to know your department as well as any related programs, centers, and opportunities.

3. Create a Connection: Your essay should connect your personal narrative to Emory University’s ethos. Does a particular Emory tradition excite you? Can you see yourself contributing to a specific campus organization? Make it clear that you’re not just looking for any college experience—you’re looking for the Emory experience.

4. Be Authentic: Honesty is your best ally. Admissions officers can spot insincerity from miles away. Speak in your own voice and be true to yourself. Authenticity makes your essay memorable and helps you stand out in a sea of applicants.

5. Keep It Structured: Good storytelling has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Your essay should follow this structure with an engaging introduction, a body that builds on your story or argument, and a conclusion that ties everything together. This will keep your writing focused and ensure that your message is conveyed effectively.

6. Show, Don’t Tell: Instead of just stating your qualities or achievements, demonstrate them through your experiences. If you’re talking about leadership, for instance, don’t just say you have leadership skills—describe a situation where you led a team and the outcome of that effort.

7. Get Personal: The supplemental essays are your opportunity to share what’s not on your transcript. Use this space to talk about your personal journey. What challenges have you overcome? How have these experiences prepared you for college?

8. Be Specific: Vague statements don’t leave an impression. If you’re passionate about a field of study, explain why. If a particular professor or course at Emory excites you, mention it by name. Specific details show that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in Emory.

How to Structure Your Supplemental Essays

The structure of supplemental essays, particularly for Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, plays a crucial role in conveying a clear, coherent, and impactful message to the admissions committee. A well-structured essay not only makes your ideas more digestible but also demonstrates your ability to organize thoughts logically and effectively. Here are three key points for structuring these essays:

1. Introduction with a Hook and Thesis:

Start each essay with a compelling introduction that includes a hook – a creative opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. It could be a vivid description, a provocative question, or an intriguing statement. Follow this with a thesis statement that briefly presents the main idea or theme of your essay.

For example, in the Emory University Supplemental Essay about a cultural experience, open with a vivid memory or a striking cultural observation that directly leads to your thesis about the growth and insights gained from this experience.

2. Body with Clear, Focused Arguments:

Divide the body of your essay into paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect or example that supports your thesis. Use topic sentences to introduce the main idea of each paragraph, followed by supporting details, such as personal anecdotes, reflections, and relevant experiences.

In the context of Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, if you’re discussing how you envision flourishing at Emory, dedicate each paragraph to different aspects, such as academic goals, community involvement, and personal growth, ensuring each point ties back to your overall vision.

3. Conclusion that Reflects and Projects:

Conclude your essay by succinctly summarizing the key points and reflecting on what they reveal about you. This is also an opportunity to project forward – how your experiences and insights prepare you for your time at Emory.

For instance, in an essay about contributing to Emory’s mission of service to humanity, conclude by articulating how your past experiences have shaped your perspective on service and how you plan to apply these lessons at Emory University.

Remember, the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024 are not just about responding to the prompts; they are about presenting a story – your unique story – in a structured, engaging, and meaningful way. Use this structure to guide the reader through your experiences, insights, and aspirations, connecting each element to how it prepares you for and aligns with the values and opportunities at Emory University.

Emory University Hospital sign and building

Final Checklist

Before you consider your essays complete, go through a final checklist:

  1. Did you answer the essay prompt completely?
  2. Have you included specific details and examples?
  3. Are your essays within the word limit?
  4. Did you avoid repeating information that’s already in your application?
  5. Is each essay free of grammar and spelling errors?

Once you are satisfied with your essays, it’s time to submit them. Double-check that you’re sending them to the right place, and keep copies for your records. With your essays polished and ready, you’re one step closer to becoming part of the Emory community.

The Importance of Supplemental Essays in the Admissions Process

When applying to Emory, students quickly discover the pivotal role supplemental essays play in the admissions process. These essays are not just a formality; they are a window into an applicant’s soul.

They offer a narrative that grades and test scores cannot convey, providing a platform to demonstrate one’s unique perspective, experiences, and aspirations. In a pool of academically qualified applicants, it’s the supplemental essays that often make a candidate stand out, showcasing their potential to contribute to the Emory community in distinctive ways.

Discussion on Emory’s Mission and Values

Emory University is grounded in a mission that seeks to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity. This lofty goal is underpinned by values such as integrity, empathy, and intellectual curiosity.

At Emory, education is seen as a journey of moral and ethical discovery, where students are encouraged to engage with global challenges, seeking solutions that serve the public good. The university values diversity of thought and experience, and it fosters an environment where students can learn from each other and grow together.

How Understanding Emory’s Culture Can Guide the Essay Writing Process

To write a compelling Emory supplemental essay, applicants must first understand the university’s culture. This understanding informs how they approach their essays, ensuring that their writing reflects the values and ethos of the institution.

Prospective students should reflect on how their personal goals align with Emory’s mission, considering how their unique experiences and insights can contribute to a dynamic campus environment. Through their essays, applicants have the opportunity to show that they are not just seeking education from Emory but also a chance to be part of a community that values social responsibility and the pursuit of knowledge to better the world.

In essence, the essay becomes a platform for applicants to showcase their potential to not only thrive academically but also to actively contribute to a community that shares their values and commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

What to Expect at Emory University

Upon setting foot on campus, students are greeted by a blend of historic architecture and modern facilities, reflecting the university’s commitment to providing a robust educational environment.

At Emory, students can expect a rigorous academic experience with a curriculum designed to challenge and inspire. The university is home to a diverse and inclusive community where open dialogue and academic inquiry are encouraged.

Emory’s faculty includes leaders in their fields, offering students the opportunity to learn from researchers and professionals who are actively shaping the future of their disciplines.

Emory also places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, allowing students to cross traditional academic boundaries and explore complex real-world issues from multiple perspectives. This approach prepares graduates to be versatile thinkers and problem solvers, equipped to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Beyond academics, Emory’s vibrant campus life includes a variety of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations, ensuring that students can pursue their passions and interests. From arts and culture to athletics and community service, there is no shortage of ways to get involved and make lasting connections.

Prospective students should also note Emory’s commitment to service and leadership. The university encourages students to engage with the larger community, both locally and globally, through service learning and volunteer opportunities.

This dedication to civic engagement is woven into the fabric of Emory’s ethos, fostering a sense of responsibility and a desire to make a positive impact on society.

With all that Emory has to offer, students here are not just earning a degree; they are being equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to lead and succeed in an interconnected world.

How to Effectively Revise and Proofread

Revising and proofreading are critical steps in ensuring that your Emory University Supplemental Essays for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle are polished and impactful. Here are four detailed strategies for effective revision and proofreading:

1. Step Away, Then Revisit

After completing your initial draft, take a break before revisiting your essay. This allows you to return with a fresh perspective, making it easier to identify areas that need improvement. When you look at your essay again, read it as if you are an admissions officer. Does it capture your unique voice? Does it align with the ethos of Emory University?

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, revisit each essay after a day or two and evaluate whether your response effectively addresses the prompt while showcasing your personality and ambitions.

2. Seek Feedback from Trusted Sources:

It’s valuable to have someone else read your essays. Choose individuals who know you well and can provide constructive feedback. This could be a teacher, a guidance counselor, or a mentor. Their insights can help you see aspects of your essay you might have overlooked.

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays, ask your reviewers specific questions, such as whether your essay authentically represents you and if it clearly demonstrates why you are a good fit for Emory University.

3. Focus on Clarity and Conciseness:

During revision, prioritize clarity and conciseness. Remove any redundant phrases, and ensure each sentence adds value to your essay. Pay attention to the flow of ideas; transitions between sentences and paragraphs should be smooth and logical.

With the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, ensure that each sentence contributes directly to answering the prompt. If a sentence doesn’t serve this purpose or reveal something meaningful about you, consider revising or removing it.

4. Proofread for Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation:

The final step is a thorough proofread to catch any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or punctuation issues. Don’t rely solely on spellcheck. Read your essay aloud or backward (starting from the last sentence and moving to the first); this technique helps to catch errors that you might skim over otherwise.

For the Emory University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024, pay extra attention to proper nouns, such as the names of programs or professors at Emory, ensuring they are spelled correctly. This shows attention to detail and respect for the institution.

Remember, effective revision and proofreading can transform your essays from good to exceptional, significantly enhancing your chances of impressing the admissions committee at Emory University.

Student writing college or university application.


As you near the end of your Emory University application, the supplemental essays stand as a pivotal component of your journey. They offer a unique opportunity to showcase your individuality and how you resonate with Emory’s ethos. Remember, while grades and test scores are significant, your essays breathe life into your application, providing a voice to your achievements and aspirations.

Approach your essays with both earnestness and creativity. Emory seeks students who are not only academically capable but also ready to contribute to their vibrant community. Take this chance to reflect on what you can bring to the campus and how Emory can help you reach your potential.

Be mindful of the submission deadlines. Late applications typically do not get considered, and you wouldn’t want a timing issue to stand in the way of your opportunity to join the Emory University family.

Good luck with your application. We hope your essays are just the beginning of a successful and fulfilling experience at Emory University.

It is important to have all the necessary information before making any decision. AdmissionSight is always here to help you with any questions or concerns. We have over ten years of experience helping students successfully navigate the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out how we can help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are fully informed and prepared for the application process. We will work with you to develop a personalized plan that meets your specific needs and goals. We will also provide you with access to our team of experts who can help you with everything from choosing the right schools to writing your essays.

Don’t let the admissions process overwhelm you. Contact AdmissionSight today and let us help you achieve your dreams.



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