Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

Three notes:
1. There's over a decade of posts here, so the search box can help find an answer to common questions.

2. The comment box doesn't show up when viewing the blog optimized for mobile. Click the "view full site" link at the bottom of the page and the site will reload with comment boxes.

3. Pick a name, real or otherwise, if posting a comment.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

2019-2020 First Year Application Essay Prompts

The incoming class is now working with the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs, so it's time to shift to working with high school juniors who will be applying to UVA next year.

There are three required pieces of writing on our application: the Common App essay and two shorter responses that are specific to UVA. The Common App released the general essay prompts they'll be using back in January. Our prompts are below.

Our prompts aren't changing too much. Our staff is really happy with the essays we've been getting and the student feedback we've gotten has been positive. As a follow up post, I'll give some tips for approaching these and cover some of the common questions I get about essay writing. For now, feel free to ask questions in the comments.


2019-2020 First-Year Application Essay Questions 

1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.


  • College of Arts and Sciences - What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you design?
  • School of Architecture - Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design. 
  • School of Nursing - School of Nursing applicants may have experience shadowing, volunteering, or working in a health care environment. Tell us about a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing
  • Kinesiology Program - Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major. 


2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message
  • UVA students are charged with living honorably and upholding a Community of Trust. Give us an example of a community that is important to you and how you worked to strengthen that community.