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Monday, June 13, 2022

2022-2023 #UVA First Year Application Writing Prompts

If you follow me on TikTok, you may have seen my post a few weeks ago about how we decide on our writing prompts. During the application review season, I keep notes on what my colleagues are sharing about the prompts, both the positive comments and the negative. Then, at the end of the season, we have conversations about what should be tweaked and what should be changed. In recent years, we haven't done much in the way of wholesale change and instead made small tweaks to our prompts. That streak ends now. We're making some bigger changes to our part of the Common App, including in the format and writing prompts. 


The first prompt is still tied to the UVA school or college the student selects. We want students to answer the prompt in around 100 words. As always, the boxes on the Common App allow students to go a bit over, so we don't expect students to write exactly 100 words.

College of Arts & Sciences: If you could create a college course that all UVA students would take, what would it be about and why? 

School of Engineering: How will you use an engineering degree to change the world for the better? 

School of Architecture: Describe a significant experience that deepened your interest in studying in the School of Architecture. 

School of Nursing: Describe a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing. 

Kinesiology Program: Describe an experience that has deepened your interest in studying kinesiology.


Students will then write responses to two prompts out of eleven options in about 50 words each. Again, the Common App boxes allow students to go a little over the stated limit. Some of these are old favorites and some are new.

1. What’s your favorite word and why?
2. We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. What is one of your quirks?
3. About what topic could you speak for an hour?
4. Take us to your happy place.
5. You can wake up tomorrow and a skill you already have will become expert-level. What skill is that?
6. What is the last gift you gave someone that wasn’t bought with money?
7. What website is the internet missing?
8. After a challenging experience, how do you recharge?
9. Tell us about a place you’d like to share with everyone, but also keep to yourself.
10. 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?
11. Tell us about a time when, faced with an opinion or perspective that differed from your own, you responded as an empathetic speaker or generous listener.


I'll share some writing tips in future posts. I'll also share my thoughts during my weekly, Wednesday afternoon live Q&As on my Instagram account and on Tiktok.