UIUC Essays: Prompt 2

Welcome back to another edition of our UIUC college essays rundown. Today we shall cover prompt two! 

Explain your interest in the major you selected and describe how you have recently explored or developed this interest inside and/or outside the classroom. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. If you’re applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you’re currently considering. (300-400 words)

Since this is the most extensive essay UIUC will be receiving from you, it is also the most important! Your main objectives here should be conveying your passion for a certain subject and explaining how that relates to your future goals. Also focus on expressing your love for the school by touching on specific aspects of the school that you think will suit you well.

While you might be tempted to simply reference your extracurricular activities in this section, this is not enough. Admission officers can already see your activities, so mentioning them again without further elaboration would be redundant. Instead, you should hone in on something more personal, and then proceed to explain it in greater depth.

Although your essay should not just restate extracurriculars or relevant classes, it is okay to briefly mention them as long as they provide a transition into new, more meaningful information. This “something meaningful” can be anything from an entertaining moment during one of your activities/classes to a more serious discussion of how you arrived at that passion. Just make sure your response illuminates something unique about you.

Because this essay is the most complex for this school, we recommend tackling it in smaller chunks. You’ll find that focusing on the structure of these shorter essays often does wonders for the overall cohesion of the finished product.

Introduction (100 Words Or Less)

In this section of the response, your primary goal is to indicate your prospective major, but in a manner that the school would find compelling. Some of the most effective ways to hook the reader are by using figurative language or an anecdote, but there are a plethora of other ways as well — just be creative! Also, make sure your introduction allows for enough elaboration in the body section.

Because the introduction is so crucial to the development of this essay, below are some examples of good and bad introductions with explanations.

Body (250 Words Or Less)

Your goal with the body of this essay is to further elaborate on your involvement with your respective major. It is okay to mention extracurriculars and classes in this section, but only if you couple them with explanations of how they impacted you. Consider implementing some additional discussion of your future career plans if you haven’t already done so in the introduction.

The body of your essay doesn’t have to be quite as flashy as the introduction, but it needs to be more purposeful. You might spend less time here on an extended metaphor, and instead opt to explain why your experience in a particular subject area inspired you to pursue it further.


No length is specified in the conclusion, because it varies depending on how many words you have already used, and to what extent your intro/body necessitates closure.

If you have a lot of space left, you might mention specific programs or clubs that fit with your major. You could also go into greater depth here regarding your long-term career goals. If you find a program at UIUC that incorporates your career aspirations — take, for example, a school-funded internship program — this is a great place to discuss it.

Otherwise, the conclusion should simply wrap up the main idea of your essay with a general discussion of your interests that you already set forth. Avoid being too repetitive; it’s better to keep your summary brief and to the point. If you began the essay with thematic material, it should resurface in the conclusion. The last sentence of the essay should be powerful enough to leave a lasting impression on the reader. This will ensure that admissions officers remember your essay

These are some good things to get your creative motors running! We will continue this conversation with prompt on our next blog post. So keep checking this space! Like, comment, or come meet us if you’re in doubt