How to Write the Georgetown University Supplemental Essays: 2020-2021

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Georgetown University is a private university located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Northwest Washington D.C.

A competitive and prestigious school, Georgetown’s acceptance rate is 16.4%.

It features a strong commitment to foreign service, and former President Bill Clinton and actor Bradley Cooper are alumni.

Georgetown does not use the Common App, which means that if you want to apply to the school, you will need to go directly to their website.

If your heart is set on Georgetown, but you are feeling overwhelmed, fear not!

This guide will give you the tools necessary to make your supplemental essays exemplary.

What are Georgetown’s Supplemental Essay Requirements?

According to Georgetown’s website, you must complete the Application Supplement, which consists of standard candidate information (high school activities, honors, awards, talents, etc.), your planned course of study at Georgetown (you must choose a major, even if you apply as “undeclared”), and three essays illustrating information about you and your interest in studying at Georgetown.

Specifically, these are the three essays you’ll need to write when applying to Georgetown:

  • Two general supplemental essays
  • One school-specific essay

Well-written responses to these questions are an essential component in creating a standout application to Georgetown.

The Extracurricular Activity Essay

“Briefly (approximately one-half page) discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.” (1/2 page, single-spaced)

In other words, you must write about an extracurricular activity you completed that was particularly important to you and also demonstrated your commitment to the activity.

Here’s how you should write this essay.

Step 1: Write out all the activities you’ve been involved inside and outside of school. After you’ve done that, answer the following questions:

  • Which of these activities have you enjoyed the most? Why?
  • Which of these activities have you committed the most time to?
  • Are there any activities that you’ve been involved in for at least four years?
  • What are the reasons for the length of time in your involvement? Why have you been in that club for 4 years or more?
  • Are there activities for which you held a leadership position?
  • Which of these activities have heavily influenced your future career choices?

After you’ve written out your responses to those questions, and more that come up, it’s important that you discern what Georgetown values in their students.

Step 2: Research Georgetown’s values.

Upon visiting the “About” section, you’ll find the following sentence: “Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique education experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world.”

From this statement, you can deduce that Georgetown values transformational leaders, individuals who have a vision and seek to make an impact in whatever they do.

Go back to your piece of paper and look at your activities.

  • What activities have allowed you to make a difference or an impact?
  • Why were these activities important to you?
  • What vision did they fulfill?

You only have a few hundred words to spare. It’s important that you make those words count by creating a concise account of one activity that you’ve participated in for an extended length of time, with a great deal of commitment such that you were able to make an impact.

When writing this essay, we strongly recommend following these guidelines:

  • Pick one activity. Don’t write about more than one in order to keep your essay from sounding like a laundry list.
  • Spend only one or two lines describing the activity. Don’t drone on about its history or background. Get right to the point.
  • Spend 30-40% of the essay on what you did in the activity. Think about teamwork, collaboration, leadership, sacrifice, dealing with conflict, implementing your vision, and following directions.
  • Spend the rest of your essay explaining what you learned. Discuss values you gained, problems you want to solve in the future, how you grew as a student and family member.

Georgetown wants to learn how you spent your time and to what extent you changed thanks to this commitment. Ultimately, you want to seem like a student who grows from commitment and contribution.

Georgetown Supplemental Essay 1 Examples

Example 1:

In my experience, High School Musical and Mean Girls are spot-on when it comes to teen conversations; during my first three years of high school, most of the discussions my friends and I had revolved around who was dating whom, criticism of the atrocious basketball coach, and spoilers of the latest Stranger Things season. While I still enjoyed these chats, as my entrepreneurial fervor grew, I found myself feeling disjointed from my peers and looking for a community that would nurture my startup fever. When she noticed my budding interest, the head of a local incubator invited me to apply for their accelerator program. I initially felt unsure, but I gave it a shot, and as time went on, I felt as if I were transported to Ancient Athens during each Monday session.

As a program meant to help individuals jumpstart and accelerate their businesses, the incubator prompted participants to think Socratically. We questioned and debated every preconceived notion regarding startups: how to conduct proper market research, when and why to shut down, and even whether a humanitarian venture could also be a profitable one. Our oratories were not dull, 10-minute long PowerPoints followed by the occasional golf clap; they were action-packed, 60-second elevator pitches accompanied by a barrage of inquiries and suggestions about statistical logos and story-telling pathos. Through numerous congregations within the polis, I gave a fellow participant the conviction to pursue his business of educating students on the college recruiting process, emphasizing how all of my friends loved athletics and wanted to go D1. In return, he helped me see that the biggest problem with teens wasn’t always finding opportunities; it was being ready and professional enough to capture it.

Despite embodying Alexander the Great at the forefront, our group personified Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates in the end, as we considered each other’s ventures and employed our own ethos to help one another. We didn’t all have to be our own Homers — our Iliad and Odyssey were the cumulative success of all of our companies, forged by the collaborative intertwining of our stories.

The Georgetown Diversity Essay

“As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.” (1 page, single-spaced)

From the first prompt, you’ve seen that Georgetown values individuals who want to be leaders and make an impact. In that same section, Georgetown states that “we provide students with a world-class learning experience focused on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs.”

From this statement, Georgetown is illustrating their desire to create a diverse and cohesive student body. In other words, they want people from all backgrounds who will come together and learn from each other.

  • The admissions committee at Georgetown wants to know if you are the type of person that can bring an interesting and/or unique perspective to the wider community, while also being open to the interesting and unique perspectives of others.

So, how do you demonstrate that in a ~400-word essay?

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of your most poignant memories/experiences from childhood until present.

Why are you the way you are and why do you think the way that you do? Too abstract?

Take a step back and think about your interests.

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What are some of your favorite activities?
  • Have you always enjoyed those activities?

Ask yourself “Why?”

Now, let’s get more specific.

  • Have you ever traveled to another country?
  • What was your experience like?
  • How did that experience shape the way you view the world today?

Not enough? Here are more brainstorming questions for the essay.

  • Do you know what it feels like to be part of a marginalized, underrepresented group?
  • How has that experience influenced your academic and social trajectory?
  • How will your experience and perspective add to Georgetown’s mission to educate global citizens who can make a difference in the world and live “in service of others, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community”?
  • Did you experience something traumatic, and how has it changed you?
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Don’t hold back.

For instance, we had a student write her essay on how her love for the movie “Matilda” inspired her to study psychology and the inner workings of the human mind.

Step 2: Create a mission statement from your meaningful memory/experience.

Now, let’s brainstorm more of your values and personal themes.

  • What do you stand for?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How has my experience or challenge changed me?

Write a sentence or two that captures the way you want to make a difference in the world, and, particularly, at Georgetown.

Let this mission stem from poignant memories/experiences.

  • For instance, if you volunteered at an underfunded inner-city school during high school and performed tutoring or other related work, maybe your mission statement might be: “I want to help provide access to a quality education for people who might not otherwise have access to it.”
  • You can also begin your essay with a brief anecdote that introduces your experience. If you take this route, don’t spend too much time on the anecdote. Get right into your experience and then begin discussing how you grew from it.

Don’t be intimidated if you don’t have significant memories/experiences that have to deal with travel or volunteering.

Georgetown asks that you share something that best describes you. Perhaps you love music or movies. How might you make an impact through music and cinematography?

Get creative and have fun.

Step 3: Create a story around your mission statement.

You have your poignant memory/experience and mission statement.

Now, create a story that helps the reader to understand why you have your mission and why you see the world in your own way.

Help them to walk in your shoes and see the world through your eyes. Remember that you only have one page, so be concise. If you can state a thought in fewer words, then do so. Brevity is the soul of wit.

Step 4: Tie your mission and story back to Georgetown.

Remember, the admissions committee is asking you to share details about who you are because they want to know if you’d be a good fit for the school.

Be sure to demonstrate, through your mission and story, that you are, indeed, a great fit for the school.

  • You don’t have to copy Georgetown’s mission statement verbatim. In fact, you shouldn’t.

But when the admissions officers read your essay, they should see that you have a solid understanding of what you would add to the greater Georgetown community.

Step 5: Have someone proofread your essay for intent and delivery.

After reading your essay, someone should have a clear understanding of what’s important to you, who you are, and what you will add to the Georgetown University community.

Be sure to ask for feedback. Ask if you are clearly articulating who you are, and why you want to study at Georgetown.

If you complete these steps, this would be an example of the structure of your essay.

  1.  I have seen growing income inequality in my community, so I decided to take action in support of a local candidate for office.
  2. While volunteering, you worked with freshman and middle school students who looked up to you. As such, you learned the value of mentorship and setting a good example.
  3. While your candidate lost the election, you’re determined to close the Opportunity Divide in America. You now want to engage groups of young people to help build organic political campaigns.

Georgetown Supplemental Essay 2 Examples

Example 1:

If you were a new student in my classroom, my presence in the room would not be evident: you’d see me chatting with a couple of friends while I peruse through my work inbox, but you wouldn’t notice much else. Sure — if happen to be in my Calculus class, I would be that annoying kid who raises his hand every other second to shout out the derivative of arcsin; however, most of the time, I like to keep to myself, sometimes to the point of relative shyness. Yet, during those inevitable moments of awkward silence — where my peers are in dire need of an outspoken savior — I somehow seem to shine, providing unplanned, yet quite eloquent, responses. 

In some cases, such as when asked about the importance of the National History Day competition, I so lovingly talked about my old group and how they became more like family to me, prompting “Awwwww”s from a sea of parents and coordinators. During other moments, such as after a team win against our crosstown rival, I described how my role as injured reserve/interim waterboy was the key to keeping the players hydrated and active, thus helping us claim victory. Even during my startup’s first pitch competition, where our team of sophomores was pitted in a one-minute “pitch-off” against a group full of seniors, I stepped up to the plate, drawing upon my personal observations of the socioeconomic diversity of our student body to deliver a heartwarming soliloquy on the importance of my business, hitting a home run and netting us $1,000 in the process. 

Truth be told, my well-crafted spiels remain an enigma, but as much as actions speak louder than words, I conjecture that the exuberant, outgoing Kyle DuPont comes alive when the best action is to speak up. 

How To Prepare for the “School-Specific Essay”

The “word count” for this page should fit one page, single-spaced.

The school-specific essay is like a test.

If your heart dropped after reading that, relax. The good news is that you have access to the information necessary to put your best foot forward.

The school-specific essay is the admissions committee’s way of testing if you understand the purpose of the school/course of study you’re applying to and whether you’re a good fit.

Bonus points if your response is incredibly strong and creative. Before beginning your essay, keep in mind:

  • Do your research about the school. Are there professors, grants, projects, externships, fellowships that you’d like to avail yourself?
  • Don’t write about Washington, DC. It’s a beautiful city, yes, but there are over a dozen schools based in and around the city. You want to ensure this essay can’t be substituted for another school’s essay.

Let’s walk through each of the essays below.

Applicants to Georgetown College:

What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

For the Georgetown College essay, it’s important to identify your goals. Ask yourself:

  • What does earning a world-class education mean to you?
  • Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?
  • What kind of impact do you want to make on the world?

There is no right or wrong answer. Just be authentic.

Georgetown wants to cultivate global citizens that will make a difference in the world.

  • Do you need to grow your leadership skills?
  • Do you want to increase your appreciation of and respect for diversity?

When exploring what it means to be educated, think about your history, family background, personal experiences with learning, and the challenges you’ve faced. Then connect these experiences with how you’d further your interests in that field.

In addition, you need to be specific about how studying a particular major will help you achieve the goals you’ve identified.

  • If your goal is to better understand the human experience in order to create art that illustrates social justice issues, how will studying American Musical Culture help you?

If you want to major in a language and/or science, be sure to clearly articulate not only why, but also why you want to do so at Georgetown.

Visit the department websites to see their course descriptions and other pieces of information in order to create a narrative that makes sense.

Georgetown College Supplemental Essay Example

What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.) (Each school-specific prompt should not exceed 1 page, single-spaced, or approximately 500-700 words depending on font size)

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the new Frederick High School for an upscale Marriott hotel. With its majestic Promethean boards, spiral staircases, concentric lighting fixtures, and culturally diverse student body, our vibrant school community might seem to have it all; yet, not all individuals do. In my own circle of friends, some are able to enjoy a Dunkin Donuts latte every morning, play Fortnite for hours on end, and get brand new lacrosse sticks before the turn of each season. In contrast, others struggle with working night shifts at Wawa, getting rides after AP Statistics review sessions, and finding time to get homework done.

During my sophomore year, I started to notice a common thread tying our entire student body together. Whether I was munching on chicken nuggets in the school cafeteria or watching the football team kick a field goal, everyone seemed to be talking about how difficult it was to find opportunities that matched their personal needs.  My friends who came from more financially secure backgrounds wanted internships and volunteer positions that would allow them to dabble in new fields. Others needed jobs to ease the financial burdens of their families. Truth be told, I knew that there were numerous vacant positions in my area. During the late afternoon strolls my father and I took in Downtown Frederick, we often encountered “Help Wanted” signs plastered on the doors of pizza places and nonprofits; however, with most job sites catering to professionals, it seemed as though the opportunities for connection between students and these organizations were far and few between.

Since I knew that nearly all students had access to smartphones and Chromebooks, I set out to build Vita EDO (Equity, Diversity, and Opportunity), an app that would connect high school students to opportunities within their community. Despite having minimal business expertise — most of which came from Techcrunch articles and NPR podcasts — I dove headfirst into the startup process: I assembled a dynamic team of researchers, digital designers, and computer engineers.  I networked and built strong relationships with fellow entrepreneurs, heads of technology incubators, and CEO coaches and continuously navigated the social labyrinths of talking to potential users, customers, and investors.  I even victoriously battled in regional and national pitch competitions, raising over $3,000 in the process.

Of course, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. As the business began to grow, our school administration placed restrictions on our ability to advertise on campus. Aside from putting additional effort into our social media campaign, we got inventive and spread the word with the only visual tool we had left at our disposal: clothing, which resulted in the now rare and infamous Vita sweatshirt. In addition, after experiencing significant initial traction on the employer side, we are continuously changing our marketing strategies and pricing structures to continue to reach and serve the right organizations. Through participation in a local accelerator program, our team has even gone back to the drawing board, conducting more in-person customer interviews to supplement our initial market research. This process, although time-consuming, has resulted in numerous leads and paved the way for stronger networks and a better understanding of the employer problem — a lack of quality high school workers.

A year after becoming a limited liability corporation, Vita EDO has become an integral part of the Frederick community, helping connect over 220 students to 70 employers and more than 100 job opportunities. I’m proud that the social platform has given all members of our diverse student body equal access to greater opportunity. As the business expands, I see Vita EDO as a launchpad for all students, eventually offering courses in career exploration, resume building, and professionalism in the workplace. By leveraging the power of community, my goal is to make sure that no student, no matter where they come from or what opportunities their families can provide, ventures into the workplace alone. 

Despite the plethora of STEM and humanities courses I have taken throughout high school, none have made me feel more “educated” than understanding, empathizing with, and attempting to solve the problems that plague so many people. Furthermore, by leveraging the power of community, my goal is to make sure that no student, no matter where they come from or what opportunities their families can provide, ventures into the workplace alone, thereby democratizing opportunity, and thus, democratizing education.

Applicants to the School of Nursing and Health Studies: 

Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).

Studying health care requires commitment and diligence.

It will help your application greatly if you can point to meaningful experiences/memories that have influenced your decision to study health care.

  • Did you have a parent that works in the health care field?
  • How did their decision to pursue a career in health care inspire you?

It’s not enough to say that you want to study health care because you have a parent that works in the health care field.

You must be explicit about the reasoning behind your motivations and intentions.

  • Have you shadowed any doctors?
  • Did you volunteer at any labs?
  • Did you complete a global community service trip?

Provide examples and be sure to go back to Georgetown’s mission statement and values. How will studying health care allow you to be a leader and make a difference?

Remember, be sure to focus on specific experiences. The last thing you want to do is write an essay on your loose connections to the health care field.

Here’s a good outline for this essay:

  1. My father has a walking disability stemming from a genetic condition that I also have.
  2. I’ve learned how difficult it is to manage my own demanding high school schedule while ensuring my father gets the care he needs. This includes making dinner for him, walking him to the bathroom, and buying groceries for the family.
  3. Since I’ve taken care of my father, I’ve built relationships with his nurses and doctors.
  4. During my sophomore and junior years, I shadowed them and learned about different diseases, treatments, and medicines.
  5. I am inspired to find the cure for my father’s genetic condition before it affects me.

Applicants to the Walsh School of Foreign Service:

Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

This question requires outside research in addition to serious introspection. Work from the inside out.

Go back to your values and goals. Then pick a global issue that speaks to your values and goals.

Include facts, statistics and, most important, an argument.

You must:

  1. Clearly communicate your argument through an introduction to the problem,
  2. Provide a thesis statement (the solution to the problem)
  3. Include supporting evidence (in the form of facts and figures), as well as analysis (your opinion in light of those facts and figures).

You don’t need to pick a well-known or widely covered global issue. Just because the conflict or issue isn’t covered on the front page of the New York Times, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a good topic for this essay.

You can choose any topic, as long as you can argue about why it’s important.

That said, don’t spend too much time on explaining its importance – explain its significance relatively quickly and then get right into its solutions and action steps countries, organizations, or individuals can take to solve or deal with this problem.

Here’s an outline of a successful essay:

  • You believe the lack of international willpower to boost technological development that would clean up the world’s oceans is alarming. Particularly alarming is the lack of organization developing countries use to clean up their rivers.
  • Facts, data, statistics, and arguments include the tonnage and volume of junk these countries and their rivers dump into the ocean, lack of corporate controls that lead to increased chemical dumping, the destruction of agreements and treaties, number of endangered species affected by junk in rivers and oceans, dearth of technological developments and emerging technologies aimed at cleaning up the world’s waters.
  • Your solution to dealing with this issue: Practice statecraft and implore international leaders to pursue public-private partnerships with established and emerging tech companies to develop assistive robots to clean up shorelines and beach fronts.
  • Engage citizens to buy from companies that pour capital into building long-range filters that monitor ocean health and clean junk.

Applicants to the McDonogh School of Business:  

The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

The admissions committee gave you a secret weapon by stating that they provide “graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives.”

Explain your interests in those domains of business.

  • What is it about the ethics of business that interests you?
  • Why do you believe it’s important?
  • What experience have you had in dealing with finances in your life?
  • How have these experiences influenced your desire to study business?

Although it is important to remain honest and authentic, be wise in your responses.

It will not serve you well to state that your motivation for studying business is to “make a lot of money,” as Georgetown makes it clear that it wants its students to serve those considered to be disadvantaged and vulnerable.

  • To be clear, almost every business school will be reluctant to admit a student who overtly or otherwise states a love for money.
  • You have the rest of your life to chase investments and advantageous stock trades.
  • Remember, you’re applying to Georgetown for a liberal arts education. Demonstrate the holistic reason(s) as to why you want to study business.
  • As such, focus on building things, providing value to the public, creating useful and productive inventions, and practicing ethics.

It is important that as you state your motivations for studying business, you clearly state how studying business will help you to become a leader and make an impact in the world.

If you’re struggling to find a holistic reason for studying business, think of the following:

  • What you learned from observing good business practices or implementing technologies that have made the world a better place.
  • Your experiences in starting a small side hustle or business that benefitted members of your community.

Here’s a sample outline for a strong essay:

  1. I wanted to take additional steps to connect with my roots and community. My desire to learn more about my history spurred me to take action.
  2. On Sundays, I went to my religious community’s gatherings and participated in readings from our holy book. I fell in love with the teachings and language.
  3. As I got better at the language, I took my skills and began tutoring kids in my community. This led to the birth of my tutoring business, where I taught students how to write and communicate in our culture’s language.
  4. I learned that not only did I enjoy helping students, but I also fell in love with connecting people to my culture.
  5. In the future, I want to create a platform that will help Americans connect with their personal and familial histories. This will increase their pride in American and boost their sense of belonging to this great country. This is why I want to pursue business.

Conclusion: Writing the Georgetown Supplemental Essays

All students applying to Georgetown will have to answer 3 essay prompts: two general essays and one school-specific essay.

A well-written supplemental essay package requires research, authenticity, and revision. Be sure to give yourself enough time to research the schools and majors of interest, craft well-written responses, and receive feedback before submission.

By following these guidelines, you can create a stellar package that will give you a distinctive advantage in your application process.

And if you’re interested in gaining an edge in college admissions essay writing, check out our college essay boot camp.