Are you considering applying to one of the UC schools? UC schools are known for being one of the best state school systems available, regardless if you’re an in-state or out-of-state student. To apply, here are the UC essay prompts you can expect.
Students choose 4 out of the 8 total UC essay prompts and respond with 350-word answers. The prompts were updated as recently as last year, so we can anticipate no change for the 2017-2018 application season. UPDATE: No major changes to the essay prompts this year! Just more details in essay prompt 6 & 8.
Here are the UC Essay Prompts for 2017-2018:
Leadership experienceDescribe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Creative expressionEvery person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
Talent or special skill
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Overcoming educational barrier
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Overcoming significant challenge
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Bettering the community
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
What makes you special?
Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.LEARN MORE
Are you planning to apply to University of California schools? Or you must just be starting the process of building your college list. Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted. Read full essays, stats, and student advice. See how our students got in, and how you can too!
About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.
Most UC campuses require a personal statement in addition to a statement of purpose. Make yours count.
While the statement of purpose highlights the goals and experiences related to the research area you plan to pursue, your personal statement (also called a history or diversity statement) is an opportunity for the review committee to learn about the unique qualities and perspectives you’ll bring to the program.
Simply put, the statement of purpose is about your work, while your personal statement is about you – and how you’ll contribute to the diversity of ideas. Draw on your unique background to present yourself as an ideal candidate for the graduate program to which you are applying.
Tell your story
This is your opportunity to expand on your background, highlight unique experiences, challenges and triumphs and give the committee a more compelling reason to accept you. If a personal statement is not requested, consider incorporating this content into your statement of purpose. It is in your best interest to offer supplemental information when given an opportunity.
Describe goals, achievements and challenges
Describe your academic and career goals and highlight how graduate school will advance them. Tell how personal experiences shaped your aspirations, and don’t shy away from discussing poor grades or large time gaps in your resume.
Address any particular challenges you’ve faced, and how you worked to overcome them. Focus on issues that have had an impact on your education, such as being raised in a single parent household, working to help support family, thriving in unsafe environments, persevering with physical or other challenges or coming from an underrepresented minority group.
Showcase experiences related to diversity
Mention your engagement in programs that increase diversity in your chosen field, such as participation in undergraduate academic preparation, diversity and equity programs, higher education pipeline and summer research opportunities, and mentoring underrepresented students.
Highlight research you have conducted that addresses underserved populations, such as issues of race, gender, equity and inclusion, disparities in health or educational access, and human rights. Mention artistic and cultural works you have produced that reflect diverse communities and voices not well represented in the humanities.