Why College X - Bucket List Essay 1

Essay Prompt

How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words)

Sample Essay

Although I’m too young to have a bucket list for life, I do have a bucket list for my educational experiences at college:

1. Dual Degree/Double Major: I have always been interested in most everything and I love exploring topics in a variety of fields. My first love is biology, but I desire to use my time as an undergraduate student to go deep in more than one subject. Electives are not enough; I want to pursue mastery. Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction of the University of Pennsylvania is the Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management (LSM), because I am passionate about biology and have always been drawn to business. Though I am thrilled that this program would satisfy my desire for mastery, should I not be admitted to LSM, I fully intend on pursuing a dual degree in biology from the College and business from Wharton, or simply double majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences in biology and chemistry.

2. Study abroad with integrated programs: As an aspiring science major, I was not sure I would be able to study abroad. I knew Penn was for me when I heard of the program with the University of Edinburgh where I could study genetics or molecular biology, two fields that absolutely fascinate me, as well as experience a new culture.

3. In-depth published research: I have had the opportunity to participate in scientific research in the field of ophthalmology during my high school years, and I am quite interested in continuing my involvement with research as well as becoming engaged in other fields of study. Along with the incredible opportunities provided by the LSM program, I am excited about the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at Penn. Not only could I conduct research with professors on campus, but I could also pursue a grant for independent research. Another goal of mine is to be published during my time as an undergraduate, and Penn provides such an opportunity through its several undergraduate research journals, such as PennScience and the Journal of Young Investigators.

4. Embrace Philadelphia: Growing up in Small City, I thought I knew what a city could offer. However, visiting Philly definitely proved me wrong. Not only could I feel the history as I walked through the University and the city, but also I was amazed by the opportunities that such an urban environment holds, both in terms of academics and culture. Philly contains countless attractions ranging from historic landmarks to sporting events. For a girl like me, these prospects are incredible!

5. Serve the community: I have always had a passion for volunteering, and I have been able to explore that throughout my high school years during my time on the student council, my tenure as student council president, and my participation with the National Honor Society. At Penn, I want to dive even deeper and involve myself with outreach and engagement with West Philly. I was enthralled by the ABCS courses that Penn offers, and I would certainly plan on enrolling in courses such as Health in Urban Communities and Urban Environments: The Urban Asthma Epidemic. I would also pursue “Alternate Spring Break,” as well as PennCORP. Benjamin Franklin’s statement regarding “an inclination . . . to serve mankind” certainly rings true for me, and I love the way his philosophy is carried out and incorporated into academic life at Penn.

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