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boston college example essays

3 Strong Boston College Essay Examples

boston college example essays

Boston College is a private, Jesuit research university in the greater Boston area known for its outstanding academics and beautiful Gothic architecture. This R1 research university was founded as a small liberal arts college in 1863 and pays homage to its roots by keeping the word “college” in its name.

Admissions at Boston College are quite selective so if you want to become a BC Eagle, it’s important to write strong essays that show admissions counselors your personality and potential. In this post, we will go over real essays students have submitted to Boston College. Walking through the strengths and weaknesses of these essays should help you when perfecting your Boston College Application!

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our Boston College essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

Essay Example #1

Prompt:   When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community? (400 words) 

I used to face two paths: one flocked with taxis and frantic people, staccato shouts, and the smell of pizza. The other was a road of motorcycles rolling over wet cement, laced with cicada symphonies and the aroma of beef noodle soup. It always felt easier to walk the streets of Taiwan, where everyone looks like me, speaks meekly as I have been taught to, and steers away from confrontation. However, I was also raised in the thick of New York, where people argue, think, and exist fearlessly. PBS created a documentary in 1988 titled Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan, and I grew to believe that I embodied the little potato island as my teetering balance between two worlds initiated a “Tug of War” within myself. Although I am proud to be Taiwanese, New York has cultivated an unbridled emotion and passion within me that encourages me, against my inherent modesty, to be a bold author, a shameless poet, and a strong-willed advocate for Asian-American youth. I am excited by the vibrant discussions and meshed ideas I might find at a place as diverse as Boston College: perhaps at the Diversity Summit or with Professor Min Hyoung Song about the integration of Asian American writers and literature in an alienating culture. I see incredible opportunities to become part of a community that supports students struggling with their own “Tug of Wars” by sharing my story through the Taiwanese Cultural Organization and delving into the stories of others by curating pieces written by my peers for The Stylus. 

Growing up in a pentecostal home also taught me the strength of conviction in faith and community. The Holy Ghost Faith Church is a family that has become a constant foundation in my life, and a world that grounds me in my beliefs despite the cultural identities I struggled with. Through religion, I find connection with many people molded uniquely by their personal experiences. At Boston College, I will seek the same enriched human bonds with my peers and professors by sharing my testimonies while learning from theirs. I can see myself striking up a conversation about religious influences in literature and poetry with Professor James Najarian or joining a multi-faith program and attending local church services with friends on Sunday mornings. While Jesuit education will strengthen my religious values, it will also enlighten me to the beliefs of my peers.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay does a great job of establishing this student’s background and the distinction between their two cultures. There is a great use of imagery, especially at the beginning, which displays this student’s strength as a writer and highlights the internal “Tug of War” they experience. It is evident how their past community has shaped their perspective and identity. Knowing how their background shaped these things makes it easy for admissions officers to see what type of student they would be adding to their campus.

An example of this can be seen through the student’s creative integration of the “Tug of War” metaphor. Early in the essay, the student creates an interesting image of themself caught in a “Tug of War” between two cultures. Then, when they start discussing BC, they reuse this already-personalized metaphor—“ I see incredible opportunities to become part of a community that supports students struggling with their own “Tug of Wars” by sharing my story through the Taiwanese Cultural Organization and delving into the stories of others by curating pieces written by my peers for The Stylus. ” Because they already established a personal connection with the “Tug of War” idea earlier, this section doesn’t feel like the student is simply name-dropping university programs and instead feels like they are authentically drawn to university programs.

With regards to organization, this student effectively divides their essay into two paragraphs that answer the prompt in two different ways. While this is not always the best strategy and cohesiveness is important for college essays, it works for this student because their second topic is faith. Simply put, using more words to discuss their cultural background and interests would have become repetitive and writing an entire essay about religion is typically unadvisable. However, by supplementing their discussion of culture with a discussion of faith, this student appears multidimensional.

Note: For most schools, focusing on faith in your essay is not recommended, but because Boston College is religiously affiliated, this student’s “cherry on top” discussion on faith works well.

This essay makes readers feel like the student is genuine, interesting, and genuinely interested in contributing to the community at Boston College.

What Could Be Improved

The second paragraph of this essay (the paragraph that discusses faith) could be improved through more engaging writing. While the student’s integration of information about BC feels natural when they are discussing culture, it feels inorganic when they discuss religion. The essay ends with the following sentences:

The student’s descriptions of forming bonds through religion are not as engaging as their writing above and the inclusion of a professor’s name does very little here. Instead, the student could have created an image of their life at BC and reminded the reader of their vivid images from earlier. Improvement could look something like this:

“Now, when I think about community, I imagine myself in the dining hall. Through some series of unexpected events, I find myself in an intense intellectual discussion about the influence of religious propaganda on the Wife of Bath’s Tale. Sometime during our back-and-forth, I start to enjoy and respect my impromptu debate opponent. I picture us (after emerging from the heat of our debate) chatting and deciding to check out a local church service together on Sunday morning. It feels like a dream—like another scary path, without taxis or motorcycles, but dotted with intimidating social situations and an infinity of uncertainties. But it also feels like the most promising opportunity of my life.”

Essay Example #2

Prompt: When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community? (400 words) 

I gazed at my Beyer book and the monochromatic piano keys. Notes swirled in my head as I struggled to decipher the crochet on the page. Taking my chances, I pressed the D key, positive that I was right. Alas, my tutor’s sigh indicated that l got the note wrong again. 

Growing up, I often faced such mishaps during piano lessons. My grandma is an avid singer and my grandpa, a violinist. My cousins are also guitarists. From being brought up around my family’s deeply rooted musical inclinations, to constantly struggling during practice sessions, I often felt like a fish out of water and wanted to quit. Music was a chore, something I felt obligated to pursue only to uphold my family’s tradition. However, one fateful session completely changed my view. 

Back then, I had spent hours glued atop the piano stool practicing for a recital, and I felt completely drained. Needing a break, I grabbed my phone and turned on some pop music. As Rihanna’s “Diamonds” blasted away, I couldn’t help but notice how similar it sounded to several musical scales I had learned. Curiously, I attempted to match some notes to the song, and before I knew, I was playing the entire chorus! It dawned on me that those scales and arpeggios I found irritating formed the basis for an endless array of songs when combined strategically and originally. 

From then on, I started to see music as my favorite creative challenge rather than a nuisance. My new perspective eventually led me to embrace every struggle I faced during practice and instead view them as opportunities to improve. As I came to love every step of my musical journey, I ultimately learned to persevere through any setbacks, like dealing with unfamiliar pieces or memorizing notes on end. 

Music has become something more than a family tradition, shaping who I am today. Thinking creatively and overcoming struggles with determination are now values I carry when tackling everyday roadblocks. Going forward, I plan to bring these values to BC. I’m determined to use creativity to help solve communal problems, like finding innovative ways to implement healthcare in underserved communities through Timmy Global Health. I also hope to contribute musically to the Symphony Orchestra and be part of a nurturing community where I can work alongside other musicians. I’m excited to see what the future holds when I become an Eagle!

This essay answers the prompt very clearly. When asked “What about your experiences will enrich Boston College’s community?” the student’s essay, as a whole, responds “As a musician, I have learned to persevere through setbacks and that will enrich the Boston College community.” 

Additionally, the student organizes their essay in a way that makes it easy to follow. They start by discussing their upbringing, then a major transition, and then they use the final paragraph to reflect. In the final paragraph, they also refer back to their upbringing—“ Music has become something more than a family tradition, shaping who I am today ”—effectively bringing things full circle. This makes the essay feel cohesive and tied up.

This student does a very nice job setting up their story, showing the reader why this was an important revelation for them. Taking the time to explain the different instruments each family member plays is a good way of showing this student’s musical background, making their burden to “ uphold my family’s tradition ” all the more understandable. Once there is a solid appreciation for this student’s circumstances, it allows the reader to sympathize with their struggle and ultimately celebrate their victory.

What Could Be Improved 

The largest fault of this essay are the grammatical errors and clunky language throughout the piece that diminish the overall quality of the story.  They use simple transitions that feel forced. For example, their body paragraphs begin with “ Growing up, ” “ Back then, ” and “ From then on, ” These boring transitions are not engaging and seem elementary.

They also have multiple poorly-written sentences including “ Thinking creatively and overcoming struggles with determination are now values I carry when tackling everyday roadblocks .” The overuse of gerunds here distracts from what the writer is trying to say. 

A final example of this essay feeling unpolished is the student’s improper use of the from-to construction with the sentence “ From being brought up around my family’s deeply rooted musical inclinations, to constantly struggling during practice sessions, I often felt like a fish out of water and wanted to quit. ” The from-to construction should outline two extremes that independently exemplify the independent clause that they are connected to.

Instead, the student could have written “ From crying late at night about missed notes to struggling through practice sessions, I constantly felt like a fish out of water in my musically-gifted family. ”   Small but noticeable language errors like this one illustrate the importance of having others edit your drafts!

Essay Example #3

Prompt: At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner?  What do you discuss with that person? (400 words)

Instead of admiring towers of multi-colored cupcakes, Asher and I found ourselves staring at a menacing yellow bulldozer, caution tape barring our path. Turned in circles, looking askance at our surroundings, Asher and I immediately began to squabble: 

“Margot, how could you mess it up??” 

“I followed the directions….”

“Well, clearly you didn’t since we’re here and not at the bakery.”

“You didn’t have to follow me!”

I retraced our steps on Google Maps, insisting that the directions were flawed—not me. My voice faded as I scrutinized the outlined path. I found our error: I had confidently led us right down Broadway instead of left. 

Since we were four, Asher and I have been best friends, and our friendship is founded on three principles: adventure, food, and FAMU (fight and make up). From hide-and-go-seek to mastering the metro system, our shared love of exploration dominates our time together. We converse about everything from where we one day hope to travel to the best dumpling places and most engaging museums. However, as two directionally challenged individuals, we routinely end up lost on our way to try new things. As a result, we frequently discuss directions: debating optimal routes, arguing when we mess up, then analyzing how to undo our errors best. 

As we anxiously bickered at the construction site, our fight progressed toward problem-solving.

“I guess we could retrace our steps.”

“No…look! There’s a pedestrian path over by the cones. Let’s see where it goes.”

Following the path, we talked solely about our frustration and annoyance about getting lost. But, as we emerged on the other side of the construction site, we spotted the bakery we had been searching for. Our disastrous detour was actually a secret shortcut. 

Inspired by our unintentional discovery, Asher and I shared an epiphany: for too long, we focused on the negatives of getting lost rather than the positives. And our conversations reflected our pessimistic attitudes. Now, I make an active effort to replace phrases like “this is all your fault” and “the directions are wrong” with “let’s get lost” or “forget the directions.” By celebrating the beauty of getting lost, I have learned that there is no singular right way to get where I am going. Sometimes the unexpected pans out in unpredictable yet incredible ways. 

Asher and I no longer fight about directions; now, we excitedly discuss getting lost .

This prompt wants to hear about your conversations with someone special, and this essay delivers! The best way to make your essay immersive is to include actual lines of dialogue you and your conversation partner have had. We get to see the frustration, sass, and bickering of the student and her friend instead of just being told about it. Just six lines of dialogue bring a whole new dimension and level of characterization to these two.

Beyond the conversation snippets, the level of detail this student incorporates makes the essay more engaging. From the first sentence, we get descriptions like “ towers of multi-colored cupcake ,” “ menacing yellow bulldozer, ” and “ caution tape barring our path. ” Her detailed writing continues with concrete examples of what she and her friend discuss, beyond the incident at the heart of this essay: “ We converse about everything from where we one day hope to travel to the best dumpling places and most engaging museums.”

Another positive of this essay is this student’s concise writing style that lets her voice shine through. Despite being a story about getting lost, this essay has a light-hearted and somewhat humorous mood. This student is able to accomplish that because she gets directly to her point, saving space to inject a little fun into her writing. She perfectly encapsulates her friendship for the reader in three points—” adventure, food, and FAMU (fight and make up)”—humanizing them in a quick and entertaining manner. Additionally, describing them as “ two directionally challenged individuals ” is a straight-to-the-point descriptor that also pokes fun at their weakness.

Overall, the reader walks away from this essay being able to imagine exactly what a conversation between this student and her friend sounds like, which is a great accomplishment.

One of the weaker aspects of this essay is the reflection in the conclusion. Although the student is trying to demonstrate her growth and new perspective from the experience, it feels a little forced. Generalizing the acceptance of getting lost to the idea that “ there is no singular right way to get where I am going ” comes off a bit cliche without further elaboration.

In order to make the conclusion feel more genuine, this student should have included an example of a time she applied this lesson to her life. Maybe she always thought she should be a doctor, but she allowed herself to get lost researching topics in her biology class and stumbled across biomedical engineering and has now decided to pursue that. The one risk with this approach is making sure there is enough space in the conclusion to elaborate with a sentence or two. You don’t want to go from talking about getting lost trying to find a bakery to studying biomedical engineering in one sentence. But, if the student found a way to rework her conclusion to make it less theoretical, it would come across as more sincere.

Where to Get Your Boston College Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Boston College  essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

boston college example essays

boston college example essays

How to Write the Boston College Supplemental Essays + Examples

Downtown Boston skyscrapers

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 11/8/23

Getting ready to write your Boston College supplemental essays? Read on to learn how to make your essays stand out!Hey, future Eagles!

Feeling stuck on your Boston College supplemental essays ? Unsure of where to start or what to share? This guide has got you covered! We’ll go over each Boston College supplemental essay, break down how to approach them, and provide you with winning examples to use as your muse!

Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts 2023-2024

Male student reading papers

Let’s begin with the basics: how many supplemental essays do you need for Boston College ? Fortunately, you’ll only need to answer one of the BC supplemental essays . You’ll be given the following five prompts to choose from:

“Each year at University Convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text. What book by a living author would you recommend for your incoming class to read, and why would this be an important shared text?”

“At Boston College, we draw upon the Jesuit tradition of finding worthwhile conversation partners. Some support our viewpoints while others challenge them. Who fulfills this role in your life? Please cite a specific conversation you had where this conversation partner challenged your perspective or you challenged theirs.”

Speech bubbles on pink background

“In her November 2019 Ted Talk, “ The Danger of a Single Story ,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi warned viewers against assigning people a “single story” through assumptions about their nationality, appearance, or background. Discuss a time when someone defined you by a single story. What challenges did this present and how did you overcome them?”

“Boston College’s founding in 1863 was in response to society’s call. That call came from an immigrant community in Boston seeking a Jesuit education to foster social mobility. Still today, the University empowers its students to use their education to address society’s greatest needs. Which of today’s local or global issues is of particular concern to you and how might you use your Boston College education to address it?”

Male student speaking into megaphone with fist raised

Prompt #5 - HCE Applicants

“Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) Applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?”

These questions aim to get personal, which means you could probably ramble on and on about each of them if you had the chance. But here's the kicker: you have to keep your response to a maximum of 400 words! So, stay on point, keep it snappy, and get to the heart of what matters most. No room for rambling here!

How to Write Each Essay Prompt for Boston College

If you’re intimidated by these prompts and wondering how to write a fantastic college essay , you’re in the right place. Here’s how to ensure all of your BC supplemental essays are concise, compelling, and captivating! 

How to Write Boston College Supplemental Essay #1 + Analysis and Tips

Female student sitting on floor with computer and books

Analysis of prompt #1 : This prompt is focused on the importance of a shared text and how it fosters a sense of unity and understanding among incoming students. Boston College wants to see what kind of literature you consider good for fostering unity. 

This prompt also allows the admissions committee to learn more about your interests. The book you choose will say a lot about you! 

Follow these suggestions if you choose to respond to the first prompt:

  • Tip #1: Choose the Right Book : Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to discuss a highly complex book to impress the admissions committee. Select a book that you truly believe would be a valuable shared text. Mention some themes or messages that you think could spark meaningful discussions. 
  • Tip #2: Share Your Personal Connections to the Book : Show the admissions committee how this book has influenced your perspective. Why does this book resonate with you more than others? You might consider even starting your essay with one of your favorite lines in the book. 
  • Tip #3: Connect to the University Convocation : End your essay by explaining how this book would contribute to a meaningful and engaging University Convocation experience. How would it inspire reflective dialogue among your incoming class? 

How to Write Boston College Supplemental Essay #2 + Analysis and Tips

Female student talking to man

Analysis of prompt #2 : BC asks this prompt because they want to see a willingness to grow and to learn from other perspectives. A mark of a great student is a sense of humility and openness to listening to what others have to say. 

If you’ve had a few notable experiences where your beliefs were challenged, this could be a great prompt for you to respond to! Here are some tips to get you started: 

  • Tip #1: Identify a Strong Conversation Partner : Think about a conversation that truly had an impact on you, not just someone disagreeing with your top horror movie choice. Who is someone in your life who has really challenged your perspective or brought fresh insights to the table?
  • Tip #2: Be Vulnerable and Specific : Include details of your conversation with this person, including the thoughts and emotions you experienced. Don't shy away from discussing how this conversation challenged you. Were you initially resistant to their ideas? Did it force you to reevaluate your beliefs?
  • Tip #3: Share Your Insights : Show the reader how this conversation impacted you. Did it open your mind to new possibilities? Did you gain a deeper understanding of yourself or the world around you? Be authentic and express the lessons you learned from this experience.

How to Write Boston College Supplemental Essay #3 + Analysis and Tips

Male student listening to two people talking

Analysis of prompt #3 : This prompt deals with the impact of making assumptions. This essay asks you to get personal and describe an instance where you faced prejudice of some kind. By asking this, BC wants to see how you have overcome obstacles as well as how you align with their values of diversity. 

If this prompt interests you, here are some tips on how to answer it: 

  • Tip #1: Consider Watching the TED Talk : While you don’t have to watch the TED Talk referenced in this essay prompt, doing so can inspire you and help you brainstorm. You may even want to quote the speaker within your own essay to show you went above and beyond by watching the TED Talk. 
  • Tip #2: Stay Humble : Feel free to share in detail about the prejudice you faced and how it affected you, as well as how you broke free from the single narrative. However, be sure not to display arrogance or a superiority complex. Focus on your own growth and the importance of diversity instead.
  • Tip #3: Connect to BC : Connect your story to Boston College's values of embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity. Express your eagerness to continue these conversations at BC and learn from a community that values every person's unique narrative.

How to Write Boston College Supplemental Essay #4 + Analysis and Tips

"fight today for a better tomorrow" protest sign

Analysis of prompt #4 : This prompt integrates the history of Boston College with the issues facing the world today. BC wants to see that you are committed to the same values as they are; namely, fighting for social issues and using education to address needs that are prevalent in the world. 

Let’s tackle how to respond to this fourth prompt:

  • Tip #1: Choose an Issue Close to Your Heart : If you choose an issue that you’re genuinely passionate about, it will be far easier to write this essay! Admissions committees can always tell when applicants are being authentic, so if you choose a topic you truly care about, your passion will shine through.
  • Tip #2: Connect to BC’s Founding Values : This prompt specifically asks you to connect back to BC’s roots. Show how BC's founding mission resonates with your desire to make a difference in the world and emphasize how your BC education will enable you to continue this legacy.
  • Tip #3: Demonstrate Your Commitment : Discuss why this issue is so important to you and share your specific vision of how you'll engage with the issue both on and off campus. Highlight any volunteer work, advocacy, or initiatives you've been involved in related to the issue to demonstrate your dedication to change. 

How to Write Boston College Supplemental Essay #5 + Analysis and Tips

boston college example essays

Analysis of prompt #5 : This prompt is somewhat similar to prompt #4, as it asks students to analyze. However, as this prompt is specific to HCE applicants, that means that Boston College is looking for specific responses regarding the HCE program. BC wants to see your passion and why you truly want to study HCE. 

Here are some tips to tackle this prompt: 

  • Tip #1: Pinpoint Your Passion : Identify the specific societal problems that ignite your passion. Considering this is a question for engineering, the issue you choose should be related to this field. Explain why these issues are meaningful to you and share any personal experiences or encounters with them. 
  • Tip #2: Be Specific : Highlight how Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College perfectly aligns with your goals. Share any relevant projects or initiatives you’ve been a part of, especially leadership experiences, related to your chosen issue. Describe innovative engineering approaches you envision tackling at BC. 
  • Tip #3: Tie It to the Common Good : Connect your solutions to the Jesuit value of serving the Common Good. Explain how your Human-Centered Engineering education will empower you to serve society and create a positive impact.

Examples of Boston College Supplemental Essays That Worked

Female student writing in notebook in front of computer

There’s no better way to grasp how to write the Boston College supplemental essays than to learn by example! Here are some sample essays written by admitted students at Boston College. 

Sample Essay #1

Prompt : “Each year at University Convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text. What book by a living author would you recommend for your incoming class to read, and why would this be an important shared text?”

Take a look at this example essay responding to prompt #1: 

"‘A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up for anything.’ This compelling quote from ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini serves as a poignant reminder of the valuable lesson this book imparts to students.
As students, we often encounter challenges, both academically and personally. This book can remind us of the powerful significance of advocating for our beliefs and values. By learning to assert ourselves and confront our fears, we cultivate the confidence and resilience necessary to address societal issues and make positive contributions to our communities.
Consequently, for our incoming class at University Convocation, I wholeheartedly recommend ‘The Kite Runner’ as our shared text. This novel takes readers on an emotional journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and redemption. Through Amir's experiences, we learn the importance of standing up for ourselves and others, even in the face of adversity.
‘The Kite Runner’ not only inspires self-reflection but also fosters empathy and understanding. The novel delves into cultural complexities, providing a window into Afghanistan's history and the impact of personal choices on individuals and society. As we engage in reflective dialogue during University Convocation, this shared text will encourage open discussions about diverse perspectives, nurturing a more inclusive and compassionate community.
Moreover, Khaled Hosseini's masterful storytelling captivated me, evoking emotions and allowing me to build connections with the characters. This shared experience can unite our class, forging a shared bond that extends beyond the pages of the book.
As we embark on our exciting academic journey, ‘The Kite Runner’ will serve as a timeless reminder of the value of empathy, resilience, and the power of standing up for what we believe in. It will inspire us to be active participants in shaping a more just and compassionate world, embodying the Jesuit values that Boston College holds dear.”

Books on library shelf

Why Essay #1 Works

This BC supplemental essay response works for several reasons. It begins with a compelling hook - a powerful quote from "The Kite Runner" - that immediately captures the reader's attention and sets the tone for the essay's central theme. 

The student then demonstrates a genuine and personal connection to the book by discussing academic and personal challenges. The essay highlights the importance of advocating for beliefs and values and explicitly connects the book's lessons to Boston College’s Jesuit values, showing their alignment with the university's mission.

Sample Essay #2

Prompt : “At Boston College, we draw upon the Jesuit tradition of finding worthwhile conversation partners. Some support our viewpoints while others challenge them. Who fulfills this role in your life? Please cite a specific conversation you had where this conversation partner challenged your perspective or you challenged theirs.”

Take a look at this sample essay for some inspiration: 

“‘It’s murder—plain and simple,’ my best friend Emily proclaimed with unwavering conviction. 
With a fiery passion for justice and a fierce dedication to her beliefs, Emily is never afraid to challenge the status quo and speak her mind. As such, we’ve always had lively discussions on various topics, but one particular conversation stands out vividly in my memory. 
In our sophomore year, we were discussing a news article detailing the story of a terminally ill patient who had opted for medical assistance to end their life peacefully. As a staunch advocate for individual autonomy and the right to make end-of-life decisions, I expressed my support for medical-assisted dying, believing that it offers compassionate choices for those facing unbearable suffering.
However, Emily's bold statement gave me pause. I respected her deeply-held beliefs, but I felt the need to question her stance and challenge her perspective and the broader implications of prohibiting medical-assisted dying altogether. I highlighted the anguish that some terminally ill patients might experience when they are denied the choice to control the manner and timing of their death. I also stressed the importance of compassionate end-of-life care, including palliative options, to ensure that individuals facing terminal illnesses have the support they need to make informed decisions.
As our conversation evolved, Emily's arguments made me pause and reflect on the complexity of the issue. While I still valued individual autonomy and compassion, her viewpoints challenged me to consider the potential unintended consequences of medical-assisted dying and the importance of striking a delicate balance between individual choice and societal well-being.
Throughout this conversation, Emily and I maintained a deep respect for each other's beliefs and approached the topic with an openness to learn from one another. The experience taught me the value of engaging in conversations with worthwhile partners who challenge my views, as it broadens my understanding of complex issues and helps me become a more empathetic and well-informed individual.
As I embark on my new journey at Boston College, I will embrace my role as a conversation partner, and support and challenge myself to have a more profound understanding of the world around me. Keeping with the Jesuit tradition Boston College embodies, I look forward to conversing with all intellectual partners I’ll meet at BC, as we collectively strive to enhance our empathy, wisdom, and social consciousness.” 

Woman holding elderly person's hand

Why Essay #2 Works

The essay shares a specific and vivid memory of a conversation between the student and Emily during their sophomore year, adding depth and authenticity to the essay. It delves into a complex and controversial issue, demonstrating the student's ability to engage in thoughtful discussions on important societal matters.

This essay also showcases the student's willingness to consider alternative viewpoints, highlighting their intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness. The student then explicitly connects their essay to the BC’s Jesuit tradition, emphasizing the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations to enhance empathy and wisdom. 

Sample Essay #3

Prompt : “In her November 2019 Ted Talk, “ The Danger of a Single Story ,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warned viewers against assigning people a “single story” through assumptions about their nationality, appearance, or background. Discuss a time when someone defined you by a single story. What challenges did this present and how did you overcome them?”

Here is a great example of an essay responding to Adichie’s Ted Talk: 

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted Talk on ‘The Danger of a Single Story’ struck a chord with me, as I've personally experienced being defined by a single narrative. During my high school years, I relocated to a new town, and my accent immediately labeled me as ‘the foreign kid.’ People assumed I couldn't speak English fluently and knew nothing about their culture, reducing my identity to a mere stereotype.
This presented several challenges. I felt the constant need to prove myself, academically and socially, and struggled to fit in and be accepted. The isolation and misunderstanding affected my confidence and made it difficult to connect with others.
However, I was determined not to be confined by that single narrative. I actively immersed myself in clubs and extracurricular activities, striving to showcase my multifaceted self. By participating and engaging in conversations, I revealed my diverse experiences, perspectives, and passions. Gradually, I noticed a change in how people perceived me. They began to see beyond the initial assumptions and recognize my individuality. 
Overcoming these challenges required time and resilience. I learned the value of asserting my voice and sharing my authentic stories, which allowed others to understand me beyond the surface level. Breaking free from the constraints of the single story empowered me to build better connections and find like-minded individuals who appreciated me for my true self.
My experience of being defined by a single story during my high school years has had a lasting impact on my outlook and values, which align closely with the principles upheld by Boston College. Boston College's commitment to a Jesuit education, founded on the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, resonates with my journey of breaking free from stereotypes and embracing diverse narratives.
Adichie's Ted Talk holds even greater significance now, as I'm reminded of the importance of avoiding simplistic judgments about others based on appearances or backgrounds. I understand the power of embracing diverse narratives and perspectives, fostering empathy, and recognizing the richness that each individual brings to the table.”

Two male students pointing at female student

Why Essay #3 Works

The student first demonstrates a connection to the Ted Talk and then shares a vulnerable personal experience of being defined by a single narrative during their high school years, making the essay authentic and compelling. The essay demonstrates the author’s resilience by describing how they overcame various challenges.

The essay also effectively connects the student’s experience to Boston College’s principles, emphasizing the alignment with the university’s commitment to a Jesuit education. The student reflects on the lasting impact of their experience, showing depth of thought and self-awareness and how it aligns with Boston College's values.

Sample Essay #4

Prompt : “Boston College’s founding in 1863 was in response to society’s call. That call came from an immigrant community in Boston seeking a Jesuit education to foster social mobility. Still today, the University empowers its students to use their education to address society’s greatest needs. Which of today’s local or global issues is of particular concern to you and how might you use your Boston College education to address it?”

Take a look at this sample essay discussing the issue of climate change: 

“The magnitude of climate change requires comprehensive and collaborative efforts from individuals, communities, and institutions. As a student at Boston College, I aspire to leverage my education to address this critical global issue and contribute to sustainable solutions.
While I already volunteer at my local recycling facility, participate in beach clean-up events, and am an executive member of my school’s environmental club, I plan on doing even more at Boston College and beyond. First, I intend to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies, combining scientific knowledge with social and policy perspectives. Through interdisciplinary coursework, research opportunities, and engagement with faculty, I aim to develop a deep understanding of the complexities of climate change and its multifaceted implications.
Beyond the academic realm, Boston College's commitment to fostering a caring and inclusive community aligns perfectly with my vision of creating positive change. By actively participating in student-led environmental organizations and joining forces with like-minded peers, I hope to cultivate a vibrant campus environment that values sustainability and collective action.
Moreover, I will have access to valuable internships and networking opportunities that will enable me to collaborate with organizations dedicated to environmental conservation and advocacy. By interning with environmental NGOs and participating in climate-related policy discussions, I hope to contribute to impactful projects and support the creation of policies that drive positive change.
Climate change, as a global issue, requires collaboration and engagement on an international scale. Boston College's global perspective will offer me the chance to connect with students from diverse backgrounds, enriching my understanding of environmental challenges across different regions and cultures. By embracing this multicultural environment, I can foster a broader perspective and contribute to innovative solutions that transcend borders.
By pursuing an education in Environmental Studies, actively engaging in student-led initiatives, advocating for sustainable policies, and embracing Boston College's inclusive community, I hope to make a meaningful contribution to addressing climate change and shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for all. With the support and resources provided by Boston College, I am confident in my ability to make a lasting impact in the fight against climate change and fulfill my commitment to addressing society's greatest needs.”

Woman holding two plants

Why Essay #4 Works

In this essay, this student gets very specific, providing concrete examples of their current involvement in environmental initiatives and outlining their plan to continue making a difference at BC, adding credibility to their commitment. The student also demonstrates confidence and ambition in their commitment to addressing society’s needs.

With a strong emphasis on collaboration and collective action, the student shows an understanding of the need for comprehensive efforts to tackle climate change. They also convey a strong passion for making a positive impact, leaving an impression as a driven, socially conscious, and ambitious individual.

Sample Essay #5

Prompt : “One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?” 

Here is an example you can use to get started on your HCE essay: 

“In a world that faces ever-evolving societal challenges, I am deeply drawn to the field of Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) for its potential to enact positive change and serve the common good. As a prospective HCE student at Boston College, I am committed to using my education to address two critical societal problems that are of utmost importance to me: healthcare accessibility and sustainable infrastructure development.
First and foremost, healthcare accessibility remains a pressing concern globally. Many communities, particularly in underserved regions, lack adequate access to essential healthcare services. I am determined to use my HCE education to bridge this gap and improve healthcare delivery systems for vulnerable populations.
Drawing on the technical knowledge and humanistic perspective emphasized in the HCE program, I aspire to design and implement innovative healthcare solutions. By collaborating with healthcare professionals and community members, I aim to develop technologies and systems that are tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by these communities. Whether it be telemedicine solutions to reach remote areas or the development of affordable medical devices, I envision contributing to the improvement of healthcare accessibility and making a tangible impact on people's lives.
Integrating the principles of sustainability and creativity into my engineering solutions, I seek to minimize the ecological footprint of infrastructure projects. I plan to advocate for the adoption of renewable energy sources and the implementation of green building practices. By prioritizing environmentally friendly technologies and materials, I aim to contribute to the creation of resilient and sustainable urban environments that harmonize with nature rather than deplete it.
Boston College's emphasis on serving the common good aligns perfectly with my vision for using HCE to tackle these societal problems. Additionally, the Jesuit values of social responsibility and ethical leadership will guide me in my professional journey.
I am eager to take advantage of Boston College's resources and engage in service-oriented initiatives to implement real-world solutions and make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

Dentist chair and tools

Why Essay #5 Works

This essay appropriately focuses strongly on the HCE program and demonstrates the student’s passion for the possibilities found in HCE. The student provides concrete examples of how they plan to use their HCE education to make a difference and demonstrates a well-rounded awareness of global issues. 

The applicant also references the Jesuit values that BC holds and articulates how Boston College's resources and service-oriented initiatives will support the student in implementing real-world solutions. This emphasizes a strong fit between the student's aspirations and the university's offerings.

Get More Sample Essays Here! 

If reading these essays was helpful for you, good news! You can get inspired by tons of sample supplemental essays using our extensive essay database down below. 

FAQs: Boston College Essays

You can find the answers to any remaining questions about the Boston College supplemental essays below:

1. How Many Supplemental Essays Do I Need for Boston College?

You only need to write one Boston College supplemental essay, but you will be given five prompts to choose from.

2. How Long Should Boston College Essays Be?

Your BC supplemental essay should not exceed 400 words. Having said that, you also do not need to meet this maximum. Aim for quality over quantity. Ensure you answer the prompt completely, but do not add any fluff to make your response longer, as it will only reduce the efficacy of your writing.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the Boston College supplemental essays provide an opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and aspirations. Share meaningful insights, experiences, and how your goals align with Boston College's values. 

Make a strong impression, take your time, edit diligently, and let your passion and intellect shine through!

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Writing BC Essays? Get an Edge with These Tips

Here are a few points we’re looking for when it comes to these boston college-specific essay questions..

Required Essay: Please discuss how you plan to achieve your short and long term career goals following graduation from Boston College. What challenges will you face and how will you leverage your academic and professional experiences to achieve these goals?

Our tip:  Be specific. Show us that you’ve taken the time to consider this question by providing detailed answers. Think about challenges that are specific to your candidacy, and how your strengths will balance them. This is one of our required essays (we read a lot of them), so authentic, thoughtful answers will stand out.

Optional Essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the BC community. Feel free to be creative in expressing your message.

Our tip:  Admissions essays (even when optional) are a great way to creatively share your personal interests, outside commitments, or passions with the admissions committee. Writing an optional essay shows that you’re serious about Boston College, and also gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates. By telling us about yourself, you’ll become more than just a representation of your resume or scores. Feel free to portray your uniqueness, but ask a friend or colleague to proofread your essay before you submit it to keep it free of embellishments.

Optional Essay 2: If you have not had coursework in core business or if your standardized test scores are low, how you plan to prepare for the quantitative rigor of the BC MBA, MSF, or MSA curriculum?

Our tip:  This essay is an opportunity to highlight quantitative skills that you may have developed through professional experiences—that might not be reflected in your test scores or transcript. If you’ve taken an online course, say in statistics, in preparation for the quantitative aspects of our curriculum, you can also highlight this in the essay. From online courses to management books, the resources are endless. Tell us how you are making use of these to prepare yourself for business school.

Optional Essay 3: Explain an aspect of your candidacy in more detail.

Our tip:  At Boston College, we value both honesty and integrity. Take this opportunity to give context where it might be beneficial. Perhaps you’re worried that a low test score or a gap in your work history will jeopardize your chances of acceptance. Rather than listing excuses, provide background, tell us how you’ve grown from it, and why it will or will not affect you in your pursuit of a graduate management degree. (Or, use this as a chance to talk passionately about something on your resume—volunteer work, a previous internship, or anything else that you think makes you the perfect business school applicant.)

Optional Essay 4: What unique perspective will you bring to the Boston College community?

Our tip: As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Boston College seeks to foster among its community a “care for the whole individual” ( cura personalis ). BC’s mission is rooted in the Jesuit principles of equality, respect, and care for everyone. Our students and alumni share a desire to positively influence and impact communities and organizations they serve by sharing their unique backgrounds and experiences with those around them. Taking into consideration your educational, cultural, social, economic, and/or other life experiences, share how your unique perspective will make an impactful contribution on our community.

Now that you know what to expect—and what we expect from you—start planning out your essays if you haven’t already. Once you’re finished, proofread, and proofread again, then send them our way. We look forward to hearing from you.

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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts

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Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts

Boston College is a Jesuit private research university located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College is located a short distance from Downtown Boston which makes it an extremely desirable place to learn. Therefore, BC’s acceptance rate is around 19%, meaning your application will really need to stand out! In order to apply, students must complete one of the five prompt options for the BC supplemental essays. 

Here’s our guide for how to ace the Boston College supplemental essay questions!

Also see: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

Before answering the BC supplemental essays

All Boston College applicants, should respond to one of the following four prompts except for those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering major. Those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering major will need to reply to ONLY the fifth Boston College essay question. 

All of the Boston College supplemental essay questions have a 400 word limit . 400 words may sound like a lot but once you start writing you will realize that getting your personality on the page will take a few more words than 400. Do not stress! This just means you will have to be precise and direct with your answers. Do not drag on or use filler words! Just remember to be yourself in your response. 

Don’t miss: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts

Essay option #1

“Each year at University Convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text. What book by a living author would you recommend for your incoming class to read, and why would this be an important shared text?”

If you are a bookworm this is the prompt for you! This prompt is an opportunity to be creative in your response. 

Before answering this prompt – brainstorm! What book has impacted your life to this day? You should try to choose a work of literature that has sparked something inside of you. Meaning, choose a book that has given you valuable insight or changed your outlook on life. I know the second you read this prompt you had a book in mind so don’t hesitate to write about it! 

However, since this prompt is allowing for creative freedom try to choose a unique book. Refrain from choosing a novel such as Harry Potter since it is extremely popular and will probably be written about a lot by applicants. (Even though the Harry Potter series is one of my favorites.) 

Although, if you are dying to choose an extremely popular book or a classic make sure to then write from a new and different perspective or take. Once you have selected a book, go into detail about how it has impacted your life. This should go without saying but choose a book you have read and are familiar with! Emphasize why it would be a good fit for your class to read. What will your fellow peers learn from this novel? 

Questions to consider

  • What is your favorite book? 
  • How would Boston College benefit from reading this book? 
  • How has this book influenced your outlooks? 

Don’t miss: Top 10 books to read before college

Essay option #2

“At Boston College, we draw upon the Jesuit tradition of finding worthwhile conversation partners. Some support our viewpoints while others challenge them. Who fulfills this role in your life? Please cite a specific conversation you had where this conversation partner challenged your perspective or you challenged theirs.”

I know once you read this prompt you immediately thought of someone. So who was it? Who do you talk to about anything? 

Once you have identified your favorite conversation partner, write a brief few sentences about them. How do you know them? Are they related to you? 

Now, you should reflect on past conversations you have had with this person. What do you usually talk about?

To stand out from other responses, do not simply list everything you and this person have ever talked about. Rather, find a common theme in your conversations. Maybe you always talk about music with them or maybe they act as your therapist when you are having relationship issues. 

Be sure to reflect on this person and your conversations. What have you learned from them? Emphasize how crucial conversations are. Stress how finding that right person to have a conversation with is so important. 

  • Who do you have the best conversations with? 
  • What do you learn from your conversations with this person? 
  • How are conversations important for fixing problems in society? 

Don’t miss: What to include on college applications

Essay option #3

“In her November 2019 Ted Talk, “ The Danger of a Single Story, ” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi warned viewers against assigning people a “single story” through assumptions about their nationality, appearance, or background. Discuss a time when someone defined you by a single story. What challenges did this present and how did you overcome them?” 

To begin this prompt, brainstorm things someone may assume about you. Although being stereotyped or discussing racial or ethnic diversity is a great thing to do here, you can also discuss other aspects of your appearance or background. Some examples could include being labeled a dumb blonde or being assumed you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community due to a pin on your backpack. Detail this challenge in a story format to allow the admissions committee to truly understand how this experience made you feel. 

Whatever your challenge is, the most important thing in this response is that you describe how you have overcome them. Focus most of your response on this part of the prompt. Be sure to focus on how you were emotionally and mentally impacted by this challenge to demonstrate your resilience and ability to overcome a difficult situation. Remember to be as detailed as possible! The admissions committee wants to see what you did and most importantly why you did.

Lastly, for some brownie points, finish your response by connecting what you have learned back to Boston College! Describe what you have learned from this experience and what you hope to take with you on your next academic journey. In fact, try to describe specific aspects of Boston College that you will take advantage of. For example, perhaps there’s a BC club for minorities similar to you and you know you want to be a part of people who understand the challenges you’ve been through because of your minority status. 

Ultimately, make sure your response comes full circle! This will show the admissions committee your train of thought and see what you will bring to the BC community. 

  • What is an assumption someone has made about you? 
  • How do you overcome tough challenges? 
  • How has your personality been shaped by your experiences? 

Don’t miss: How to write an essay about yourself

Essay option #4

“Boston College’s founding in 1863 was in response to society’s call. That call came from an immigrant community in Boston seeking a Jesuit education to foster social mobility. Still today, the University empowers its students to use their education to address society’s greatest needs. Which of today’s local or global issues is of particular concern to you and how might you use your Boston College education to address it?”

If you are an activist, this is the prompt for you! Think about a local or global issue that you are extremely passionate about. This could be anything from recycling to a more controversial opinion. Make sure you are picking a topic you truly are interested and passionate about – it does not have to be a world-changing issue, all that matters is that your passion is there! However, try to avoid choosing a broad topic such as world hunger rather you should narrow it down. 

Next, you should describe your connection to the issue. Why is this issue important to you? What have you done to support this cause? Whatever your connection to the issue, make sure that you are highlighting your passion and concern for the cause as well as why you are passionate about this issue. 

Lastly, connect back to BC! Research and describe aspects of BC that align in some way to the issue you were discussing. Try and name specific professors, classes, clubs, etc that you are excited to interact with and why. Make sure you are describing how BC will better your fight for justice and how you will better your BC community. 

Tips for responding to this prompt

  • Avoid triggering responses such as detailing extreme violence.
  • Do not write about anything incriminating to yourself.
  • Be specific! Write about specific protests attended or organizations you supported.
  • Remember even the smallest change you were a part of can have big impacts.
  • Do not write about stereotypes. (unless you are discussing overcoming them) 
  • Exercise best judgment when using certain language. 

Related: How to write a 500 word essay

Essay option #5 (For human-centered engineering applicants only)

“One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?”

This essay prompt is essentially asking you to explain how you will use an engineering degree from Boston College to serve the “Common Good.” 

To begin, research the Human-Centered Engineering program at Boston College. What programs and aspects of the program stick out to you? 

After familiarizing yourself with their program, now brainstorm a societal problem facing us right now. Try to narrow it down to one issue.

Focus on an issue that has a personal impact. For example, maybe solar electricity is not used widely in your community and you would like to see that transition. By using your own experiences, you can make your response stronger and reveal pieces of your personality. 

If you are struggling to pick a problem, the Human-Centered Engineering website has some examples you can choose from. 

Throughout this essay, make sure to tie back to how the programs at Boston College can help you solve this main problem. Be sure to include specifics about the program that can only be found at Boston College. 

  • Why are you interested in engineering? 
  • What issues do you find most important? 
  • How can engineering aid these issues? 

Also see: Top Massachusetts scholarships

What makes Boston College unique?

When applying to any school, it’s a good idea to learn about what makes them unique before you start writing your supplemental essays. Once you find the unique characteristics about a school, you can describe the ones that interest you the most and explain why you will find success at a school that offers these features. This demonstrates your interest in and commitment to the school as well as your potential to perform well if admitted. Here are a couple of unique characteristics about Boston College that can help you write your best essays possible.

Being located in the Boston area is a major factor in the experience of students at BC. Boston is a huge city which is home to a wide range of prestigious universities. So, you’ll be in a bustling city full of other people your age receiving great college educations. You can write about how you are prepared to take advantage of this resource by visiting museums, utilizing city libraries, applying for internships, and more.

The Disney Class

One of Boston College’s most famous courses is the Disney Class . This course, officially titled, Studies in Children’s Literature, goes in-depth on the stories behind major Disney films throughout the history of the company, including how they changed popular fairy tales to create marketable movies. Professor Bonnie Rudner teaches the class, and adamant Disney fans and critics will both find something interesting from the course and learn to contextualize these canonical movies in a whole new light.

Impressive philosophy department

Boston College is especially renowned for its philosophy department, known for pushing barriers and including extensive coursework in the field of continental philosophy. Several faculty members at the college are well-known around the world, including prominent Heidegger scholar William J Richardson .

Next steps after applying to Boston College

So that’s what you should know about the BC supplemental essays! Now that the hard part is over and your application is flawless and submitted – take a deep breath! Congratulations, you did it! The hard part is now over! 

Continue to show demonstrated interest in Boston College so they know you are committed and prioritizing their school (even if you have a few other top choices.) 

This can be done by:

  • following their social media accounts
  • reaching out to admissions officers
  • scheduling an in-person or virtual tour
  • reading up on what you want to get involved in on campus 

Essentially, showing interest and staying connected will allow you to get that extra foot in the door and make your name known. Exploring your interest in Boston College will also help solidify if it is the best university for you. 

Additional resources

As a student working on college applications, you’ve got a lot on your plate. There are many decisions to make along every step of the way – fortunately, we can help you through them. Check out our guides on how many schools to apply to and how to find safety, reach, and match schools .

If you’re wondering whether to send test scores to test-optional schools , we’ve got a guide for that as well. And once you start hearing back, we can help you create a college comparison spreadsheet to make your college choice. Finally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help fund your education and keep all of your college options open. Good luck!

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Boston College (BC) 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Early Decision: Nov 1

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 2

You Have: 

Boston College 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball , Community, Why

The writing supplement topics for the 2023-24 application cycle (400 word limit):

*please select one topic, each year at university convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text. what book by a living author would you recommend for your incoming class to read, and why would this be an important shared text .

Calling all bookworms! This prompt asks you to discuss a book by a living author that has made a big enough impression on you to warrant your recommendation to others. At CEA, we always recommend that you choose an unexpected work in order to stand out from the pack. So, you might want to steer clear of books that were assigned reading in school. What have you read that stuck with you because of who you are and what you care about? Which characters did you relate to? Maybe you recently read a memoir that changed the way you approach presence. Why would your peers benefit from a new perspective on living in the moment? Perhaps the thriller you read last summer explores nuanced ethical dilemmas, a conversation-starter you think everyone should engage with. Try to be as creative as possible with your selection here and think about which books have really struck you at your core and why.

At Boston College, we draw upon the Jesuit tradition of finding worthwhile conversation partners. Some support our viewpoints while others challenge them. Who fulfills this role in your life? Please cite a specific conversation you had where this conversation partner challenged your perspective or you challenged theirs.

Whether you cherish early-morning car rides to school with your dad, late-night conversations with your sister on the couch, or chatting with your extended family over Zoom, we’re willing to bet there’s at least one person in your life who has challenged your perspectives or vice versa. And Boston College wants to hear all about it.

To make sure your response stands out from the pack, be as specific and purposeful as possible. Boston College has even gone so far as to ask you to cite a specific conversation, so follow through with a detailed account. Maybe you’ve had your beliefs challenged by a cousin who leads a very different lifestyle from you over Thanksgiving dinner. Or, perhaps, you’ve asked probing questions about your dad’s beliefs in order to better understand his worldview during a game of golf. If you can’t recall where you were at the time, no problem; but details are your friend here to add credibility. Whatever conversation you decide to write about, remember that BC is looking to accept thoughtful students to campus who are open to new ideas and engaging with diverse viewpoints.

In her November 2019 Ted Talk, “ The Danger of a Single Story ,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi warned viewers against assigning people a “single story” through assumptions about their nationality, appearance, or background.  Discuss a time when someone defined you by a single story. What challenges did this present and how did you overcome them?

This prompt will likely stick out to students who know what it’s like to be reduced to one aspect of their background or identity, and odds are, you’d have a specific memory in mind. As you write your response, you’ll want to make sure you summarize your account as succinctly as possible; that way, you can dedicate most of your words to discussing how you felt, how you responded, and how you overcame these challenges. You only have 400 words to work with, so you won’t be able to write a thesis on the general public’s preconceived notions about people living with a disability or women who choose to wear hijabs, but you can reveal more information about your background and experiences living in a world where stories are often assigned to you before you have the chance to introduce yourself.

Boston College’s founding in 1863 was in response to society’s call. That call came from an immigrant community in Boston seeking a Jesuit education to foster social mobility. Still today, the University empowers its students to use their education to address society’s greatest needs. Which of today’s local or global issues is of particular concern to you and how might you use your Boston College education to address it?

Admissions wants to know how you plan to use a BC education to address issues dear to your heart. What you focus on here can be reflective of larger cultural constructs or specific to your city or town. Maybe you have experienced environmental racism firsthand, having had your community’s air and water supply polluted by nearby factory farms for decades. Are you pursuing an Environmental Geoscience degree in hopes of eventually changing laws to improve the health of your community and others experiencing similar injustices? Perhaps you’ve been filming your family and friends since you could wrap your fingers around a camera, so you’re pursuing a degree in Film Studies in hopes of changing peoples’ hearts and minds about your community, however large or small that may be, through powerful documentary storytelling. Whatever path you’re on and issue you’re hoping to address in your career, be sure to use specific examples—both from your own past and from BC’s offerings—to distinguish yourself.

Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) Applicants only : One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?

This prompt, exclusively for Human-Centered Engineering Applicants, is incredibly similar to prompt #3, and our advice is the same: select at least one societal problem that weighs on your heart, explain its significance to you, and describe how you will take advantage of an HCE education to find a solution. You’d be wise to spend some time exploring the HCE program and BC’s offerings at large to show that you’ve done your research and dedicated time to thinking about your future goals and the steps you will take to achieve them.

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boston college example essays

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5 Successful Boston College Essay Examples

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  • college application essays

Are you applying to Boston College this fall? This Jesuit-affiliated college is one of few schools that don’t require any supplemental essays, which puts more emphasis on your personal statement. Here are 5 essay intro examples that were successful:

boston college example essays

When describing my home of—-, I would define it as a typical English village. But what is typical for me is not normal to everyone else. My normal is growing up in a village with a pub that can fit only ten people. It is going to boarding school in an area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’. Normal is joining a primary school, attended by Winston Churchill, which was built around a 14th century manor house, and had only 138 students. It is having the closest town of—- being named ‘one of the strangest places to live’ due to its many converging religions. Some might not call this normal, but I’ve always called it home. Keep reading .

boston college example essays

A frizzy mane of unruly ringlets crowns me as the owner of the Hair That Cannot Be Tamed. With corkscrew curls poking out freely from every inch of my head, I am quickly given the nickname “Fro-Fro”—half lovingly and half mockingly—by the children in my 5th grade class. Believing that there is truth in their ridicule, I decide to try out a new ‘do. I make a valiant attempt to tame my curls by creating two buns atop my head in a Minnie Mouse-like fashion, in what I thought would become the be-all and end-all fad of 2007: View full essay .

Eringriffin

From the bright orange Indian tapestry and the intricately woven Iranian prayer mat hanging on the wall to the Romanian tea kettle perched precariously among piles of ungraded papers and tests, Ms. Moore’s World Literature classroom can more accurately be likened to a room in the Museum of Natural History than a 10th grade English classroom. Contrasting with the typical “hang in there” and “math is fun!” posters plastered on the walls of my other high school classrooms, the unconventional décor of Ms. Moore’s room is the first clue to any visitor that Room 187 is a unique learning environment. Darting from one end of the room to the other, a just under five-foot woman with cropped brown hair and glasses greets me as soon as I walk in the door. Calling me a biscuit, a nickname she reserves for her students, Ms. Moore makes coming into English feel like coming home. The room is warm and filled with excitement, a community of people passionate about literature and global issues presented in our readings. Although 10th grade has come and passed, the room and its owner still welcome me and all other students. The room itself, the teacher, and the community of Room 187 make it a place where I was and still am completely content. Read more . 

boston college example essays

As I slow my stride to look around, I see others on my track team working through their exhaustion and keeping a steady pace. Most of the time I can push forward, as the track is where I find solace and really feel alive. Sports have always been a large part of my life, but today I can’t help imagine running off the track straight into my home to fill the mold of my bed. I normally don’t concede to my fatigue, but sometimes the early wake ups, long train rides, and hours of work at school leave me wanting nothing more than to go home to recharge and come back rejuvenated another day. Unfortunately, home has not always been the best place for me to do this. Continue reading . 

I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of getting sick. I’m afraid of ghosts in my basement. I’m even afraid to eat my Grandma’s cooking – those expiration dates are there for a reason! Being home alone frightens me because I never know what could happen. A robber could break in. A tree could fall and crash through the roof. The electricity could go out and I could fall down the stairs in the dark. I was never afraid of elevators until I went on the Tower of Terror at MGM Studios. Now I’m afraid of ending up in the “Twilight Zone” instead of the hotel lobby. All of these fears paralyzed me for years and I was unable to fully enjoy life. View full . 

Are you looking to apply to Boston College  or just starting to build out  your college list ? Make sure to search through  profiles of students  accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong

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.

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boston college example essays

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Boston College Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Advice

July 20, 2023

EssayBoston College’s 15% acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 is half of what it was just five years ago. Today, accepted students earned an average SAT score of 1511. Additionally, you need an all-around stellar academic resume to get serious consideration at this highly-selective Jesuit university. Writing an excellent Common App  and Boston College supplemental essay are two of the more critical components of the BC application.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into BC? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into Boston College  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Below are the BC supplemental essay prompts for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. Additionally, we offer tips about how to write a winning composition. NOTE: If you are applying to Human-Centered Engineering, you must respond to the Human-Centered Engineering-specific prompt. All other applicants will choose one of the four remaining options.

Boston College Supplemental Essay Option #1

Each year at University Convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text. What book by a living author would you recommend for your incoming class to read, and why would this be an important shared text? 

By the age of 17/18, many of us have at least one book that holds a special place in our hearts and speaks to us in a deep way about the human condition. For this prompt, you can select a fiction or nonfiction work. It can be a commonly read text that you encountered in school or a book that you read for pleasure. There are genuinely no limits here. As long as you can eloquently communicate how the text can be a launching off point for a powerful and generative discussion about one or more essential elements of the human experience.

Boston College Essay Option #2

At Boston College, we draw upon the Jesuit tradition of finding worthwhile conversation partners. Some support our viewpoints while others challenge them. Who fulfills this role in your life? Please cite a specific conversation you had where this conversation partner challenged your perspective or you challenged theirs.

Who do you engage in deep conversations with? For some, this may be a sibling, parent, grandparent, or other family member. For others, it may be a friend, spiritual leader, or teacher. If you are someone who regularly engages in meaningful discourse with another individual or a group of peers or adults, this can be an excellent prompt to choose. Note that the prompt specifies “issues and problems facing society”. This offers limitless possibilities from the environment, to global conflict, to political polarization. Feel free to use the 400 words worth of real estate to cover two or more conversational topics/themes.

BC Supplemental Essay Option #3

In her November 2019 Ted Talk, “ The Danger of a Single Story, ” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi warned viewers against assigning people a “single story” through assumptions about their nationality, appearance, or background. Discuss a time when someone defined you by a single story. What challenges did this present and how did you overcome them?

You have the option of taking this in the same direction as the author. If you have been judged by your nationality, appearance, or background, prompt #3 is an opportunity to share a deeply personal story, showing vulnerability and grit in overcoming obstacles. However, there is another legitimate avenue in addressing this prompt…

Human beings have a tendency to pigeonhole others. Families, in particular, may take one incidence of something in childhood and define you by it for years (or even decades) to come. You don’t have to be part of a marginalized population to experience a reductive attack on your sense of self. Either approach this prompt can result in an intriguing composition that reveals more about how you perceive the world.

BC Supplemental Essay Option #4

Boston College’s founding in 1863 was in response to society’s call. That call came from an immigrant community in Boston seeking a Jesuit education to foster social mobility. Still today, the University empowers its students to use their education to address society’s greatest needs. Which of today’s local or global issues is of particular concern to you and how might you use your Boston College education to address it?

The admissions committee wants to make sure that your personal aims align with those of the university, as indicated in their mission statement. This mission is foster“the rigorous intellectual development and the religious, ethical and personal formation of its undergraduate, graduate and professional students in order to prepare them for citizenship, service and leadership in a global society.” The strongest answers usually include some level of previous participation/community service on the part of the applicant. For example, if you are concerned about voting rights and the preservation of the democratic process, you may have volunteered with a relevant organization.

HCE Essay Prompt

Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) Applicants only:  One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?

The merger of science/technology and humanity forms the core of the  HCE program  which opened its doors in the fall of 2021. You undoubtedly have reasons for choosing this particular engineering program that “integrates BC’s core liberal arts curriculum with courses in foundational and advanced engineering that emphasize societal responsibility.” You may want to use the list of foundational topics covered in the program as you enter the prewriting phase for this essay:

  • Introduction to Human-Centered Engineering and Design
  • Human Factors in Engineering Design
  • Engineering for Development
  • Engineering Foundations Studio (includes topics such as Dynamics, Circuits, Transport phenomena, Thermodynamics, and Environmental Systems)
  • Introduction to Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Advanced electives
  • Collaborative Service Engineering Project
  • Senior Impact Project

How important are the essays at Boston College?

Presently, Boston College considers two factors to be “very important” in evaluating a candidate. They are: the GPA earned, and the rigor of one’s curriculum. Further, nine factors rate as “important”: class rank, recommendations, essays, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, legacy status, religious affiliation, and volunteer work. In other words, the essays are definitely an important admissions factor at BC.

Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Boston College supplemental essay, we encourage you to  get a quote  today.

  • College Essay

Andrew Belasco

A licensed counselor and published researcher, Andrew's experience in the field of college admissions and transition spans two decades. He has previously served as a high school counselor, consultant and author for Kaplan Test Prep, and advisor to U.S. Congress, reporting on issues related to college admissions and financial aid.

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How to Answer the Boston College Supplemental Essay

Bonus Material : PrepMaven’s Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet

Many top-tier universities and colleges in the U.S. now require applicants to submit at least one additional essay. 

Boston College is one of these colleges–it requires students to submit one 400-word essay in addition to their personal statement.

What are the prompts for this essay? And how should you respond?

We’ve got the answers to these questions in this post. We also give readers access to a great resource: the top 50 most selective colleges in the U.S. and their supplemental essays for 2020-2021, in one easy-to-read spreadsheet.

Grab it below.

Download Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet

Here’s what we cover:

  • Boston College’s Supplemental Essay Prompt for 2020-2021

Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompt #1

Boston college supplemental essay prompt #2, boston college supplemental essay prompt #3, boston college supplemental essay prompt #4.

  • Bonus: PrepMaven’s Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet

Boston College’s Supplemental Essay for 2020-2021

Students applying to Boston College only have to write one 400-word supplemental essay. However, they do have to choose between four prompts .

We would like to get a better sense of you. Please respond to one of the following prompts. (400 word limit)

1. Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?

2. When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?

3. Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?

4. Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?

In the next section, we provide pointers for responding to each of these four prompts.

How to Respond to Each Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompt

  • Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration? (400 words)

We encourage students to select one specific work of art to discuss in this essay response. Think broadly here. Consider what comes to mind when you think of the following, for example:

  • Your most-played Spotify playlists or songs
  • The books on your bookshelf
  • Syllabi from past English classes
  • Speeches you’ve heard or studied 
  • Spoken word poetry

You might want to build a list of works at first and narrow down from there. If you have trouble narrowing your list down, jump ahead to the next set of questions. Ideally, the work of art you choose should give you a lot of room to discuss its impact on you.

Once you’ve identified the song, poem, speech, or novel you’d like to discuss, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are this piece of art’s main themes? 
  • Social issues
  • Relationships, etc.
  • What were the circumstances under which you encountered this work of art?
  • What were your initial impressions? 
  • What are your current impressions? (Do they differ from your initial impressions?)
  • What specific insights has this work of art generated?
  • Does it inspire you? In what way?
  • What does this work of art have to do with your beliefs, values, and/or perspectives of the world?

When crafting your response, students should identify the work of art from the outset and offer a brief description. Don’t be shy about plunging in, as you only have 400 words for your response. Here’s an example of what that might look like:

I first encountered Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” in my sophomore year English class, during a time when literature had not yet taken the priority it has today in my life.  

It’s also vital to spend less time describing this work of art and more time describing how it has inspired or influenced you in the essay as a whole. The admissions readers will be more interested in the part of this response that concerns you after all!

Your essay should, for example, be rich with the following kind of statements.

“The Great Gatsby”’s interrogation of the American Dream has challenged me to redefine what “success” actually means to me; in fact, it has motivated me to more precisely articulate my academic and personal goals in terms of their relationship to my core values.

Feel free to connect the insights you’ve drawn to other aspects of your life, too, such as extracurricular activities, service projects, and independent research, but these should serve only as examples of actions this work of art has inspired.

A nice way to conclude your essay might be referencing this piece of art’s current role in your life, as in the following example:

I know I will always keep a copy of “The Great Gatsby ” on my bookshelf as a reminder of the importance of human relationships, honesty, and integrity.
  • When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community? (400 words)

This prompt is very broad, which can be both beneficial and challenging for students. With this prompt, however, admissions officers are interested in diversity . They are also interested in diversity that will “enrich” the campus community, which means that this prompt is also interested in what you have to offer or contribute .

What do we mean by “diversity”? Diversity can refer to any of the following:

  • Cultural background
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Socioeconomic circumstances
  • Religious traditions
  • Perspectives

We encourage students to learn more about the Boston College community and its values before responding to this prompt. You can do so by attending virtual information sessions, for example, or spending some time on the BC website.

Identifying school mission statements can also be helpful for picking a place to start here. Boston College’s mission encompasses service, the search for truth, academic excellence, and research.

You might want to use some of these keywords to think about the part of your specific story that might “enrich” the BC community. Here are some sample questions to ask:

  • What experiences have I had in searching for truth?
  • What have my encounters with service looked like?
  • What is distinct or unique about my background?

As with all of these prompts, it’s more important to choose an experience or aspect of your background that will give you a lot to say about what you have to bring to this campus community. 

What’s more, because of the broadness of this prompt, you can feel free to refer to a broader component of “your story,” as opposed to one specific experience, including heritage, identity, traditions, language, and beliefs.

When responding to this prompt, make sure to give ample room to the following:

  • The part of your story that you want to highlight (and what this says about your own specific diversity)
  • How this will enrich the Boston College community

It’s often easier for students to tackle the first bullet point here, and harder to address the second. That’s okay, as the first bullet point, according to the language of the prompt, is the most important.

But you don’t want to leave admissions officers guessing about that enrichment factor here. You’ll want at least a few sentences that speak to your own understanding of how you’ll enrich this community, as in this example:

Through these experiences, I have learned the social resonance of being bilingual, and how language really is the key to creating stronger communities. I am eager to bring this attention to the words that connect us to Boston College, which places a premium on diversity and community.

Notice how this example specifically identifies what this applicant intends to offer BC. This is important! These lines also serve as a great conclusion.

  • Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why? (400 words)

This is a long, fancy way of asking students the following question: what do you think the most pressing issue in the world is, and why?

It’s also important to notice the buzzwords Boston College incorporates into this prompt: “liberal arts,” “quality,” “personal formation,” and “critical issues.” As you reflect on the pressing issue or question you’d like to discuss, keep these terms in mind. Ideally, the issue you choose should come from a place of deep honesty and also have to do with something that is critical and meaningful on multiple levels.

It seems like a tall order, but ask yourself the following questions as you brainstorm:

  • What issue keeps you up at night?
  • What question hasn’t yet been answered that you desperately want to answer?
  • If you could solve one problem in the world with a snap of your fingers, what would it be?
  • What stands in the way of the common good currently?

The prompt is broad enough that you can literally choose any question or problem you wish (“enduring” or “contemporary”), on any scale, to address.

Once you’ve selected your question or problem, think about the following:

  • Why does this matter?
  • On what scale(s) does this matter?
  • How did you first encounter this question or problem? How do you currently engage with it?
  • Why is it important for students to learn about this?
  • What impact would examining this problem or issue have? On what levels?
  • What does this say about you?

When writing your response, spend less time discussing the question or issue and more time describing its meaning. Your perceived meaning of this issue is, after all, what admissions officers are most interested in, as it says a lot about who you are as an individual in this world and your capacity for self-awareness.

Be sure to specifically identify this problem or question from the outset, for clarity’s sake. Here’s an example:

In my college course, I would address the following question: What does it actually mean to be a feminist in 2021?

If you’ve chosen something rather broad, be sure to describe what you would specifically focus on within that broader category, as in this example:

In my college course, I would address the following question: What does it actually mean to be a feminist in 2021? Specifically, I would encourage my students to consider how the definition of feminism has evolved since its inception and approach modern feminism through the lenses of race and media.

As you discuss the meaning of this question or issue, be sure you’re very clear about the following two things:

  • why you are personally invested in this issue / question
  • why it matters on a larger scale

You can address the first bullet point by incorporating personal anecdote, if you’d like. This is a great way to introduce the second bullet point, too! Here’s an example:

I was raised in a household that claimed it was staunchly feminist. I read books with female protagonists and was told that to be a girl was to have a special superpower. Yet over the years, I’ve come to scrutinize this term in a new fashion.
  • Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good? (400 words)

This prompt contains many excellent keywords that indicate what college admissions officers are interested in here. Keep these in mind as you are drafting your response:

  • Growth 
  • Beliefs and values 
  • Common good

It is also a two-question prompt. Students should make sure that they respond adequately to both of these questions in their 400-word essay:

  • What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today?
  • Wow will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?

Use the structure of these questions to your advantage! You can spend the first part of your essay discussing those beliefs and values and the second portion addressing how BC will assist you in thinking and acting for the “common good.” 

To begin, we recommend brainstorming your core values and beliefs. You might already have done some of this work prior to crafting your personal statement. We’ve provided some examples of values and beliefs below.

Honesty
Integrity
Empathy
Compassion
Altruism
Sincerity
Perseverance 
“It’s always important to lead with the heart”
“Place others’ needs before your own”
“Unity over division”
“Everyone has a fundamental right to expression”

It can also be helpful to anchor these values and beliefs in specific experiences and/or anecdotes. This will make it easier to tell a story and to focus on your core values and beliefs (as opposed to all of them!).

For example, your value for honesty might be deeply related to your desire to pursue a career in law. Or perhaps your belief in “unity over division” is related to your commitment to social justice.

If you’re having trouble coming up with values and beliefs, think about the second part of the question: “inform your decisions and actions.” What guides the decisions that you make in your life? What inspires action?

Here is an excerpt from a sample response demonstrating an applicant’s beliefs and values:

I have always believed in the power of compassion, yet only fully understood the potential of this value when I started volunteering at a local shelter for women in recovery…Through this experience, I have learned that compassion is what unites us all despite our differences, and this is what guides every decision-making process.

Students often struggle with the second portion of this prompt. While this is not specifically a “why Boston College” prompt, students should be specific about how they foresee BC will help them with their character formation, specifically the formation of values that have to do with the “common good.”

The key word here is “how.” 

Once again, it can be helpful to learn more about Boston College’s mission and teaching philosophy. According to its website, for example, BC’s mission encompasses service, the search for truth, academic excellence, and research. Many of its courses encourage the act of self reflection and “asking of big questions.”

Think about how this mission and philosophy relates to the beliefs and values you’ve pinpointed. 

Then think about the other components of BC that will help you become an even better person . In other words, what about BC is going to help you grow as a person with a set of values (and not just a scholar)?

Consider the following:

  • Your prospective major and that department at BC
  • Extracurricular activities, especially service
  • Opportunities at BC that reflect your values and beliefs

Here is an excerpt from a sample response:

Boston College’s commitment to service aligns with my profound desire to apply my innate compassion to all kinds of communities: a vibrant student body, a strong biology department, and the broader volunteering community.

Download Our Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet

Applying to several top-tier colleges? We’ve compiled the supplemental essay prompts for the 50 most selective U.S. colleges and universities in one FREE easy-to-access spreadsheet!

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • The supplemental essay prompt(s) the 50 most selective U.S. colleges / universities
  • Word limits for each prompt
  • Application deadlines for each (early and regular)

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Boston University Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022

Not sure how to approach the Boston University supplemental essays? CollegeAdvisor.com’s Boston University Supplemental Essay 2021 Guide will show you exactly how to write engaging Boston University supplemental essays to maximize your chances of admission. If you need help crafting your answers to the Boston University supplemental essays, create your free  account  or  schedule a free advising consultation  by calling  (844) 343-6272.

Boston University  Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • For the class of 2025, the  Boston University acceptance rate was 18.3% , with over half of those admitted through Early Decision.
  • We recommend answering the required Why Boston University essay and the optional Boston University essay comprehensively and thoughtfully.

What is Boston University known for?

Boston University is known for its location, wide array of graduate programs, and small student-to-faculty ratio.

Who wouldn’t want to study in Boston? This is a city known colloquially as “America’s college town.” In Boston, you’ll also brush elbows with students from the nearby Boston College and MIT, each located less than ten minutes away. The location is ideal for those who want a fast-paced environment with new faces every day.

In the graduate school department, BU’s  law school  and  medical school  are internationally renowned. If you fall in love as an undergraduate and don’t want to leave, you’ll have plenty of options.

Finally, the  student-to-faculty ratio  at Boston University is 10-1. This means that seminars will be engaging, large lecture courses will be a rarity, and professors will be unusually accessible to the student body. Yet another reason to rave about BU in your Why Boston University essay.

What are three interesting facts about BU?

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a doctor until attending  graduate school at BU , where he attained a Ph.D. in systematic theology.
  • BU has an  annual lobster night  in the dining halls, fitting for their New England location.
  • Boston University has  changed its name four times  throughout its history and was originally located in Vermont rather than Massachusetts.

What is the Boston University acceptance rate?

As mentioned in the quick facts section, the Boston University acceptance rate hovers just below 20%. This makes BU one of the more selective universities. The Early Decision Boston University acceptance rate, by contrast, is typically 40-50% on account of the strength of ED candidates and the influence of demonstrated interest.

To maximize your admissions odds, you’ll need to distinguish yourself from the pack in your Why BU essay and additional Boston University supplemental essay. This is where our guide—or a consultation with our team—can help you.

Does Boston University require supplemental essays?

There is one required Boston University supplemental essay 2021 (in addition to your  Common App Personal Statement ) as well as one optional Boston University essay prompt. Given the relatively low Boston University acceptance rate, we recommend completing both Boston University supplemental essays to maximize your chances of admission.

How many essays do I have to write for Boston University?

You are required to write one Boston University supplemental essay 2021: the Why BU essay. In addition to this required Boston University essay, however, you can choose to complete an optional prompt.

Boston University Supplemental Essay 2021: Prompt 1 (Required)

The first Boston University supplemental essay 2021 prompt is as follows:

“What about being a student at Boston University most excites you?” (250 words maximum.)

This is a Why BU essay similar to the “why school” essays you might have encountered on other applications. Essentially, this Boston University essay asks you to explain why you want to go to Boston University over any other college. What are you passionate about that only BU can offer?

How do I write the Boston University Supplemental Essay?

When approaching this Boston University supplemental essay 2021, remember that you don’t have much space. With a word limit of 250, your Why BU essay should revolve around a singular topic. While the prompt may be broad, it is best just to fully develop one idea in your Boston University essay. After all, the first Boston University supplemental essay prompt specifically asks what “most” excites you. What’s the one thing you’d most look forward to experiencing at BU?

Make a list

To find the perfect topic for your Boston University supplemental essay 2021, construct two lists. The first list should rank aspects of college in general (not BU-specific!) that you’re most excited about, sorted from most excitement to least. Examples of things to list include academics, professional opportunities, traditions, campus life, and social events, among others. The second list should include the specific parts of the college experience that you look forward to at BU. This might include the chance to learn in  small classes , watch BU’s well-known  hockey team  play, or visit the  many museums in Boston . You can, again, sort these items in a descending manner. See this page’s “What is Boston University known for?” section for some inspiration, but do your own research as well.

After this brainstorming session, work your way down both lists. The first item that appears high on both lists should likely be the topic of your Why Boston University essay. For instance, if you listed that you were most excited about academics and also wrote about a particular professor at BU whose work you admire, you’ve got an essay! This strategy will ensure that: one, you’re focusing on an aspect of the college experience that genuinely excites you; and two, that this aspect is something that Boston University offers. This will form the focus of your why Boston University essay.

Develop your topic

Once you’ve chosen a topic for your Why Boston University essay, it’s time to develop it. Visit the BU website and look for anecdotes to include in your Boston University supplemental essay. If you’re excited about BU’s many clubs, then you should read the  student organizations page . If you’re excited about the robust liberal arts education BU offers, then you should research  BU’s College of Arts and Sciences . Your Boston University supplemental essay can go in many directions, but each direction should lead you to a specific detail about the school. The prompt asks for specific information about BU; generalized statements that could apply to any school will not stand out.

The relatively low Boston University acceptance rate means that you should do all you can to make your Why Boston University essay stand out. If your Why Boston University essay seems under-researched or unoriginal, you likely won’t stand out to the admissions team. To this end, your Why BU essay should be as specific as possible within your area of interest. Don’t just talk about clubs in general; mention the  Allegrettos  by name (if you’re musically inclined)! Don’t simply state that you’re excited about the prospects of a study in political science; instead, say you can’t wait to take  Congress and its Critics . The more specific information you can include in your Why BU essay, the better. Your Why Boston University essay should show that you’ve done your research.

To summarize, find aspects of college you look forward to. Cross-reference these with specific opportunities available at Boston University. Once you find the overlap, research BU within your target area. Finally, when crafting your Why BU essay, include as many specific details as possible.

Stay focused

Let’s explore an example about a hypothetical BU applicant. In high school, this student was involved with archery and marching band. They hope to pursue both these activities in college. When researching their Boston University supplemental essay 2021, they notice that BU has a prominent  marching band  that performs at athletic events and that archery is just a relatively small-scale club sport. This student should then focus their essay on their enthusiasm for life at BU as a student and a band member. They would incorporate classes relevant to their prospective major of  applied math  alongside examples of how the BU marching band would fit well with such a challenging area of study because of its  balanced rehearsal and performance schedule . They may include a sentence or so on joining the archery team, but the main focus of their Why BU essay should remain on marching band.

BU Supplemental Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your Why BU essay describe one (and only one) thing you’re excited to pursue at BU?
  • Do you provide detailed reasons why BU is the right school for you?
  • Does your Why BU essay complement the other aspects of your application?

Boston University Supplemental Essay 2021: Prompt 2 (Optional)

The optional Boston University essay prompt reads:

“Additional Information (optional): Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.” (2000 words maximum.)

Because the Boston University acceptance rate is low, you should complete this second Boston University supplemental essay to help your application stand out.

This will become especially important if you plan to be a part of the more prepared  Early Decision  pool. BU offers two rounds of Early Decision—one in November and one in January. Regardless of which ED cycle you choose, you should complete the optional Boston University essay prompt to maximize your admissions odds.

How do I write the optional Boston University supplemental essay?

The high word limit for this Boston University supplemental essay should be the first clue that this is no ordinary prompt. Instead, this optional essay allows you to show a non-academic side of yourself that the admissions team might otherwise overlook.

You might approach this prompt by attaching any piece of work you’re particularly proud of. Do you have a poem that won a competition? A speech you read to your school that inspired an increase in the vaccination rate? If so, include it. You might also offer the admissions team some context for the particular piece, perhaps as a new page inserted before the actual document. You have 2,000 words to burn, after all. Additionally, note that “materials” in this sense does not exclusively mean written work. The prompt accepts a file upload, meaning that you can also submit images, art, or other projects.

Fill in application gaps

You could also approach this Boston University supplemental essay by thinking about what’s missing from your other application materials. Is there an important aspect of your identity that you haven’t yet been able to highlight in your essays? For instance, maybe you go to the opening of every new gallery in your neighborhood. Or perhaps, you had a formative experience as a child that influenced your current trajectory. You could also be an athlete that wakes up before sunrise every morning to get in those extra hours of training. If you’re passionate about a topic and haven’t discussed it in your other materials (including your Why Boston University essay), this is the moment to let it shine.

Not sure whether any of your activities fit these qualifications? Try this exercise: think of the five activities that most define you. If you haven’t addressed one of these activities on your application, you should describe it here. While this Boston University supplemental essay prompt allows you to structure your response however you see fit, you might find that the prompt lends itself best to a narrative format. If you struggle to find the right way to frame this essay, consider telling a story about yourself.

Explain special circumstances

Finally, you might choose to use this optional Boston University supplemental essay to explain external circumstances that have influenced your application. If any extenuating circumstances have impacted your grades, test scores, or extracurricular involvements, this Boston University essay gives you the chance to address any concerns in your own words. For instance, you may have had a family emergency that caused you to score lower on the SAT than you would have hoped. Or, maybe your senior fall grades dropped because of a bout with COVID that lined up with midterms. Whatever the case may be, you can use this Boston University supplemental essay 2021 to explain any special circumstances around your application. Due to the relatively low Boston University acceptance rate, this context can make a major difference in admissions.

  • Does your Boston University essay add important information not available in the rest of your application?
  • Do you contextualize any elements of your application that require further explanation?
  • Does your essay enrich the other aspects of your application?

Additional tips for the Boston University essay

  • Complete your Common Application Personal Statement before drafting your Boston University essay.
  • Create a checklist of what the prompt asks for. Then, check off each box as you write the respective section in your Boston University supplemental essay.
  • If you were to replace Boston University with another college’s name, would your Why BU essay still make sense? If it does, then you have not included enough details in your Why BU essay.

BU Supplemental Essays: Final Thoughts

Completing each Boston University supplemental essay 2021 can seem daunting, but don’t let them discourage you from applying. Instead, view these Boston University essays as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions team. Maybe you’re applying with a lower-than-average SAT score. A well-written set of responses to the Boston University essay prompts can work in your favor.

Use this guide to help you approach each Boston University application essay with a solid strategy and a timeline that gives you a few months to draft and revise each of your answers. Good luck!

This 2021-2022 essay guide on Boston University was written by  Juliana Furigay , Columbia ‘23. If you need help crafting your BU supplemental essays, visit app.collegeadvisor.com to create your free  account  or  schedule a no-cost advising consultation  by calling (844) 719-4984.

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Boston College Undergraduate College Application Essays

These Boston College college application essays were written by students accepted at Boston College. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Please use these sample admission essays responsibly.

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College Application Essays accepted by Boston College

The absurd, the prom anthony haddad, boston college.

In ninth grade, we learned that Voltaire's Candide was a satire on society, expressed through the absurd extremities Candide must face. In "What Befell Candide among the Bulgarians", 'our hero' must 'run the gauntlet six and thirty times through...

An Academic Affair Anthony Haddad

Oh, you naughty girl you! NO, I can't spend the night, I have so much work to do. I'm sorry...look...I promise I'll make it up to you on the weekend. I won't even go see my friends on Friday. Yeah, I promise. Sure, of course I think about you...I...

College Diet Renata De Sousa

Why do most diets fail? As a veteran dieter with nearly eight years' experience, I have acquired enough knowledge to answer this question. Those who readily jump into new diets are looking to realize possible goals through impossible methodology....

Wanting to be a Nurse Meghan Crann

I can remember as a little kid that when someone would get hurt on the playground, everyone would get upset at the sight of blood. Unlike everyone else, I would be the first to offer to bring them to the nurse and sit with them as the nurse...

"All That Matters" Anonymous

No matter how old I grow, the meaning of friendship has always remained the same - loyalty, sympathy, understanding, and unwavering support. I learned this lesson early in life, back when my best friend's trampoline was the cornerstone of my...

Thursday Mentoring Anonymous

Every Thursday, my classmates and I mount the small yellow school bus and travel to South Orange. While some students run onto the fields, dressed in soccer gear, I sit back and anxiously wait to arrive at the foster home. While others rush home...

Pressure Anonymous

"Pressure is the amount of force exerted on an object by the air above it," my physics teacher explained. I jotted down the definition but then began to think...if only it were that simple.

So what is pressure really? Pressure is juggling three...

The Loss Edgard Duche

Sweat poured down my face as I struggled to breathe. I was dehydrated and exhausted, and I was trying as hard as I could not to give up. From the bleachers and the sidelines, the eyes of every member of the crowd were focused intently on me. One...

Watch Me Callie Adam

I'm sure I have the visiting team's attention by the time I finish my first lap around the soccer field. Standing in a circle, contemplating my presence, they venture guesses quietly, "Cross country? Lost? Girl's soccer?" Finishing my second lap,...

Experience Anonymous

When I started high school, like most freshmen, I was unsure of what I wanted to study in college. I knew that I needed a major that I was interested in and excited me. It had to be something that drove me to be better everyday than I was the...

From Charity Case to Friend Anonymous

Harlan County, Kentucky, deemed the poorest in the United States, hosts the Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries' (CYFM) Appalachian Mission Program every July. For the past two years I have been a participant. The first year I worked as a manual...

A New Life Konstantin Drabkin

I still remember it like it was yesterday. After seven days of grueling labor pushing my body to its limits, I was proudly walking - no, strutting. As my clean and pressed uniform held my new ribbons for the world to see, I looked up to the stands...

Piano Conquest Anonymous

It was a crisp, clear January day in Park Ridge, New Jersey, a few miles from the middle of nowhere. Before me stood an imposing sight: Schubert’s Impromptu. With a length of fourteen pages and a required foundation of meticulous technical skills,...

Lesson Well Learned Anonymous

The black and white keys mesmerized me, as always. They were of another ancestry - Steinway – different from the Yamaha I owned; but as I sat on the meticulously handcrafted ebony bench, I felt at home. My hands floated effortlessly upward, and...

A Newfound Nostalgia Katherine Perry

Describe an aspect of your childhood/upbringing that shaped the person you are today.

In a navy blue Volvo station wagon my entire childhood evolved. Inside, memories rested alongside the hardened French fries and squashed fruit snacks that lined...

“Buenos días, ¿cómo estás?” Anonymous

When my dad first began working in Mexico, I nonchalantly changed my schedule to include seventh grade “Intro to Spanish.” Naturally, I didn’t think twice about what would later prove a crucial decision—few seventh graders realize how such simple...

Me in 1000 words Anonymous

I shop at the local thrift store often. I know its six sections of racks and shelves as if they were in my own closet. I don’t shop there for financial reasons, nor do I shop there for trendy fashion finds. I shop there for the stories the...

A Man of Convictions Eric Tracz

I am well known for having many strongly held personal convictions. Whether people look fondly on my convictions or harness utter disdain for them is a completely different story. Some are seen to be outrageous, such as believing that dipping...

From Tackle Practice to the Barre Anonymous

I lead a double life. You don’t often find someone who both dances and plays football. I suppose that makes me a statistical anomaly, because I go to tackle practice at six a.m. and barre class at six p.m. I love dance because it’s art with...

As I Am Michael William Bell

Most people are surprised to find out that I am dyslexic. Of course, most people don’t know. It’s not that I am ashamed of it, just that I don’t like to tell people about my problems. It is hard to hide, however, when a teacher asks me to read...

Sandy's Lesson Michael William Bell

There is a special bond that forms between a dog and its owner. Sandy and I were no exception. That was why I wasn't really surprised when my mom told me the news. In a way, I already knew.

My family got Sandy when I was six, so she was a part of...

Home Run Kevin Tente

“Home run!” my teammate yelled, laughing.

I winced, trying to hide my embarrassment; a home run would have been great if I had been playing baseball, but I was at my first high school tennis practice, and instead of the ball ending up on...

Diverse Identity Anonymous

“Dinner is ready!” Every Sunday a member of our family takes a turn choosing what we’re having for dinner, and today was my turn. My mother had prepared all of my favorite food, from foie gras to sea urchin sushi to satay. As we began eating, my...

Looking Past the Rearview and into the Future Anonymous

Computers, video games, iPhones. Fuel injected, cereal box import rice rockets dominate the streets. Hybrid cars and green technology. Pop, rap and screamo. For better or for worse, times have changed. While modern applications serve their...

Recent Questions about Boston College

The Question and Answer section for Boston College is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Japanese Culture

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The author uses the word mensch in paragraph three. Find the meaning and relevance of the word in the context of the essay: 'The Untranslatable word"Macho". Justify your answer

I'm sorry, when you posted your initial question I requested that you provide the text (paragraph) in question. I have not been able to locate a copy of the essay you've cited.

from the essay of ''the untranslatable word macho''identify the thesis statement of the essay. by focusing on the first two paragraphs, explain how the thesis is developed in the central argument to those two paragraphs.

Sorry, I don't have this essay.

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College Essays

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If you're applying to Boston University this year, you're in luck: most applicants only need to submit one supplemental BU essay.

In this article, we'll cover what the Boston University essay prompts are, how to answer them, and provide key tips for writing the best application essays possible.

What Are the Boston University Essays?

Boston University requires all its applicants to respond to one Boston University essay as part of its admissions requirements (in addition to the Common App or Coalition App essay). You may also have to respond to an additional essay, depending on what school or program you're applying to.

Boston University accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application for admission , so you can choose whichever application you prefer and apply to Boston University (including submitting your essays) through that application's platform.

The essays are an important part of your application—they give you a chance to show the admissions committee a different side of your personality than what they see in the rest of your application. The Boston University essays also give you a chance to wow the admissions committee with your creativity and writing skills, so it's important to put a lot of effort into your essays to make them as strong as possible.

Boston University Essay Prompts and Requirements

There are a number of different Boston University essay prompts, depending on what program you are applying to and whether or not you decide to apply for a scholarship.

All students must answer the "Why Boston University" essay. You can also choose to submit additional work in the "Extra Space" part of the application. Applicants to the Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine, Kilachand Honors College, and the Trustees Scholarships must also answer additional essays, each with their own word count and requirements.

Let's take a look at each of the prompts:

"Why Boston University"

"Extra Space" [OPTIONAL]

For Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine applicants:

For Kilachand Honors College applicants:

The mission of Kilachand Honors College is to offer a challenging liberal arts education grounded in critical and creative thinking, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and the real-world application of knowledge. Please see https://www.bu.edu/khc/about/ for more details about our program, and then respond to one of the following questions in an essay (600 words):

Option A: What about the Kilachand Honors College resonates with you, and how would Kilachand's curriculum fulfill your academic, creative, intellectual, and/or professional goals?

Option B: If you could create a new Kilachand course, what would it be? How would your imagined course align with the core values of Kilachand?

For Trustees Scholarship applicants: Please select one of the questions below and respond with an essay explaining your perspective. (600 words)

  • Option A: Howard Thurman, who was the dean of BU's Marsh Chapel from 1953-1965, once wrote: "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Can you describe a particular experience you have had or an activity that you participate in that makes you come alive? How would you try to integrate that experience or activity into your time at BU?
  • Option B: Describe a time when you felt out of your comfort zone or marginalized in a situation. How did you respond to that moment and how has it informed your actions moving forward?

Boston University Essay Prompts, Analyzed

Let's take a look at each of the Boston University essay prompts. In this section, we'll break down what each prompt is asking, how you should answer, what kind of topics will work to answer the prompt, and what you should avoid talking about.

What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)

The Boston University Supplement Essay prompt is a classic "Why this school" essay prompt. These types of essays ask you to demonstrate to the admissions committee why this school is the one for you.

Your answer should be Boston University-specific. You should do your research on Boston University to be able to name specific classes, programs, or professors that excite you. Your essay should focus on why you want to attend Boston University—not why you want to attend college in general.

Don't speak generically—Boston University knows that it has great academics and interesting classes. You need to name specific parts of the school that are attractive to you as a student. Maybe you're interested in film and television and want to be part of BUTV10, or perhaps you want to work on a Senior Design Project in College of Engineering. Whatever your reason, make it specific to BU—something that you can't get at any other college or university.

For more information on how to answer the BU essay prompt, visit our article on the subject!

aaron-burden-90144-unsplash

Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider. (2000 KB PDF file)

This prompt may seem intimidating—what should you upload? First, remember that this is an optional prompt, and if you choose to leave it blank, that won't be a black mark on your application. If you do decide to answer it, y ou should use it as a chance to a.) demonstrate the quality of your work and/or b.) present yourself as a well-rounded person.

If, for instance, you are the first chair in your high school's wind symphony, you might want to upload a MP3 file of your playing. Boston University will have lots of students applying who are musicians—sending in a file of yourself playing can demonstrate the quality of your musicianship.

On the other hand, if you've been playing in a punk band with some friends for fun for five years but didn't mention it elsewhere on your application, this essay prompt gives you the perfect opportunity to present another aspect of your personality.

Whatever you choose to upload, make sure that it is high quality and well put-together. Submitting something that's confusing or sloppy can give the admissions committee the wrong impression, so if you don't have anything that stands out as something you'd want to submit, we recommend skipping it.

The Accelerated Programs Admission Committee is interested in learning more about you. Please write an essay on why you wish to enter the health professions, including what experiences have led you to this decision and what you hope to gain from your chosen profession. Please make sure your essay is completely distinct from the one you submitted on the Common Application. (750 words)

This prompt is only for students who are applying to the Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine. This Boston University Supplement Essay prompt is a pretty standard example of a health professional admissions essay, but the long word count is tricky. You want to be specific and passionate, not redundant and long-winded.

You can break your essay down into two main parts: why you decided to enter the health professions and what you hope to gain from doing so. When you talk about why you decided to enter the health professions, be sure to highlight any specific experiences that influenced your decision. Don't speak in generalizations or platitudes—call out real experiences that made you decide to apply. Don't, for instance, say that you want to change the world through medicine, unless you can back it up with a solid explanation of why.

Discussing what you hope to gain from the profession is an opportunity to hammer home why Boston University is such an important part of your education. Talk about what you hope to achieve in your career and how Boston University can help you get there.

Students who are applying to Boston University's Kilachand Honors College must answer an additional 600 word prompt. You'll choose between two prompts, and both require you to discuss what about Kilachand is important to you and how you think it could help you achieve your goals.

The Kilachand Honors College is a living and learning community where you have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning activities, so it's a good idea to highlight how practical application and real-world experience is important to you in this essay.

The key to either of these prompts is to be specific. You don't need to talk about all of your academic interests here—in fact, it's probably better to just discuss one or two that are really important to you. Whatever interest you choose to write about, you should make sure that you highlight how you would continue to explore that interest at Boston University, and Kilachand specifically. Whether you choose Option A or B, make sure to discuss both your own personal interests/goals as well as how they relate to the values of Kilachand and the opportunities it offers.

Please select one of the questions below and respond with an essay explaining your perspective. (600 words)

  • Option A: Howard Thurman, who was the dean of BU’s Marsh Chapel from 1953-1965, once wrote: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Can you describe a particular experience you have had or an activity that you participate in that makes you come alive? How would you try to integrate that experience or activity into your time at BU?

Students who are applying for the Boston University Trustees Scholarships must answer an additional essay of 600 words.

The Trustees Scholarship asks you to pick between two prompts. Both are geared towards helping the admission committee learn more about your interests and values.

If you choose Option A, you'll discuss your passions...which can be pretty fun! Think of something in your life where you light up with excitement or joy. That's what you need to focus on for this essay prompt. The key to this answer will be twofold: you need to be sincere, but you also need to be able to explain how that passion will make you a good member of the BU community.

Maybe the thing that makes you feel most alive is mountain biking. You love the physical challenge, but you also love the way the wind whips over you while you're doing a massive downhill trail. When you get to BU, you want to join the Boston University cycling team! You're hoping to make friends (and win national championships!) while at BU.

Option B wants to know how you react when you're outside of your comfort zone. It can be easy to be confident, respectful, and thoughtful when you're in a place you feel comfortable in, but once you leave that place and don't feel as valued or secure as you should, what are you like?

College is all about expanding your comfort zone, and BU wants to make sure you can handle these changes gracefully. In your response, briefly describe the situation when you felt outside your comfort zone and how it made you feel, then spend the bulk of your response explaining your reaction and what you took away from the experience. Maybe you learned to listen more than you speak or now always look out for people who seem to be overlooked in a situation because you understand how it feels. Above all, BU is looking for students who use challenges as an opportunity for growth and remain open-minded even when a situation is tough. 

element5-digital-352046-unsplash (1)

Key Tips for Writing an Amazing Boston University Supplement Essay

Ready to write an amazing Boston University supplement essay? Follow these key tips to do so!

#1: Use Your Own Voice

The point of a college essay is for the admissions committee to have the chance to get to know you beyond your test scores, grades, and honors. Your admissions essays are your opportunity to make yourself come alive for the essay readers and to present yourself as a fully fleshed out person.

You should, then, make sure that the person you're presenting in your college essays is yourself. Don't try to emulate what you think the committee wants to hear or try to act like someone you're not.

If you lie or exaggerate, your essay will come across as insincere, which will diminish its effectiveness. Stick to telling real stories about the person you really are, not who you think Boston University wants you to be.

#2: Avoid Clichés and Overused Phrases

When writing your Boston University essays, try to avoid using clichés or overused quotes or phrases. These include quotations that have been quoted to death and phrases or idioms that are overused in daily life. The college admissions committee has probably seen numerous essays that state, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Strive for originality. Similarly, avoid using clichés, which take away from the strength and sincerity of your work.

Boston University's admissions committee will see thousands of essays that talk about how much the applicant loves Boston. Saying that you want to study in the world's greatest college town is trite and overdone. If you are excited about going to school in Boston, make sure that you have a really specific reason that also ties to Boston University's opportunities.

#3: Check Your Work

It should almost go without saying, but make sure your Boston University essays are the strongest example of your work possible. Before you turn in your Boston University application, make sure to edit and proofread your essays.

Your work should be free of spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to run your essays through a spelling and grammar check before you submit.

It's a good idea to have someone else read your Boston University essays, too. You can seek a second opinion on your work from a parent, teacher, or friend. Ask them whether your work represents you as a student and person. Have them check and make sure you haven't missed any small writing errors. Having a second opinion will help your work be the best it possibly can be.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which program you're applying to at Boston University, you want to make sure that your Boston University essays are a great example of who you are as a student and a person and why Boston University should accept you.

Your essay should:

  • Be personal
  • Be specific
  • Be free of spelling and grammar errors

Your essay should not:

  • Be focused on Boston, not Boston University

The more effort you put into your essays, the better chance you have of getting accepted to Boston University!

What's Next?

Do you want to learn more about the Why Boston essay? We created an in-depth guide to help you ace this essay. Check it out here!

Starting your essay is often the hardest part. If you're unsure where to begin, check out this guide to starting a college essay perfectly , so you're ready to ace that introduction!

A good essay is just one part of a successful Boston University application . If you want to really wow the admissions office, be sure your grades and test scores are up to snuff, too!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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Boston University Supplemental Essay Examples

Boston University Supplemental Essay Examples

Perusing some Boston University supplemental essay examples will be a great foundational step to writing your own college application essays for Boston University. Excellent essays are one option for making your college application stand out.

Why look at example essays at all? Even knowing how to start a college essay can be a tricky prospect; looking over sample essays is a great first step, because you will see how other people kicked their own essay off. Or, maybe you’ve been working on your essay for a long time, and even though you’ve studied expert college essay tips , you don’t know how to apply them to refine your essay.

In this article, we will look at the two required essays for a Boston University application, the common application essay – a personal statement – and the supplemental essay. Then, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to write any kind of essay generally and supply you with specific information you need to write your Boston University essays.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 8 min read

The boston university supplemental essays.

Boston University requires students to complete two essays, a BU-specific essay and a Common Application personal statement.

Each of these essays fulfill a specific purpose in the Boston University application process, and you should take those purposes into consideration.

Boston University-specific Essay

Prompt: “What about being a Boston University student most excites you?”

Length: 250 words

This question, “Why Boston University?” is a common question asked by most universities and colleges of their prospective students. What they want to know here is why you fit perfectly with their school, and how you will mutually benefit each other.

First, you need to know about the school. What is so special about Boston University? Look up the programs they have but dive deep. A lot of schools teach math or have English lit courses. What does Boston University do that no other school is doing? Consider research that is being conducted or find out about any unique programs they have that excite you.

Of course, most of this you’ve already found out; it’s what inspired you to put Boston University on your list of top-choice schools, after all. All you need to do is pick your favorite reason – maybe two of them – and talk about them in the essay.

You can mention things like the beauty of the campus, but don’t focus on those aspects. You’re applying based on something deeper than the lovely buildings. The best subjects to talk about are academics and values.

Display not only why you would be excited to attend the school, but also why you will fit well with the school’s mission statement and their directives. This isn’t just about why you want to attend their institution. After all, they know their school is great – they love it. They want to check compatibility, like an academic dating app. Give them every reason to swipe right.

Prompt: “Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.”

Length: None specified; aim for about a page or 600 words.

A personal statement is meant to introduce yourself and answer the question of who you are as a unique applicant. Therefore, you need to think about something you can say about yourself that is unique and shows off your perspectives, experiences, and accomplishments to any member of the admissions committee who is reading your statement.

What sorts of things might you include? You should think beyond your resume. Your transcript has your “stats,” so give them something extra. Give your reader insight into how you think. For example, you might take something you’ve done – a particular laboratory class, for instance – and speak to how you changed your thought processes, or what you learned about lab work. Your CV says you did the lab and got this-or-that grade, but if you talk about how this experience changed you, you give a far greater understanding of yourself to the committee.

With those samples in mind, you should have a pretty good idea of how to go about creating your own, perfect essay.

Some general tips and advice on how to write a college essay won’t hurt, so read on for a little extra information.

Let’s start off with format. The format you’re going to follow is a standard essay writing format, with an introduction paragraph, a body, and a conclusion.

Your college essay introduction should be a paragraph that sets up the rest of the essay, or story, that you’re relating to the admissions committee. Think of this as a way to set up expectations, but also to grab attention. You want to “hook” your reader in with a great opener. Do this with enough panache that they would want to read the whole essay whether they were on the admissions committee or not.

The other main thing your opening paragraph does is tell your reader what they have to look forward to. Maybe you’re going to emphasize a particular mentor, a skill you’ve developed, or academic performance and growth, but whatever your focus is, set that up in the opener.

That brings us neatly to the body of the essay. This is where your college essay topic is unpacked, expanded on, and explored. You should cover two or three main points – don’t overstuff this section. Whatever you set up in the opener becomes the bulk of your material. Do showcase at least two major elements of yourself here – give the impression of being well-rounded and having many qualities, even though you’re only touching on a couple of them.

Finally, conclude your essay by fulfilling the expectations of the opening paragraph. Your goal here is to conclude in such a way that the admissions committee wants to hear more, which means they will invite you to the next step in the admissions process, and then you just have to worry about how to prepare for a college interview .

Working on your Common App essay or personal statement too? Check out this video for tips:

Take note of how the BU-specific essay referenced Boston University’s GCIL initiative and the Hub. Those are unique learning opportunities at BU. The writer also shows why those particular aspects of BU are important to them, demonstrating why they would “gel” with the school.

Both essays focus on the uniqueness of the writer, so any admissions committee members will want to see more from this person, increasing their chances of an invitation.

Boston University gives no firm word count limits but be sure to check before applying; that might change from year to year. Read carefully over your prompts and instructions before working on your essays.

That is a wealth of information, both in examples and advice, which will serve you well in your essay-writing and application-filling days ahead. If you need more, go in search of other college essay examples to further boost your confidence and technique.

Remember to refine your essay, giving it all the care and attention it deserves – which is a lot. Your application depends on all aspects allowing you to shine through. Give yourself the best personal introduction you can.

We recommend that you dedicate time every week for three to four weeks to work on your essays; you don’t have to work full-time on them, but you do need to give yourself the time to brainstorm, write, review, edit, and polish your work.

The first is about 250 words, but the second is unspecified. Be careful not to go overboard. A page is plenty, and we recommend that you try to keep your work to no more than 600 words. There is no need to pad your essays; just answer the prompts.

Common App, or Common Application, is a centralized service used by post-secondary institutions all over the world. It allows students to create one application and send it in to multiple colleges or universities.

In complete congruity with its name, the Common App is widely used. A list of which schools use Common App is a long list: literally hundreds.

There are several factors to consider here. Different schools might weigh these two documents differently, so check with the school. Some schools have cutoffs, which means that a poor grade average on your transcript might eliminate you from having your essays read at all.

The best way to approach your application is to assume that all aspects are extremely important. Why chance anything? Why do less than your best?

Yes. Boston University accepts applicants from out of the state and out of the country. In fact, in a recent year, Boston University’s international students made up 24% of the student body.

The acceptance rate was 14% in a recent year.

The Common App allows for this, yes; you can change your essays after submission.

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boston college example essays

Essays That Worked

boston college example essays

The essays are a place to show us who you are and who you’ll be in our community.

It’s a chance to add depth to something that is important to you and tell the admissions committee more about your background or goals. Below you’ll find selected examples of essays that “worked,” as nominated by our admissions committee. In each of these essays, students were able to share stories from their everyday lives to reveal something about their character, values, and life that aligned with the culture and values at Hopkins.

Read essays that worked from Transfer applicants .

Hear from the class of 2027.

These selections represent just a few examples of essays we found impressive and helpful during the past admissions cycle. We hope these essays inspire you as you prepare to compose your own personal statements. The most important thing to remember is to be original as you share your own story, thoughts, and ideas with us.

boston college example essays

Ordering the Disorderly

Ellie’s essay skillfully uses the topic of entropy as an extended metaphor. Through it, we see reflections about who they are and who they aspire to be.

boston college example essays

Pack Light, But Be Prepared

In Pablo’s essay, the act of packing for a pilgrimage becomes a metaphor for the way humans accumulate experiences in their life’s journey and what we can learn from them. As we join Pablo through the diverse phases of their life, we gain insights into their character and values.

boston college example essays

Tikkun Olam

Julieta illustrates how the concept of Tikkun Olam, “a desire to help repair the world,” has shaped their passions and drives them to pursue experiences at Hopkins.

boston college example essays

Kashvi’s essay encapsulates a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and the invaluable teachings of Rock, their 10-year-old dog. Through the lens of their companionship, Kashvi walked us through valuable lessons on responsibility, friendship, patience, and unconditional love.

boston college example essays

Classical Reflections in Herstory

Maddie’s essay details their intellectual journey using their love of Greek classics. They incorporate details that reveal the roots of their academic interests: storytelling, literary devices, and translation. As their essay progresses, so do Maddie’s intellectual curiosities.

boston college example essays

My Spotify Playlist

Alyssa’s essay reflects on special memories through the creative lens of Spotify playlists. They use three examples to highlight their experiences with their tennis team, finding a virtual community during the pandemic, and co-founding a nonprofit to help younger students learn about STEM.

More essays that worked

We share essays from previously admitted students—along with feedback from our admissions committee—so you can understand what made them effective and how to start crafting your own.

boston college example essays

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What is generative AI?

A green apple split into 3 parts on a gray background. Half of the apple is made out of a digital blue wireframe mesh.

In the months and years since ChatGPT burst on the scene in November 2022, generative AI (gen AI) has come a long way. Every month sees the launch of new tools, rules, or iterative technological advancements. While many have reacted to ChatGPT (and AI and machine learning more broadly) with fear, machine learning clearly has the potential for good. In the years since its wide deployment, machine learning has demonstrated impact in a number of industries, accomplishing things like medical imaging analysis  and high-resolution weather forecasts. A 2022 McKinsey survey shows that AI adoption has more than doubled  over the past five years, and investment in AI is increasing apace. It’s clear that generative AI tools like ChatGPT (the GPT stands for generative pretrained transformer) and image generator DALL-E (its name a mashup of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and the lovable Pixar robot WALL-E) have the potential to change how a range of jobs are performed. The full scope of that impact, though, is still unknown—as are the risks.

Get to know and directly engage with McKinsey's senior experts on generative AI

Aamer Baig is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office;  Lareina Yee  is a senior partner in the Bay Area office; and senior partners  Alex Singla  and Alexander Sukharevsky , global leaders of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, are based in the Chicago and London offices, respectively.

Still, organizations of all stripes have raced to incorporate gen AI tools into their business models, looking to capture a piece of a sizable prize. McKinsey research indicates that gen AI applications stand to add up to $4.4 trillion  to the global economy—annually. Indeed, it seems possible that within the next three years, anything in the technology, media, and telecommunications space not connected to AI will be considered obsolete or ineffective .

But before all that value can be raked in, we need to get a few things straight: What is gen AI, how was it developed, and what does it mean for people and organizations? Read on to get the download.

To stay up to date on this critical topic, sign up for email alerts on “artificial intelligence” here .

Learn more about QuantumBlack , AI by McKinsey.

Moving illustration of wavy blue lines that was produced using computer code

What every CEO should know about generative AI

What’s the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence, about quantumblack, ai by mckinsey.

QuantumBlack, McKinsey’s AI arm, helps companies transform using the power of technology, technical expertise, and industry experts. With thousands of practitioners at QuantumBlack (data engineers, data scientists, product managers, designers, and software engineers) and McKinsey (industry and domain experts), we are working to solve the world’s most important AI challenges. QuantumBlack Labs is our center of technology development and client innovation, which has been driving cutting-edge advancements and developments in AI through locations across the globe.

Artificial intelligence is pretty much just what it sounds like—the practice of getting machines to mimic human intelligence to perform tasks. You’ve probably interacted with AI even if you don’t realize it—voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are founded on AI technology, as are customer service chatbots that pop up to help you navigate websites.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence. Through machine learning, practitioners develop artificial intelligence through models that can “learn” from data patterns without human direction. The unmanageably huge volume and complexity of data (unmanageable by humans, anyway) that is now being generated has increased machine learning’s potential , as well as the need for it.

What are the main types of machine learning models?

Machine learning is founded on a number of building blocks, starting with classical statistical techniques  developed between the 18th and 20th centuries for small data sets. In the 1930s and 1940s, the pioneers of computing—including theoretical mathematician Alan Turing—began working on the basic techniques for machine learning. But these techniques were limited to laboratories until the late 1970s, when scientists first developed computers powerful enough to mount them.

Until recently, machine learning was largely limited to predictive models, used to observe and classify patterns in content. For example, a classic machine learning problem is to start with an image or several images of, say, adorable cats. The program would then identify patterns among the images, and then scrutinize random images for ones that would match the adorable cat pattern. Generative AI was a breakthrough. Rather than simply perceive and classify a photo of a cat, machine learning is now able to create an image or text description of a cat on demand.

Circular, white maze filled with white semicircles.

Introducing McKinsey Explainers : Direct answers to complex questions

How do text-based machine learning models work how are they trained.

ChatGPT may be getting all the headlines now, but it’s not the first text-based machine learning model to make a splash. OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Google’s BERT both launched in recent years to some fanfare. But before ChatGPT, which by most accounts works pretty well most of the time (though it’s still being evaluated), AI chatbots didn’t always get the best reviews. GPT-3 is “by turns super impressive and super disappointing,” said New York Times tech reporter Cade Metz in a video where he and food writer Priya Krishna asked GPT-3 to write recipes for a (rather disastrous) Thanksgiving dinner .

The first machine learning models to work with text were trained by humans to classify various inputs according to labels set by researchers. One example would be a model trained to label social media  posts as either positive or negative. This type of training is known as supervised learning because a human is in charge of “teaching” the model what to do.

The next generation of text-based machine learning models rely on what’s known as self-supervised learning. This type of training involves feeding a model a massive amount of text so it becomes able to generate predictions. For example, some models can predict, based on a few words, how a sentence will end. With the right amount of sample text—say, a broad swath of the internet—these text models become quite accurate. We’re seeing just how accurate with the success of tools like ChatGPT.

What does it take to build a generative AI model?

Building a generative AI model has for the most part been a major undertaking, to the extent that only a few well-resourced tech heavyweights have made an attempt . OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, former GPT models, and DALL-E, has billions in funding from bold-face-name donors. DeepMind is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and even Meta has dipped a toe into the generative AI model pool with its Make-A-Video product. These companies employ some of the world’s best computer scientists and engineers.

But it’s not just talent. When you’re asking a model to train using nearly the entire internet, it’s going to cost you. OpenAI hasn’t released exact costs, but estimates indicate that GPT-3 was trained on around 45 terabytes of text data—that’s about one million feet of bookshelf space, or a quarter of the entire Library of Congress—at an estimated cost of several million dollars. These aren’t resources your garden-variety start-up can access.

What kinds of output can a generative AI model produce?

As you may have noticed above, outputs from generative AI models can be indistinguishable from human-generated content, or they can seem a little uncanny. The results depend on the quality of the model—as we’ve seen, ChatGPT’s outputs so far appear superior to those of its predecessors—and the match between the model and the use case, or input.

ChatGPT can produce what one commentator called a “ solid A- ” essay comparing theories of nationalism from Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner—in ten seconds. It also produced an already famous passage describing how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR in the style of the King James Bible. Image-generating AI models like DALL-E 2 can create strange, beautiful images on demand, like a Raphael painting of a Madonna and child, eating pizza . Other generative AI models can produce code, video, audio, or business simulations .

But the outputs aren’t always accurate—or appropriate. When Priya Krishna asked DALL-E 2 to come up with an image for Thanksgiving dinner, it produced a scene where the turkey was garnished with whole limes, set next to a bowl of what appeared to be guacamole. For its part, ChatGPT seems to have trouble counting, or solving basic algebra problems—or, indeed, overcoming the sexist and racist bias that lurks in the undercurrents of the internet and society more broadly.

Generative AI outputs are carefully calibrated combinations of the data used to train the algorithms. Because the amount of data used to train these algorithms is so incredibly massive—as noted, GPT-3 was trained on 45 terabytes of text data—the models can appear to be “creative” when producing outputs. What’s more, the models usually have random elements, which means they can produce a variety of outputs from one input request—making them seem even more lifelike.

What kinds of problems can a generative AI model solve?

The opportunity for businesses is clear. Generative AI tools can produce a wide variety of credible writing in seconds, then respond to criticism to make the writing more fit for purpose. This has implications for a wide variety of industries, from IT and software organizations that can benefit from the instantaneous, largely correct code generated by AI models to organizations in need of marketing copy. In short, any organization that needs to produce clear written materials potentially stands to benefit. Organizations can also use generative AI to create more technical materials, such as higher-resolution versions of medical images. And with the time and resources saved here, organizations can pursue new business opportunities and the chance to create more value.

We’ve seen that developing a generative AI model is so resource intensive that it is out of the question for all but the biggest and best-resourced companies. Companies looking to put generative AI to work have the option to either use generative AI out of the box or fine-tune them to perform a specific task. If you need to prepare slides according to a specific style, for example, you could ask the model to “learn” how headlines are normally written based on the data in the slides, then feed it slide data and ask it to write appropriate headlines.

What are the limitations of AI models? How can these potentially be overcome?

Because they are so new, we have yet to see the long tail effect of generative AI models. This means there are some inherent risks  involved in using them—some known and some unknown.

The outputs generative AI models produce may often sound extremely convincing. This is by design. But sometimes the information they generate is just plain wrong. Worse, sometimes it’s biased (because it’s built on the gender, racial, and myriad other biases of the internet and society more generally) and can be manipulated to enable unethical or criminal activity. For example, ChatGPT won’t give you instructions on how to hotwire a car, but if you say you need to hotwire a car to save a baby, the algorithm is happy to comply. Organizations that rely on generative AI models should reckon with reputational and legal risks involved in unintentionally publishing biased, offensive, or copyrighted content.

These risks can be mitigated, however, in a few ways. For one, it’s crucial to carefully select the initial data used to train these models to avoid including toxic or biased content. Next, rather than employing an off-the-shelf generative AI model, organizations could consider using smaller, specialized models. Organizations with more resources could also customize a general model based on their own data to fit their needs and minimize biases. Organizations should also keep a human in the loop (that is, to make sure a real human checks the output of a generative AI model before it is published or used) and avoid using generative AI models for critical decisions, such as those involving significant resources or human welfare.

It can’t be emphasized enough that this is a new field. The landscape of risks and opportunities  is likely to change rapidly in coming weeks, months, and years. New use cases are being tested monthly, and new models are likely to be developed in the coming years. As generative AI becomes increasingly, and seamlessly, incorporated into business, society, and our personal lives, we can also expect a new regulatory climate  to take shape. As organizations begin experimenting—and creating value—with these tools, leaders will do well to keep a finger on the pulse of regulation and risk.

Articles referenced include:

  • " Implementing generative AI with speed and safety ,” March 13, 2024, Oliver Bevan, Michael Chui , Ida Kristensen , Brittany Presten, and Lareina Yee
  • “ Beyond the hype: Capturing the potential of AI and gen AI in tech, media, and telecom ,” February 22, 2024, Venkat Atluri , Peter Dahlström , Brendan Gaffey , Víctor García de la Torre, Noshir Kaka , Tomás Lajous , Alex Singla , Alex Sukharevsky , Andrea Travasoni , and Benjamim Vieira
  • “ As gen AI advances, regulators—and risk functions—rush to keep pace ,” December 21, 2023, Andreas Kremer, Angela Luget, Daniel Mikkelsen , Henning Soller , Malin Strandell-Jansson, and Sheila Zingg
  • “ The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier ,” June 14, 2023, Michael Chui , Eric Hazan , Roger Roberts , Alex Singla , Kate Smaje , Alex Sukharevsky , Lareina Yee , and Rodney Zemmel
  • “ What every CEO should know about generative AI ,” May 12, 2023, Michael Chui , Roger Roberts , Tanya Rodchenko, Alex Singla , Alex Sukharevsky , Lareina Yee , and Delphine Zurkiya
  • “ Exploring opportunities in the generative AI value chain ,” April 26, 2023, Tobias Härlin, Gardar Björnsson Rova , Alex Singla , Oleg Sokolov, and Alex Sukharevsky
  • “ The state of AI in 2022—and a half decade in review ,” December 6, 2022,  Michael Chui ,  Bryce Hall ,  Helen Mayhew , Alex Singla , and Alex Sukharevsky
  • “ McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2023 ,” July 20, 2023,  Michael Chui , Mena Issler,  Roger Roberts , and  Lareina Yee  
  • “ An executive’s guide to AI ,” Michael Chui , Vishnu Kamalnath, and Brian McCarthy
  • “ What AI can and can’t do (yet) for your business ,” January 11, 2018,  Michael Chui , James Manyika , and Mehdi Miremadi

This article was updated in April 2024; it was originally published in January 2023.

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2024 NCAA baseball tournament bracket: Road to College World Series unveiled

The Road to Omaha and the College World Series has been revealed – and it will likely run through Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Tennessee Volunteers have been awarded the top overall seed in the field of 64, which was revealed Monday on the NCAA tournament selection show.

The Vols (46-10) have held the spot in the  USA TODAY Sports baseball coaches poll  for 30 of the 32 weeks this season. They're one of top 16 overall teams who will serve as regional hosts as the double-elimination tournament is set to get underway later this week.

Here's how the 2024 CWS bracket stacks up.

College World Series bracket 2024

All times Eastern

Knoxville Regional

  • (1) Tennessee vs. Northern Kentucky
  • Indiana vs. Southern Miss

Greenville Regional

  • (16) East Carolina vs. Evansville
  • VCU vs. Wake Forest

Norman Regional

  • (9) Oklahoma vs. Oral Roberts
  • Connecticut vs. Duke

Tallahassee Regional

  • (8) Florida State vs. Stetson
  • UCF vs. Alabama

Fayetteville Regional

  • (5) Arkansas vs. SE Missouri
  • Kansas State vs. Louisiana Tech

Charlottesville Regional

  • (12) Virginia vs. Pennsylvania
  • St. John's vs. Mississippi State

Tucson Regional

  • (13) Arizona vs. Grand Canyon
  • West Virginia vs. Dallas Baptist

Chapel Hill Regional

  • (4) North Carolina vs. Long Island
  • Wofford vs. LSU

College Station Regional

  • (3) Texas A&M vs. Grambling
  • Texas vs. Louisiana

Santa Barbara Regional

  • (14) UC Santa Barbara vs. Fresno State
  • Oregon vs. San Diego

Clemson Regional

  • (6) Clemson vs. High Point
  • Coastal Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

Stillwater Regional

  • (11) Oklahoma State vs. Niagara
  • Florida vs. Nebraska

Athens Regional

  • (7) Georgia vs. Army
  • Georgia Tech vs. UNC Wilmington

Raleigh Regional

  • (10) NC State vs. Bryant
  • James Madison vs. South Carolina

Corvallis Regional

  • (15) Oregon State vs. Tulane
  • Nicholls vs. UC Irvine

Lexington Regional

  • (2) Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
  • Illinois vs. Indiana State

Super regional matchups

  • Winner of Knoxville Regional vs. winner of Greenville Regional
  • Winner of Norman Regional vs. winner of Tallahassee Regional
  • Winner of Fayetteville Regional vs. winner of Charlottesville Regional
  • Winner of Chapel Hill Regional vs. winner of Tucson Regional
  • Winner of College Station Regional vs. winner of Santa Barbara Regional
  • Winner of Clemson Regional vs. winner of Stillwater Regional
  • Winner of Athens Regional vs. winner of Raleigh Regional
  • Winner of Lexington Regional vs. winner of Corvallis Regional

NCAA baseball tournament teams 2024

The SEC sets a record with 11 teams in the NCAA baseball tournament on the road to Omaha.

Here's every team and their record ahead of the start of games this Friday:

  • Georgia (39-15)
  • Army (31-21)
  • UNC Wilmington (39-19)
  • Georgia Tech (31-23)
  • Texas A&M (44-13)
  • Grambling (26-26)
  • Louisiana (40-18)
  • Texas (35-22)
  • LSU (40-21)
  • Wofford (41-18)
  • North Carolina (42-13)
  • Long Island University (33-23)
  • Virginia (41-15)
  • Penn (24-23)
  • Mississippi State (38-21)
  • St. John's (37-16-1)
  • Vanderbilt (38-21)
  • Coastal Carolina (34-23)
  • Clemson (41-14)
  • High Point (34-25)
  • UC Irvine (43-13)
  • Nicholls (38-20)
  • Oregon State (42-14)
  • Tulane (35-24)
  • Arkansas (43-14)
  • Southeast Missouri State (34-25)
  • Louisiana Tech (45-17)
  • Kansas State (32-24)
  • East Carolina (43-15)
  • Evansville (35-23)
  • Wake Forest (38-20)
  • VCU (37-21)
  • Southern Mississippi (41-18)
  • Indiana (32-24-1)
  • Tennessee (50-11)
  • Northern Kentucky (35-22)
  • Kentucky (40-14)
  • Western Michigan (32-21)
  • Indiana State (42-13)
  • Illinois (34-19)
  • Oklahoma (37-19)
  • Oral Roberts (27-30-1)
  • Duke (39-18)
  • UConn (32-23)
  • South Carolina (36-23)
  • James Madison (34-23)
  • NC State (33-20)
  • Bryant (36-19)
  • San Diego (40-13)
  • Oregon (37-18)
  • UC Santa Barbara (42-12)
  • Fresno State (33-27)
  • Nebraska (39-20)
  • Florida (28-27)
  • Oklahoma State (40-17)
  • Niagara (38-15)
  • Florida State (42-15)
  • Stetson (40-20)
  • Alabama (33-22)
  • UCF (35-19)
  • DBU (44-13)
  • West Virginia (33-22)
  • Arizona (36-21)
  • Grand Canyon (34-23)

When does College World Series start?

The NCAA Division I baseball tournament  begins with the regionals , hosted by the top 16 overall seeds, from May 31-June 3.

The winners advance to the super regionals, held June 7-9 and June 8-10.

The eight super regional champions advance to Omaha for the Men's College World Series. Double-elimination play begins June 14, with the best-of-3 College World Series final June 22, 23 and 24 (if necessary).

College baseball super regional schedule

The super regionals will be played at eight sites, chosen from among the participating schools, on June 7-9 or June 8-10. The winners of each best-of-3 super regional will advance to the College World Series. Schedules, matchups and game times will be announced after the regionals conclude.

College World Series schedule

The 2024 Men's College World Series begins Friday, June 14, with all games played at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Game 1: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 2: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 3: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 4: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 5: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 6: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 7: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 8: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 9: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 10: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 11: 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 12: 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 13 (if necessary): 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 14 (if necessary): 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • MCWS Final Game 1: 7:30 p.m. | ESPN
  • MCWS Final Game 2: 2 p.m. | ABC
  • MCWS Final Game 3 (if necessary): 7 p.m. | ESPN

How to watch College World Series 2024

The ESPN family of networks will provide live broadcast and streaming coverage throughout the entirety of the Division I men's baseball tournament.

Streaming coverage is available on  ESPN+ .

Who won the 2023 College World Series?

LSU defeated Florida 18-4  in Game 3 of last year's College World Series final in Omaha, Nebraska, for its seventh national championship in program history.

Pitcher Paul Skenes was named the tournament's most outstanding player and outfielder Dylan Crews went 4-for-6 in the final to reach base in all 71 of the Tigers' games during the season. The pair made history later by becoming the first teammates  to be selected first and second overall  in the MLB draft.

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  22. College World Series bracket 2024: Teams, schedule, TV info and more

    The eight super regional champions advance to Omaha for the Men's College World Series. Double-elimination play begins June 14, with the best-of-3 College World Series final June 22, 23 and 24 (if ...