Cornell College Of Arts And Sciences Essays

I’ve asked my colleague, Angela Herrera, ’03, MPA ’08, Associate Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, to share her insight about the Cornell supplement with you. Enjoy!

My name is Angela Herrera and I am the Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment. I graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs in 2008. I REALLY love my Cornell!

Prospective students (and parents) ask me all the time, “What is the most important part of the application?” The hope is that I can give them exactly what will get them into Cornell – but in reality the application is like a big puzzle, and in order to get that beautiful picture, each piece has to fit together perfectly. Now, if I had to pick the biggest piece of the puzzle or the foundation piece of the puzzle that would of course be academics! A strong academic profile is indeed important and tells us that you can do the actual course work that is expected of you at Cornell. But beyond that, there is another piece of the puzzle that is critical – kind of like a big corner piece that holds it all together! That is the Cornell Supplement.

The Cornell Supplement tells us where at Cornell you are hoping to study. We hope that you do not put the names of our seven undergraduate colleges and schools into a hat and then choose one randomly. The great thing about the supplement for us is that we can tell that you really want to be at Cornell and that Cornell is a good ‘fit’ for you. How do we do this you may ask? It’s the Cornell Supplement Essay! Each of our seven undergraduate colleges and schools has a unique essay question designed to show the admissions committee that you have done your homework about Cornell. When you choose a college or school on the supplement you have to write the corresponding essay and these essays questions are not just “Why do you want to come to Cornell?” We hope that the question will force you to think about your future and how Cornell can help you achieve that future. We also want to make sure that you have some concrete interests. And for those of you who are undecided, (and its ok if you are) many of our colleges offer “undecided” as an option, but you still need to know exactly what the college is going to offer you and the many, many interests you may be torn between! So here are a few tips as you begin to embark on this research project:

  • Be sure you know the differences between the colleges and schools and what they offer! (For example, we do not offer nursing as a major so don’t write about majoring in nursing).
  • Choose the college or school that best fits your interests now – if you change your mind once you get to campus, we have advisors and departments that can help you navigate that process.
  • DO NOT RECITE the websites or brochures (We wrote it after all!).
  • Understand that many of our programs overlap and that some programs are offered in more than one college – this means looking beyond the major so check out graduation requirements, opportunities for double majors, etc.
  • Don’t talk about being a doctor or lawyer because you can’t major in that yet! Talk about how you are going to use the majors available to get to your career goals.
  • Be sure you are accurate in your information about Cornell (For example, it’s the College of Human Ecology, not the major human ecology).
  • If you are undecided, use this as an opportunity to talk about your many interests and how a particular college or school houses those interests.

In the end, we want to know that you really want to be at Cornell and that you will bring something to our campus! So take the Cornell supplement seriously; it’s the piece of the puzzle that holds it all together!

Admissionscommon application, essay, supplement

Any advice is appriciated!
Thanks

College of Arts and Sciences:

Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

Chemistry with Mrs. Ammons was the stuff of legends. Even walking by her room, one could sense the fear, stress and frustration of everyone inside. Her class was like the flu: the only solace was that it had to be over eventually. I was struggling in chemistry because I could never relate it to the real world; however, that all changed after doing a lab one day. In this particular lab, we were given sodium bicarbonate, acetic acid, and plastic bag of unknown volume and assigned to react the two chemicals in such a way that enough carbon dioxide would be produced to fill up the bag completely. What?!? It took all of five seconds for my lab group to give up and accept yet another failing lab grade, but I was determined to prove to Mrs. Ammons that I was a force to be dealt with. The next day I came equipped with a carefully drawn out schematic that detailed exactly how the desired results could be achieved. To my surprise, we made a perfect grade. Though I knew that certain traits of nature could be predicted, as I had been doing all my life, it seemed like almost a privilege this time. Rocks fall to the ground when dropped and cookbooks burn if they get too close to the burner but I had learned those particular laws of nature through observation; now I could use my knowledge of science and mathematical calculations to predict something I had never imagined or seen before. It was as if I had been given the right to look into the engine of Mother Nature and configure it to achieve any number of results. This marked the beginning of an ongoing quest to better understand the world around me through the study of science.

We are taught to thank our family for what we have, but what about nitrogen, carbon, hemoglobin, DNA polymerase or even mucus. By deciphering each of these biological switches, something I strive to do, one could perhaps understand exactly what it means to be human. It seems almost profane to say that the most valued of human traits, love and compassion among them, are simply the products of a complex series of chemical interactions in the body. Through the study of medicine, this information could be used to cure and understand the many ailments that afflict humans. The diverse number of programs and research opportunities at Cornell University's College of Arts and Science will allow me to explore my interest in both chemistry and biology as I complete my pre-med requirements. The renowned research facilities and the highly respected professors will enable me to gain the knowledge necessary to pursue the answer to the mystery of the human body and apply that knowledge to improving our quality of life in some small way.

wow, i really liked it, nice job. i do think that you should probably say more specifically how the college of arts and sciences (or should it be college of agriculture and life sciences?) will help you explore your interest in biology - like what specific programs.

other than that, it was well written.

I don't see how your interest have evolved. One minute you were struggling, the next minute you became a genius.

It will probably benefit you more if you just focus on one subject and describe how you become interested in it and its evolution while interconnecting it with other interests.

"Though I knew that certain traits of nature could be predicted, as I had been doing all my life, it seemed like almost a privilege this time"- awkward sentence.

Also, I think you need to do more with "tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences"

Good luck!

good job,
but you failed to address HOW you will utilize Cornell to further develop your interests. I understand how your interests evolved, but why is cornell the place for you? the cornell admissions will look for students who not only are passionate about their interests but also have an idea of how to contribute to the cornell campus life

the stuff of legends

too informal

What?!?

here again. especially with the ?!?

it maybe just me but i'm not very fond of your continuing metaphors. i think it distracts me a little. just my two cents.

and yes it answers the quesiton but the first paragraph could be use some work. better way of describing it and don't make it sound so informal

Chemistry with Mrs. Ammons was the stuff of legends. ..

All this (above is good material). If you can say it in fewer words, you can keep the focus of the essay on the INTERESTS rather than the story. The whole essay is one big exposition of your

interests, intended major, or field of study

so you have to organize your essay around those three. It's going to be great, because with all this material you have, it will be easy to enhance the way you present it in order to directly accommodate the prompt. And every time you re-think something, it gets a little better...

now, for this part below, I'll try to reword an unclear sentence:

It has always seemed normal that certain traits of nature could be predicted (I had been doing all my life), but now it seems almost like a privilege. Rocks fall to the ground

Cool, and the rest of this material can be organized into paragraphs, and you can use topic sentences that show that you are responding appropriately to the prompt.

:)

"Polymerase or even mucus", I think you can remove the "or" to make it more succinct, flow better
"Interest in chemistry " it's unnecessary
"I complete {the} pre-med requirements" requirements are the same for everyone
'and highly respected professors" the is unnecessary
I think if you are a little more succinct in portraying your INTRESTS rather than just details, you will have a smashing essay!
=]

Even walking by her room, one could sense the fear, stress and frustration of everyone in her class .

(TOO INFORMAL. THINK OF ANOTHER WAY TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS.)

It took all of five seconds for my lab group to give up and accept yet another failing lab grade, but I was determined to prove to Mrs. Ammons that I was a force to be dealt . (DON'T END WITH A PREPOSITION.)

Rocks fall to the ground when dropped and cookbooks burn if they get too close to the burner, but I had learned those particular laws of nature through observation; now, I could use my knowledge of science and mathematical calculations to predict something I had never imagined or seen before.



One thought on “Cornell College Of Arts And Sciences Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *