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Mastering Brandeis University Supplemental Essays: The 2023-2024 Cycle

The college admissions process is like a puzzle. Each piece - from your GPA to your extracurriculars, to the final piece, your essays - forms a complete picture of you as a prospective student. For Brandeis University, a globally respected institution known for its commitment to social justice and critical thinking, your supplemental essays are a critical opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Here, we'll delve into the best strategies to ace the Brandeis University supplemental essays for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

Prompt 1: "Why Brandeis?" (250 words)

The "Why us" essay is a staple of college applications. Brandeis wants to understand your specific interest in their institution. Rather than generic comments on the school's reputation or location, focus on particular academic programs, faculty members, research opportunities, or community initiatives that draw you to Brandeis. Have you been inspired by a specific professor’s research? Does a particular course or program align with your career aspirations? Do Brandeis' social justice values resonate with you? Be as specific as possible and show them how you plan to contribute to the Brandeis community.


I still remember the feeling of profound understanding that hit me while watching Professor Joyce Antler’s lecture on "The Women's Liberation Movement and the New Left" on YouTube. As someone deeply interested in social justice, I found her perspectives illuminating and aligned with my own aspirations to explore how historical contexts shape our current society.

What draws me to Brandeis is not only the quality of its academic instruction but also its commitment to addressing societal issues. The Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP) Program, with its interdisciplinary approach, would provide me with the tools to analyze and address the roots of social inequality, a crucial step towards advocating for policy change.

Outside the classroom, I aim to join the Brandeis Democrats and the Students for Environmental Action to contribute to their advocacy efforts, furthering my understanding of grassroots movements and policy development. It's the combination of a rigorous academic environment and an active student body dedicated to making a difference that makes Brandeis the perfect place for me to grow both intellectually and personally.

Prompt 2: Community Essay (250 words)

Brandeis University is a close-knit community, and this question seeks to understand how you fit into it. Reflect on your experiences within your community - this could be your school, town, family, cultural group, a club, or even an online community. What role do you play? How have you made a positive impact? Use this opportunity to highlight your values, empathy, leadership, and commitment to social justice – all qualities Brandeis values.


In my high school, I am known as the “Book Fairy.” I started a book club in my sophomore year, which became a sanctuary for bibliophiles like me. Every month, we share insights on everything from classic literature to contemporary dystopian novels.

However, I noticed some students hesitated to join due to the cost of buying new books. To address this, I initiated a book donation drive and created a library corner in our club room. This little nook of books opened a door for more students to engage in our intellectual dialogues, regardless of their financial backgrounds.

As a part of Brandeis' close-knit community, I plan to bring the same spirit of inclusivity. Perhaps I could launch a similar initiative, promoting both reading culture and accessibility to resources.

Optional Prompt: Diversity Statement (250 words)

Diversity comes in many forms – it could be your cultural background, personal experiences, worldview, or the unique skills and traits you bring. Consider moments in your life where your perspective or experiences have been different from those around you. How did that shape your identity? How will that contribute to the diversity at Brandeis?


My diverse cultural background defines my unique worldview. As a child of Turkish immigrants in the US, I learned to navigate two very different cultures. I celebrated Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie and Baklava, my New Year's resolutions were a blend of American dreams and Turkish traditions.

Growing up in these dual spheres taught me to be adaptable and fostered my ability to understand and appreciate different perspectives. I became a bridge between my American friends and Turkish relatives, explaining cultural norms and traditions, thereby developing my skills in cross-cultural communication.

At Brandeis, I aim to use this ability to foster understanding and respect between individuals from diverse backgrounds, contributing to the rich tapestry of cultures that defines the Brandeis community.


Remember, each essay is a chance to present a new side of you. Avoid repeating information and aim for well-rounded representation of your interests, experiences, and aspirations. Good luck, and happy writing!