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How to Write the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Essays 2022-2023

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private technical university nestled in Troy, New York. Lauded as the earliest of its kind in the English-speaking world, RPI served as the model for numerous other colleges and higher-education institutions, including the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

RPI’s specialized focus is reflected in its emphasis and incorporation of technology in all of its majors, from science to engineering to art. The school operates its own business incubator as well as the Rensselaer Technology Park that hosts a myriad of Information Technology consulting, management, and supply companies, located just five miles south of campus.

 

To improve your chances of acceptance, it’s important to write strong essays. Here are our best tips for tackling the RPI essays!

 

Check out these example RPI essays from real applicants to inspire your writing!

 

RPI Supplemental Essay Prompts

 

All Applicants

Prompt 1: Why are you interested in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute? (250 words)

 

Prompt 2: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences (300 words)

 

Optional Resume: If you wish to submit your resume, you may upload it here. A resume may also be uploaded directly to your application portal after you submit your application.

 

Accelerated Physician-Scientist Applicants

State your reasons for aspiring to a career in medicine. (1-2 pages)

 

Architecture Applicants

State your reasons for choosing architecture as your profession. (1-2 pages)

 

Electronic Arts Applicants

Discuss your interests in the field of electronic arts, and state how this is reflected in your portfolio, if one has been submitted. (1-2 pages)

 

Games and Simulation Arts Applicants

State your reasons for choosing the field of games and simulation arts and sciences, making reference to your portfolio if one has been submitted. (1-2 pages)

 

Music Applicants

Describe your interest in the music major and your goals. Please include completed course work in music, private music instruction, musical performance and production experience, or completed independent projects. (1-2 pages)

 

All Applicants, Prompt 1

Why are you interested in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute? (250 words)

This is a prime example of the “Why This College?” prompt. Colleges want an idea of who you are, what motivates you, and what you want to do in the future. Through this kind of prompt, the admissions committee can see how you will fit in the college and how you might use its resources to achieve your goals. Check out CollegeVine’s guide to writing the “Why This College?” essay for some tips and in-depth examples!

 

Before you begin writing, you should outline your college goals. Are there specific skills or topics you want to learn? What career do you want to pursue? Are there extracurriculars you plan to get involved in?

 

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do in college, it’s time to establish a connection to RPI. Do some research on RPI’s website to see how the college can support your goals in a unique way. If you are interested in a special program or a specific major, look at the program page to find specific courses, events, and research projects, as well as student organizations, teams, and music groups that align with your goals. The key to this essay is specificity, so look for courses, programs, or professors that you can mention by name in your essay. You might also want to talk to alumni or consider a campus visit to help establish a tangible connection with the college.

 

You can also try to establish an intangible connection with the college. This involves things that aren’t physical, such as values. Does RPI or a specific program within it care about interdisciplinarity, environmental justice, religious faith, or intellectual creativity? See if you can find a program or group within RPI that resonates with you on many levels.

 

Once you have accumulated a list of unique things about RPI that interest you, narrow it down to 2-3 points that really stand out, so you can elaborate more within 250 words. Share your goals and then explicitly show how those resources make RPI the perfect environment for you.

 

For example, consider a prospective Environmental Science major who is passionate about aquatic conservation. She is particularly interested in the modeling and monitoring of bodies of water. Part of her response to this prompt might look like this:

 

Since I was a young child, I have been attached to the environment. Growing up in rural Wisconsin was such a privilege to me, as it showed me the beauty of nature without as much human interference as other places have. The natural world has brought me so much peace and joy that I cannot help wanting to give back to it. That being said, I would love to study Environmental Science at Rensselaer.

 

RPI’s commitment to making strides in environmental science truly resonates with me. Having lived my whole life between Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan, I have come to truly appreciate tranquil bodies of water. This is why I am especially intrigued by the Jefferson Project at Lake George. The use of sensors to model the minute changes in Lake George’s ecosystem and water flow is so fascinating to me. The knowledge I gain from courses like Applied Groundwater Modeling, Advanced Groundwater Hydrology, and Aqueous Geochemistry will be invaluable to my anticipated future career. I want to contribute to the conservation of bodies of water through groundwater and lake ecosystem modeling.

 

This example is strong because it describes some of the student’s background and motivations, then pivots into very specific resources at RPI that will empower her to achieve her career goals.

 

When writing your response, you’ll want to avoid generalizations such as “great professors,” “many opportunities,” or “strong academics.” These things can be found at any college; they won’t reflect your interest in RPI specifically. Additionally, don’t just name-drop random classes or professors without describing why they’ll be important to your college experience. And finally, try to minimize any empty flattery. Sure it’s nice to be nice, but you only have 250 words to work with, so saying how great a college RPI is without elaborating on anything substantive is not going to serve you well.

 

Be honest about what draws you to RPI, but also try to be as specific as you can without being disingenuous. This specificity will elevate your essay and will leave an impression on the admissions committee.

 

 

All Applicants, Prompt 2

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences (300 words)

This is the classic Extracurricular Essay. RPI wants to know about some of your passions and how they have influenced your skill set, personality, and perspective. You provide a list of extracurriculars in the activities section of the Common App, but this is your opportunity to really get into specifics about one of them.

 

The first step for this essay is identifying which extracurricular or work experience you wish to discuss. As the college will see your list of extracurricular activities and awards in the application, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your most impressive extracurricular. The most interesting and impactful essay will come from describing the activity that means the most to you personally.

 

To decide on an activity, ruminate on the following questions:

 

1) Which of your activities have you given the most time to? Which one has been the most influential in your life?

 

2) What is the strongest emotion you feel about that activity? Why do you feel that way? Has that emotional response changed over time (perhaps from frustration to fulfillment, delight to complacency, or something else)? What emotions do you feel during the activity?

 

3) Have you developed or strengthened any personality traits due to your participation in this activity? If so, what are they and how have they evolved over time?

 

4) Have you developed any specific skills as a result of participating in this activity? These might be hard skills related strictly to the activity or soft skills that you use across domains.

 

5) What influence does this activity have on the rest of your life (other activities, social life, academics, etc.)?

 

Once you have your activity in mind, you should consider your structural approach to the essay. With only 300 words, you most likely won’t be able to explain everything you ever did within a certain club or activity or job. Rather, pick out two or three instances that show your unique contribution to the activity and what you learned from the experience.

 

You may also want to touch on why the particular activity is significant to you, though this is best shown in the context of explaining your role in the activity. Remember one of the main tenets of college essay writing: “Show, don’t tell.”

 

For example, if you chose to write about your involvement in Model UN, you don’t need to list out all your officer positions, awards won, or conferences attended. The Common App activities list is the best place for that. Instead, you might focus on a particular conference you attended or a resolution you contributed to that was significant. For example, you could talk about the time when you were asked to switch positions at the last minute and had to learn to think on your feet. You could also discuss a meaningful way you helped your school club, perhaps by mentoring younger students or assisting with logistics.

 

The purpose of this essay is to highlight a significant activity in-depth, not to list everything you ever did in high school. Be sure to focus your essay on explaining why your chosen activity is impactful to you.

 

All Applicants, Optional Resume

If you wish to submit your resume, you may upload it here. A resume may also be uploaded directly to your application portal after you submit your application. 

If you do submit a resume, take care not to duplicate information written elsewhere in your application! The Common Application’s activities section already provides a space to showcase your relevant extracurricular activities, and redundancy would certainly backfire. A well-crafted application is tight and cohesive; optional materials should contribute to your theme rather than to the fatigue of admissions officers.

 

On the other hand, perhaps you’ve embarked on personal endeavors that cannot fully be explained in your Common App. Maybe you spent your own money, time, and effort to launch a private project to build dog houses for homeless dogs at a nearby shelter, and the scale of it became so large that the entire process cannot possibly fit in the character limit of the Common App. Then you may consider writing this in your optional resume for RPI. However, be reminded to keep your resume within one page.

 

Special Program Prompts

 

RPI offers several advanced programs, which can accelerate motivated students towards professional degrees or their intended career paths. These programs require applicants to pen supplemental essays in addition to their personal statement on the Common App (or the Coalition Application, or the Candidate’s Choice Application – neither of which can be used by students applying to the Accelerated Physician-Scientist B.S./M.D. Program). There is no specified word limit, but all special program essays should be 1-2 pages. Remember, details and conciseness are key to any essay, especially the supplementals.

 

Accelerated Physician-Scientist Applicants

State your reasons for aspiring to a career in medicine. (1-2 pages)

This, like all the other special programs, is a variation of the “Why This Major?” prompt. RPI’s research-focused accelerated medical program allows students to earn a B.S. and an M.D. in just seven years. These are substantial commitments, so you want to be equally serious in your statement of intent. This prompt is meant to gauge why and how earnestly you want a career in medicine.

 

Before you begin writing, mull over these questions:

 

1) What are your sincere reasons for pursuing a career in medicine?

 

Since you’re applying to this serious and rigorous program, you hopefully have a deep, genuine interest in medicine. If your reasons for a medical career are mainly money, status, and/or pressure from your parents, your application is going to look self-serving and insincere.

 

2) What specifically interests you in the field of medicine?

 

Instead of thinking “ophthalmology” or “otorhinolaryngology” generically, think “photorefractive keratectomy” or “diagnosis of vocal fold nodules.” Specificity is key to a successful essay.

 

3) What life/career goals do you have? How will a career in medicine contribute to achieving them?

 

Be honest about your goals, but be aware that self-serving goals, such as a large salary after graduation, don’t impress admissions officers. Colleges want to admit students with meaningful academic interests who want to reach their full potential and positively contribute to the world.

 

4) What has been your favorite medicine-related experience both in school and in your personal life?

 

5) Is there a particular emotion or state of mind you experience whenever you explore this field of study? What do you like (or dislike) about this state of mind?

 

Questions 4 and 5 will help you recall an anecdote or two that can frame your reasons effectively.

 

Anecdotes can be an effective starting point, but don’t spend too many words on them. A sickness in the family or extensive experience in advocacy for minority groups can offer necessary context, but you should be concise when discussing these events so you can be thorough when discussing your motivations.

 

An effective statement will be detailed and focused. “I want to be a dermatologist to help people detect skin cancer early on” is a more precise approach than “I want to be a doctor,” for example.

 

“I want to be a doctor in order to…” is more compelling than “doctors do good in the world.” In this essay especially, specificity is paramount. Of course, you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life right now, but you should have clear aspirations and somewhat specific ideas. Having established the why, you need to also supply the what. Make it clear that you know what you are getting into by selecting this profession. It’s important to tie your goal to a vision of your future career.

 

One way to do that is to envision what your daily routine would be like on the weekdays and weekends should you land your dream job. What will you be doing in the morning? What kind of people would you be interacting with? What kind of treatments would you be handling? How would you respond to a patient suddenly tearing a sutured wound? With these questions in mind, try to articulate what you wish to achieve with a career in medicine.

 

Aim to specifically outline both your motivations and goals. Consider a student who wants to be a pediatrician to treat sick children every day. His reasons might include having been diagnosed with an illness in his youth that required intensive treatment. His goals, on the other hand, might involve improving the quality of life for children with illnesses similar to the one he had.

 

Think of another student who wants to be an ophthalmologist to perform complex eye surgeries. She might be fascinated by the sense of sight and eager to ensure that people in her future community are able to use this sense to its full potential.

 

Finally, enrich your statement with as much concrete, relevant experience as you can. If you were in your school’s HOSA program, what did that teach you about how to be an effective doctor? If you attended a summer program in biology, what did you learn about diseases that narrowed the scope of your future interest? If you’ve ever shadowed at a hospital, what lessons did you take from the clinical environment that inform the areas of medicine you are interested in?

 

Architecture (ARCH)

State your reasons for choosing architecture as your profession. (1-2 pages)

As with the other special program prompts, this is a “Why This Major?” essay at its core. RPI wants to know about your experiences with the field and your motivations for dedicating your college career (and future professional life) to it.

 

The program offers two majors, Architecture and Building Sciences. The Building Sciences major is a 4-year undergraduate program that does not require a portfolio. The Architecture major, however, is a 5-year undergraduate professional degree program and a portfolio is required. You should craft your essay around both your portfolio (if you have one) and the ethos of the RPI program.

 

For example, RPI cites a “strong sense of social responsibility” as a characteristic of its graduates. Your personal motivations might tie into this trait well. Perhaps the thought of developing low-cost housing for the impoverished both at home and abroad was one of your early goals. Perhaps you want to bring a fresh new aesthetic to your home city. Or, maybe you are a dedicated environmentalist looking for ways to make large-scale impacts on humanity’s carbon footprint.

 

Be specific! A story about your early experiences with architecture – e.g., learning about Earth Day as a child, traveling to ancient landmarks in Rome, etc. – will provide strong context for your current vision.

 

Thematic consistency is key. It’s easy to simply state what kind of architect you want to be — to talk about the types of buildings you want to design or the structural challenges in design that you wish to resolve. This is important, but you must also make the reasons behind your intent come alive.

 

Before you begin writing, think about a few questions to give your essay direction:

 

1) What are your genuine reasons for pursuing a career in architecture?

 

Consider what you wish to accomplish by being in this field. Reasons including money, social status, and/or pressure from your parents seem disingenuous and self-centered. Find reasons and goals that align with stronger values.

 

2) What do you specifically enjoy about the field of architecture?

 

Don’t write something like “I think that buildings should be beautiful.” Write something like “I prefer the philosophy of Art Deco to that of Bauhaus. Function is obviously important, but architecture is as much an art as it is a science, so the beauty of design should not be ignored.” Specificity is key to a successful essay.

 

3) What life/career goals do you have? How will a career in architecture help you achieve them?

 

Be honest about your goals, but note that self-serving goals, such as a high salary after graduation, don’t appeal to the admissions committee at all. Colleges look to admit students with substantial academic interests who want to reach their full potential and contribute to the world.

 

4) What has been your favorite architecture-related experience both within and outside of school?

 

5) Is there an emotional state you experience every time you explore this field of study? What about this state of mind appeals to you?

 

Questions 4 and 5 are the ones you’ll specifically want to ponder in order to find relevant anecdotes that will contribute to your reasons for pursuing architecture.

 

Anecdotes are a strong way to link your life to your motivations, but be careful not to waste your whole word count just telling a tale. A story can offer necessary context, but you should tell the story in as few words as possible so you can use more of your space discussing your motivations.

 

You should formulate concrete goals and somewhat specific ideas for your future. Your explanation of why you’re pursuing architecture should also give your reader an inkling of what you intend to do. Show the admissions committee that you’re aware of and eager to embrace what a career in the field entails.

 

Consider a hypothetical student whose brother has had to use a wheelchair for years. An excerpt of her essay might look like this:

 

Before my brother needed a wheelchair, I had hardly noticed the accessibility issues of my city. But now that I am more aware of this problem, I am confronted daily with questionable design choices and implementations of ramps that meet codes in the most meager ways in every building I enter. I want to be an architect because I know I can make a difference, however small, in the lives of the disabled people in my city.

 

I firmly believe in the Bauhaus principle stating that form follows function. Some people think that improving the accessibility of our buildings and public spaces detracts from their beauty, but I feel that the opposite is true. A few years ago, I attended an exhibition called “Access+Ability” that emphasized the creative beauty with which accessible items could be designed. I find that the same idea holds true for architecture. The Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California, was designed with this idea in mind. It is one of many real projects that motivate me to pursue a life in architecture.

 

This example is effective because it ties a deeply personal experience to the student’s motivations and passions, while also showcasing some of her knowledge of the field. If you can be both sincere and specific about your reasons for pursuing architecture, you will be off to a great start.

 

Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS)

State your reasons for choosing the field of games and simulation arts and sciences, making reference to your portfolio if one has been submitted. (1-2 pages)

At its core, this is a “Why This Major?” prompt. Your response to this prompt should do a few things. First and foremost, it should exhibit your genuine interest in the field of games and simulation arts and sciences (GSAS) and your plans for a future in the field. Beyond that, your response should imply that you are ready to take on this program and will make the most of it.

 

We strongly encourage you to submit a portfolio with your application, if possible. If you are able to submit one, make sure your statement is consistent with it. If you aren’t able to assemble a portfolio, your statement will take on even more importance.

 

Consider a few questions to gather your thoughts before you write:

 

1) What are your sincere reasons for choosing GSAS?

 

Be honest about what is most important to you about GSAS. Note, however, that if your primary reasons are superficial things like money or prestige, you should seriously ask yourself if this field is for you.

 

2) What specific things do you appreciate about the field of GSAS?

 

When thinking about this, you should strive to name a few concepts that aren’t vague. For example, don’t just express an interest in image clarity in games; talk about how you’ve studied and played around with Multisample Anti-Aliasing to improve the sharpness of edges in an image.

 

3) What do you want to accomplish in the world of GSAS? How will a career in the field help you achieve your personal goals?

 

Again, think beyond “making a lot of money.” Show a sincere interest in the field and think about things you want to do with your future degree in GSAS. Maybe you want to develop a game that tells a story with no dialog, or maybe you want to help create a VR racing game. Find your passion and formulate your response from there.

 

4) What experiences related to GSAS have you had both in school and in your personal life?

 

5) Is there an emotional state you experience every time you explore this field of study? What about this state of mind appeals to you?

 

It’s fine if you just have an abiding interest in GSAS, but no experience in simulation arts. If this is the case, be sure to write at length about the things you’ve looked into in your free time and about the things you hope to get experience with in the program.

 

If you do have enough experience to compile a portfolio, make sure your essay aligns with the contents of that portfolio. Perhaps you can write an anecdote about how one of your portfolio projects was created.

 

Consider a hypothetical student who has helped create game assets for mods. She might be a digital artist who wants to focus on video game design in her future career. Her portfolio can include models she designed, sprites she created, or full-fledged mods that were actually published online! When writing her essay, she may offer a quick anecdote about how she got into art design for games in particular, after which she can transition into what she loves about creating assets and modding games. From there, she might write about what she hopes to accomplish during college

 

The example above shows an effective approach because it indicates to the admissions committee that the student has a real passion for the field of GSAS, a good amount of experience and knowledge, and an idea of what she wants to do in the future.

 

Aim to accomplish the same goals in your response. Show sincerity and intellectual curiosity in your reasons for choosing GSAS, let the admissions committee know that you have some knowledge of the field (even if you don’t have much tangible experience), describe how you intend to take advantage of RPI’s GSAS program, and give admissions readers a sense of your plan for your future in the field. Do all or most of these things, and you will craft a solid essay.

 

Electronic Arts (EART)

Discuss your interests in the field of electronic arts, and state how this is reflected in your portfolio, if one has been submitted. (1-2 pages)

This prompt is a variation on the common “Why This Major?” theme. RPI wants to know how serious you are about electronic arts and how your background and life experiences support your interest in it. They also want to gauge how well prepared you are for what the program and field have to offer.

 

The Electronic Arts program emphasizes the intersection of art and technology — think graphic design, videography, sound engineering, animation, etc. Pursuing any branch of electronic arts is a creative endeavor. To help showcase your creativity and unique artistic perspective, we strongly encourage you to submit a portfolio with your application, if at all possible. Including a body of work will give the admissions committee a sense of what you’re capable of, as well as context that you can use in your response to this prompt.

 

To help give shape and structure to your essay, mull over the following questions before you begin writing:

 

1) Why are you applying to the Electronic Arts program?

 

Consider your sincere reasons for applying to this program. Ideally, you’ll have a somewhat deep interest in art and media, and possibly a body of work that supports this interest. If your reasons include money or status, you’re already off to a bad start.

 

2) What about the field of electronic arts specifically piques your interest?

 

Rather than saying something generic like “I enjoy designing 3D models of scenes,” say something specific like “I experiment with the use of ray traced ambient occlusion (RTAO) to see how it contributes more realism to scenes than screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO).” Do make sure to explain any deeply technical terms you use.

 

3) How can the field help you achieve any career/life goals you have?

 

Consider what you want to do with a degree in Electronic Arts. Think about possible career paths you might go down.

 

4) What has been your favorite experience with electronic arts, both in school and in your personal life?

 

5) Is there any emotional state you experience whenever you explore the subject? What about this state of mind do you find appealing?

 

Try to find a few anecdotes that can clearly support your interest in the field. If you choose to submit a portfolio with your application, perhaps you can tell an anecdote about one of your pieces of work. Things like the inspiration for one of your works, a technique you decided to test out on a piece, or a mistake that turned out to be a new method you now often employ are all fair game.

 

Don’t spend too much time simply telling anecdotes; you want to have enough space to describe your interests in detail. You should talk about things you have done/currently do in the subject in a way that illustrates your interests. The old writing adage says that you should “show” rather than “tell.” 

 

Consider two excerpts from a hypothetical student’s drafts.

 

Excerpt 1: When my friend asked me to mix his first song, I was very excited to hone my skills. I applied compression to his vocals and added reverb to the guitar to really bring it forward in the mix. I also managed to EQ the bass perfectly after almost a dozen tries. I really enjoyed mixing my friend’s song.

 

Excerpt 2: My friend asked me to mix his first real song. He didn’t mind my lack of experience and assured me that we would both learn some things about sound engineering along the way. Much to my surprise, processing his vocals and some of the instruments came easy to me. A little compression on his voice, some reverb on the guitar – I was learning fundamentals while creating a real project! I only really got stuck on the bass track. It took me twelve tries, meticulously listening to every note in order to figure out where I could give the bass a little space or mute the tone here and there. A wave of joy washed over me when I finally figured out the perfect EQ to put on the track. I still light up every time I hear the punch of the low end blaring through the speakers when his song comes on in my playlist.

 

The first excerpt does a fine job of describing the events factually, but it unfortunately also does a fine job of being really dry. The second excerpt includes a lot of emotional content while also contextualizing the techniques used — the writer explains how some techniques are fundamentals as well as why certain techniques were used.

 

The second excerpt does a much better job of showing rather than telling, and it also exhibits the student’s understanding and enjoyment of sound engineering. Similarly, you should aim to be genuine and specific in your response. Show the admissions officers why you’re interested in electronic arts and how you’re prepared to tackle their program.

 

Music (MUSC)

Describe your interest in the music major and your goals. Please include completed course work in music, private music instruction, musical performance and production experience, or completed independent projects. (1-2 pages)

This prompt is essentially a more detailed version of the “Why This Major?” prompt. RPI is trying to discover a few things about you through this prompt. They want to know why you’re interested in the music major, what creative endeavors you’ve undertaken in music, how and where you’ve learned what you know, and where you want to go with music. This essay is your chance to truly showcase your talents, passion, and plans for your future.

 

A key aspect of this essay is hitting all of the points RPI wants you to discuss. Before you start writing, it may be helpful to first create a list of everything they want (interest, goals, course work in music, private music instruction, musical performance and production experience, and independent projects) and then write a paragraph for each point.

 

You might even find a way to craft a sort of autobiographical essay that ties all those elements together in a single narrative. You can begin with how you got a start in music, then move into each of your major experiences in turn. Once you’ve addressed those points, you can move into a discussion of your interest in RPI’s music major.

 

Note: You’re required to submit a portfolio “of 3-5 works that best represent their creative abilities. These may include, but are not limited to, audio and video recordings of compositions and performances, scores, and software programs.” You may find it helpful to craft your response to this essay in a way that describes how these works were created.

 

Make sure that your portfolio and essay complement each other. It will not look good if, for example, you write about extensive experience in audio production then submit a portfolio of songs with questionable mixing.

 

The prompt asks for your interest in the music major, not just music in general, so be sure to do your research on what makes the music major at RPI uniquely appeal to you. Look into RPI’s catalog for the music major, the music major program page, and the performances of the Rensselaer Concert Choir and Rensselaer Orchestra to get a flavor of what music at RPI is like. You can also discuss why music is significant in your life, but be sure to connect those reasons to your interest in music as a major.

 

For the section about goals, be specific. It is okay if you aren’t quite sure what you hope to do with the music major in college or after you graduate, but give RPI a sense of where you think you might go with music, whether it’s performance, composition, production, or something else. If your goal is to play in a major symphony, discuss the steps you are taking and will take to get there. If your goal is to become a composer, discuss the aspects of the music major at RPI that will help you achieve that goal.

 

Since this essay can be up to 2 pages, you can use some space to add more detailed and personal information to the sections about your experience in music, but be sure to remain clear about which classes you took, how long you took private lessons (and with whom), and your various performance experiences.

 

Consider a hypothetical student, a flutist whose biggest career goal is to play in the orchestras on Broadway. He might write about his years of extensive formal flute lessons and his experience playing in community theater events and in his high school band. To describe how studying music at RPI can help him achieve his goals, he might mention wanting to study woodwind playing with Professor Thomas J. Gerbino, who has played with touring musical theater companies.

 

Consider another hypothetical student, a self-taught musician with a love for rock music. Perhaps she gained an appreciation for rock as a child, which motivated her to teach herself how to play the bass and drums over the last 8 years. She can write about her experiences with the band she recently started with her friends, and how these experiences have taught her some new techniques in DAW production and audio mixing. She can describe how RPI will help her achieve her goals by mentioning a desire to study with Professor Ross Rice, who has experience in a rock band as a singer, musician, producer, and engineer.

 

The two examples above illustrate a couple of ways in which music can be a part of an applicant’s life. The examples differ in the style of music, instrument of choice, preferred genre, and musical goals, but they are both effective approaches.

 

No matter what your background in music is, you can write a strong and compelling essay that will support your portfolio and overall application. If you’re honest and detailed in your response, you’ll already be off to a great start.

 

Where to Get Your RPI Essays Edited 

 

Do you want feedback on your RPI essays? After rereading your essays over and over, it can be difficult to spot where your writing may need improvement. 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!


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