George Washington University Essay Prompt

Below are the secondary essay prompts for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC.

2017 – 2018

  • Please provide the Admissions Committee with a brief summary of your activities, academics, employment or other occupations to account for full-time activity (approx. 30-40 hours/week) for the 2017-2018 application cycle, or from the point of application through matriculation in 2018. (750 characters)
    • In narrative (sentence) form, talk professionally about what you do and plan to do during your application year. For those who are college seniors, explain your course choices and activities you plan to continue. For those who have just graduated, if you have a job lined up – fantastic – talk about it. If you do not, talk about any volunteering, clinical, research, or other activities that you plan to do. If you have space, you can mention any personal goals such as running a marathon, writing, etc. Be careful not to talk too much about traveling the world as you want to present yourself as productive during this period.
  • What is your most meaningful community service experience to date? (350 characters)
    • A straight forward response is perfect here (and all there is room for!). In narrative form, state the experience, your role, and why this was so important for you.
  • What is your most meaningful clinical experience to date, involving direct patient contact? (350 characters)
    • As with the above, be direct and concise. Give a context or backdrop for the experience (where was it? Clinic, hospital, etc) and why you sought this particular experience out, then say how you interacted with the patient(s) and what you most enjoyed.
  • What makes you a unique individual? What challenges have you faced? How will these factors help you contribute to the diversity of the student body at GW? (1000 characters)
    • Unique. I wouldn’t be surprised if this question goes by the wayside in the next few years but in the meantime, you can go in many directions with this response. Make sure you address each of the 3 questions in this response and that breaks it down into easier chunks to tackle ~ approximately 325 characters for each.
      Unique is really anything about you that you want to bring to their attention that has played a significant role in shaping you – an atypical family structure, sibling or parental influence, educational experience, job or resonsbility, personal illness or loved one’s illness, ethnic or cultural background. If you have dealt with an intensely difficult situation, you could write about this as both your challenge and uniqueness. If not, you may want to present them as different.
      In terms of how you will contribute diversity to the class, this should tie to your previous comments and should be presented as characteristics or personality traits that are your assets/strengths.
  • What is your specific interest in the MD Program at GW? What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student here? Why? (2000 characters)
    • Given the amount of space they have allotted, GW expects that you have some carved out reasons for wanting to be on their DC campus. First, within their walls – what is it about their curriculum or philosophy, teaching style, faculty and current student body that appeals to you? Next, think outside the walls more broadly to the DC area and what is going on that you could become involved with based on your career interests. Are you passionate about a cause or a population group? Interested in healthcare or health policy? Do you want to take an additional year during medical school to intern? Many umbrella organizations have a presence in DC and the NIH is just north in Bethesda.

2016 – 2017

  • Have you ever been convicted of, plead guilty, or plead no lo contendere (i.e., no contest, I do not wish to contend) to a criminal offense? Have you ever been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor? If yes, please provide a description here: (limit to 500 characters)
  • Did you indicate that you were the recipient of any institutional action on your AMCAS application? If yes, please provide a description here: (limit to 500 characters)
  • Please provide the Admissions Committee with a brief summary of your activities, academics, employment or other occupations to account for full-time activity (approx. 30-40 hours/week) for the 2014-2015 application cycle, or from the point of application through matriculation in 2015. (limit to 750 characters)
  • What is your most meaningful community service experience to date? (limit to 350 characters)
    What is your most meaningful clinical experience to date, involving direct patient contact? (limit to 350 characters)
  • What makes you a unique individual? What challenges have you faced? How will these factors help you contribute to the diversity of the student body at GW? (limit to 1000 characters)
  • What is your specific interest in the MD Program at GW? What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student here? Why? (limit to 2000 characters)

Complete and submit the Common Application online.

Note that there are multiple decision plans at GW. We offer Early Decision I, Early Decision II, as well as Regular Decision. Early Decision plans utilize a binding agreement, meaning that you are required to attend should you be admitted to the university. The Early Decision agreement form can be found on the Common App website. Be sure to pay attention to application deadlines.

The essay portion of the application provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their English language writing skills. Applicants will choose one of five specific prompts that best allows them to share their story with the Admissions Committee. The essay will be 250 to 650 words and detailed instructions can be found in the Common Application.

In addition to the Common Application essay, the applicant must complete the 250 word Writing Supplement. The GW supplemental essay question is a chance to show their personality and make connections between your experiences and GW’s institutional values.

Please note: The application is not complete and we cannot begin the application review until we receive all required forms. The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $75 for students. Be sure to complete the last step after Summary and Review, which finalizes payment of the fee, and be certain it is successfully submitted. The Common Application opens in early August for fall and spring admission.

Supporting documentation, including School Report, transcripts, and letters of recommendation can be submitted electronically via the Common Application, via email to gwadm@gwu.edu, or via mail to our office:
     The George Washington University
     Office of Undergraduate Admissions
     2121 I Street NW, Suite 201
     Washington, D.C. 20052

Please note that electronic submission is the preferred method of submitting documentation to the Admissions Office and will allow us to complete your application in a timely manner.

Please allow us several weeks from the time the application is submitted to process all documents and post them in the GW Admissions Portal. During the busy application period, the portal is the best resource, as we are continually updating students' applications and documents. You will receive a link to the portal with instructions on how to log in after your application is submitted.

On the Common Application and corresponding documentation, please ensure the applicant’s name is written as it appears on their passport or government identification. Students should use the Common Application's “preferred name” field to include a preferred name, if it differs from the name on official identification. All international applicants must provide a permanent, physical mailing address (that is not a post office box).

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