How to Diversify Topics for UT Austin Essays


UT Austin over the years has required students to submit a handful of essays as part of their college admissions application. Because there are so many prompts that you need to respond to, you may run into the problem of including overlapping content across multiple essays or focusing too heavily on one part of your life while completely leaving out something that is original yet maybe not immediately related to your prospective major. Since you have a little less than a month to submit your application (due December 1st), let’s discuss some ways to get the most unique content into your essays (for the required topics).

ApplyTexas Topic A

Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Even though this is the “main” essay for your UTexas application, I would refrain from sticking strictly to major-related opportunities or challenges, especially since this information will be addressed more directly in Short Answer #1. If anything, this is a great time to highlight extracurricular experiences that would reveal more about your personality.

Basically, think about any hardships in your family that you had to overcome, or horizon-widening trips that you took, or hobbies that consumed your thoughts (in a good way) but you wouldn’t really be able to write about anywhere else in the application.

Required Short Answer 1

Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?

First things first, you will not be able to write about all the reasons you are interested in your first-choice major. That said, your goal is to highlight the pivotal moment when the subject clicked for you, when you realized that THIS is what you want to spend the next four years studying. It could be a tough project at school, a cathartic setback in a club, or any other experience that put your passion for your prospective major into perspective.

Of all the essays you write for UT Austin, this one is the best option for discussing classroom and school-related experiences.

Required Short Answer 2

Leadership can be demonstrated in many ways. Please share how you have demonstrated leadership in either your school, job, community, and/or within your family responsibilities.

The prompt does a great job of broadening the definition of leadership, so don’t feel limited to titles in clubs, which is what many students end up writing about (not necessarily a bad thing).

The best strategy is to write about the type of leader you are--such as the one who takes charge or the one who delegates and supervises (there are many styles of leadership). Once you’ve identified the kind of leader you are, you want to back this up with an example of how you led in that way.

If possible, try to bring in a new experience--again, one that is not necessarily related to your prospective major.

Required Short Answer 3

Please share how you believe your experiences, perspectives, and/or talents have shaped your ability to contribute to and enrich the learning environment at UT Austin, both in and out of the classroom.

Of all the topics for UT Austin, this one is the best for talking about an extracurricular moment in your life, and really, it is meant for you to describe a time of personal growth. While obviously all kinds of growth occur in classrooms and at club meets and during competitions, this is the chance to think about friends and family, of events that may not have even made it on the resume.

Also, stick to one unique perspective that you got from whatever moment you describe.

Need more help brainstorming or editing your UT Austin essays? No worries! Check out B2A’s College Admissions Services (CAS)! Our professional, qualified admissions counselors and essay specialists can help you refine and focus your responses, giving you a better chance at hooking ‘em with your personal story and becoming a Longhorn!

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