College Essays

University of Southern California Supplemental

Prompt (UNC Supplemental) 

Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections” (max. 250 words)


Since taking a government and politics class in my junior year, I’ve discovered the complexities of the political spectrum and how they’ve intensified with the internet’s growth; the nation’s two-party system is far from black-and-white. How the modern media shapes polarization in America fascinates me. At USC, I will engage in Dornsife and Annenberg’s courses to meld my interests in political science and communication. My curiosity will enable me to thrive in courses like ASCJ 210: Contours of Change in Media and Communication in which I will explore the media’s role in the challenges that come with social and political change. Additionally, I will immerse myself in the political world through Dornsife’s Washington DC Program which will allow me to challenge my perspective and gain hands-on experience from the capital’s most influential forces. These experiences will complement my understanding of mass communication’s role on a national scale and bridge my interests between majors. 

I hope to explore the government’s duty to balance the protection of free speech and manage the growing concern about hate speech and misinformation in social media. I would love to address this question by joining professors from Annenberg like Jonathan Aronson in his research on “Platform Governance in Comparative Perspective”. Through experiences like these and my dedication to my studies at USC, I will prepare myself to impactfully participate in real-world political settings post-graduation. 

Tips for Writing

Research, research, research. The prompt asks you “why you want to explore [your academic interests] at USC specifically.” Therefore, your essay should be specific about the USC programs, professors, and experiences you will use. Looking at the USC website, specifically at different majors/ their course offerings, and also at the professors there and what research opportunities they offer really helped me come up with what I wanted to write about. Additionally, make sure to acknowledge the part of the question that asks about your “academic interests.”

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