UIUC Supplemental Essays 2024 | Strategies and Insights for Success

The University of Illinois — Urbana Champaign stands as a beacon of excellence among public universities in the United States, renowned for its top-tier computer science, engineering, and business programs. While stellar grades and test scores set the foundation for aspiring Fighting Illini, applicants must also tackle 2-3 UIUC supplemental essay prompts.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the 2023-24 UIUC supplemental essays. Here are two key points to keep in mind:

  1. You will need to respond to 2-3 of these essays, depending on your application category.
  2. Each response must be no more than 150 words.

Let’s explore these prompts and how you can craft compelling responses to showcase your fit for UIUC.

Also read University of Illinois Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

UIUC Supplemental Essays

UIUC Supplemental Essays: If You’re Applying to a Major

1) Explain, in detail, an experience you’ve had in the past 3 to 4 years related to your first-choice major. This can be an experience from an extracurricular activity, in a class you’ve taken, or through something else.

UIUC isn’t looking for your most decorated achievement; they want to see your genuine commitment. Consider:

  • Which experience best showcases your passion for your major?
  • Which moment resonates most with your unique interests?

Choose an experience that allows for rich detail, making it memorable for the admissions team. Reflect on pivotal moments in your academic or extracurricular journey to find the most compelling story to share.

2) Describe your personal and/or career goals after graduating from UIUC and how your selected first-choice major will help you achieve them.

While akin to a “Why Us?” essay, UIUC prioritizes understanding why you’re drawn to your academic department. Tips for crafting a winning response:

  • Highlight specific programs, professors, and opportunities relevant to your major.
  • Articulate why your chosen program is the perfect fit for your aspirations.
  • Provide insights into your future goals, even if they’re still evolving.

Research your prospective college/department thoroughly to pinpoint what makes it exceptional. The more tailored and specific your response, the stronger your UIUC essays will be!

UIUC Supplemental Essays: If You’re Applying to Our Undeclared Program in the Division of General Studies

1) What are your academic interests? Please include 2-3 majors you’re considering at Illinois and why.

While your strengths may shine through in other areas of your application, this essay delves into your specific academic passions and their connection to potential majors at UIUC. Consider:

  • Reflect on what topics or subjects ignite your intellectual curiosity and drive.
  • Share the avenues through which you pursue knowledge, whether through deep dives into complex concepts or voracious consumption of information.
  • Connect your interests to 2-3 majors at UIUC, citing relevant school-specific offerings and resources.

2) What are your future career or academic goals? You may include courses you took in high school and how these impacted your goals.

For Undeclared applicants, this essay offers an opportunity to outline your academic and career aspirations based on your current interests and past experiences. Tips for crafting a compelling response:

  • Use your explored academic interests from the previous question as a foundation for your future goals.
  • Share how your high school coursework has influenced your trajectory, even if your plans are still evolving.
  • Be honest about the stage of your academic and career planning, acknowledging that it’s normal for your goals to develop over time.

UIUC Supplemental Essays: If You’ve Selected a Second-Choice Major (Including Undeclared)

Please explain your interest in your second-choice major or your overall academic or career goals.

For those considering a second-choice major, this essay mirrors the process outlined above but focuses on a different field. Ensure coherence between your first and second-choice majors or career goals, providing a clear rationale for your selections.

Also see Best Computer Science Schools in the USA 2024

How Important are the Essays at UIUC?

UIUC considers the essays “important” in the application review process, alongside factors like test scores, extracurricular activities, and talent/ability. While GPA and the rigor of high school coursework hold the highest weight, the essays play a significant role in showcasing your academic interests and aspirations.


Crafting compelling supplemental essays for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a crucial step in presenting yourself as a standout applicant. Whether you’re expressing your academic passions, outlining your career goals, or articulating why UIUC is the perfect fit for you, these essays provide a valuable opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and aspirations. Remember, while GPA and coursework rigor are paramount, the essays play a vital role in shaping the admissions committee’s understanding of who you are beyond your academic achievements. So, take the time to thoughtfully craft your responses, highlighting your strengths, passions, and potential contributions to the UIUC community.