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Essay Questions

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OU Admission Application Questions

Each application for admission to OU is read thoroughly, thoughtfully and fairly to evaluate all-around excellence. The questions below provide you with the opportunity to tell us more about your abilities in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership, service, and other qualities you may possess.

Common Application Essay

As part of the Common Application, you will be asked to write one essay between 250 and 650 words. You must stay within that word count. You will be asked to write a response to your choice of one of the five prompts listed below. This essay is designed to demonstrate your ability to write clearly and concisely and help you set your application apart.

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

OU Supplemental Scholarship Questions

In our supplemental scholarship section, you will be asked to answer the first two questions below. You may also be asked a third major-specific question depending on the academic preferences you list in your Common Application. While this supplement is optional, we recommend you fill it out regardless. If you do not answer these questions, you will not be considered for OU leadership, community service and major-based scholarships. Please answer all of these questions in 650 words or less.

  1. The University of Oklahoma believes strongly in educating leaders of communities in Oklahoma, as well as across the country and the world. Please share your leadership experiences and why they are important to you.
  2. The University of Oklahoma is home to a vibrant, diverse and compassionate University community. Our President, David L. Boren, refers to our strong community as “the OU Family”. Please describe your cultural and community service activities and why you chose to participate in them.
  3. What is your career area of interest, and why do you have a desire to work in this particular field?

(This third, academic-based question is asked by certain academic departments. Therefore, it may or may not appear in your scholarship section depending on the academic preferences you list in your application.)