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Department of Albert Dorman Honors College

Tips for Writing an Honors College Essay


A college essay is a chance for you to tell us what all your records cannot: who you really are, how you think, and how well you write. It is not an invitation to tell a story, write a novel, or write about other people's experiences. The main point of your essay is to tell us what you have to offer and how you will take advantage of what we have to offer.
  1. Write an essay that addresses the topic assigned on the application form. A general essay about yourself or an experience you had is not acceptable. We have a great deal of experience with essays written for an English class and can tell one when we see it.
  2. Do not write your essay as if it were a novel. "The baby cried until it had to be comforted by its mother;" "I could not believe as I walked into my first class that this was the beginning of my engineering career." These tell us nothing about yourself. Regardless of what you may have been told in school, write a straightforward descriptive essay that directly addresses the question asked.
  3. Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing, such as "I want to help people." This is particularly applicable to essays for accelerated program candidates.
  4. Do not quote our own description of our program. We know what we have to offer; we are interested in knowing what you have to offer and how you will use what we offer. In short, tell us about yourself.

For more tips, please see this page from the College Board.

Essay Topic for Freshman Applicants:

What academic, educational, or other experiences have you had that provide a foundation for participating in NJIT’s Honors College?

Please be sure to attach a clear printout of your essay with your application. Be sure to include your name at the top of the essay.

Essay Topic for Accelerated Applicants:

Tell us why you want to be in an accelerated program in medicine/law/dentistry/optometry/physical therapy, and the academic, educational or other experiences you have had that provide a foundation for participating in this program. Please be sure to attach a clear printout of your essay with your application.

Essay Topic for Transfer Applicants:

(including current NJIT students): Write an essay in which you give a specific and definite plan for your honors education at NJIT. Your essay must cover the following points: (1) Honors courses you have taken, and those specifically you plan to take; (2) research, internships, or similar projects you have completed, and those you would specifically like to participate in; (3) service and other activities within NJIT or your current undergraduate college, and specifically those you would like to continue or begin; and (4) whether you plan to enroll in a minor or second major. The essay should explain specifically how membership in the Honors College will help you to attain academic and professional excellence. This essay is the most important part of your application.