Essay Prompts

As a part of your application to SPU, you'll submit two essays. Each essay should be between 250 and 650 words, and they will help us better understand you, your experiences, and your skills as a writer.

Essay 1: Your Common Application Essay

In the main portion of the Common Application, you'll be asked to select one of the following prompts:

  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 obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 
  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, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Essay 2: Your SPU Essay

In the SPU member section of the Common Application, you'll respond to the following:

While Seattle Pacific does not require a profession of Christian faith for admission, Seattle Pacific's Christian identity inspires our vision to "Engage the Culture and Change the World". We encourage all students to live out SPU’s vision. It means that we pursue education not just to get a degree, but also to be changed — and to change the world — for the better. How does SPU’s vision align with your desires for college? How does your own faith perspective or personal story intersect with SPU’s vision?