• The two essays you submit represent the cornerstones of your application to join the UVU Honors Program. We borrowed and adapted the questions below from the University of Chicago's famously unusual admissions essay tradition, among other places. 
  • Your response will be evaluated on the focus, originality, and creativity of the content, but form (spelling, grammar, and punctuation) matters, too. 


The most impressive essays will be clear and lively and will give us a vivid sense of who you are and what passion, focus, and innovation you might bring to the Honors Program.  



  • Draw on your best qualities as a writer and thinker
  • Take some risks and have fun
  • Have someone edit your writing
  • Proofread carefully to remove typos, clichéd phrasing, and unclear ideas



  • Let an editor erase your unique voice 
  • Share your darkest thoughts, fears, or desires
  • Preach or lecture
  • Plagiarize 


Limit your response to about 300 words for each essay.  You will select ONE Analytical Option and ONE Creative Option. 



Honors students at the game

Prompt One Options (More Analytical):


A. Cats have nine lives, Pac-Man has three lives, and radioactive isotopes have half-lives. How many lives does something else—conceptual or actual—have, and why? (Analytical)

B. Strings always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus’s escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to a finely tuned violin string. Use the power of string, real or metaphorical, to explain something you view as crucial.

C. What are the peculiarities of your own personal language (and it need not be English, although your essay needs to be). Consider the voice you use when speaking most intimately to yourself or your family, the vocabulary that spills out when you’re startled, or special phrases and gestures that no one else seems to use or even understand—and tell us how your language makes you unique.





Prompt Two Options (More Creative):


D. Imagine Genghis Khan with an F1 racecar, Emperor Nero with a panini press, George Washington with a SuperSoaker, Frida Kahlo with a Furby, or Queen Lilioukalani with a Tesla. If you could give any historical figure any piece of technology, who and what would it be, and why do you think they’d work so well together?

E. Universities love Nobel laureates. But why should economics, physics, and peace get all the glory? You are tasked with creating a new category for the Nobel Prize. Explain what it would be, why you chose your specific category, and the criteria necessary to achieve this accomplishment.

F. You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of sentient Martian beings suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they're the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, mathematical proof, or other idea. What song, image, etc. do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time?

Headshot of Wilson the Wolverine

Questions? Ask Wilson