What are "intellectual interests"?

Almost all students applying to college will need to write an essay describing their intellectual interests. This lets the college know what a student is interested in and wants to study at the university. It can also be modified to address other essay questions including, "Who are your favorite authors?" and "Which of your personal qualities or passions do you value most?" The key is to interpret the questions creatively and apply them to your own personal characteristics. Below is a sample essay that one student used to get into her dream college:

for example, you could have an intellectual interest in...dancing.

Senior researcher , an associate professor in Princeton's and the , said that the survey — though not exhaustive nor based on direct clinical diagnoses — presents the idea that certain heritable psychiatric conditions are more closely linked to a person's intellectual interests than is currently supposed.


intellectual interest? — College Confidential

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What you want to do with an Intellectual Interest essay is make yourself look good to the school. You don’t need to fill the page with a series of meaningless and optionally funny anecdotes from your summer trip to Lake George with your uncle that one time when he fell off the boat and everyone laughed. What you’re really trying to communicate with this is something about who you are and what you can bring to the school that no one else can. Those are your Intellectual Interests.