Definition: The admissions essay is a required component of all graduate school applications. Typically it is written in response to a prompt. Graduate programs will often assign specific topics that applicants must address in writing their essay. Sometimes they ask for a generic "autobiographical statement" in which the applicant discusses his or her life, experiences, and goals. The admissions essay is sometimes referred to as a personal statement. The graduate admissions essay is a critical part of the graduate application because it is through this essay that applicants can speak directly to the committee and demonstrate their unique fit to the program.
Also Known As: personal statement, autobiographical statement