Extracurricular theme


If someone had extracurriculars all focused on a specific theme and this passion is evident throughout the application (recommendation letters, common app essay, activities list), would they be disadvantaged to apply for a major that doesn’t reflect this?

Eg. Student 1 - a very commerce focused application but applying for a Science major (would the student have a higher likelihood of acceptance if applying for commerce?)
Eg. Student 2 - very environmentally focused application but applying to a top finance school (higher likelihood of acceptance if applying for environmental science?)

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Hi there. Here at Crimson, we tend to advise our students to pursue extracurriculars that showcase depth and breadth. Depth extracurriculars show passion and leadership within a target area of interest for the student – for example, a student interested in STEM might be involved in the Math Team, engage in STEM fairs/competitions, and tutor for the Physics department at school. However, universities also want to admit students that are interested in a variety of extracurriculars, which is where the idea of breadth comes in. Breadth ECs for this hypothetical “STEM” student could include the rock climbing club, volunteering at a food bank, taking acting classes, or playing in the school band.

If a school requires a student to apply into a major (many larger schools do this) during the application process, then applying to a major in which the student does not have any prior experience might hurt them. However, most liberal art schools, while requiring the student to speculate on their intended major, will not judge the student too heavily regarding their lack of relevant experience. In this case, a student should indicate why they want to pursue their major of choice elsewhere in the application.

Hope this helps!

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