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Writing a Personal Statement

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Writing a personal statement is a necessity when applying to graduate or professional school. The format, length, and topic will vary according to academic discipline and program type, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.

Identify Resources:  Find useful online resources such as those available on the Purdue OWL website to help you draft your essay(s) and review samples. Seek additional program-specific guidelines when available, like the ones offered through the MSU Pre-Health Advising office and information on writing personal statements for medical school  for those applying to health professional programs.

Determine Your Message:  Avoid writing a generic statement. Develop a well written essay that conveys your knowledge and maturity, shows your sincere interest in the academic discipline, and draws a connection between what they are looking for and what you have to offer. Make sure your message clearly states why that particular program is right for you.

Review Before Submitting: Follow up with your career advisor, academic advisor, professional mentor, and/or a representative from the MSU Writing Center to help you refine your essay(s) before submitting. Constructing a personal statement takes time; plan to write, edit, and rewrite several times before landing on the final product.


  • Tailor your statement to each program or school
  • Make sure to answer the question or prompt
  • Stick to the guidelines provided for length, format, etc.
  • Follow a traditional essay format with an introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Find a compelling angle or hook to tell your story
  • Provide strong examples to support your claims
  • Emphasize what is unique, distinctive, or impressive about you
  • Be positive and sincere Avoid using general or obvious statements and cliches
  • Thoroughly check your spelling, grammar, and overall quality of writing

*Duplicate information available in attached resource.

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School of Social Work College of Social Science

Applicant and personal statement instructions.

As part of your application, you must include an applicant statement. The personal statement is optional.

The Applicant Statement is uploaded to your online application in the “academic statement” section.

Applicant Statement

You are expected to organize your applicant statement into a cohesive essay, rather than a list of discrete answers to the questions posed. In other words, you should use the questions to guide your statement but organize it like an essay or paper. The applicant statement is a critical part of the application: We will assess your ability to address the questions, as well as your writing skills, and fit with our MSW program. Your statement should be double-spaced, 12 pt font, and a maximum of 5 pages long. If you choose to reference scholarly or other sources, be sure to cite appropriately using APA format . A reference page will not count to the 5-page page limit.

The NASW Code of Ethics is a guide for professional social work conduct. The principles outlined in the Code address our ethical responsibility to clients, colleagues, employers, the social work profession, and to society. These include the core values in which our mission is rooted: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

After reviewing the Code of Ethics:

  • Discuss a current societal problem that drew you to social work. Choose one of the core values and discuss how it relates to this problem and your goals as a social work professional? What skills and knowledge do you plan to obtain from the MSU MSW program to help you develop this core value and address the problem?
  • Describe how your personal and intellectual qualifications and past human service experience are relevant to furthering social justice and assisting the most economically and social disadvantaged groups in our society as a whole. Discuss a core value that you have demonstrated through these experiences. Please use specific examples.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is an opportunity to share any additional information that you think we should consider as we review your application that does not fit within the applicant statement as outlined above.  Examples may include the circumstances behind a low undergraduate GPA; reasons for a career change if you are new to social work; unique experiences, skills, or perspectives you bring that contribute to the diversity of the program, etc. If you choose to include a personal statement, it should be no more than 1 page and uploaded to the “personal statement” section of the online application.

Prospective Students

Michigan State University Undergraduate College Application Essays

These Michigan State University college application essays were written by students accepted at Michigan State University. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Please use these sample admission essays responsibly.

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College Application Essays accepted by Michigan State University

Friendship.com anonymous, michigan state university.

The "dot-com revolution" of the mid-to-late 1990s began to take hold just as I was entering my middle school years. I was eager to try new things, including this new Internet technology, because my inner self was also changing and becoming...

Looking to the Future Anonymous

It seems as though every day since elementary school people have been asking me the same daunting question: "So, what do you want to do when you grow up?" While my creative mind continues to come up with a different idea for each day of the week,...

Imported Culture Michelle Salman

“Lower your lids!”

Gilad, my drama instructor, paced back and forth on the stage, arms folded over his belly, Israeli impatience rising in his voice. His eyes narrowed, scanned me through bushy slits, and he barked new commands.

“Let your smile...

“Buenos días, ¿cómo estás?” Anonymous

When my dad first began working in Mexico, I nonchalantly changed my schedule to include seventh grade “Intro to Spanish.” Naturally, I didn’t think twice about what would later prove a crucial decision—few seventh graders realize how such simple...

Two Worlds as One Anonymous

“Τι κάνεις? Στην υγειά μας! Opa!”

“Howdy, partner. What’s in that iron skillet, ma’?”

Those phrases from opposite worlds represent my diverse cultural life growing up with a Greek mother and a father from North Dakota. From my mother I learned to...

New Experiences Samantha Jackson

One of the most significant reasons I want to attend Michigan State University is for the beloved “college experience.” To me, the best part of this experience is meeting people that I would have never met in my small hometown of Memphis,...

Notes From a Nomad Andrew Ronald Voigt

As I sit typing my final paper for eighth grade on a rainy Portland night in May, I hear my mother suddenly call, “Andrew, your father and I need to talk to you”. From her tone I know the subject of the conversation. She used that tone at the end...

The Learning Curve Anonymous

I carefully stepped down the steep gravel hill, making my way to the riverbank for my very first crew practice. The early March air chilled my skin and whipped my hair. I was nervous: each rocky step took me closer to a mass of athletic limbs, all...

Common App Short answer Anonymous

When I first heard the lyrics of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black,” it was from this little red contraption that I bought from a garage sale for ten dollars. I was hooked. That small record player eventually became the two Numark turntables and...

When World Collide Anonymous

2007: “Are y’all comin’?” I yell to the kids on the playground as I run over to the swings. They look at each other and laugh, clearly making fun of the way I speak. I put my head down, embarrassed, and walk to the swings alone. I wish I hadn’t...

Only Time Will Tell Anonymous

I’ll always remember that drive; there was a crisp summer breeze sailing in through my window and the taste of early-morning dew still hung in the air. My heart was beating so fast, I could hardly hear my favorite song, “Sweet Caroline”, blasting...

Devotion Anonymous

My mother’s hands tell the entire world of my life. They were the first to hold me when I was first born and feed me when I cried. It was her hands that have raised me on behalf of my busy dad, patting me when I behaved well and spanking me when I...

Chemistry, Conflict, and the Red Bean Bun Anonymous

So ubiquitously sold in the streets of cold breezes of winter in South Korea, a red bean bun brings deliberate warmth and joy to many people. Sold at a price of only forty cents back in the 90s, the red bean bun was more than just a snack; it was...

Shanghai for a Year Anonymous

The vibrant skyline stood dead. It was 4:30 A.M. and life ceased to exist on the streets of Shanghai. The sunrise peaked through the jungle of buildings across the river and shined onto our faces. I stared at the skyline, thinking how much the...

Acceptance Anonymous

“Sit still!” my mom shouted at me in Igbo, as she continued to press the scalding flat iron to my scalp. I hung my head, watching as the puddle of tears in my lap grew larger, each additional tear rolling off my chubby ten-year-old cheek,...

Heritage Living Victoria Katashev

Live musicians yell into their mics while the crowd jumps and sings along to their music. I’m out of breath, my chest hurts, and I know my voice will be gone, but I’ve accepted it. An older man stands up on one of the picnic tables, dancing and...

Change Michelle Ong

In middle school, my favorite song wasn’t Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive, but Matthew West’s 10,000 Reasons. I didn’t know who celebrities like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie were, but I knew who Jeroboam and Rahab were. I didn’t have a phone or iPod,...

Finding Veterinary Medicine through Research Animals Xiang Ji

I initially saw obtaining hearing aids as admitting defeat to a disability. Being Hard of Hearing, I struggled with following conversations for years. Even after learning three foreign languages to communicate better, I realized in college that I...

Building a Considerate City: Advocating for Mental Health and Homeless Solutions in Los Angeles nevaeh gutierrez

The notion of family in my Latino community is one that is extremely fluid, with the expectation that we treat others with respect. Albert, my “neighbor,” has occupied the bush in front of my house for over two years and has become a part of my...

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msu college essay format

Home — Application Essay — University — Michigan State University

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Michigan State University Admission Essays

Diversity and pursuing excellence.

Introduction As I stand on the precipice of my college journey, I am captivated by the timeless allure of Michigan State University. Renowned for its commitment to innovation, global leadership, and fostering an inclusive community, MSU stands as a beacon of academic excellence and limitless…

My Sister is My Role Model

In this essay, I will explore why my sister is my role model. Growing up, I admired her and aspired to follow in her footsteps. However, our relationship evolved when we moved to the United States, and I began to see her as not just…

Pride Before the Fall

When I chose to select this essay prompt, many of my friends thought I was insane. All things considered, for what reason would I tell strangers, particularly college admission officials, that I had failed at something. Besides, how do we even characterize failure? Does it…

A Second Chance

Disappointing your parents to the point where they start crying and questioning if all the sacrifices, they’ve made for you were worth it or not is the worst feeling a child can face. Especially after your parents left their home country, their parents, their friends…

My Motivation to Become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

While the whole world is trying to survive during this Covid-19 pandemic, all the countries are trying to provide the best Financial support to businesses without considering the business size whether it is an SME or a large corporation. Businesses always require financial support. Throughout,…

Once Bitten Twice Shy

Finally, I’m starting to write my college essay. I don’t know what is hard, constructing it or trying to think of my achievements, I was raised to be modest about my achievements, whatever they might be. Applying for college is nothing but bragging, and it…

How My Physical Abilities Have Changed My LIfe

I was faced up, looking at the ceiling as I was being pushed down the hallway in a stretcher. I was able to see my reflection in the ceiling and thought that I looked funny with my hospital cap and gown. Everyone kept asking me…

My Philosophy of Education: Become a Teacher

Introduction To start with, this is why do you want to become a teacher essay where I will explaine my passion in teaching. I’ve known for 6 years now that I’ve wanted to be a teacher even with many people telling me it’s not the…

Personal Statement on Why I Want to Teach

What can be a purpose of becoming a techer? In “Why I want to teach” essay I will explaine my purpose of becoming a teacher. Moreover, within the “Why I want to become a teacher” essay I will share where I am going to study…

Breaking Boundaries with Mathematics

Michigan State University has always been at the top of my list when it comes to choosing a college. The outstanding reputation of the university’s Mathematics department and its strong emphasis on research and innovation are the primary reasons that have motivated me to apply…

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msu college essay format

College of Law

Creating your best personal statement.

  • Treat your statement like it matters. The personal statement is the one piece of your application that you have complete control over. You’re making all the decisions, from topic to formatting to tone, so take your time. Do your best work. Lots of applicants have similar (and even identical) credentials, and this is the chance to make yourself stand out. And this might sound obvious, but if there are guidelines/rules, follow them! Most schools don’t have specific requirements, but start by checking  their websites or contacting the school directly .
  • Make it an interview. You have the opportunity to share information about yourself with the admissions committee that they otherwise wouldn’t know, so go beyond your credentials and your resume. Use the statement to communicate something about who you are (your values, goals, personality, or background) in a well-crafted essay.
  • Stay on message.   Great statements center tightly around a single theme. You should consider everything that doesn’t relate to that theme a digression, and consider cutting it. It’s better to cover one subject in depth than to give a cursory treatment to a whole range of topics. Keep your statement short (around two to three double-spaced pages, "12 point font"). If you’re tempted to go longer, remember that legal educators value clarity and concision in writing. The strongest personal statements aren’t usually the longest ones!
  • Customize your statement. We get it, you’ll probably apply to multiple schools and you want to recycle your personal statement. But if you want your personal statement to communicate passion for a particular school, make it clear that you’ve done your homework. What makes this school stand out to you? What programs and opportunities does it offer? Does attending the school represent a long-term personal goal? Most students won’t take this extra step, so you’ll automatically stand out if you create a meaningful connection to the school. However, if you go this route, make sure to submit the correct personal statement to the right school!
  •  Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your statement should demonstrate to admissions committees that you’re a strong writer, so your statement needs to be free of errors. Work with a trusted reviewer, if not two, and plan ahead so that you can revise, rethink, and rewrite. Proofread that statement over and over and over. Then one more time.
  • Don’t lean on quotes. We’re here to learn about you, not the founding fathers or Plato.
  • Humor is tricky. It’s hard to be appropriately funny for people you’ve never met, so be very careful.
  • Don’t get tricky with fonts, margins, etc. Simple and clean are best.
  • You’re not currently an expert on the law, so don’t dwell on legal philosophy or practice.


  • Why does this specific law school interest you?
  • Why do you wish to earn a law degree?
  • What personal qualities do you possess that will allow you to become an outstanding law student (or attorney)?
  • What are your professional goals and how will a law degree help you achieve those goals?
  • Describe a personal experience that represents your best qualities and how that will help you in law school and in your future goals.
  • Describe a hardship that you overcame and how that will help you in law school and in your future goals.
  • Describe an experience that taught you something about yourself and how that will help you in law school and in your future goals.

JD Admissions

University Communications

MSU Editorial Style Guide

This guide was developed for use by anyone creating nonacademic print or electronic text pertaining to Michigan State University. It follows the most current editions of The Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary unless superseded by entries in this guide. Additional resources are available in MSU's Inclusive Guide .  Questions or comments about this guide are welcome. Phone: 517-355-7505 Email: [email protected]

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Academic titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and lowercased when following a name: Associate Professor John Doe; Jane Smith, assistant professor.

When an academic title is used in apposition before a personal name as a descriptive tag, it is lowercased: The team was led by history professors William Green and Susan White.

The term “professor” should not be used simply to indicate “faculty member.” (Use of “professors” in the example above indicates that Green and White are, indeed, full professors, not just members of the history faculty.)

The forms for MSU titles are vice president “for”; dean “of”; chair or chairperson “of”; professor, associate professor and assistant professor “of” and instructor “in” — followed by the applicable field or unit.

See also University Distinguished Professor .

Spell out and lowercase names of degrees when referenced generically in running text: He earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in history, a master of business administration and a doctorate.

Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Do not use periods in MBA. Use these abbreviations only after a full name — never after just a last name.

Capitalize degree abbreviations with periods and set off with commas when following a name: John Doe, Ph.D., was the guest speaker.

The correct order for campus address information below the individual’s name, title and unit is:

Building name Street number and name Room number East Lansing, MI 5-digit ZIP Example Natural Science Building 288 Farm Lane Room 104 East Lansing, MI 48824

See also hyphen .

In general, use terms that can apply to any gender. Such language aims to treat people equally and is inclusive of people whose gender identity is not strictly male or female. Balance these aims with common sense, respect for the language and an understanding that gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is evolving and in some cases is challenging to achieve. A true gender-neutral noun often presents itself easily: chair or chairperson, firefighter, workforce. In other cases, a noun may technically not be gender-neutral but instead be a masculine noun that assumes the generic case under English language convention: actor, host. He, him and his should not be used to refer to both genders. Use the plural terms they, them and theirs or revise the sentence to eliminate their use entirely. In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave them. They/them/theirs is acceptable as a singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun. Humanity is preferable to mankind. Manufactured is preferable to manmade.

For detailed guidance on writing about gender and sexuality, visit the Inclusive Communications Guide . 

In running text, vertical lists are best introduced by a complete sentence followed by a colon. Items in a list should be parallel; that is, each item should be introduced by a verb, a noun phrase or some other similar construction. Items that are phrases are lowercase (unless capitalization is required for a proper noun), and there is no closing punctuation. The following items must accompany your application:

  • three letters of recommendation, including one from a teacher
  • brief personal essay
  • check for $25
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid form

Items that are complete sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a period.

Do the following to complete your application:

  • Provide three letters of recommendation, including one from a teacher.
  • Submit a brief personal essay.
  • Send a check for $25.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

In running text, if a vertical list completes an introductory phrase, there is no colon following that phrase. Items are lowercase (unless capitalization is required for a proper noun) and are followed by punctuation (period after the final item and comma or semicolon after all others as appropriate). The word “and” is not required following the next-to-last item. The Office of Admissions requires that applicants

  • provide three letters of recommendation, including one from a teacher;
  • submit a brief personal essay;
  • send a check for $25;
  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

Three rules are constant:

  • Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.
  • Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized.
  • Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes: sub-subparagraph.

The preferred name configuration for MSU’s president is Kevin M. Guskiewicz.  Capitalize president when it immediately precedes the name and lowercase it when it follows the name: President Kevin M. Guskiewicz; Kevin M. Guskiewicz, president of MSU. 

In compliance with U.S. Department of Education mandates, MSU uses the following terms in reporting racial and ethnic data: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Hispanic (of any race); Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and White. Lowercase white in general text.  Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, African American and Black, Caucasian, Cherokee, Chinese (both singular and plural), Indigenous, Inuit, French Canadian, Hispanic, Japanese (singular and plural), Jew, Jewish, etc.

For more detailed guidance on writing about race and ethnicity, visit the Inclusive Communications Guide .

Civil, military, religious and professional titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and are lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name. Do not use courtesy titles, i.e, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss.

See also academic titles .

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, what's the michigan state essay prompt.

Hey guys, I'm starting to work on my college applications and I was wondering if anyone knows what the current essay prompt is for Michigan State University? Thanks in advance!

For the 2023-2024 application cycle, Michigan State required only the main personal statement from the Common Application. This could change in future years, as sometimes schools change their minds about requiring or not requiring supplements, but this year you're in luck - you won't have to do any extra work for your Michigan State application!

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  • College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines

College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines

Published on September 24, 2021 by Meredith Testa . Revised on May 31, 2023.

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay, but you should carefully plan and outline to make sure your essay flows smoothly and logically.

Typical structural choices include

  • a series of vignettes with a common theme
  • a single story that demonstrates your positive qualities

Table of contents

Formatting your essay, outlining the essay, structures that work: two example outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

You should keep the formatting as simple as possible. Admissions officers need to work very quickly, so fancy formatting, unnecessary flourishes, and unique fonts will come off as more distracting than individual. Keep in mind that, if you’re pasting your essay into a text box, formatting like italics may not transfer.

Your essay will be easier for admissions officers to read if it is 1.5- or double-spaced. If you choose to attach a file, ensure that it is a PDF.

You don’t need a title for your essay, but you can include one, especially if you think it will add something important.

Most importantly, ensure that you stick to the word count. Most successful essays are 500–600 words. Because you’re limited in length, make sure that you write concisely . Say everything that you need to express to get your point across, but don’t use more words than necessary, and don’t repeat yourself.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Once you’ve finished brainstorming topics but before you start writing, think about your writing’s trajectory: how you’ll start the essay , develop it, and end it .

Do you want to organize it chronologically? Would you prefer to make a “sandwich” structure by introducing a topic or idea, moving away from it, and then coming back to it at the end? There’s a variety of options (and a pair of strong examples below), but make sure you consider how you’d like to structure the essay before you start writing.

Although you should organize your thoughts in an outline, you don’t have to stick to it strictly. Once you begin writing, you may find that the structure you’d originally chosen doesn’t quite work. In that case, it’s fine to try something else. Multiple drafts of the same essay are key to a good final product.

Whatever structure you choose, it should be clear and easy to follow, and it should be feasible to keep it within the  word count . Never write in a way that could confuse the reader. Remember, your audience will not be reading your essay closely!

Vignettes with a common theme

The vignette structure discusses several experiences that may seem unrelated, but the author weaves them together and unites them with a common theme.

For example, a student could write an essay exploring various instances of their ability to make the best of bad situations. A rough outline for that essay might look like this:

  • In a rehearsal for a school play when a lighting fixture malfunctioned and the set caught fire, I helped extinguish it.
  • To help the situation, I improvised fixes for the set and talked with the director about adding lines referencing the “disaster.”
  • I didn’t get into my first-choice high school, but I became class president at the school where I ended up.
  • When I had ACL surgery, I used the downtime to work on my upper body strength and challenged my friends to pull-up contests.
  • How these qualities will serve me in college and in my career

Single story that demonstrates traits

The narrative structure focuses on a single overarching story that shows many aspects of a student’s character.

Some such essays focus on a relatively short event that the author details moment by moment, while others discuss the story of a longer journey, one that may cover months or years.

For example, a student might discuss trying out for a sports team as a middle schooler, high school freshman, and high school senior, using each of those instances to describe an aspect of their personality. A rough outline for that essay might look like this:

  • Confident, there to have fun
  • Very passionate and in love with the sport
  • Little sister was born that day, so I had to go alone with a friend’s parents
  • Learned to be independent and less self-centered
  • Realized that as much as I love gymnastics, there are more important things
  • Gave up first homecoming of high school, had to quit other activities, lost countless hours with friends
  • I had to repeat level 9 and didn’t progress quickly
  • I had a terrible beam routine at one competition the previous year and still had a mental block
  • I got stuck on some skills, and it took over a year to learn them
  • Passion from age 7, perspective from age 11, diligence from age 15

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:

  • Use a standard, readable font
  • Use 1.5 or double spacing
  • If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
  • Stick to the word count
  • Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches

You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Testa, M. (2023, May 31). College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines. Scribbr. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/format-outline-structure/

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Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

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Not sure which path your essay should follow? Formatting an essay may not be as interesting as choosing a topic to write about or carefully crafting elegant sentences, but it’s an extremely important part of creating a high-quality paper. In this article, we’ll explain essay formatting rules for three of the most popular essay styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago.

For each, we’ll do a high-level overview of what your essay’s structure and references should look like, then we include a comparison chart with nitty-gritty details for each style, such as which font you should use for each and whether they’re a proponent of the Oxford comma. We also include information on why essay formatting is important and what you should do if you’re not sure which style to use.

Why Is Your Essay Format Important?

Does it really matter which font size you use or exactly how you cite a source in your paper? It can! Style formats were developed as a way to standardize how pieces of writing and their works cited lists should look. 

Why is this necessary? Imagine you’re a teacher, researcher, or publisher who reviews dozens of papers a week. If the papers didn’t follow the same formatting rules, you could waste a lot of time trying to figure out which sources were used, if certain information is a direct quote or paraphrased, even who the paper’s author is. Having essay formatting rules to follow makes things easier for everyone involved. Writers can follow a set of guidelines without trying to decide for themselves which formatting choices are best, and readers don’t need to go hunting for the information they’re trying to find.

Next, we’ll discuss the three most common style formats for essays.

MLA Essay Format

MLA style was designed by the Modern Language Association, and it has become the most popular college essay format for students writing papers for class. It was originally developed for students and researchers in the literature and language fields to have a standardized way of formatting their papers, but it is now used by people in all disciplines, particularly humanities. MLA is often the style teachers prefer their students to use because it has simple, clear rules to follow without extraneous inclusions often not needed for school papers. For example, unlike APA or Chicago styles, MLA doesn’t require a title page for a paper, only a header in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

MLA style doesn’t have any specific requirements for how to write your essay, but an MLA format essay will typically follow the standard essay format of an introduction (ending with a thesis statement), several body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

One of the nice things about creating your works cited for MLA is that all references are structured the same way, regardless of whether they’re a book, newspaper, etc. It’s the only essay format style that makes citing references this easy! Here is a guide on how to cite any source in MLA format. When typing up your works cited, here are a few MLA format essay rules to keep in mind:

  • The works cited page should be the last paper of your paper.
  • This page should still be double-spaced and include the running header of your last name and page number.
  • It should begin with “Works Cited” at the top of the page, centered.
  • Your works cited should be organized in alphabetical order, based on the first word of the citation.

APA Essay Format

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This format type is most often used for research papers, specifically those in behavioral sciences (such as psychology and neuroscience) and social sciences (ranging from archeology to economics). Because APA is often used for more research-focused papers, they have a more specific format to follow compared to, say, MLA style.

All APA style papers begin with a title page, which contains the title of the paper (in capital letters), your name, and your institutional affiliation (if you’re a student, then this is simply the name of the school you attend). The APA recommends the title of your paper not be longer than 12 words.

After your title page, your paper begins with an abstract. The abstract is a single paragraph, typically between 150 to 250 words, that sums up your research. It should include the topic you’re researching, research questions, methods, results, analysis, and a conclusion that touches on the significance of the research. Many people find it easier to write the abstract last, after completing the paper.

After the abstract comes the paper itself. APA essay format recommends papers be short, direct, and make their point clearly and concisely. This isn’t the time to use flowery language or extraneous descriptions. Your paper should include all the sections mentioned in the abstract, each expanded upon.

Following the paper is the list of references used. Unlike MLA style, in APA essay format, every source type is referenced differently. So the rules for referencing a book are different from those for referencing a journal article are different from those referencing an interview. Here’s a guide for how to reference different source types in APA format . Your references should begin on a new page that says “REFERENCES” at the top, centered. The references should be listed in alphabetical order.


Chicago Essay Format

Chicago style (sometimes referred to as “Turabian style”) was developed by the University of Chicago Press and is typically the least-used by students of the three major essay style formats. The Chicago Manual of Style (currently on its 17th edition) contains within its 1000+ pages every rule you need to know for this style. This is a very comprehensive style, with a rule for everything. It’s most often used in history-related fields, although many people refer to The Chicago Manual of Style for help with a tricky citation or essay format question. Many book authors use this style as well.

Like APA, Chicago style begins with a title page, and it has very specific format rules for doing this which are laid out in the chart below. After the title page may come an abstract, depending on whether you’re writing a research paper or not. Then comes the essay itself. The essay can either follow the introduction → body → conclusion format of MLA or the different sections included in the APA section. Again, this depends on whether you’re writing a paper on research you conducted or not.

Unlike MLA or APA, Chicago style typically uses footnotes or endnotes instead of in-text or parenthetical citations. You’ll place the superscript number at the end of the sentence (for a footnote) or end of the page (for an endnote), then have an abbreviated source reference at the bottom of the page. The sources will then be fully referenced at the end of the paper, in the order of their footnote/endnote numbers. The reference page should be titled “Bibliography” if you used footnotes/endnotes or “References” if you used parenthetical author/date in-text citations.

Comparison Chart

Below is a chart comparing different formatting rules for APA, Chicago, and MLA styles.

How Should You Format Your Essay If Your Teacher Hasn’t Specified a Format?

What if your teacher hasn’t specified which essay format they want you to use? The easiest way to solve this problem is simply to ask your teacher which essay format they prefer. However, if you can’t get ahold of them or they don’t have a preference, we recommend following MLA format. It’s the most commonly-used essay style for students writing papers that aren’t based on their own research, and its formatting rules are general enough that a teacher of any subject shouldn’t have a problem with an MLA format essay. The fact that this style has one of the simplest sets of rules for citing sources is an added bonus!


What's Next?

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Compound sentences are an importance sentence type to know. Read our guide on compound sentences for everything you need to know about compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Need ideas for a research paper topic? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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7 Magnificent University of Michigan Essay Examples

What’s covered:, essay example #1 – community in coaching, essay example #2 – community in drawing, essay example #3 – community in books.

  • Essay Example #4 – Why This Major, Political Science and Environment

Essay Example #5 – Why This Major, Psychology and Spanish

Essay example #6 (ross school of business) – solving issues with business, essay example #7 (ross school of business) – document/artifact, where to get your university of michigan essays edited.

The University of Michigan is an outstanding research institution, known for its school spirit and large alumni base. Based in the picturesque city of Ann Arbor, students at UMich are surrounded by city culture, urban nature trails, as well as outstanding students and professors. UMich is a “most selective” school, so you’ll need strong essays to help your application stand out from the tens of thousands of others. 

In this post we will share seven essays real students submitted to the University of Michigan. We will also walk through what each essay did well and where they could be improved to give you inspiration for your essays.

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our University of Michigan essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

Prompt:   Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (300 words)

This summer I coached my first junior basketball team in two years, the Thunderdragons. From the beginning, this team of “misfits” was different from any I’d coached before. We were the only rookie team in the league and most of our players had no sports experience, while our opponents had spent years building chemistry together. 

The beginning of the season was a disaster. At practice, whenever I demanded attention and tried to demonstrate drills, the kids were unfocused and didn’t show interest in the sport. Unsurprisingly, our games went much like practices, with opponents often defeating us by over 20 points. This pattern continued for weeks. I felt I wasn’t doing my job correctly, and began to lose confidence in my own coaching abilities. 

Out of desperation, I finally voiced my frustrations to the team. Heart-to-heart, I asked them why they weren’t respecting me as a coach, and more importantly, never putting in 100% effort. Fortunately, they empathized with my reasoning and from then on, effort and attentiveness were never a problem. Our season culminated in a playoff game, playing a team featuring older, experienced players. We fought hard, bringing the game down to the wire, making me the proudest coach even in the face of defeat. 

Though our season ended that day, I experienced one of the most gratifying feelings I’d had in high school. Not only could I visibly see the growth in all my kids’ basketball talent, ability, and maturity, but every single parent personally thanked me for coaching their kids and more importantly, instilling a love for the game and team sports in general. I’d formed a community myself, one that consisted of my new little brothers who viewed me as a role model, and one I hope to lead to the championship next season.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay has a very solid story that is a great response to the prompt. The reader can very clearly see the community this student was a part of (junior basketball) and the role they played within it (coach). Not only that, we get a sense of the type of leader this student was and their passion for teaching and the sport. 

There is a very simple, yet effective structure to this essay that makes it extremely easy to follow—albeit a bit predictable. The student gives us an overview of the team in the beginning, explains the challenge they experienced, how they overcame the obstacle, and then they end with a reflection. While this isn’t necessarily a creative or exciting structure, it allows the student to share their story in a clear fashion.

Another positive aspect of this essay is the community this student chose: coaching a basketball team. Many students feel trapped when they encounter a community prompt if they don’t have a unique cultural background, but this essay is a perfect example of how you can write about anything! As long as you explain the essence of your community and its meaning to you, admissions officers will be happy to hear about any group you are part of. 

What Could Be Improved

This essay is a good foundation, but it could be strengthened with a more sophisticated structure and by showing, not telling. In terms of the structure, rather than following a traditional story arc, this student could have started the essay with the playoff game at the end of the season and then once they hooked the reader, they could have gone back and explained how far the team had come. Or they could have used a vignette structure to show the growth from practice to practice, game to game.

As for showing and not telling, there are many sentences in this essay that could be far more engaging and descriptive.

For example, “ At practice, whenever I demanded attention and tried to demonstrate drills, the kids were unfocused and didn’t show interest in the sport,”  could be “ ‘Circle up!’ Impatiently dribbling the ball waiting to demonstrate a three-pointer, I watched as 15 boys casually sauntered over, too engrained in an Iron Man vs Hulk debate.”

Another example would be switching “ We fought hard, bringing the game down to the wire, making me the proudest coach even in the face of defeat,”  to something like, “ 36 to 33! I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face as we took the lead in the final minutes. The squeaking of the court as they pivoted to throw the ball to each other was music to my ears.”

Prompt: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (300 words)

Every morning, I stare into the deep-set eyes of Timothée Chalamet. He springs to life from a sheet of 9×11 paper, his face chiseled by a graphite pencil. Timothée is my latest artistic pursuit. For the past four years, I have been captivated by artistry through my school’s drawing classes. 

When language fails me, art is my interpreter of thoughts, a magnifying glass to the world. But beyond beauty, drawing sparked conversation and collaboration: “Isn’t Timothée so dreamy?” one girl swoons; “Yeah, but his eyes should be darker!” another chimes in. I continue to connect with this community for its balance between appreciating art and embracing growth. 

While I may not be the most creative artist, I provide perspective. In fact, I often move around the classroom, finding the best lighting to view friends’ drawings. I’ll hold them upside-down, tape them on walls, and sit back to analyze minute details: art demands precision. Standing on a stool, I point out enlarged nostrils and disproportionate eyebrows. In turn, when I slam my pencil down in annoyance, these multi-talented individuals rescue me, highlighting the misplaced shadows of Timothée’s curls.

While chaos permeates this environment, so does genuine concern and humanity. Together, we transcend the medium, from graphite to chalk pastel. Our faces smudged with charcoal, we bond over a shared frustration with integrals and a love for Modern Family . My drawing teacher pioneered “Tell It Tuesday” questions to stir conversation and encourage community, and I’ve sought to continue this. My role is not one of excellence; rather, I am a support mechanism. From encouraging a classmate to approach a girl he likes to pacifying another’s frustration with her tiger drawing, I promote dialogue between my peers. 

Art breeds vulnerability, and vulnerability breeds connection—I will champion this at the University of Michigan. 

What The Essay Did Well

This essay starts off particularly strong, with a lighthearted, unusual hook that is sure to grab anyone’s attention. Rather than starting off by merely talking about art class, the author gets our attention first, then provides some of the details we need to understand their unique story.

After situating us within the art class, this essay continues with vivid, powerful language that gives us a visceral sense of what being in the class is like. Without even knowing the layout of the room, we are brought into the collaborative space of the classroom, and can feel the supportive, creative energy that the author describes–we can practically see peers’ drawings, the stool the author stands on, and their pencil being slammed down in frustration.

Establishing this supportive, empowering mood is particularly important because this essay is an example of a diversity prompt , which asks students to write about an aspect of their identity that would enhance a college community. This essay’s specific, grounding details shows us exactly what this student’s artistic collaboration looks like. Picturing the author holding classmates’ drawings up to the light, tipping them this way and that to get a better angle, helps us picture them doing the same in other contexts on Michigan’s campus. 

Beyond the enthralling hook and evocative language, this author also uses their essay to reveal unexpected aspects of their personality.  In an essay about a drawing class, one might expect to hear about the author’s creativity, talent, or keen appreciation for beauty. 

These qualities are definitely present, but the author focuses much more on their connections with classmates and how the whole class benefits from a collaborative environment. The author chooses to frame themselves as a support system and a helper, rather than focusing on their artistic talents, which tells us a lot about who they are as a person and how they function in a larger group. 

By effectively communicating that they view art as a tool for supporting others, rather than an individual endeavor, the author ensures their essay will be unique, even amongst the tens of thousands of others Michigan’s admissions officers will be reading.

This is a very well-written and successful essay, but even the best essays can be improved. One thing that we would’ve loved to see from this essay is an anecdote to anchor one of the more important points. There are a lot of examples that anchor this essay–like the analysis of how the Chalamet drawing could be improved, or advising a peer on how to ask out the girl he likes–but staying with a story a little longer can add depth. Talking about the specific advice they give, for example, or telling us the outcome of his peer’s attempt, would even more concretely demonstrate the aid that the author provides to their community.

At 300 words, this essay is right at the limit, but including an anecdote might be worth sacrificing some of the earlier details. As is, this essay touches broadly on a lot of the most meaningful aspects of art class, but doesn’t dive too deeply into any one aspect of the community. The best essays have both breadth and depth. 

One other area for improvement is the conclusion. The takeaway about vulnerability is a very compelling statement, but it doesn’t summarize all of the ground covered by this essay. We would’ve loved to see this essay wrap up with a conclusion that also touches on the collaboration and support that is so central earlier in the piece. 

Let’s compare this essay to another one, answering the same prompt.

I’ve played with magic, lived in dystopian societies, and traveled the world, all through a flip of a page. Ever since my dad bought me a set of Disney books when I was 3, I sparked an insatiable hunger for reading. However, I got much more out of reading than just better fluency.

I found empathy for different backgrounds and an understanding of diverse identities and cultures. I explored cultural, societal, and gender expectations through Jane Eyre , and played a game of quidditch with Harry Potter. Reading about Aly Raisman’s life and experiences through her autobiography, I began to appreciate the vulnerability of public figures. When reading a series called Flawed , I saw a girl turn her grassroots efforts into a revolutionary movement against her dystopian government. 

One day, when I was at my cousin’s house, I saw a small, strange-looking bus drive through the neighborhood. I was confused, asking my cousins what that was. “It’s our library,” they told me. Curious, I stepped on the bus to see what books they had. 

Looking through their selection, I saw a meager stack of about ten children’s books for a whole town. Only ten kids had a library book at once, and many had probably read all the books in the stack. 

The thought of childhood without books was unfathomable to me, so I started a campaign to combat the childhood literacy gap. I turned to social media to spread awareness of the importance of kids having access to books and created a network of volunteers to expand the campaign to individual communities and run workshops to read to kids. 

As an activist, campaigner, and avid reader, I helped people realize that the stories I explored through books are an invaluable experience for everyone, kids and adults alike.

The greatest strength of this essay lies in how the author describes their place in this reading community. First, they talk about the ways in which they explore new worlds, and are exposed to new ideas through their reading. These details demonstrate positive qualities such as creativity and critical thinking, which are both good ones to show off in your college essays.

Then, in a somewhat similar vein as the previous essay, the author shows that reading is not a solitary pursuit for them, but a door to a world that they want to share with others. Even better, they then describe how, upon realizing that not everyone has equal access to this world, they took concrete action to help fix this problem. This detail demonstrates that they’re aware of issues wider than themselves, and that they’re committed to making a difference. These are yet more qualities that colleges love to see in applicants, so this anecdote as a whole is particularly well-chosen.

Another thing this essay does well is demonstrate the author’s writing ability. Their varied sentence structure and sophisticated construction are just as effective as their broad vocabulary. The natural, easy flow of their writing takes us from a general overview to a specific anecdote, before a culminating declaration of what this story reflects about the author: that they are an activist, a campaigner, and above all, a reader. 

While we have a great sense of who this student is when it comes to reading, we don’t know anything about their broader reading community. In fact, the idea of a community is, for the most part, missing from this response. The author describes their engagement with reading, and then what they do individually to help other children access books, but at no point do we see them directly interacting with others, nor get a sense of which attributes would “describe [the] community,” in addition to their “place within it.”

While most college essay prompts are intentionally open-ended, you do want to make sure you ultimately answer all parts of the question. After all, admissions officers are asking for a reason, as they have some particular piece of information they’re seeking–in this case, an understanding of how you fit into a larger community, so that they can imagine how you’d fit into their own campus community.

The author doesn’t need to do anything drastic to fix this problem. Talking about who the author reads or discusses books with would work just fine–perhaps they’re part of a book club, post in online discussion forums, or just enjoy talking about their favorite characters at lunch with their friends. Whatever the case, helping the reader understand the community they’re talking about is a crucial part of this prompt. 

The other issue with this essay is the lack of a sense of time. The author describes books that they have read and enjoyed, all of which seem to be middle grade or adult novels, but they don’t say when they read these books. Then, they talk about the experience of seeing a book bus with their cousin, and realizing not all children had access to books, which feels like a discovery that would happen at a relatively young age. 

Given this lack of a clear timeline, the reader has some questions about when everything took place. Anchoring these stories in time, to clearly show when things happened and if/how development occurred over time, would help the reader better understand the story, and potentially make it more compelling as well. After all, admissions committees want to know what you’re up to and what you’re like now, not what you might have been like four or five years ago. 

Even if your points are good, if your reader doesn’t understand how they’re supposed to fit together, your ideas won’t have as much impact as they should. So, while incorporating creative vocabulary and demonstrating positive personality traits are certainly important aspects of the college essay, don’t forget about the “nuts and bolts” of your essay, like chronology. 

Essay Example #4  – Why This Major, Political Science and Environment

Prompt: Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (550 words)

“Raising livestock for human consumption generates 15% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, greater than all transportation emissions combined,” I project my voice into the chamber. “I implore this Senate to pass this bill to protect the environment for our future children.”

For a week in June of 2022, I served on a local committee focused on agriculture, conservation, and energy, where I was captivated by environmental policy that bolstered sustainability. Specifically, I proposed legislation that subsidized the cultivation of alternative protein-rich crops and disincentivized animal farming. Becoming well-versed in environmental issues from soil acidification to fertilizer runoff, I grew eager to study the intersection of environmental studies and political science to address these global problems. 

Unwilling to compromise on these varied academic interests, I am attracted to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts for its dedication to interdisciplinary education.

An aspiring double major in Political Science and Environment with a specialization in Environmental Philosophy, I will investigate the role of governing institutions in implementing ethical environmental policy. At the University of Michigan, I am eager to engage in rich, multidisciplinary dialogue with the dynamic living-learning community of the Residential College program. Through courses like IDIV 390 “Environmental Activism: Citizenship in a Republic” and “Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory,” I can not only deepen my interdisciplinary passion for sustainable environmental policy, but also receive intimate seminar-style instruction from my professors and my peers. The RC approaches communal learning through a global lens, which heightens my unrelenting desire to understand the world around me.

In addition, I am attracted to the LSA Honors Program for its emphasis on experiential and immersive learning. Through first-year seminars like “Psychological Perspectives of Politics,” I can expand my understanding of human political involvement and apply those concepts to drive social change. Furthermore, as an aspiring constitutional and environmental lawyer, the “Lunch with Honors” series allows me to interact with pioneers in these fields. This includes Professor Mark Rotenburg of Georgetown University, with whom I can explore the limitations of free speech and other constitutional protections in the social media age.

Divided between the unique opportunities for experiential learning through the LSA Honors Program and the intimate instruction of the RC, I am grateful that at U-M, I can participate in both.

But at U-M, learning isn’t confined to academia. LSA provides me with the flexibility to explore my vast array of interests. Through the Politics, Environment, and Science Lab, for example, I seek to continue my interdisciplinary inquiry into environmental policy. Working under Professor Ariel Hasell, I will explore social media’s influence on public perception of expertise during public health and environmental crises. The Michigan in Washington program also provides a unique opportunity for experiential learning; as an Intern in the White House, I will gain firsthand experience observing the churning gears of political institutions. On the Ann Arbor campus, Michigan Parliamentary Debate would sustain my global curiosity through my passion for debate, allowing me to engage in rich discussion with the diverse-minded intellectuals that call U-M home. I will also lend my Desi American voice to the Student Advisory Board to further encourage cultural appreciation. In essence, as a Wolverine, I will employ my interdisciplinary perspective and inclusive nature to lead, on campus and beyond.

This essay is an extremely detailed, well-researched response to this “Why This Major” prompt . The depth and specificity shows that the applicant spent considerable time researching not just Michigan in general, but particular aspects of the school that align well with their own interests. 

As a result, we can not only see their commitment to and knowledge of Michigan, but also envision how their own unique qualities, strengths, and interests would enrich the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. From naming the exact classes that interest them, to discussing certain professors and the work that they do, this student situates their own passions within the places on Michigan’s campus where those passions will truly shine. 

For example, they discuss Michigan’s Residential College program, the Honors program, the Politics, Environment, and Science Lab, Michigan Parliamentary Debate, and the Student Advisory program. Just as importantly, the applicant explains what they find compelling about each resource and how they imagine themselves taking advantage of it. 

One of the biggest risks with this kind of essay is it turning into a bullet point list–this applicant avoids that risk deftly, and instead builds a concrete bridge between themselves and their potential future at Michigan.

Another strength of the essay is its unique structure. Imagine if the essay had begun with the line, “I am attracted to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts for its dedication to interdisciplinary education.” While informative, this line completely loses the excitement and personal quality of the current opening, which demonstrates the student’s passion for the environment and their history of civic engagement. These details perfectly set up their later statements about how they’ll engage with their chosen programs at University of Michigan. 

There is honestly very little to improve in this essay. It is specific and grounded in detailed research, and communicates valuable information about the author’s values, interests, and abilities. 

One of the only things that can be picked at is the last paragraph: not because of content, but because of structure. In your college essays, you generally want to avoid long paragraphs like this one, as they make your points more difficult to digest. Admissions officers are reading essays all day long, so they want information to be presented simply, one point at a time. Throwing so much at them at once without any breaks means they don’t have a chance to reflect on anything you’re saying, which means your ideas won’t be as impactful as they could be.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the author left 50 words on the table. While you don’t necessarily have to hit the word count on the dot, as the exact number of words you use depends on your particular phrasings and grammatical choices more than content, you ideally want to get within 10-15 words. Even for this relatively long supplement, 50 words is almost 10% of the count. College applications are already incredibly restrictive in the amount of information they allow you to share about yourself–don’t voluntarily limit yourself even further!

Obviously, though, you don’t want to just add fluff to fill the space. So, what could this student add to make their essay stronger?

The link between the opening anecdote and the rest of the essay could be strengthened, or the opening anecdote could be referenced throughout the rest of the essay to strengthen the image of the author as a civic-minded environmentalist. For example, when they mention the Michigan in Washington program, they could talk about their desire to build on the skills they learned from serving on their local committee.

Alternatively, this student could talk about the future they envision beyond their time in Ann Arbor. At the very end of the essay, the student mentions leading “on campus and beyond.” What does this tantalizing ‘‘beyond” look like, and how will University of Michigan help them get there? 

Or, after breaking up the last paragraph into two or three smaller bites, they could use their extra words to add transitions, to ensure the flow of their writing is still smooth.

Remember, this is still a superior essay. If anything, the disappointment of 50 words being left unused stems primarily from the fact that the page is already full of excellent writing, dedicated research, and demonstrations of the student’s character, so there’s no doubt that those extra words would also be used to add something of value.

An aspiring trilingual clinical psychologist, I am drawn to the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts because it’s loaded with opportunities to build me into a scholar with a heart for service.

As a Psychology major and Spanish minor, I will satisfy my pursuit of academic excellence with LSA’s inexhaustible course offerings. Curious how songwriting helps me remember difficult words, I’ll find the answer from Psych 211-002: Mind, Music, and Community. As I learn what music does to the human mind through this exciting experiential course, I hope simultaneously to brighten the day of local seniors and children by playing the flute for them. While I will continue to explore indigenous cultures through the mythology my Latinx friends tell me outside of class, I look forward to examining these communities from an academic standpoint through Spanish 472 – Indigenous Societies. The combination of oral traditions and classical texts will deepen my knowledge of, and appreciation for, Latin American countries’ indigenous roots. Because of the variety of offerings LSA provides, I’ll get to zoom in on my specific topics of interest in psychology and Hispanic cultures. 

An advocate for pursuing academic excellence, not perfectionism, I hope to join the Chang Lab to investigate how race and culture give rise to perfectionism, applying my knowledge in Psychology to advance the science of well-being. With our common ethnic background, I’m especially intrigued by Dr. Chang’s studies regarding the Asian community. After gaining more research experience, I will write an honors thesis with Professor Nestor Lopez-Duran to research mental illness treatment. I want to develop a new form of psychotherapy combining ASMR and talk therapy, and I hope that our research contributes to this cause. 

Joining the Residential College will be the cherry atop my LSA sundae. Beyond the courses, alumni network, and research opportunities, I’ll get to share my opinions and consider others’ in small classrooms. I can’t wait to take the residential college writing seminar Psychology of Creativity and join the language lunch table to practice speaking Spanish outside the classroom. As someone who sought out native speakers to talk incessantly in Spanish about mythology, I hope to find other Spanish lovers at RC with whom I can practice my language skills. I will also participate in the Multicultural Psychology in Argentina program, traveling to Buenos Aires to learn the Argentine perspective on mental health. This cross-cultural exchange is crucial in helping me build an empathetic mindset as a clinical psychologist, arming me with tools to help people of different cultural backgrounds.

This student has clearly done their research on UMich for this response to the classic “Why Major?” prompt! They come across as focused, dedicated, and passionate because of the details they include across multiple disciplines and opportunities. However, despite including many UMich resources, it doesn’t come across as name-dropping because the student elaborated on each point.

Telling the reader things like, “ The combination of oral traditions and classical texts will deepen my knowledge of, and appreciation for, Latin American countries’ indigenous roots,”  and “ I want to develop a new form of psychotherapy combining ASMR and talk therapy, and I hope that our research contributes to this cause, ” helps us appreciate what this student values and hopes to accomplish with a UMich education.

Ultimately, this essay gives a very strong impression of the reader. Right from the first sentence, they refer to themselves as “ An aspiring trilingual clinical psychologist,” and every subsequent idea builds on that. Whether they are discussing psychology, Spanish, or their Asian heritage, we walk away from the essay knowing that all three of these are important to this student’s identity, making them much more memorable.

While this essay shows a high level of research and interest in the school, it would benefit from more of a focus on the student—after all the point of your essay is to convince UMich to admit you . In the ideal essay, descriptions of UMich programs and self-descriptions should weave together to form a seamless trajectory. If this student were to rework their essay, they could organize their paragraphs according to their values or interests, rather than organizing them by the type of UMich program that they are discussing (i.e. coursework, research, extracurriculars). 

  • Paragraph 1: What the student values about Psychology and how UMich courses and the honors thesis program can support those values
  • Paragraph 2: Why the student believes Psychology must be supplemented by studies of race, ethnicity, and culture and how UMich’s Spanish programs and Chang lab would advance that belief
  • Paragraph 3: How the student thinks it is important to simultaneously use the academic setting and social/residential setting to advance their interests and goals (still regarding the interactions between psychology and culture!) and how a Residential College would accomplish this

These paragraphs would help the UMich facts to make more sense and feel less random (because readers would know why they matter to the writer), while also giving the essay, and, in turn, the writer themself, more depth.

Prompt: Choose a current event or issue in your community and discuss the business implications. Propose a solution that incorporates business principles or practices. The review panel will look for creativity, drawing connections, and originality.

Eating a slice of pizza, the only thing running through my mind was the amount of fat and grease I consumed, guilty that I exceeded my self-imposed calorie limit. 

Struggling with an eating disorder was one of the most mentally deteriorating and isolating experiences I had ever had. I had no one to cry to when guilty about eating my last meal or celebrate with when eating a “fear food.” 

I realized that people with an eating disorder need an instant connection with others who understand their situation, so I decided to develop an app to help people struggling with an eating disorder find emotional support and validation. 

I conducted market research to identify a unique selling proposition for an app that would be scalable and sufficiently address a deficit in eating disorder support. Noticing that the eating disorder support apps on the app store lacked chatting features to connect users, I started developing an app design with a vision for a peer support platform. 

In my app design, I created an instant chat feature where users could request a friend to talk to with a click of a button. To foster a stronger sense of unity and camaraderie, I incorporated resource and blog pages, a support forum, and a daily positive notification so people can start their day on the right note. To cater to a larger market, I incorporated high feature diversification in my plan.

Due to my limited coding background, I found volunteer developers who are working to bring my vision to life. However, as they developed the app, I curated a business plan and led a team of 20 to help me execute it. 

First, I identified the critical success factors of the app. I conducted a SWOT analysis to pinpoint the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business model. I noticed that competing apps lacked a strong brand and other resources beyond their software, so I evaluated our strengths to be our diverse offerings and cohesive values. In our market, I identified opportunities in forging relationships with professionals and social media influencers.

From there, I created a strategic plan, identifying my brand and mission values to spread hope and community to uplift people struggling with an eating disorder. I worked to build our brand through Instagram and TikTok, posting positive eating disorder affirmations and posts about facing fear foods and body positivity. Through a stories project, where we collected stories from our followers, we created inspiring short videos and graphics to remind people that they aren’t alone. I hosted a few lighthearted social virtual game nights to distract people from their struggles and connect with others in a similar position.

I prioritized brand relationships to work with influencers and professionals who generally had an extensive network and following base. I started an events series with speakers to provide people with live professional advice. We developed relationships with our speakers so they could promote our app and use their networks with other professionals to spread our word. In collaboration with social media influencers, we partnered on content like blog articles, short videos, or even Instagram takeovers to expand our social media presence.

Though my app still hasn’t been published, I will continue to utilize my platform to empower eating disorder warriors. My journey through bringing people a safe place to find consolation and inspiration has only just begun. 

The first striking thing about this essay is that the author chooses to introduce this essay with a story of personal struggle, which clearly shows their reason for choosing to develop this app, their dedication to the project, and their personal investment in the community being helped. Their vulnerability and honesty make a deep impression and establish an immediate understanding of who they are as a person. The prompt only asks that applicants propose a business venture for their community, so this applicant is going above and beyond by choosing such a personal topic. 

The strength of this response also comes from the fact that the author isn’t talking about a hypothetical–they’re describing work that they have actually done. As a result, they can provide a comprehensive breakdown of what they did, from developing the app, to generating social media buzz, engaging with influencers, and leading a team. The work that this student describes demonstrates myriad talents, from self-awareness, to dedication, to big picture thinking, which all speak to their potential as a Michigan student.

However, you don’t need to share your most personal stories, or have already created your own app, to write a powerful response to this prompt. Rather, the bigger picture takeaways should be:

  • Think about how you can demonstrate vulnerability in your own story, in a way that you’re comfortable with.
  • Don’t be afraid to think creatively and expansively about a prompt.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to write a compelling essay about any topic.

This is an extremely strong and impressive essay, and there are very few things that can be improved. If we’re going to split hairs, the structure is somewhat repetitive, and overly direct. While you might think business school admissions officers in particular will appreciate you getting right to the point, generally speaking you want the structure of your essay to be a bit more varied, as if readers feel like they don’t know what’s coming, linguistically as well as narratively, they’re likely to stay more engaged.

The essay could also benefit from the incorporation of more vivid details. The beginning is very vivid, with the description of eating a slice of pizza, but after that, the essay is pretty straightforward. Diving more deeply into another anecdote, or using descriptive language to help the admissions committee better visualize the story’s events, are always strong choices. 

For example, this applicant could tell us about one of the stories they collected from their “stories project,” or about a particular piece of advice one of their speakers gave during the events series. The content of this essay is already extremely strong, but polishing up the writing itself could bring out the applicant’s positive qualities even more emphatically.

Prompt: Upload a document or artifact that represents something significant about your life to show your learning in action. Describe how your artifact demonstrates your learning in action.

The “Evolution of Disney Princesses” was the first article I had ever written for my school newspaper. Though the experience was initially daunting, this article drew me into the world of journalism through my fascination with perspectives. As a kid, I looked up to Disney princesses, but as a freshman in high school, I realized that their primary roles were to reinstate the patriarchy. Snow White’s whole worth as a character was her strong housework skills and her dreams for a man she had only met once. Aurora was asleep almost the entire movie, which instead highlighted her male counterpart’s bravery and courage. I realized that Disney was reinstating societal expectations through these early movies and training young girls to grow up with the same aspirations.

This was my first article, so it was expectedly rough around the edges. However, even with the rough start, I was able to project my voice and show that Disney Princesses have gradually become independent, empowered, and an inspiration to young girls. I shared my perspective by discussing the portrayal of women and our progress as a society, projecting social progress and feminism in a different light. I celebrated our progress through something as seemingly trivial yet influential as Disney princesses, the idol of many young girls. Using creativity to voice my opinions, I sparked an interest in writing and continued to work with the newspaper, using my unique lenses to tell my own story.

This essay does a great job of showing off the author’s ability to think and write critically. We also see that they don’t have just a journalist’s inquisitive mind, but also a passion for feminism and deep social awareness. And, like the previous writer, this applicant isn’t afraid to be vulnerable: they talk openly about a time when they doubted their writing ability, chose to write for the school newspaper anyway, and nurtured their interest in writing, activism, and feminism. 

Admitting self-doubt in college essays can feel uncomfortable, since you’re obviously trying to put your best foot forward. However, resilience is a quality admissions officers value highly, as college is going to throw curveballs at everyone, no matter how talented they are, and the only way to demonstrate resilience is by telling a story about a time when you had to persevere.

Reading this article from the applicant’s freshman year will also allow admissions officers to see the growth in their writing ability over time, which makes the document especially well-chosen: it isn’t just a jumping off point for the response, but actually complements the essay. While showing this kind of growth over time can be tricky, since not all documents/artifacts lend themselves to direct comparison, the broader message is to choose something that won’t stand alone, but will ideally enhance some other element(s) of your application.

In a very brief essay, this author manages to pack in a ton of information about the kind of person they are, the positive qualities they have, and the challenges they overcame to become that person. As a result, their response to this prompt is not only effective, but packs a real emotional punch.

Though this is a very strong essay, it could benefit from a bit more specificity. Quotes like “projecting social progress and feminism in a different light” are powerful, but vague–what is the different light? 

Now, this question might be answered by the article “The Evolution of Disney Princesses,” which this student did not provide to CollegeVine, but being precise in the moment is always a good idea. Admissions officers have tens of thousands of applications to read, so if you can save them even a few seconds by not making them look back over your document to see what you’re talking about, they will appreciate it!

Similarly, the essay later mentions the author’s “unique lenses,” but doesn’t explain what these unique lenses are. This would be a great opportunity for the author to include a bit more personal information, such as what Disney princesses, or traditional femininity, mean to them, which would in turn give admissions officers a clearer sense of what this student would contribute to a Michigan classroom.

Overall, as strong as this essay is, and as many good qualities as it demonstrates, it doesn’t tell us a lot about the author’s personality, or their personal connection to this theme. The best essays don’t just tell admissions teams what you care about, they tell readers why you care, and also don’t just state which strengths you have, but also explain how they come together to create a complete person. Telling your story as comprehensively as possible will ensure admissions officers are as invested in you personally as they are in the topic/cause you’re talking about.

Do you want feedback on your University of Michigan essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

msu college essay format

Office of Admissions

  • How to apply

First-year application checklist

Here are the main things you need to have prepared to complete your application:

Have your official transcript(s) sent directly from each school or institution attended to MSU. This includes all your high school transcripts as well as transcripts from any dual enrollment or early/middle college programs. These can be sent through online services or by U.S. mail.

As a first-year you do not have to officially declare your major yet, however you will be asked to select your major preference on the application. If you are undecided, select the "Exploratory preference" option.

Changing your major preference After submitting the application, fall first-year applicants have until May 1 to change their major preference in their account. Any student who applies, or is admitted, after May 1 cannot change their major preference until New Student Orientation (NSO).

As part of the undergraduate application for admission, each applicant is required to submit one essay (minimum 250 words, maximum 650 words) from the list of prompts. The essay may be considered as a positive factor to enhance admissibility, as well as for scholarship consideration. Here are the essay prompts for the 2023 application for admission:

  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • 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?
  • 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.

Home school applicants

MSU welcomes home school applicants and reviews each application using the same admission criteria used for traditional high school students. Home school students are required to submit all of the application materials listed above, including a transcript. Although the transcript of a home school student may be different than that of a traditional high school student, it should list all courses (including those in progress) from ninth to 12th grade and the time frame (year and semester) of each course. In addition, an assessment of performance (a letter grade, percentage, etc.) is needed. Occasionally, home school applicants are asked to submit additional information describing curriculum or texts used.

Early/middle college applicants

MSU welcomes applications from students in early/middle college programs. Early/middle college students should apply as first-year students if they plan to attend MSU immediately after receiving a high school diploma. This includes students who receive a high school diploma at the same time as an associate degree. Early/middle college students are reviewed the same as other first-year applicants and are eligible for first-year scholarships. Tuition and financial aid can be affected by the number of credits transferred.

Early/middle college students are encouraged to use  transfer.msu.edu  to identify courses that may transfer to MSU.

Early/middle college students who have completed college course work must submit an official college transcript for credit consideration. In order to be official, transcripts must be sent directly from the school or institution attended to MSU via U.S. mail or online.

Early/middle college applicants planning to transfer 42 or more completed credits to MSU are required to select a major. The majors of exploratory preference, pre-nursing and pre-veterinary cannot be chosen. Many majors at MSU have additional admission requirements. Applicants to these  restricted majors  should review the additional requirements carefully before applying.

Start your application

There are three ways to apply to MSU. Select the option that is right for you, but only submit one application for admission. MSU has no preference for which type of application you submit.

MSU application

Apply through MSU.

Apply through the Common App.

Apply Coalition with Scoir

first-year applicants

  • Dates and deadlines
  • Admission criteria
  • ACT/SAT optional
  • Advanced credits

College of Human Medicine

Promotion & tenure.

The Office of Faculty Affairs and Development provides support for the promotion of faculty in all appointment systems in the College of Human Medicine. Faculty can select their appointment type from the menu for more information.

  • Resources for All Faculty
  • Resources for Department RPT Staff

If you notice a broken or misdirected link, please notify us at [email protected] .

MSU Academic Career Paths Events

In their annual “Thriving” events for faculty in a range of appointment systems, the AAN provides resources on the RPT process at the university level and examples of documents that make up the RPT dossier.

CHM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in RPT Guidance

Faculty of all appointment systems and levels are expected to contribute to advancing MSU’s institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This document summarizes the expectations for incorporating evidence of DEI-related activities into RPT and annual review materials beginning in the 2022-23 review year.

Examples of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Activities

This document provides examples of activities that can be included in evidence submitted for RPT review. It is illustrative, not exhaustive.

MSU Guidance for Colleges in Implementing DEI in the RPT Process

Accessing Grant Applications and Awards in EBS

Faculty can access EBS for a printout of grant proposals submitted, including outcome (funded/unfunded), which can be included in promotion application materials. See the Form D Instructions and FAQs heading on this page. Firefox is the recommended browser for accessing the report printouts.

AAMC Curriculum Vitae Format

There is no required format for CVs at MSU or in the CHM, but we recommend the AAMC format.

Developing a Reflective Essay

The Reflective Essay is required by the university in dossiers for all RPT and related activities.

COVID-19 Impact Statements

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected faculty in many ways. These resources can help you think about how to describe the impacts of COVID-19 on your career trajectory and progress toward meeting promotion criteria.

Developing an Academic Portfolio

The Academic Portfolio is a required component of the RPT dossier for all faculty systems in the College of Human Medicine.   

CHM Letters of Reference Guidelines

MSU External Letters of Reference Policy

Staff RPT Training Presentation - June  

Staff RPT Training Presentation – September

Staff RPT Training Presentation – November

CHM RPT Deadlines

RPT Dossier Bookmarking Order

Example Promotion Dossiers

Dossier Review Checklist - Department

CHM Guidelines for Initial Appointments at Rank

For paid fculty systems For clinical/adjunct

Promotion and Tenure

🏀 Women's Tournament

🍿 Stories all over the Final Four

🏀 Behind NCAA president Charlie Baker's love of hoops

Bueckers vs. Watkins

NCAA.com | March 31, 2024

2024 men's frozen four: bracket, scores, schedule for the college hockey championship.

msu college essay format

The Frozen Four is set for 2024. No. 2 Boston University will take on No. 3 Denver and No. 1 Boston College will face Michigan, which pulled off an upset over No. 4 Michigan State.

The Frozen Four runs through April 11 and 13 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Click or tap here to view the full field.  

2024 DI men's ice hockey tournament bracket

Here's a look at the complete 2024 DI men's hockey tournament bracket: 

Click or tap here to see the full bracket PDF ➡️  |  Interactive bracket 

Updated 2024 Men's Hockey Bracket

2024 DI men's ice hockey tournament schedule

All times in ET. Click in the game for live scores.

Men’s Frozen Four semifinals | April 11

  • No. 1 Boston U vs. No. 3 Denver  | 5:00 p.m. on ESPN2
  • No. 1 Boston College vs. Michigan  | 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Men’s Frozen Four national championship | April 13

First round | March 28

  • No. 3 Denver 2 , UMass 1 (2OT)
  • No. 2 Boston U 6,  RIT 3
  • Cornell 3 , Maine 1
  • Minnesota 3 , Omaha 2

First round | March 29

  • No. 1 Boston College 4, Michigan Tech 1 
  • No. 4 Michigan State 5, Western Michigan 4 (OT)
  • Quinnipiac 3, Wisconsin 2 (OT) 
  • Michigan 4,  North Dakota 3 

Second round | March 30 

  • No. 3 Denver 2,  Cornell 1
  • No. 2 Boston U 6 , Minnesota 3

Second round | March 31

  • No. 1 Boston College 5 , Quinnipiac 4 (OT)
  • Michigan State 5 , No. 4 Michigan 2

DI men's ice hockey championship history

#Participation in the tournament vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

🏒  LATEST MEN'S COLLEGE ICE HOCKEY NEWS   🏒   📊  POLLS: USCHO | USA Today 🔥 STAY UPDATED: Season statistics | Scoreboard | Adam Fantilli wins 2023 Hobey Baker 📰  HISTORY: National titles by year | How Q uinnipiac won in 2023 🎟️  TICKETS: Men's Frozen Four

msu college essay format

  • 2024 DI men's ice hockey championship selections announced

msu college essay format

Hobart wins 2024 NCAA DIII men's ice hockey championship

msu college essay format

  • Minnesota rejoins men's ice hockey Power 5 rankings

Latest DI Hockey News

  • All 28 goals in the 2024 NCAA men's hockey regional finals
  • Boston College scores in OT to advance to the Frozen Four
  • 2024 Men's Frozen Four: Bracket, scores, schedule for the college hockey championship
  • Quinnipiac scores in OT to defeat Wisconsin in DI men's hockey first round
  • Denver scores 2OT goal to survive UMass in DI men's hockey first round
  • 2024 NCAA DI men's hockey championship selection show
  • Minnesota enters the latest men's hockey Power 5 rankings
  • Boston College tops latest men's hockey Power 5

msu college essay format

Follow DI Men's Hockey

msu college essay format

A complete history of the Hobey Baker Award

msu college essay format

Frozen Four: History and team records

Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development

Examples of reflective essays by college (professor), college of agriculture and natural resources.

  • Soil Science and Chemistry

College of Arts & Letters

  • Romance and Classical Studies

College of Business

College of communication arts and sciences.

  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Communicative Sciences and Disorders

College of Education

  • Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education
  • Educational Administration
  • Kinesiology

College of Engineering

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Human Medicine

  • Human Medicine

James Madison College

  • James Madison

Lyman Briggs College

College of natural science.

  • Mathematics
  • Plant Biology

College of Social Science

  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • School of Human Resources and Labor Relations

2024 NCAA Frozen Four: Schedule, bracket, picks, results

Jack Malone's overtime goal wins the Providence Regional for Boston College. (0:41)

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The men's NCAA hockey tournament, which started with 16 teams looking to earn a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, is down to the Frozen Four, with some of the sport's blue bloods vying for the national championship.

Three of the four No. 1 seeds -- Boston College, Boston University and Denver -- emerged from the regionals, with Michigan, a 5-2 winner over Michigan State, the fourth top seed, rounding out the field.

The Wolverines made their third straight Frozen Four with a 5-2 win over their Big Ten rivals Sunday at Maryland Heights, Missouri.

BC, the No. 1 overall seed, fought off defending national champion Quinnipiac, 5-4, in overtime to win the Providence (Rhode Island) Regional earlier in the day.

On Saturday, Boston University, the top seed in the Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Regional, and Denver, No. 1 in the Springfield (Massachusetts) Regional, punched their tickets with wins over Minnesota and Cornell, respectively.

The final four teams have won a combined 28 national titles, with Denver and Michigan tied for the most of all time with nine each, and Hockey East rivals BC and BU winning five each. Denver won the championship in 2022, BC's last title came in 2012, BU's in 2009 and Michigan's in 1998.

The national semifinals are set for April 11 and the championship game April 13 at the Xcel Energy Center. Every game of the tournament will be aired on the ESPN family of networks and streamed on ESPN+.

Below is the tournament schedule, which will be updated with results as games are played. (An interactive bracket that will be updated can be found here .) Additionally, we have a look at the four contenders, including what each teams needs to do take home the championship.

msu college essay format

Frozen Four schedule

All times Eastern

at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

National semifinals, April 11

Denver vs. Boston University, 5 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN+)

Boston College vs. Michigan, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN+)

National championship game, April 13 Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN+)

Teams at a glance

msu college essay format

Boston College (33-5-1)

Capitals' draft prospect Ryan Leonard breaks the 1-1 tie with a nice goal for Boston College.

How the Eagles got here: The defending national champs had the No. 1 overall seed on the ropes as Quinnipiac took a 4-3 lead over Boston College in the first minute of the third period and nearly made it hold up. But the Eagles tied it with 4:44 remaining and won in overtime when Jack Malone poked home a loose puck after a scramble in front of the Quinnipiac net.

Entering the game, BC was clearly the hottest team in the country and had won its three postseason games (Hockey East, NCAA) by a combined 20-4 score. But when faced with the considerable pushback of Quinnipiac, the Eagles were up to the task, showing how adept they are at taking advantage of their scoring chances and how hard it is to keep them down for 60 minutes.

"It was a good game for us in terms of handling that adversity that coach is talking about and being down and not getting out of the fight," Malone said. "There's a lot of benefits and a lot of positives that we can take away from this game moving forward."

History lesson: BC qualified for its 26th Frozen Four, second most all time behind Michigan. The Eagles have won their past 14 games to match the program record for wins in a season (33). BC has won five national titles, the last in 2012. Ryan Leonard had a pair of two-goal games at Providence, giving him 31 on the season to break the BC freshman record (Brian Gionta, 1997-98).

Providence takeaways

How BC can win it all in St. Paul: The key for the Eagles may be for them to not start showing their age now. BC is the youngest team in the country (Denver and BU are not far behind), but the Eagles aren't only young, they rely heavily on underclassmen. Their five top scorers, with an astounding 291 combined points, are freshmen or sophomores, and 74.2% of the team's points come from underclassmen. Goalie Jacob Fowler also is a freshman. The group already has played in a lot of big games (seven BC players won gold for the U.S. at world juniors, plus their 1 vs. 2 matchups with BU and the Hockey East tournament at sold-out TD Garden), but the Eagles certainly were on the ropes against Quinnipiac, a veteran team with national title experience. In recent years, that's the sort of team that has had the most success in the Frozen Four.

Quinnipiac's blueprint: Coach Rand Pecknold has built a fantastic program at Quinnipiac -- five straight NCAA berths, nine in the past 11 years, three Frozen Fours and a national championship last season. While the Bobcats came up short in defending their title -- a goal that led defensemen CJ McGee and Jayden Lee to return for a fifth season -- the culture lives on. "It's a brotherhood. It's more than that," Lee told College Hockey News. "Since the first day I stepped onto campus I've just been able to grow as a person and as a hockey player." McGee said, "We never get to put this jersey on again and play games here. That's really just unfortunate. It stinks." -- Steve Richards

msu college essay format

Boston University (28-9-2)

Lane Hutson sneaks the puck into the net to give Boston University a lead they don't relinquish.

How the Terriers got here: On the surface, BU had the easiest time in the regionals, but that certainly doesn't mean it was a breeze. After cruising past RIT, the Terriers fell into a 2-0 hole against Minnesota before battling back to take a 4-3 lead with less than five minutes left in the second period. BU then put the clamps on the Gophers' attack in the third period before icing the win with a pair of empty-net goals.

"When you are up by a goal in the third period, you expect the other team to push," BU coach Jay Pandolfo said. "But we played on our toes. We kept pushing, played on our toes. And when they did have a little push, we were there to sacrifice our bodies to block some shots."

The Terriers showed off their star power against Minnesota with Lane Hutson scoring the go-ahead goal and Macklin Celebrini contributing three assists, including a pair of beauties to spark the comeback rally. Celebrini, the 17-year-old phenom, has 32 goals and 32 assists.

History lesson: In its 24th Frozen Four, BU is making back-to-back appearances for the first time in 27 years. The Terriers lost to Minnesota in the national semifinals in 2023. BU has won the national title five times, the last in 2009.

Sioux Falls takeaways

How BU can win it all in St. Paul: After Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead, BU showed great patience in sticking to its game, getting on the board late in the first period, then scoring three times in the second. That dedication to the game plan will serve the Terriers well if they can maintain it during the Frozen Four. With 12 goals in their two regional games, they showed why they are the overall No. 2 seed and why Denver will have its hands full.

Disappointment for Minnesota: The Gophers played in two of the most dramatic games of the tournament, coming from behind against Omaha in the third period, then jumping out to the lead against BU. Jaxon Nelson scored three straight goals over the two games and almost willed the Gophers to the Frozen Four, where Minnesota would have had a nice home-ice advantage. -- Andrew Raycroft

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Denver (30-9-3)

Denver's Sam Harris gets the win with a power-play goal to head to the NCAA men's hockey Frozen Four.

How the Pioneers got here: Denver, the highest scoring team in the country, entered the NCAA tournament averaging 4.85 goals per game. In two games combined -- 7½ periods in fact -- at Springfield, the Pioneers failed to reach that mark. Entering the regional, Denver hadn't won a game all season in which it scored fewer than three goals. But back-to-back 2-1 wins over UMass (double OT) and Cornell earned the Pios a trip to the Frozen Four.

That ticket was in doubt until the very end of the regional final, as Denver goalie Mark Davis held off a furious Cornell rally, making a game-saving save on Ryan Walsh in the closing seconds. The pair of tight, physical wins exemplified the improvement of the Pioneers defense, which was an issue the first half of the season but has allowed fewer than three goals in eight of their last 11 games.

"You look at our team, we're comfortable playing any type of game now," Denver coach David Carle said. "We have a lot of confidence regardless of the style of play."

History lesson: This is Denver's 19th Frozen Four appearance and its fifth in the past eight tournaments. The Pioneers' nine national titles are tied with Michigan for the most all-time; they last won in 2021 and also took the title in 2017. They've reached 30 wins for the third consecutive season, a first in program history.

Springfield takeaways

How Denver can win it all at St. Paul: The Pioneers had to be encouraged by winning in the tough, physical style that typifies the NCAA tournament, but to win you have to put the puck in the net. In Springfield, Denver flashed its speed and skill when it found some room to work with -- and the Pios don't need a lot -- and to win another title, they'll have to take advantage of their opportunities. Those chances likely will continue to be scarce in St. Paul.

Hats off to the working folks: Day 1 in Springfield was a long one -- more than seven hours of hockey, with puck drop shortly after 2 p.m. for Denver-UMass and the Cornell-Maine nightcap ending around 9:30 p.m. That meant a whole lot of overtime for the staff at the Mass Mutual Center, who surely were thankful the NCAA has added an off day before the regional final. -- Steve Richards

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Michigan (23-14-3)

Michigan extends its lead over Michigan State as Frank Nazar III sends an unbelievable pass to Gavin Brindley for a goal.

How the Wolverines got here: A trip to the Frozen Four seemed unlikely in mid-February when Michigan was 15-12-3 and had slipped to No. 17 in the USCHO poll. But since then, the Wolverines are 8-2, showing an uncanny ability to win tight games -- six of those wins have come in one-goal games.

All those nail-biters bring a lot of pressure on the goaltender, but Michigan's Jake Barczewski has seemed right at home. He was, in fact, right at home in the regionals as he grew up about 20 minutes from the arena. Barczewski, a grad transfer from Canisius, made 38 saves against Michigan State after keeping North Dakota at bay while his teammates overcame a sluggish start in their opener.

"Just like all of us, Barzs has been through his ups and downs," Michigan coach Brandon Naurato said. "And throughout that whole time, everyone believes in him."

History lesson: Michigan is in the Frozen Four for a record 28th time. It's the Wolverines' third straight appearance, something they last accomplished in 2001-03. While their nine national titles match Denver for the most in NCAA hockey history, they haven't won it all since 1998 and have just two titles since 1964. Michigan is 1-8 in its last eight Frozen Four appearances.

Maryland Heights takeaways

How Michigan can win it all in St. Paul: The Wolverines outscored their opponents 7-2 in the third period of their two regional games, showing the closing ability that is key to winning championships. Michigan provided two upsets, on paper at least, in knocking off North Dakota 4-3 and taking down in-state rival Michigan State 5-2, and will face an even bigger challenge in Boston College, the unquestioned No. 1 overall seed. The Wolverines will look to avoid losing their fourth straight Frozen Four semifinal (vs. Quinnipiac last year, vs. Denver in 2022, vs. Notre Dame in 2018) -- it's great to get this far, but you want to win too. Dylan Duke paced Michigan at Maryland Heights with four goals and one assist.

A hot ticket: Besides the drama on the ice, ticket prices were the talk in St. Louis. With three programs with some of the biggest fan bases in the country playing in a 2,500-seat arena, tickets were scarce. This was the most competitive bracket on paper, and it lived up to the hype. All three games in the regional were up for grabs with less than 10 minutes left in the third period. -- Andrew Raycroft

Regionals recap

Springfield (Massachusetts) Regional

Denver 2, UMass 1 (2OT) Cornell 3, Maine 1

Denver 2, Cornell 1

Denver wins Springfield Regional

Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Regional

Boston University 6, RIT 3 Minnesota 3, Omaha 2

Boston University 6, Minnesota 3

Boston University wins Sioux Falls Regional

Providence (Rhode Island) Regional

Boston College 6, Michigan Tech 1 Quinnipiac 3, Wisconsin 2 (OT)

Boston College 5, Quinnipiac 4 (OT)

Boston College wins Providence Regional

Maryland Heights (Missouri) Regional

Michigan State 5, Western Michigan 4 (OT) Michigan 4, North Dakota 3

Michigan 5, Michigan State 2

Michigan wins Maryland Heights Regional


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