Supplemental Essay and Questions Required for Honors College Applicants

The Cook Honors College regular application review process has closed for fall 2023. However, if you are interested in applying after May 1, please email Kevin Berezansky at  We will consider late applications on a case by case basis. 

After you have completed the IUP Undergraduate Freshman application, you will need to submit the essay and short answer form online.

We value the opportunity to learn about our applicants both in terms of their academic strengths and well as who they are as individuals. Obviously, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers to the following questions.

Résumé Section

  • Tell us your favorite:
    1. Book
    2. Movie
    3. Academic subject
    4. Saying/expression
  • Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers, including any jobs you have held.
  • List by author and title books you enjoyed most in the past year, indicating with an asterisk (*) the readings that were not required for class.
  • List activities/clubs/organizations in which you’ve participated, noting any leadership roles.
  • Identify the most meaningful school or community activity in which you’ve participated. How did your participation impact others in your school or community?
  • List service/volunteer experiences.

Short Essays

  • What, specifically, motivated you to apply to the Cook Honors College, and what unique characteristics or contributions will you bring to our honors community? [100-300 words]
  • Describe how your high school transcript or test scores are, or are not, an accurate reflection of your potential for intellectual growth. [100-300 words]
  • Long Essay: In approximately 500 words, answer one of the following questions. (Note that we seek developed essays, not short, single paragraph answers.)
    1. Write about a moment that illustrated your shift from child to adult in your family or community.
    2. What book, artwork, film, or music has changed the way you think about the world? How so?
    3. Some students have a background, identity, interest, talent or challenge that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
    4. Think about someone you routinely see but never notice. Reflect on why you think this is. How might this newfound awareness change you?
    5. Some say social media is superficial with no room for expressing deep or complex ideas. We challenge you to defy these skeptics by describing yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 280-character limit of a tweet. Use the rest of your word count to reflect upon this challenge.

We realize that things like indents and spacing are difficult to represent on a web entry screen. Please know that your essay will be judged on content and not on formatting.

What Can I Major In?

Get more information about majors you are interested in and what honors students have to say about them. 

Our Typical Student

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