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Writing the "Design Your Own Course" Essay Question – Tips from Colorado College


If you could design a college course what would it be? Not only that, how would you write about it?
This year I have come across a number of colleges asking prospective students to write a supplemental essay that has the student design a course, or a theme house, that could be implemented at the college. As I work with students, I find they often struggle a bit with this question. They worry that they will come up with something that has already been done or is not creative enough. So, I like to encourage them to break the question down as they are brainstorming. Here are some of the questions I pose to students brainstorming on this essay topic:

  • What is a theme or subject that interests you?
  • What is a program or class you personally would want to take part in? Why?
  • What would that program have as its main components?
  • What would set it apart from other courses or programs on the campus?
  • Could this program actually be implemented?


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