Extracurricular Activities

Your pursuits outside the classroom, captured by the activities section, give the Admissions Committee insight into your passions and responsibilities. As you put together this section of the application, keep the following points in mind: 

  • Be yourself, and let your involvement reflect your personal interests. The Admissions Committee is not looking for specific, pre-determined activities and simply wants to know how you spend your time. Both well-rounded and well-lopsided students are successful in our applicant pool. Moreover, extracurricular activities do not need to be tailored towards specific majors or academic paths, although for some students they might naturally align.
  • The extracurricular list encompasses all that you do. You can include activities that take place in the context of your school, part-time work, family responsibilities, summer activities, community experiences, and more.
  • Indicate the amount of time you spend in your extracurricular experiences. The Admissions Committee is interested in knowing the duration of your commitments as this gives us insight into the depth of your involvement and a sense of the impact you’ve made in your community.
  • Note leadership roles and/or specific responsibilities. These details highlight your initiative and developed capacity as a leader, role model, and doer.
  • Include descriptions of your activities and/or role whenever possible. The more information you provide, the better the Committee will understand who you are, what’s important to you, and the positive impact you’ve had on those around you. 


Don’t be afraid to pursue something you are passionate about because when you do something you love work no longer seems like work, and you won’t mind spending hours doing it. Let these passions and unique qualities show through in your application. Be a Voice not an Echo. Penn wants to see you excel at what you enjoy and try different things

Anne Stack, C'16