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Undergraduate Admission

Application Tips

» Tips for Completing Your Chapman University Application

These tips and questions have been updated for those applying to spring or fall 2024.

To help you put together a great application, we want you to know some of the questions we ask below, as well as quick explanations of what we're looking for in your responses.

Note that you might have additional questions based on your major choice and/or whether you're a first-year or transfer student. You'll have to start filling out your application to see all of the questions we ask!

Common Application Questions Tips

The Common Application sections listed below are required by all colleges/universities. 

Testing Section

Chapman is test-optional. If you want to apply with your test scores, feel free to fill out the testing section of the Common Application.

  • The testing section can be utilized for any exam scores you wish to self-report through the Common Application. This includes scores such as SAT, ACT, AP, IB, and SAT Subject Tests. You can list test scores received for exams that you have already taken and list future test dates you plan to take.
  • After submitting your Common Application, your scores will not be visible on the PDF — that’s okay! If you applied with tests, the admission committee will still receive and review the scores you listed in the testing section.
  • If you're applying as a test-optional applicant, your scores will remain hidden from our admission committee whether or not you filled out this section.

If you have questions, reach out to your counselor.

Activities Section 


This section gives you the opportunity to show the admission committee how you are spending your time outside of the classroom. Our committee is interested in seeing the breadth of your involvements as well as the depth of those involvements. Consider these questions: 

  • What are you involved in? 
  • How long have you been involved in these areas?
  • What level of impact do you have in each of those areas?

We understand that every applicant’s involvement may look different, and we pay close attention to context! For some general tips:

  • Do not use acronyms if possible
  • Highlight relevant leadership roles and responsibilities 
  • Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes

Personal Essay

The Personal Essay is only required for first-year applicants.

This is a space to share something central about yourself, whatever that may be!

Our committee is looking for students to share their passions, experiences, or stories with us. Make sure to be as honest and open as you can - the more your voice is added to your essay, the better our committee can get to know you. For some general tips:

  • Don’t be school specific - this essay is shared with all schools you apply to through the Common Application, not just us!
  • Be sure to have a couple trusted people take a look once you’ve finished writing it. Students can often miss small mistakes because they’ve been editing and rewriting themselves. 
  • Show, don’t tell - give us an inside look into your world.

Additional Information

Community Disruption 

This is an optional space to share information about how your education or experiences may have been affected by COVID-19, a natural disaster or any other factor out of your control.

You can share details about your life, physical or mental health, safety, family situation, etc. It’s a free space to let our committee know about any circumstances you deem relevant.

We care about our students and want to better understand their situations and find the best ways to support them. For more guidance, we’d recommend reaching out to your school counselor.

Do you wish to provide details of circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application? 

Make sure not to overthink this part of the application! It is an optional piece, but this section can be a useful tool if you have additional information or relevant context that you want the admission committee to be aware of as we evaluate your file. For some general tips if you decide to utilize this section:

  • Be concise and specific.
  • Don’t repeat information already stated in other parts of your application.

Chapman Questions Tips

The questions below are unique to Chapman's admission process.

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Letter of Recommendation Tips

Please note that we only require applicants to submit one letter of recommendation, but will review up to two.

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How to Write Your College Admission Essay
The Personal Essay is required for first-year applicants. Writing your essay can be daunting. Here are a few tips that could help you make it stand out.

Got a Question for Us?

  • Feel free to contact us anytime at admit@chapman.edu or (714) 997-6711.
  • Want to talk to a student? Use our Ask a Student feature to reach out to a student from the same major or with similar interests as you.
  • Want to talk to your admission counselor? They would probably be your best bet if you have a question relating to your personal situation (academic interests, family or financial situation, etc.). You can find your counselor on our Meet Your Counselor page.

Contact Admission

Email us:

Call us: (714) 997-6711

Text us: (714) 942-5474

Send your documents:
Chapman University
Attn: Office of Admission
One University Drive 
Orange, CA 92866

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