The Short Answer Questions for first-year applicants who applied for Fall 2024 entry are below. Updates for Fall 2025 short answer questions will be posted later this summer, in late July.

In the Short Answers section of the first-year application, we ask you to respond to the following three prompts:

  1. Why are you applying to Occidental? Why do you think Occidental is the right place for you to pursue your interests? (150 - 200 words)
  2. Please answer one of the following questions — your choice (200 - 300 words):
    • Oxy’s central mission emphasizes the value of community amidst diversity. What do you value in a community and how do you see your perspectives and life experiences enhancing it?
    • Briefly describe a current event or social movement that is affecting a place that is important to you. Describe its significance to you and the future implications for that community. How do you anticipate an Oxy education helping you better understand and respond to that event/movement?
    • Research is an integral part of an Oxy education. Completing a senior comprehensive is a requirement of every Oxy student and there are a myriad of opportunities for research throughout your four years. Imagine you were just awarded one of our research grants for a project of your choice. What are you researching and why?
  3. What is the first song you would play for your Oxy roommate on move-in day? (20 words)


Attention transfer students: please visit your required short answer questions in the Transfer Student Application Requirements section.

Contact Admission & Aid
Collins House

1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041