Life is short, and we have to make choices. It would be great to have a chance to attend ten different universities, try each one for one year, see what you like and what you don’t, and just then pick one of the courses, and eventually earn your degree or qualification in the field. We do not have such a luxury though, because with bills to pay or family to feed (and sometimes both), you cannot study until your late thirties. The key is to choose the right course at the school of your choice, earn your qualification or degree, and start working. The sooner the better…

People sitting in school admission committees always want to know why you decided for this or that course. You may also deal with this question on an application form. And it makes a perfect sense, because your motivation, and how badly you want this, will often determine whether you manage to complete the course, and earn the qualification you aim for, or will quit when facing the first challenges.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this tricky question. I tried to include answers for various courses (computer science, agriculture, health and medicine, law, social studies, etc), but more importantly, expressing different reasons that motivated each student to apply for this or that course. I hope at least one of the answers will resonate with your own motives (or perhaps it will help you to finally understand them). Below the answers you will find some additional hints on how to make the right impression on the people who will read or hear your answer. Make sure to also check them out!


7 sample answers to “Why did you choose this course?” interview question

  1. I choose the course in computer science for three main reasons. First of all, I still is it as a most perspective career going forward. With the boom of robotics and artificial intelligence, the job prospects are as good as ever. Secondly, I have always excelled in Math and logic, and I believe to have what it takes to become a top-notch programmer one day. Last but not least, my brother studies at your school, so I get a first-hand information about both the lessons and the campus life. And I really like what he told me about this place. Summarized and underlined, I cannot imagine a better place and a better course for my future than this one.
  2. My choice of social studies has a lot to do with my personal beliefs and values. I have always felt for the underprivileged, perhaps because I also come from a poor neighborhood, and didn’t have it easy in my childhood. And while I am smart enough to know the battle against inequality in the world will always be futile, I also believe that we can, at least in cases of individual families and people, make a positive difference as social workers. And that is exactly what I aspire to–to become a social worker one day, and to work with families in need. Logically I want to study social work, and your college is a great place to do so, since it is in my city, and has a good reputation. This is basically why I decided to apply for this course, and not for some another one.
  3. I choose your course in business and management because I am yet uncertain about my future. From all courses one can study at this university, I feel this one is the most universal one. Because each place needs good mangers, and one can start their own business in any field–as long as they have the knowledge, and can manage such an operation. What’s more, I have a spirit of an entrepreneur, and I definitely play with an idea of starting my own business once I finish my studies. Even for such a career path, this is the best course I can study.
  4. My answer may surprise you, but the main reason for my choice is climate change. I know that agriculture plays such a big role in climate change. And I want to study sustainable agriculture, and learn how could I–from my position in some company, or a position of a farm owner, help to save this beautiful planet. I am firm believer in education and connections though. Of course, once can become an activist, or a minimalist, and contribute to the positive difference in their own way. But that’s not my path, and I see this course in sustainable agriculture as the first step on the path I want to follow in this field. Let’s hope I can get in, and embark on this fascinating journey.
  5. I choose this course because I see it as the next step on the journey towards my dream, which is running my own vet clinic in this city. I’ve been a dog and cat lover since my youth, having pets, volunteering in shelters, advocating for animal rights. But I also want to make my career in the field, earn my living while helping the animals. And for that I cannot just remain a volunteer… I want to earn a degree, gain some experience, and eventually run a vet clinic here, one that people will just love to visit, because the attention and love the animals will get there will be unmatched anywhere else in the city.
  6. I’ve been always a creative soul. Enjoyed writing, drawing, and since I was 10 years old I already composed simple pieces of music. Your college has an excellent reputation, and some of my favorite designers have studied here, have completed the same course. That’s basically why I have chosen it, since I believe that in order to get closer to our role models, we have to follow a similar path as they did in life. And one other thing–I just love this city. It is extremely inspirational to me, just walking the streets, watching the architecture, the lights, everything. I believe I will one day create some masterpiece here…
  7. Let me tell you a story. One year ago, I accompanied my grandmother to a notary. She was selling her house, because she wanted to move to another city, with a better climate. Definitely helps in an old age. The entire transaction took thirty minutes. We met with the buyers, the notary made digital copies of the documents, explained the transaction to both parties, and they signed documents. Just then I learned about the commission for the notary: It was $3,000. Of course, the commission depended on the price of the house, but still I found it fascinating, that she made $3,000 in thirty minutes of work. On that day I decided that I want to study law. I also want to become a notary one day. And though I know many years have to pass and it won’t be an easy journey, I consider myself an excellent student, and definitely know that it is possible. This course is the first step on my career journey.


If you face the question in an interview, make sure to show some enthusiasm for the course

The words you say are one thing, the impression your interviewers get another. When talking about your decision in the interviews, you should show some enthusiasm for the years ahead, for the course you are going to study. Now it doesn’t mean that you have to scream from excitement, or shed tears while talking to the admission committee. But you should be pumped for the opportunity, and they should hear the enthusiasm in your voice. This is the day you have been waiting for. Finally you are here, just one step away from starting the course you dream of completing. That’s exactly the impression they should get!


Do not forget to praise their educational institution

The subject of the course is one thing, but in an ideal answer to this question you should also praise their school. Because, as you know for sure, you can study law (or computer science, or medicine, or whatever) at many schools and universities in your country and elsewhere. But why have you chosen the course at their school? It can be their reputation, recommendation from a friend, your love for the city, it can be anything. Check the sample answers again to get some ideas.

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
Latest posts by Matthew Chulaw (see all)