Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement
Many graduate and professional programs require a personal statement or statement of purpose. These statements can be important considerations in the admission process. While there tend to be common themes in the personal statements required by different institutions, there are sometimes significant differences, too. Be sure to review the requirements of individual institutions carefully.
The campus Academic Resource Center offers periodic workshops to acquaint students with the process and content of such statements. Students may also make an appointment with writing specialists or with Career Services staff to review their submissions.
There is no one-size-fits-all for these statements. Before writing, do
some reflection about yourself. Typically applicants will want to explain their strong interest in the field, communicate clear educational and career goals, describe motivation for wanting to attend a specific program and institution, establish themselves as a scholar prepared for advanced studies, and address any obstacles for their admission.
Applicants will also want to distinguish themselves from others by including unique personal qualities, academic backgrounds, and life experiences. All information included in the statement should contribute to the establishment of a compelling case that one is a strong candidate for the program. Creating a central theme helps some writers to unify and personalize the document. The personal statement is an opportunity to communicate who you are and what your story is.
This is not a one-draft document. Plan on spending some time preparing the statement and arrange for others to review the document.
What Should I Write About in My Graduate Personal Statement
The Statement of Purpose
Purdue Online Writing Lab:
Writing the Personal Statement
Resource Book: Highly Recommended
How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School, Richard Stelzer