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Statement of Purpose Advice 01

I've read many applications to our graduate program, and I've seen a lot of statements of purpose that, frankly, aren't very good. Here are some thoughts and comments that ill hopefully help you rite a !etter statement of purpose. "hese are merely my o n thoughts and should not !e construed as official guidelines of any sort.

What the statement of purpose is not

#any students $particularly foreign students% think that the statement of purpose is a!out character. &hile honesty, sincerety, conscientiousness, etc. are important attri!utes, I assume students ith good academic records applying to graduate school have these traits. #any students think that the statement of purpose should !e an auto!iographical sketch. 'elieve me, the story of your first computer hen you ere 10 years old and ho it inspired you to devote your life to (omputer Science does not make particularly interesting reading, nor does it tell me the things I ant to kno .

Questions that your statement of purpose should answer
&hen I read a statement of purpose $ hich I think is one of the most important parts of a graduate application%, I have the follo ing )uestions in mind. Don't structure your statement with these questions! $I can *ust see the applications pouring in no ith my )uestions used as section headings.% +our statement of purpose should !e a cohesive piece of prose. $Some use of section headings is ,-, !ut not ith my )uestions.% It


!ut keep in mind your application.. unless you are an e. At other schools. then another 2 .ample. ho ill !e reading In the 3ensselaer (S department. . 5or the 3ensselaer (S department.0 &hile some of my )uestions !elo can $and should% !e ans ered directly. for e. research groups read applications 4 the one$s% you specify on your ay you can think of your statement is as an e. • ithin a research group ill read your &hy are you interested in these research topics2 1on't rite an auto!iography7 • • 1o you have the motivation6perseverence to complete a Ph12 If you have an undergraduate degree in something other than (omputer Science or (omputer 8ngineering. the rest should !e addressed !y relating relevant e. a department committee may read all applications and decide upon admissions on !ehalf of the hole department. may not !e taken seriously !y either group. /"ell me a!out yourself.perience6accomplishments.ceptional student ith a !road range of e. you should target your application to *ust one research group 4 a student ho specifies interest in ro!otics and net orking.periences and accomplishments. #ultiple faculty application.should present yourself to the reader..tended $and some hat more formal% ans er to the intervie )uestion. • • &hy do you ant to get a Ph1 $or #S%2 &hat are your research interests2 'e as specific as possi!le.

<ength9 1efinitely not more than = pages7 $&ho has time to read more than that2% &hen I as applying to graduate schools.cram. I as advised to keep my statement of purpose to a single page. for all parts of the :nited States. Ina!ility to rite a concise statement of purpose indicates a lack of critical thinking skills.)uestion is9 do you have the !ackground to pass the Ph1 )ualifiers2 "he statement of purpose is also an opportunity to descri!e some of your accomplishments and their significance.(oncise. 1on't try to .one and a half. etc.concise. competitions. pieces of riting are usually too short !ecause they omit important points. . font si>e. !ut definitely not dou!le spaced% ith at least a 10 point font and reasona!le margins $at least 1 inch on all sides. preferra!ly more on the left and right ith a 10 point font%. etc.aminations. Other things to keep in mind • 5ormat9 Single spaced $or may!e even . I should duly note that most undergraduate (omputer Science students confuse .Short.short. ith . e. margins. . "he reader ill not !e familiar ith the programs.% +ou're not fooling anyone. more into your t o pages using typographical tricks $line spacing. spacing. • • Spell check it7 ?et someone else to proofread it7 3 . not to mention other countries.. I no think that this as not good advice 4 one page tends to !e too short if you're covering everything you should. etc. means that you have given thought to the composition of your statement to make it a clear and cohesive piece of prose $ ith a natural6logical flo % that covers all the necessary points and doesn't cover unnecessary points. aren't cohesive.

I like your program because you do not require a !"# score. Students should not appear uncertain in the statement of purpose and should give good reasons for applying to the program. Pre !ritin" #uestionnaire $or statements o$ purpose 4 . I want to go into optometry because I would have a better chance of staying in the nited States as an optometrist than I would in some other professions.STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 02 Most university applications require students to submit a statement of purpose. I want to go into petroleum engineering because petroleum engineers make a lot of money. This allows students to show: • • • • • that they are interested in the field of study that they know enough about the field to make a decision to enter it professionally that the program to which they are applying can meet their needs that there is evidence that the degree will help them with their future goals that they are serious about their decision to enroll in the program Students use the statement of purpose to sell themselves to the college admissions officers and professors. but I think I wouldlike to learn about it. I want to study archaeology because I love to be outdoors. Inappropriate reasons may include: • • • • • I do not know anything about geophysics.

thesis pro. Para"rap% ( 5 . Para"rap% ' +escribe your motivation for obtaining this degree and your professional goals. travel. athletics. art. Include the following if they are relevant: specific courses. music'. activities and responsibilities. +escribe your activities outside school or university. . computer or foreign languages. internships. photography. special interests &for e-ample.obs.$hat is your educational goal% &degree and field' $hat is your professional goal after you complete this degree program% $hat is your long(term professional goal% $hat academic preparation have you already completed% $hat do you need to learn to achieve your goal% Para"rap% & )ist the details of your academic preparation: • • • • *ame of school or university +egrees already earned Ma. include clubs. Para"rap% 2 +escribe any work e-perience relevant to your proposed field of study.or field Minor field&s' +escribe your school or university course of study.ects.

Is there any special concern about your academic record that you will need to e-plain &for e-ample.. State this academic goal in terms of your short( or long(range plans. and phone number in the upper left corner. 6athy +upre. !uillermo 8olls. 7etty )ittle and $anda Seglund at T#S2) in 8hicago. a low !0/ or your level of #nglish'% 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 T#S2) presentation 34elp me with my statement of purpose5 4#)053 presented by 6im 7enson. March :.. <. address.)ist what you e-pect to gain educationally and personally by attending this particular college or university. &9or e-ample.=. Type 3Statement of 0urpose3as the heading. Include any reference number that the university you are applying to may have assigned to you. *ritin" t%e statement o$ purpose *ote: The following are only suggestions for what to write in each paragraph. Para"rap% ) /dd any other information that might be relevant to the admission committee. Incorporate your own ideas into the skeleton outline below or modify it to fit your own situation. Para"rap% & 7egin with your goal of a degree from the particular university to which you are directing your application. I) on 9riday. you intend to earn a degree from S+S School of 7usiness with 6 . )ist what you can contribute to the college or university. Type your name.

and directly related activities and responsibilities. +escribe your university program. specific academic emphases.obs. which are strong emphases of >?@ university. internships. you have a strong background in accounting but want to add competencies in management and marketing. thesis pro. . including !0/ or class rank &if high'. you were president of a business club that organiAed a traveling e-hibition. then transition to what you need to learn to achieve your goal. you learned team work and diligence by playing soccer.' +iscuss what you learned from these e-periences that is applicable to your goals. &9or e-ample. +iscuss what you already know.' Para"rap% ( $hy are you interested in a degree from this university &name the university'% 7 .ects. &9or e-ample.a concentration in 9inance to prepare yourself for an eventual position as 9inancial +irector in an international company in your country.' Para"rap% 2 8oncentrate on your academic preparation with specific mention of your university and the degree you have already earned. &9or e-ample. $hat was it about a particular e-perience that led to your interest in a field of study or showed you areas in which you needed more knowledge% Para"rap% ' $hich e-tracurricular activities have been most important to you% $hat qualities in yourself did you discover or develop because of your participation in these activities.

which is a specialty of >?@ niversity. my academic skills and my work e-perience will provide me with all the essential skills to become a good manager in a multinational company. Most importantly the curriculum at 8)/ focuses on international business. the International Management 9ellows program offered by 8)/ will allow me to complete a part of the program in Spain. I believe that my e-perience and knowledge will positively 8 . to learn how to run your own company. the former soviet nion and the entire development of the impending #8 . There are several reasons why I am applying to 8)/. +iscuss what you e-pect to gain and what you can contribute.:. I have been e-posed to many different cultures and languages. &9or e-ample.' An e+ample o$ statement o$ purpose !raduate Student I would like to apply to the M7/ program to enhance my engineering education and complete it with a business degree. in which I would like to specialiAe.ob e-perience in negotiating contracts. 8)/Bs program is well known and widely accepted in #urope. you will be able to contribute a diverse viewpoint to class discussions because you have an international perspective or you have on(the( . Me-ico or 8hile. The M7/. you need to learn entrepreneurship. 4aving lived and worked in the heart of #urope.' Para"rap% ) $rite a final comment about the quality of education at this university to emphasiAe your interest in going there. The average student in program has worked more than four years before starting the M7/.$hat ideas do you have about your future work or life((short(term and long(term% 4ow will your education at this university help you achieve these goals% &9or e-ample. In addition. I have closely followed the recent changes in #astern #urope.

. industrial company. !uillermo 8olls. I am planning to work as a manager in a multinational. The pro. 6athy +upre.ect manager for the S$ISS )282M2TIJ# 82M0/*?. The program included three .:. I am very satisfied with the progress of the pro.EF I graduated with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering.ob rotations in the following departments: software engineering. Thereafter. Moreover. My main task was to conduct research in order to reduce the time of the product development cycle. /t that time. In addition. The budget responsibility was about K.EH. a multinational. an international appliance manufacturer. Its completion is e-pected for <.' Since. I worked as a pro. I know that in order to become a good manager. 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 #-ample from a T#S2) presentation 34elp me with my statement of purpose5 4#)053 presented by 6im 7enson. $ith my multicultural background I will raise new points of view and hopefully add different perspectives. in 7asel industrial engineering. system administration and 8/+I8/M consulting.ect. I completed by secondary school in @uerich. industrial company in information management or operation management. I enrolled at the CInternationales Technikum "apperswilD near @uerich. +uring my postgraduate studies. )ast but not least.F million S dollars. I would like to apply #nglish in my further position. In <.ective was to evaluate and to integrate a 8/+I8/M(system. I will have to enhance my knowledge in the field of business administration. I also managed the software pro. I did an internship with G " /!. /fterwards. <.ectBs ob. In <. 7etty )ittle and 9 . pon successful completion of the M7/. a subsidiary of S )@#" /!.. I have been managing the 8/+I8/M department responsible for the development and maintenance of the companyBs complete information system. I have an emphasis in materials and operations management. I completed a postgraduate program at the CIngenieurschule beider 7aselD. I underwent training for si-teen months at S )@#" /!. I will be looking for a new challenge as a manager.K.contribute insights to class discussions.ect for an entire #+M information system &engineering data management.

I) on 9riday...=.$anda Seglund at T#S2) in 8hicago. 10 . <. March :.