When applying to Graduate School, you will have to write a personal statement. This gives you the opportunity to tell your school of choice what makes you their ideal future-student. Here are some tips:<br />Be aware that sometimes there are limits regarding how long your personal statement can be. Check this out beforehand, as there is a lot of information you will be putting in your personal statement.<br />Write about the goals. The goals you have for your career as a student, and what you hope to be doing once you’ve graduated. <br />Be descriptive! Write about the things that you have accomplished that convey that you are hard-working and motivated—don’t just write that you are hard-working and motivated!<br />Talk about things that you have accomplished academically that have prepared you for Graduate School. Perhaps you took graduate courses as an undergrad, or you were a teaching assistant, or a research assistant.<br />Mention the practical experience that you’ve had; you aren’t just book smart—you have been in the field. Your experience in various practica will be a real selling point.<br />Write about why you want to go to this school, and why you want to be in this program. The program you choose should be a good fit for where you want your life to go, so tell them why. This will help them to understand why you would fit in well at their school, and that’s important. Even if you are a student who is more than qualified, if your goals are contrary to the goals of the school and/or program, you should be applying somewhere else, because: a) you won’t get in to that graduate program and b) if you did, you wouldn’t be happy.<br />You are going to want to make sure that you have a good conclusion that ties everything together. Since you have given your examples of how motivated and hard-working you are, this is a good time to say to them that you are motivated and hard-working. (Those are of course examples of something you may say, depending on what you most want to convey).<br />And lastly: do not be wordy. This is an opportunity to sell yourself, and these people read a great deal of personal statements, so get to the point. Don’t make them search for what you are trying to say; just say it. <br />TESTIMONEY FROM A MEMBER OF A GRADUATE ADMISSIONS BOARD (MASTERS PROGRAM):<br />“As I go through the applicants to our program this year I notice that a good number of students shoot themselves in the foot with their wacky and oddball personal statements. I think they believe they are writing an essay for Vanity Fair and want to be cutesy or poetic when really what we want as faculty is just a simple statement of 1) why are you applying to our program (i.e. what experiences have you had that have led you to apply to this university), 2) What are your plans for the future? I want them to demonstrate that they have consumed all the information about our program and are sure that this is just the right program for them. If I had my way I would limit them to 250 words to make them cut, edit, revise, cut some more so that the five paragraphs they send us are easy to read and informative. One important tip is that a good letter of intent must be customized for each school where the student is applying.”<br />Please follow this advice when looking over your letters!! What you think is creative and shows your personality, may be hurting your chances of getting into a graduate program. <br />
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