Career Center


A Personal Statement provides info beyond your transcript and entrance exam scores, it provides a personal account of why the program should choose you! For more information on writing personal statements, check out Grad School Preparation.

Your statement should explain:

  • Who you are
    • Your characteristics, skills, character, motivations, experiences
    • How you've changed over the years
    • How you're different from other applicants
    • How you've dealt with past difficulties
    • Past experiences that have impacted your goals
  • Your goals
  • Why applying to grad school
  • How you match their program

Make sure to consider:

  • Who are they?
  • The audience for your statement
  • Their institution & culture
  • Their program
  • Their faculty
  • Unique attributes of their program
  • How do you match their program?
  • Academic interests
  • Research experience or interests
  • Career focus
  • Teaching experience or interests
  • Service experience or interests
  • What you offer their program; their faculty
  • Carefully read the application and instructions
  • Highlight your accomplishments relevant to each program
  • Personalize each statement to match with the targeted program
  • Edit and proofread; repeat

Get others to proofread:

  • Have your personal statement reviewed by faculty, Writing Center tutors, Career Center counselors, etc.
  • Did my opening paragraph capture your attention?
  • Did you find the statement as a whole interesting?
  • Did you find it to be well written?
  • Did it seem positive, upbeat?
  • Did it sound like me?
  • Do you regard it as an honest and forthright presentation of who I am?
  • Did it seem to answer the question(s)?
  • Can you think of anything relevant that I might have inadvertently omitted?
  • Is there material within the statement that seems inappropriate?
  • Did you gain any insight about me from reading this?
  • Did you notice and typos or other errors?
  • Do you think the statement has in any way distinguished me from other applicants?
  • Do you think my application to is logical?

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