POWERFUL PERSONAL STATEMENTS
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?