What is an SOP?
A written Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a standard requirement for admission in Higher Education Institutions/Universities. It is a tool for the members of admissions committees to assess the knowledge, experience, motivation, intellectual maturity, and readiness of applicants willing to pursue higher education at their institution/university. A Statement of Purpose can determine whether an applicant is accepted or rejected, irrespective of their other qualifications.
This document will serve as a guide for the applicants to write an impressive and successful statement of purpose.
Remember, your statement of purpose should portray you as:
- Passionately interested in the field
- Intelligent and Sensitive
- Well-prepared academically and personally
- Able to take on the challenges of higher education
- Able to build good rapport with professors and fellow students — in other words, collegial
- Able to finish the graduate degree in a timely fashion; and
- Able and harbor intent to rise as a potentially outstanding representative of that institution
Be introspective. Don't settle for "I love this field." Why do you love this field? Why do you want to work in this field for the rest of your life? Why does it complete you? What is your truth? Find it and then find a memorable way to say it. Higher Education Institutions require the statement of purpose not only because they want to find about you as an applicant, but they also want you to really think hard about your decision that could be life changing.
- Concentrate on your life experiences and give specific examples.
- Put down only those things that excite you.
- Do not make things up!
Your outline should cover these areas and, preferably, in this order:
- What aspects of the department/program appeals to you?
- What are your research interest(s)?
- How did you become interested in your current area?
- What are your future academic goals after graduation (eg. Ph.D.)?
- What are your professional goals in life (eg. Being a professor, a pilot, etc.)?
- What positive aspects do you bring to the department/program?
When writing your Statement of Purpose:
- Always use positive language when referring to yourself.
- Give detailed, but relevant and concise examples.
- Use transition words, sentences, and paragraphs. Your statement must read smoothly.
- Avoid using vocabulary that you do not know.
- Refrain from repeating yourself.
- Have strong opening and closing paragraphs.
- Stay within the word limit!
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