Graduate School Guide Special Section

How to write a personal statement

Grad school is all about applications and if you are truly  ready to take on the extra responsibility of additional years of school. Applicants have to show each university their academic worth and how they differ from the rest. Writing a great personal statement is the first step in doing that.

1. The hardest part is getting started. 

It’s true. Set aside some time to make your personal statement the best it can be, whether or not you spend one hour or one week working on it. Odds are the longer you work on it, the better it will be.

2. Make sure your introduction states what you want.

You’re applying to specific schools for specific reasons. Be sure to tell them that. Having a great intro can help get your foot in the door with your dream school, ultimately having an effect on your future.

3. What are your goals?

A cliché question, yes, but an important one nonetheless. Universities won’t accept you into their program if they don’t know what to expect from you afterwards. Set goals early on and make sure that you do everything possible to show that in your statement.

4. Don’t lie.

Believe it or not, this happens more often than not. Don’t lie to impress a committee because it could backfire with horrendous results. Saying you studied abroad and helped orphans only looks good if you actually did it.

5. Make sure you’re proud of the end product.

It goes without saying that you should be proud of your work. You want to go to this grad school for a reason, whether they are highly ranked or close to your hometown. Put your best foot forward, and be proud of things that you have accomplished so far. It’ll show in your statement.

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