My letter of intent for an MSc program is only 1000 characters (which is about 160 words). I was planning to begin with a short story about how I became interested in the field, how my academic background has prepared me, my current research interests, and my future goals. All of that is about 400-500 words (I already wrote it out). I will be evaluated on how well my interests align with the school’s and my supervisor’s. So should I only include my research interests? So there really wouldn’t be any introductry line... I would just get into it?


Carefully address the question as phrased by the institution. Different schools may describe what they want as a letter of intent in slightly different ways that may help you understand what they're looking for.

Broadly speaking, a letter of intent is not about your past. It should explain your intentions for the future. (Stuff about your past is probably better in a personal statement, if you're asked for one.) A letter of intent should answer the question, what will you do if you come here?

In any sort of admissions or employment situation, whenever you're asked about the future, a good answer usually includes some specificity about your objectives, something testable, what you'd like to work on, how you think you might proceed toward your goals, etc. Hope that's helpful.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.