My B.Sc degree was in an unrelated field. However, I have a strong interest in physics, and mathematics. I'm currently writing my statement of purpose for graduate school applications. I have a background in physics from self-directed study. I wonder how I should write it; should I detail my background, and my preparation first, then write my future research goals, or should I focus on my future goals from the very beginning? I tried to start by detailing my background, but I found that I it is hard to explain in a concise manner the radical career shift from medicine to physics. I do not want to bore the reader with autobiography. Your suggestions would be helpful.

1 Answer 1


Your CV shows your background. Your SoP should focus on your future goals and how you will achieve them. Use the background only in support of the future. But make sure that you somehow list the self study you did in the CV and try to do it in a way that it is "verified" in some way. Perhaps some things you did in medicine prepares you for research in the sciences in general, and possibly in physics. Your masters details some of that, of course, so again, put it in the CV, not the SoP.

But the SoP should be forward, not backward, looking.

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