I am a new applicant and I am going to apply for Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering in the US. I am a bit confused about how to write down my intended subject in my SOP.

My intended subject, Biochemical Engineering, is integrated into the Bioengineering umbrella program. That means, I have to apply centrally to the Bioengineering umbrella program and the program has four different Ph.D. tracks and Biochemical Engineering is one of them. The umbrella program also houses some other Ph.D. tracks that are not quite related to the Biochemical Engineering Ph.D. track and I do not want to apply for those tracks.

So, Can I say " I am interested in the Biochemical Engineering PhD track of the Bioengineering umbrella program" in my SOP? If not, then what can I write instead?

This is very important because my SOP has clear articulation of Biochemical engineering-related subjects, diplomas, and research interests and I can only apply to this specific Ph.D. track.

Any suggestion is highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


"I am interested in the Biochemical Engineering PhD track of the Bioengineering umbrella program"

brings specificity to your application. It makes clear what you are exactly interested which may be effectively supported by your education trace and accomplishments, as you just noted. That specificity may potentially make you more visible to the eye's of the PIs of the target department working in those areas.

However, if you were also interested in one or more other tracks of that Ph.D. program on (at least partially) the same footing as your current target track, you would better try to increase the breadth of interest spectrum in your SoP, as well, rather then solely deepening it around a single track. In particular, an SoP only focusing on a specific track implies that you would not like the other tracks, or at least you don't have any other clear plan to pursue them, should a PI working in those areas wants to pick your application for further consideration. Improving SoP breadth is important especially in the case of very competitive programs in which the more you look like a fantastic candidate to the eyes of various PIs with diverse research fields, the more your chance to hunt a position will be.

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