I am a Mechanical Engineer applying for Masters's in Financial Engineering program in the USA. I have around four years of experience in the field (Quantitative Modeling of Credit Products).

In general, I am interested in the mathematical aspects of this subject, and I have taken a few unsupervised reading projects, e.g., a self-study of Undergraduate Statistics from Casella and Berger (including exercises) and a Study on Brownian Motion Calculus.

For Machine Learning, I have taken two specialization courses on Deep Learning from Coursera and Udacity.

Over this period, I have expanded my knowledge base. I have recently been trying to ossify this learning by doing independent projects (preferably implementing an ML Concept in Option Pricing). I have found a few papers that employ MLPs for Pricing Options and Calibrating Volatility Surface.

Shall I include these learnings in my Statement of Purpose, especially since a large part of it is unsupervised? What steps can I take to ensure it comes off as authentic and credible?

I feel these learnings have vastly enhanced my interest and are one of the core reasons I wish to pursue further studies.

  • 3
    This has nothing to do with your question per se, but the word "ossify" has negative connotations (to become inflexible/obsolete), not positive ones. It would sound strange if you were to say in your SoP that you "have been trying to ossify" your knowledge. Perhaps "solidify" is the word you were looking for? Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 12:42
  • Thanks for your suggestion @AdamPřenosil; I see it means to stagnate. I meant here to solidify my understanding of such topics.
    – Smokey
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


Don't forget that the purpose of an SoP is to look to the future, not the past. It is about your academic and career plans, not your past accomplishments. Why are you entering this particular program and how will it help you accomplish your overall plan?

That said, if some bit of private study can show your seriousness on some particular future goal, then a short mention might be fine.

You could also write your CV (which is about past accomplishments) so that it has a section on "Private Self Study", listing topics and books (or whatever) you used. Then the SoP can refer to these if it needs to, but not so that it overwhelms the actual purpose of the SoP.

  • 1
    Thanks, @Buffy for your suggestion!
    – Smokey
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 15:20

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