I'm about to submit my application for various PhD programs and I was wondering how should I format my statement of purpose.

Should it be addressed like a formal letter? Just contain my name and say 'Statement of Purpose'? Should I end it with something like 'Sincerely, ...' ?


When I applied to grad school I didn't give my SOP a title or address it to anyone in particular, or include any closing salutation. Some schools required me to put my user id at the top, which I did.

(I was accepted to several places so I think the way I did it should be fine.)

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  • Thanks! I just wanted to know if any of this was standard procedure. I don't think styling it a bit (I've typed everything using TeX-moderncv) could hurt, do you? – hjhjhj57 Nov 20 '14 at 2:37
  • I would try to make the fonts as similar to other people's fonts as possible. So either the default setting on Microsoft Word or the default on LaTeX. – Ben Bitdiddle Nov 20 '14 at 2:40
  • Ok. So you suggest to leave it as simple as possible? I'm not thinking about any crazy stuff, just maybe some mild changes in the font size of the 'Statement of Purpose' text and a horizontal line or something like that. – hjhjhj57 Nov 20 '14 at 2:48
  • 1
    Yeah, I'd keep it simple. – Ben Bitdiddle Nov 20 '14 at 3:13

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