In my country, there is basically no culture of personal statements for university admission. However, now I find myself in the need of writing a convincing one (note: my field is mathematics). I've been searching the web for some examples to get to know what an academic personal statement looks like, but unfortunately I couldn't find any good example.

So my question is:

Could you point out where I can find some well-done personal statements from which I can really see what a good one is like?

I would appreciate if you could point out references to personal statements for admission to (a) bachelor degree, (b) master degree, and (c) PhD [indeed, I have to do mine for a quite peculiar purpose and for this reason I'd prefer to read examples from each of the above categories].

  • Have you looked around this site for previously-asked questions related to SOPs (such as this or this)? Also, why do you need examples for bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees?
    – Mad Jack
    Dec 24, 2014 at 13:51
  • @MadJack "[indeed, I have to do mine for a quite peculiar purpose and for this reason I'd prefer to read examples from each of the above categories]"
    – user23758
    Dec 24, 2014 at 13:53
  • @MadJack Thank you for the references. I'd actually prefer some examples, though.
    – user23758
    Dec 24, 2014 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


I think you will be hard-pressed to find actual statement of purpose on the Internet. The one submitted to the departments are destroyed after the application process because of obvious privacy issues. Generally the applicants do not publish their own statements for several reasons. Your best bet is to ask some people you know that might have written one and can send it to you.

Another option is to have a professor or a postdoc help you with your draft because they have probably been in committees routing through these statements and will have a good idea if you are heading in the right direction. There are many ways to write a good statement, you should be able to write a statement from the general guidelines that you can find in the other answers on this website. After all the statement is meant to test your capacity of developing your ideas and your writing style.

  • I did find a lot of statements actually. The problem is that they are badly written (as far as I understand).
    – user23758
    Dec 24, 2014 at 17:34
  • @Dal sorry but why would anyone bother to post his/her SOP after winning a scholarship or being admitted to a program? The thought has never crossed my mind. Dec 24, 2014 at 17:59
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    For instance, studential.com/personal-statement-examples/…
    – user23758
    Dec 24, 2014 at 18:00
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    Now I'm curious about why most people don't publish their SOPs. (Mine is lying around on the Internet somewhere, along with my college application essays.) Dec 26, 2014 at 13:37
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    @BenBitdiddle: SOP's are highly individual. What worked for you probably won't be of much use to someone else who's not in your field.
    – aeismail
    Dec 26, 2014 at 13:56

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