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I am applying for masters in computer science programs in North America. In my statement of purpose, I am planning to talk about broadening my knowledge about the field and applying this knowledge to other specific academic fields, as well as learning how to do research in computer science.

But I am not sure if this is a good idea for writing a statement of purpose. Had this been a PhD application, I am sure that this would be a bad idea, since PhD is all about research and in the statement of purpose for a PhD application, you should talk about your potential for valuable research by showing your previous research experiences, etc.

However, I am applying for masters and I don't have any proper previous research experience. Hence, I cannot talk about my potential to do research by showing my previous research experiences (since I don't have any). Hence, I am planning to talk about my ambition to broaden my knowledge about the field and apply this knowledge to other specific fields in academia.

Would this be a good idea to put in a statement of purpose that will stand out? Or should I better talk more about doing research?

  • If you are paying your way, I would think you have the right idea. If you want funding, you might want to talk more about research... – Hobbes Oct 20 '16 at 20:19
  • @Hobbes But even if you are paying your way, there are still quotas right? So considering that as well, is it still a well idea? – user63595 Oct 20 '16 at 20:20
  • Yeah, I thinking focusing on your interest in developing a deeper understanding of CS and learning how to do research is a good motivation. I'm not sure about saying you want to apply this "knowledge to other specific fields in academia" though. Maybe focus on why an MS in CS can help in either industry or academia. Someone else might ave some input too... – Hobbes Oct 20 '16 at 20:26
  • I think the purpose should be showing that you've given it some thought - so, some level of specificity might be best, regardless of the track you take. You are probably best to be honest about your focus - applying for graduate school should be about finding the "right fit" not just "getting in" to the "best" program - if you are interested in more practical applications, you might be miserable in a program that stresses theory and perform poorly or drop out if that doesn't interest you - programs want to know you fit them and you should want to know they fit you. – Bryan Krause Oct 20 '16 at 22:11
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Whatever excites you about the coursework you'll be taking, write about that. There are many masters programs that don't involve doing original research.

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