I'm attempting to apply to a graduate program for medicinal chemistry and the prompt for the statement of intent doesn't explicitly state a page length. Should I assume about one page? And are paragraphs generally single spaced or double spaced?

  • A rule of thumb that is in my opinion useful is: keep things reasonably short. Nobody would be keen to read pages of vague statements. After all it (hopefully) is not about the length, but about what you write.
    – mplavala
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 8:16
  • 1
    Always an option: contact the institution and ask them. Getting a SOI of their preferred length is also in their interest.
    – dimpol
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


It depends on the program, but if no requirement is set, I would go for about 500 words. That's about two pages double-spaced. You want to be to the point in these essays. Too much rambling may turn the reader off.

I never turn anything in single-space. Double-spaced documents help for readability. It's up to you, but I suggest double-spacing.

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