Questions tagged [statement-of-purpose]

Concerning an individual, what influences them, professional interests, and plan for the future, typically described as part of a college applicant's application for admission.

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Choosing research ideas to include in a statement of purpose

The internet is littered with information on what makes a good SOP, but I would like to ask a specific question regarding mentioning one's research interests in SOP. What points should a student keep ...
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Can I mention professors' names in the statement of purpose?

For PhD applications, I have mentioned that I am interested in some research areas. Besides, I am thinking about mentioning some professors' names, so that it shows I have read their websites and I am ...
Tim's user avatar
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Can an emotional letter of motivation be harmful in a PhD application?

Today some of my friends were discussing a motivation letter. One friend's application was rejected. One reason his friends find out is that the letter of motivation is very emotional. So I was ...
Supriyo's user avatar
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Why shouldn't I quote famous scientists in my SOP?

In one of Ben Bitdiddle's comment, he confirms that quoting famous scientists in the SOP is generally bad. But I don't know why. Isn't SOP the place to tell our stories, our inspirations, our ...
Ooker's user avatar
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19 votes
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Should I link my research in my SOP?

I have done some independent research that I wish to mention in my SOP. The full account of what I have done till has been published as an e-print on arxiv.org. Can I give a hyperlink to this e-print ...
Animesh Pandey's user avatar
7 votes
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Unclear terms: Statement of Purpose, Academic Statement and Personal Statement

I'm so confused. I can't distinguish between them. It seems to me that sometimes the statement of purpose (SOP) is the personal statement (PS), sometimes it is not the PS, and by the definition I'll ...
Ooker's user avatar
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19 votes
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How many research interests should be included in a statement of purpose/objective

I am wondering how many research interest should be included in a statement of purpose. Is it better to include just one core interest or to include up to three as in my case?
cobie's user avatar
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Should an applicant to an university mention that her spouse is currently a student in the same University, as part of her SOP?

While writing one's Statement of Purpose for applying to a grad program, should one mention that her spouse is also a grad student in the same university? What are the pro's and con's of that approach ...
TCSGrad's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
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Should the personal/research statement be technical?

Related: Choosing research ideas to include in a statement of purpose I know I must describe my past and current research in my personal/research statement or statement of purpose. But do I use ...
Legendre's user avatar
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What should go in a diversity statement if I believe I have had no relevant experiences?

So I am completing the application for UCSB, and they ask me to write a Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement, however, I feel I have nothing to say, since I have never experienced anything ...
Abhinav Nishant's user avatar
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What could/do applicants usually ask professors, and how does this reflect in a statement of purpose?

When applying for PhD programs (or MPhil or MS) that require only a statement of purpose and not a research proposal, I was advised to first check if some faculty members (or is one good enough?) in ...
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PhD dissertation different from master thesis; What might I be able to do about methodology?

I understand that it's possible, thankfully, to have your dissertation in a different topic from your master's thesis, but I seem to have a problem (see below). Do you know any other problems might I ...
BCLC's user avatar
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25 votes
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What is a good length for the statement of purpose in a U.S. PhD application?

Certain schools give you specific details about their statement of purpose. For example a maximum of a certain number of words, double spaced, two pages maximum, etc. If a school does not provide any ...
Herman Toothrot's user avatar
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(Master's Degree) What are they 'precisely' looking for in a Statement of Purpose, and does a SOP matter when one has excellent GPA?

(N.b. All my questions are concerning applying for a Master's degree) I have read a lot of websites, articles, extracts from different books about the Statement of Purpose (Motivation Letter). I'm ...
l..'s user avatar
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Why do admissions committees consider the Statement of Purpose to be important?

Why do admissions committees consider the Statement of Purpose to be important? Anyone with a command of English should be able to write a Statement of Purpose, in principle, so it seems a poor way to ...
user111187's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
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What do potential postdoc advisers seek in research statement letters?

I am putting together my application for a postdoctoral position in theoretical condensed matter physics. The position is not a fellowship and is a regular postdoc position. If you have gone through ...
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How to "tailor" the statement of purpose for a particular grad school

A prospective graduate student is normally not hyperspecialized and inflexibly hyperfocussed on a certain well-developed research line (like a more mature mid-career researcher could be) just yet. ...
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8 votes
2 answers
421 views

When changing fields, should I focus more on describing past research or connecting it to the new area in my statement of purpose?

I want to change my field from molecular biophysics to theoretical ecology. While they are basically required some same basic background (physics, math, programming), the rest is quite irrelevant. In ...
Ooker's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
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Should I mention my blog in my SOP?

I did a bunch of code projects like implement a algorithm or use the code from a paper on a different dataset. These may not be unique (they may be, but I am not sure). I wouldn't say that these ...
Aditya's user avatar
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Is it possibly considered weakness in my statement of purpose if I mention that I would like specific people to advise my PhD programme?

I'm writing a statement of purpose for my PhD applications and in some cases I'd be very happy if any person from a certain group (say the Algebra Group) would take me as his/her student. Could this ...
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Reflecting bad experience with previous graduate program in statement of purpose

I am applying to master program in computer engineering, but I have some concerns and not sure how to present them in my statement of purpose. First, my undergrad was in computer engineering but ...
Oracle's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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References in statement of purpose

I'm applying to math PhD programs in the US. In my statements of purpose, should I include references to the literature? I haven't done so yet, but I keep thinking I probably should.
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Should I include name of potential advisor on my statement of purpose (SOP) [duplicate]

I am currently writing my statement of purpose (SOP) for top graduate schools in engineering majors in US. I am wondering should I include name of my potential advisor on my SOP (Is it a good idea to ...
user59419's user avatar
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2 votes
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Is it advisable to use formal citations in a statement of purpose?

In my statement of purpose, I am using certain arguments by scholars of my field (IR). Will it be advisable to use referencing, or might it be to my disadvantage as an unnecessary attempt to boast on ...
varsha's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to mitigate bad grade in research on PhD application? [duplicate]

I've just finished my fourth year (out of 5) of biology studies in one of European universities. I have some experience in research and my grades are quite ok (in US scale it would be 3.75, which ...
Ver's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
172 views

Will errors in using articles harm the chance of getting admission?

I have applied to a university in the US that has a ranking of 130-150. I have just found that in my Personal Statement / Statement of Purpose, I have made two mistakes using the definite article in ...
Donald H.'s user avatar
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1 answer
892 views

Is putting the statement/conclusion first considered to be cliched?

This question was inspired by the following comment by Johanna on another question: I just had to say: including the idea "I believe I was born for scientific research" is a terrible idea. Did no ...
Ooker's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
10k views

What should one look for in a statement of purpose (from the admissions side) in mathematics?

I'm a youngish (recently tenured) faculty member at a reasonably, but not extremely prestigious university in the mathematics department. While I've looked at some graduate admissions files, this is ...
user66255's user avatar
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28 votes
8 answers
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Humor in a personal statement

As I write personal statements for graduate school, I want to highlight my hard work through humor and also just show my personality. As someone who works full time (in order to fund my education) as ...
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26 votes
4 answers
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Is it a bad idea to say in my statement of purpose that I want to pursue a PhD in applied mathematics primarily to work in industry?

I am seeking some general advice from applied mathematicians at American universities. In my statement of purpose, would my stating that I want to pursue a PhD in applied mathematics primarily for the ...
user45678's user avatar
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21 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is it a good idea for a nonnative English speaker to have native speakers help make the English in statement of purpose perfect?

I am applying to doctoral programs in the US. Since I am not an English native speaker, I am wondering if it is okay to have native speakers help make my English perfect in my statement of purpose? ...
Yes's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
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Answering "Why do you want to become a research mathematician?"-type questions in a statement of purpose

How should one address the classic "Why do you want to become a research mathematician?"-type question that is normally asked in the statement of purpose when applying to Masters (and also) programs? ...
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15 votes
3 answers
4k views

Should I mention a "math depression" I went through in my letter of motivation?

I am a master student in mathematics studying in Europe and I am applying to several graduate schools in the USA. They aren't all Top 10 in these dubious rankings, but I am applying to Harvard, ...
Parisien's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
756 views

NSF graduate fellowship: how specific should the statement of purpose be?

Several of the students who have come to my group as summer students are planning to submit NSF graduate fellowship applications in the coming weeks. However, one question that I am not sure about is ...
aeismail's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How should one address negative circumstances with past advisor in a Statement of Purpose?

I am referring to a situation described in a previous question of mine: How to deal with an abusive advisor? To summarize for those who don't want to read the lengthy story: I had a difficult ...
Pandora's user avatar
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11 votes
6 answers
4k views

Do PhD admission committees prefer prospective professors over practitioners?

I am about to submit my application to a PhD in Statistics and I was wondering whether writing in the SoP about being willing to work in the industry to make a tangible impact would downgrade my ...
Mr Frog's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Statement of Purpose: How much detail in describing one's research

I am currently writing my Statement of Purpose for graduate admission in mathematics. I am wondering how specific I should be when describing my own research. Should I merely include the (broad) ...
PaleyWiener's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
16k views

Explaining bad grades in application: SOP or separate letter

Question Should issues about past academic performance be addressed in the Statement of Purpose or a separate letter to the admissions committee. Background I had originally posted about my ...
anonymous's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Lack of mathematical training for a CS Ph.D

I've graduated and I'm looking to apply to a Ph.D. program in computer science. However, during my undergraduate years I did not take math courses other than the ones required for the CS major (i.e., ...
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8 votes
5 answers
9k views

How important is the statement of purpose in a PhD application for admission to a top school in the US?

According to this MIT statement of purpose guideline, the statement of purpose seems to be an important part of a PhD application. However, I have also heard that, in the case of MIT, the statement of ...
Yes's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How should I write a statement of interest about how my research will fill gaps in the field, when I don't know enough about the field yet?

I'm applying to do a master's at Canadian universities. My background is Earth & Environmental Sciences. When writing a statement of interest, I am familiar with the various research in the field ...
GISHuman's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Wrong font used for statement of purpose and résumé

I used wrong font for my statement of purpose, rather than the one prescribed under the department’s specifications. Will this hamper my chances of admission into that university?
Venkatraman's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
690 views

Is it a good practise to involve a child in a statement of purpose?

Is it a good practise to involve a child in a statement of purpose to say how my point of view has changed since the birth?
sitilge's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How negative to go in a statement of purpose?

Okay yes I know another 'I'm a bad candidate help me' post sorry. I was in grad school years ago but I quit because the program wasn't good for me. The exact program doesn't matter. It was a small ...
Applying again's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

Should I explain change of major in my statement of purpose?

During my masters program I changed my major from Molecular Biology to Biotechnology. Should I explain in my statement of purpose for PhD programs why I changed my major?
user42804's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Should I talk about a unpublished paper in my SOP?

I have a draft of a unpublished paper that I hosted in Arxiv that I will be attaching with my application. Should I talk about the inspiration behind it in my SOP. Like how is the method behind the ...
user17282's user avatar
  • 301
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Statement of purpose: how important is correctness of grammar and punctuation?

English is not my first language, and I am concerned that my statement of purpose might contain some grammatical and punctuation mistakes that neither Microsoft word nor I can see. What is the best ...
The Hiary's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Include Disability in Statement of Purpose [duplicate]

Should my disability be included in my Statement of Purpose? Background: I've recently received my masters degree in mathematics and I'm looking to transfer for my PhD. I had an undiagnosed ...
math_nix's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

When to explain poor performance in a Statement of Purpose

I know there have been similar questions asked, but the most recent question was focused on the transcript and the less recent question was focused on courses not relevant to the major. My general ...
user023049's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
468 views

How to address being interested in two areas in statement of purpose

I am applying to graduate school in US. I am wondering how I can write statement of purpose If I am interested in both signal processing and communication system. Should I talk about why I am ...
user59419's user avatar
  • 1,373