Most recent revision of this post was led by Communication Fellow Ignacio Martin Arzuaga Garcia.

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Criteria for Success

Focus on the aim.  Your Personal Statement demands to convince a faculty comalwaei.comtee that you are qualified for their regime.Customize it.  It need to convince the admission comalwaei.comtee that you are a good fit for the certain regime you are applying for.Stand also out.  Highlight your abilities and experiences that convey your staminas and differentiate you from various other candidays.Be specific.  Focus on concrete and also quantitative examples.Be concise.  Your Statement of Purpose is no more than 2 pages. The CEE graduate routine recommends 1 – 1.5 pperiods.

Structure Diagram



The graduate college Personal Statement is a paper that complements your resume and also application develop, describing your profile in a narrative means and also convincing the admission comalwaei.comtee that you would be a good complement for a certain department or routine. Take into account that corresponding goes both ways: they have to be interested in you, and you should be interested in them. Your individual statement must make this complement clear.

Analyze Your Audience

Your individual statement will be review by a graduate comalwaei.comtee – a handful of faculty from the regimen. They’re trying to identify if you will certainly be a effective graduate student in their department and a effective scientist after you graduate. They are interested in your qualifications as a researcher, your career goals, and how your personality matches their labs and department.

The graduate comalwaei.comtee most likely reads hundreds of applications yearly. To make it easy for them to figure out that you are an excellent fit, take into consideration the complying with suggestions:

Make straight, concrete statements around your achievements and also qualifications.Create a narrative that serves as a personal brand also and also helps them remember you.Give them some distinctive examples that define you and make you stand also out, and also which will certainly make them remember you as “that candidate that was so passionate about…’ or “that has actually lot of experience in…”, although they might not remember your name.


Create a personal narrative

PhD programs invest in the expert and also clinical development of their students. Get the comalwaei.comtee excited around investing in you by opening your essay via a brief portrait of what drives you as a scientist. What study directions are you passionate around, and why? What perform you photo yourself doing in 10 years?

Close your essay via a 2-3 sentence discussion of your permanent career interests. No one will certainly host you to this; this just helps your comalwaei.comtee visualize your potential trajectory.

Describe your experiences

Experiences are the “what” of your essay. They are the many effective and also easiest means to prove your capabilities to the admissions comalwaei.comtee.

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What experiences led you to construct your skill set and also passions?Where have actually you demonstrated achievement, leadership, and also collaboration?Include study, teaching, relevant extracurriculars and leadership positions.State concrete achievements and also outcomes choose awards, explorations, or publications, or jobs completed.

Achievements are not restricted to research study tasks or publications. You can discuss, for instance, a research-oriented class job in which you stood out, and also that is regarded the kind of job-related you expect in graduate college. Think around experiences show your ability to conduct study.

Quantify your experiences to show concrete influence. How many kind of world were on your team? How many kind of protocols did you develop? How many type of civilization were in competition for an award? As a TA, just how frequently did you fulfill through your students?

Describe actions, and also always direct the message to highlighting your performance, not just how vital the agency was or exactly how famous the professor you occupational through as TA is.

Vague experienceConcrete experience
As a senior, I obtained an A in a graduate-level Structure Mechanics course.My interemainder in structural analysis led me to take progressed coursework to learn more around Steel frameworks. At the graduate-level Structural Mechanics course, I learned around joints design which increased my interest in…
During my 3rd year, I operated on a project for my Hydrology class that made me acquire interested in numerical modelling.Throughout my 3rd year, I had actually the chance to conduct a research-oriented course project around the hydrology of the Mississippi river and also the influence of worldwide warming in its regimen. In this job, I ran a hydrological numerical version using the open up resource software application … While working in this project, I faced via the obstacle of gaining updated topographic data of the research location. I controlled to get over this worry by…
I volunteered at the Career Fair for the last 3 years. At this place, I demonstrated my leadership and management skills.Comalwaei.comted to being a great ambassador of our class, I volunteered at the Career Fair for last 3 years, welcoming the companies’ representatives, guiding them to their places, and also helping them assemble their booths. This suffer allowed me to gain training on handling time constraints and a big group of people. Last year, for example….

Demonstprice match to your target program

A key allude on composing your Personal Statement is to demonstrate that you have done previous study about the regime to which you’re using, that you understand also its qualities and objectives, and that you are really interested in joining it and also willing to perform your finest to be successful in it. To perform this:

Get in call via faculty and students in your taracquire regimen. If you have actually had actually a positive conversation with someone at the department, you can encompass in your essay just how those interactions evidenced that you would certainly be a great match for the regime.

State which professors in the program you would be interested in working with. Sjust how exactly how their research locations align through your background and your purposes. You can also define potential research directions or projects.

 “Statement of Purpose” vs. “Personal Statement”

Many kind of institutions differentiate in between “Personal Statement” and “Statement of Objectives/Purpose”, giving different writing prompts for each. The primary distinction in between these two forms of esstates is that the “Statement of Purpose” focuses on your expert background, objectives and also research study interests, while the “Personal Statement” is more around your individual history and where your catalyst for graduate college originates from.

Experience onlyPersonal Statement
FocusAcademic backgroundStrengthsProfessional experienceAchievementsResearch interestsFit through the programCareer goalsPersonal historyGeneral motivationsPersonal accomplishmentsPersonal details/ “Your Story”Challenges overcome