Success in college and grad school applications begins with knowing how to write a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose should succinctly express your goals, stand out among others, and convince the selection committee that you are well-suited for the program.
According to Statista, the projected number of master’s degree recipients for the 2022 to 2023 academic year is 836,000. The statement of purpose examples provided in this guide will help you shine in your college application and get into the graduate program of your dreams. Keep reading to learn some quick tips for beginning and ending a good statement of purpose.
Find Your Bootcamp Match
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses
What Is a Statement of Purpose?
A statement of purpose is a graduate school application essay that articulates one’s interests, academic and professional experience, career goals, accomplishments, and reason for applying to the program. It is written by the prospective student and is a prerequisite for graduate and undergraduate college admissions.
A statement of purpose is your chance to tell the admissions committee who you are, how you can impact the academic community, and why you are an attractive candidate. If you want to get accepted into a good college, it is necessary to learn how to write a statement of purpose.
What Are the Parts of a Statement of Purpose?
- Introduction. You should start your statement of purpose by introducing yourself. Focus on your academic interests and what motivated you to pick your particular field. The admissions team has a large number of applications to review, so it’s vital to highlight your background and interest in your program of choice.
- A summary of your academic journey. Your academic record is a vital part of your statement of purpose. To qualify for a graduate program and start your chosen career path, you must state where you obtained your undergraduate degree. Place attention on your undergraduate thesis and how it has impacted your academic and career choices.
- A description of relevant experiences and accomplishments. Discuss relevant personal experience you have in your fields such as jobs, internships, or volunteer work, and indicate what your responsibilities were. This part of your essay should be original as it’s your chance to show a more personal side of yourself to the selection committee.
- Conclusion. End your statement of purpose by briefly stating your long-term goals. Explain how the program will prepare you to accomplish your future plans. Be clear and precise when you articulate your professional goals and ensure they relate to your program of choice.
How to Write a Statement of Purpose: Beginning and Ending
As with any piece of writing, it can be difficult to decide how to begin or end a statement of purpose. Read the guidelines below to learn how to keep your reader engaged from start to finish.
How to Begin a Statement of Purpose
If you’ve ever written a personal statement, writing a statement of purpose might seem quite similar. However, a statement of purpose is a formal academic piece that tells the reader about your career plans, not about who you are. It requires a slightly different approach. Your statement of purpose needs to stand out.
Your opening paragraph helps readers form their first impression of you and assess your academic proficiency. Starting with a famous short quote is a fun way to relate to the program or tell the committee relevant details about yourself. You want to highlight your academic interest, your passion for the field of study, and the motivating factor behind your choice of program.
How to End a Statement of Purpose
The closing paragraph must convey a sense of completeness and flow from the central theme of your essay. You should end your statement of purpose by restating its strongest points. Make sure not to include any information that shifts from the contents of the main body of the essay.
Show some enthusiasm by ending your statement of purpose on a positive note. Show the reader that you’re excited about the program and are prepared to take on the responsibilities that it entails. Ending your essay is just as important as starting it as it’s the impression that will linger for the admissions team.
How to Write a Statement of Purpose: 5 More Useful Tips
Don’t Tell Your Life Story
While you may be trying to intrigue the reader and catch their attention, avoid excessive storytelling in your essay. The admissions committee prefer concise essays that explain a person’s academic goals and career objectives, so don’t waste time sharing personal experiences that are irrelevant to your application.
Customize Your Essay
A common mistake many students make is using one essay as a template for all of their different school applications. Every school has diverse characteristics and requirements, so it’s important to customize your statement of purpose to suit each school or program. You want to show the team that you’re attentive to detail and not cutting corners.
Show Your Qualifications
You want to convince the reader that you are an ideal candidate for the program, so be elaborate and specific about the area of study you are interested in and show your qualifications. Include a summary of your academic journey, relevant extracurricular activities, accomplishments, and work experiences that relate to the program.
Use a Formal but Conversational Tone
You want to use a formal yet conversational tone when writing a statement of purpose. Although you want to be professional, your essay should also be conversational and engaging. Do your best to maintain a balance between incorporating the required information in a formal and concise way and letting the reader get a sense of your personality.
Proofread Your Essay
Proofreading is a critical phase in any writing process. Read over your statement of purpose several times to spot any grammatical errors or writing inconsistencies. We recommend having someone else proofread your essay to gain a third-person perspective and be prepared.
Statement of Purpose Examples to Help You Get Accepted Into College or Graduate School
Now that you’ve learned how to write a statement of purpose, we’ve drafted a few examples to help you write a strong statement of purpose and nail your graduate school application.
Statement of Purpose Example 1: Culinary Arts Statement of Purpose
“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.” I was eight years old and the youngest at the kid’s culinary camp when I first heard this quote by Thomas Keller. I remember writing it down and immediately picturing what it would look like engraved on the wall of my restaurant. That’s the day I knew I wanted to be a cook. My high school days exposed me to recreational cooking classes where I gained hands-on experience and knowledge about different elements of the food industry. My interest in culinary arts was further fueled by encounters I had with culinary entrepreneurs from around the world, from winemakers in France and chefs in Mexico to local food truck owners across my street.
I developed my leadership skills when I started a cooking club at my high school. I followed this ambition to college where I hosted the school’s first mini chef-style competition. My culinary journey continued when I took up cooking as a community service project and volunteered at a homeless shelter in California. I learned about flavors from different cultures, which I hope to share with guests at my restaurant, someday. This experience motivated me to take a course in sustainable food and agriculture, fulfilling my intellectual curiosity about food and nutritional security.
One of the driving factors behind seeking admission into your culinary program is the prospect of working with Chef André. His intriguing recipes and diet planners are promising areas for advanced study on sustainable diet and food security. I would be thrilled to work with him and explore my interest in these topics. I am also drawn to your extensive curriculum featuring culinary innovations, and your yearly seminars and conferences that bring together the best culinary experts from around the world. With my academic background, experience, and passion for culinary arts, I believe I am a perfect candidate for your program.
I am very proud of my ability to carry my passion for culinary arts from my childhood to this stage with the limited resources that I had. When I visit the cities of New York and California, I feel connected with my culinary journey, which further fuels my passion. With this program, I aim to acquire skills that are crucial to the evolution of my practice as a professional chef and restaurant owner.
Statement of Purpose Example 2: Mechanical Engineering Statement of Purpose
My journey to mechanical engineering began with an obsession with taking apart and rebuilding random objects around my family house. Soon after, this curiosity metamorphosed into an overarching desire to become a part of the engineering community. My passion for building began to evolve into creating. I was modifying everyday objects to make them look less conventional. By the time I was 17, I had built a remote-control mini drone.
My undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Denver Institute of Technology have provided me with vast knowledge about different areas of the engineering field, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and machinery kinetics. In college, I was focused on creating designs that improved the efficiency and safety of objects rather than just modifying their appearance. For my undergraduate project, I designed and fabricated a burglary-proof door. For about a year and a half, I worked as a junior engineer at Hawks Automobile. My responsibilities involved research before I was transferred to the design team after a few months. Some of my designs were integrated into their inventions and I hope to create more designs for future innovations across top-level engineering companies.
With my experience in both the academic and industry aspects of mechanical engineering, I look forward to working with experts to design prototypes that solve more complex human problems. I am certain that your master’s program will give me the skills and knowledge I need to excel as a trained professional in the engineering industry. The insights I will have learned from your program will equip me to tackle industry-level challenges with interdisciplinary solutions. This will help me gain a competitive advantage in the mechanical engineering job field.
Engineering has been an essential part of my life. I look forward to deepening my understanding of engineering concepts from a research perspective to reinforce my drive and natural predisposition to the field of mechanical engineering.
How to Use Statement of Purpose Examples to Write Your Own
Using a sample statement provided, you should be able to write a powerful statement of purpose that will leave a lasting impression on the admissions officers. Follow the guidelines and steps outlined in this article to write an original, motivating and truthful statement of purpose.
Now that you know how to write an effective statement of purpose, you’re one step closer to confidently acing the admissions process and walking through the gates of your dream school. We recommend you get acquainted with commonly asked college interview questions and have a look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment outlook for graduate-level occupations.
How to Write a Statement of Purpose FAQ
No, a statement of purpose does not require any title or labels. The most important function of a statement of purpose is to express the candidate’s academic interest, future career goals, and reasons for wanting to join their program of choice.
A typical statement of purpose has an average word count of 800-1000 words and should not go beyond one to two pages. However, the range of 800-1000 words is not the standard word count, as some schools set their minimum word count to 500 and the maximum word count to 1200 words. Make sure to read the application instructions carefully.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
No, you don’t need to write your name on a statement of purpose unless otherwise stated in the application instructions. Your essay is one part of the admissions bundle required by the admissions office during the application process. Your application already contains your name, so you do not need to include it in the statement of purpose.
A statement of purpose is important because it’s a requisite for prospective students. It helps articulate your interests and goals and is one of the defining factors in whether or not you’re admitted into your dream school. For these reasons, it’s important to have a carefully crafted statement of purpose.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.