Obtaining a PhD is a journey, and sometimes it can seem like one that never ends. However, when you’re at the tail end and it’s time to write your Statement of Purpose, it’s an exciting time! This means you are applying for your graduate study.
To convince everyone on the selection committee that they should choose you as their preferred candidate for the openings in their institution, you have to sell yourself just right. Overselling or underselling can make a difference in whether or not you are chosen. This “selling” point is done in your Statement of Purpose, and with so much riding on it, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into and what to expect.
What You Need to Know About the Graduate Study Program
Unlike what you had probably dealt with in your college career so far, attending graduate studies is not a guarantee. This period of your education encompasses an advanced program of study in a specific academic discipline or a chosen profession. It’s a concentrated course of study in which the expectations are high. In order to be approved for the program of your choice, you must exhibit high scholarly and personal quality and quantity work.
In the graduate study program, your studies will be centered around the discipline of your choice with less wiggle room for unnecessary electives. However, this benefit of focusing on your preferred subject is countered by rigorous demands and evaluations by your professors, and also by your peers.
You’ll gain the advantages of having smaller classes with hands-on interaction expected. There will be opportunities for internships and possibly even teaching and research experience, followed by the output of your own original research project.
Before you can get into this comprehensive education, you must be approved, and that’s when a Statement of Purpose becomes necessary.
Why a Statement of Purpose is Necessary
Your personal statement, or statement of purpose, is an integral part of your Ph.D. application. You can’t get around writing it and expect to be approved for the program.
This document functions like a cover letter that introduces you to the board that’s determining, in essence, your future. It must convince the selection committee that you have everything they’re looking for in a candidate. It covers your qualifications, motivation behind seeking the degree, and the professional goals you have once you are accepted.
Because of the necessity behind this letter, you can’t cut and paste from other internet sites. It must be customized for your specific experience and life goals. It also has to change depending on the school, program, and project you are applying to. You can have a default template with the main components, but you have to ensure each unique section is customized for the entity receiving the letter.
Tips to Write Your Statement
Although it functions with the same purpose as a cover letter, this document has to show off your qualifications and sell you more than its counterpart would do. As such, make sure you follow these tips when you’re writing your Statement of Purpose:
● Humbly spotlight your qualifications. This should include a summary of your prior graduate and undergraduate education, anything you have already published or research projects you’ve been a part of, and scholarly activities you’ve participated in. Include your thesis idea and anything that is required for the program that you have fulfilled.
● Elaborate on your relevant research interests. This serves two purposes. It establishes you as a person with your own intriguing thought processes and it shows the committee what you will be bringing to the table should you be accepted.
● Connect yourself to the school by showing that you’ve done your research already. Talk about professors you’d like to learn from and explain what they have done that intrigues you. Give details about how the school you’re applying to is necessary for you to reach your research goals and explain how this is accurate.
● Keep it limited and concise. Yes, you’re applying for a Ph.D. program, but the committee does not have all day to read your Statement of Purpose. Limit this document to no more than two pages, unless a word count is specifically stated. While you do want to show off your qualifications, you should not tell everything you’ve ever done.
● Get feedback on your letter before you send it. Professors in your previous program have already gone through the process and have likely helped many others before you. They can guide you on what to include and what to exclude. On top of that, always have it proofread by someone else, no matter how good you think you are at editing your own content. It’s always possible to miss something simple in our own work.
With these simple tips, you can design an impactful Statement of Purpose to get your foot in the door for your final journey towards your Ph.D.
Impactio Helps You Put Everything Together
Letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, and detailed manuscripts all require the right program to make them stand out from the crowd of competition. Impactio is a platform designed for researchers, so it includes everything you need to accomplish all your professional writing and publishing tasks.
Whether you’re a student or a Ph.D. graduate already, Impactio’s program includes easy-to-follow guides to take you through the writing stages of every document you need to create. As you go through all of your graduate study application requirements, write grants, and compile manuscripts, let Impactio make the process simple.