Personal/Professional Statement

  1. The student should plan to compose about a 3-5 page autobiographical statement that focuses on their education path, both up to graduation and beyond.

  2. This section might be particularly helpful to those who plan to apply to graduate school. Most, if not all, graduate applications require a written statement from the applicant. Below are some examples of the sorts of essay questions asked by graduate programs. These are provided only as possible suggestions for how to organize and frame your statement.

    • Provide a clear statement describing your short-term and long-term goals including a discussion of how a graduate degree will help you to meet them. (When it comes time to adapt this information to a graduate school application, be sure to identify specific aspects of the graduate program that mesh with your statement - be sure to mention them explicitly.)

    • Describe your areas of research and professional interest in terms of how these areas will be explored in a graduate program or work environment to which you might apply.

    • Develop clear reasons why you are interested in a particular field. (This will later be developed to include a defense of why you have chosen to apply to a particular school or position.)

    • Describe past experiences that are relevant to your choice of graduate study or career path.

    • What is valuable about the perspective you bring to the field, department, or workplace.

    • Describe your reasons for wanting to (work/apply/etc.) here.

Note that there are many online resources for writing application essays. However, it should go without saying that plagiarizing an application essay is not a smart move. Applicants caught "cheating" on their essay will obviously not be accepted to the program. In addition, schools can permanently ban any future graduate school applications from those caught plagiarizing.

It is recommended that you write your statement and have others read it to provide feedback before making it part of your final portfolio. Consider getting feedback from some of your professors and both your academic advisor and academic counselor.

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