Many graduate schools report that the Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of an application. If you’re applying to graduate school, it is the only aspect that you control from beginning to end – you cannot write your own letters of recommendation, change your GPA, or retake the GRE with your own set of questions – but you can control what your Statement of Purpose says about you and your ambitions.
The Statement of Purpose is also one of the most difficult documents you will ever write. As a genre, it asks you to adhere to a certain formula, while still being creative and unique. Most schools have strict word limits that don’t leave you a lot of room for superfluous information. It is no surprise, then, that many people struggle to produce a quality Statement of Purpose.
If you have already checked out many of the available guides to writing a Statement of Purpose on Amazon, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. The examples listed in these books are excellent. Their authors are all mountain climbers who scaled Everest at the age of 12, and cured cancer in their spare time at the age of 15. And to top it off, they wrote an essay about their nearly unbelievable accomplishments that sounds downright poetic. How could you ever compare?
The truth is, these essays are the best of the best of the best. The odds of having an essay published in one of these collections are much, much lower than getting into a graduate program. To help balance the pool of available example SOPs out there, we’ve put together this collection of Statements written by real people who were accepted to real graduate programs. Some went to Ivy Leagues, and some went to regional state schools. None of them were written by child geniuses. You will notice that the quality varies widely from Statement to Statement, but it is important to note that all of these Statements were successful. And yours can be too.
After you’ve had a chance to read a few example Statements you will likely see a few patterns. Most have an interesting ‘hook’ introduction. Most have a conclusion that screams confidence. Most stroke the school’s ego a bit. If you’d like more help with breaking down these Statements into their necessary pieces and then replicating them, you may want to check out our ebook Hacking Your Statement of Purpose.
So, whether you need step-by-step instructions, or would just like to read a few examples of strong Statements of Purpose, we’re here to help. Our samples are user contributed, successful Statements of Purpose compiled to help you refine your own.
You can get started by clicking the link to your chosen field: