What should be the proper length of a Statement of Purpose (SOP)?
This is one of the most common questions asked by students applying for masters or PhD programs at American universities: "Will the longer an SOP is, the better the chances to get admission?"
Universities usually specify the length of an SOP.
For instance if you look at:
- Harvard University MBA Admission Essay
- Stanford University MBA Admission Essay
The length of most essays for admission are usually specified very clearly per school. And whenever the essay length is specified, make sure that you follow that.
During a review of SOPs here at HSB, we have seen 2 page statements of purpose, which were written without the proper spacing and margins.
These 2 essays had used over 1,500 words packed into just 2 pages! It was very hard to read, much more understand their contents.
Try to have 1 to 1.5 line spacing and fit within 2 pages. Edit and re-edit the essay to remove unnecessary contents.
If you happen to read your SOP after a couple of days of writing it, you will be able to edit it better.
However, for instances when the essay length is not specified, then it’s safe to make a 2-page statement of purpose with following format and style:
- 1.5 lines spacing
- 12 point font
- Lots of sub-paragraphs
- Sub-headings make it readable
Refer to the following article, Sample Statement of Purpose, for guidelines that will help in your SOP preparation.
Please don’t just copy and paste the contents from the sample SOPs, use them only as reference for your own.