The Statement of Purpose (SOP) is one of the mandatory requirements when applying for graduate schools in the U.S. Some schools call them as “personal statement” or “college admission essay”.

For undergraduate admissions, students will be asked to write a college admission essay on a specific topic, but for graduate school admission, it will be more general.

U.S. universities use SOPs to learn more about candidates. When you’re applying for a program located half way around the world, an SOP makes it easy to decide if a school wants to admit you to their program or not.

Sample Statement of Purpose

Here is a very nice video from the University of California that explains in detail and in depth about the importance of college admission personal statements complete with an example.

This video is 50 minutes in length, watch it intently if you are really intending to craft a good SOP that will explain what kind of person you are and what you should include in a SOP that will get you an admission.

Don’t Copy from Sample Statement of Purpose

You can find lots of sample SOPs online and students usually tend to just copy the content from Sample Statements of Purpose and use it as it is.

But it’s very important to explain what kind of person you are and how you will contribute to college. So try be as original as possible in your statement of purpose to gain admission.

The same applies to sample LORs.

If you had read the comments to some of the articles here at HSB, most students specifically ask these:

  1. I need a sample SOP for biotechnology
  2. I’m applying for MS in pharmacy, can you send me a few sample statements of purpose and LORs?
  3. I’m applying for master’s in electrical engineering with embedded systems as major, I need some statements of purpose.

It’s very easy to conclude that if these students are asking for a specific SOP, they are simply going to copy it.

Because if they are planning to write college admission essay with their personal experience, all they need is a few sample SOPs, to get the “feel” of it, and it really doesn’t matter which department the SOP is used for.

Essentially, you are going to write a story about you and you can find standard formats for SOPs — page layout, structure, language style used — but the same story and personal experience cannot be similar as yours.

So don’t please don’t just copy another’s college essay when applying for university admission in the U.S.

It will be funny though if someone, after reading this article, still writes a comment to this article requesting for a sample SOP!

45 Comments

  1. stephen on January 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    hi,
    please I need a statement of purpose for MSc kinesiology.i had a degree in food and nutrition so i need to convince the admission commitee well enough that I will perform better.thanks

  2. Adeeti on December 13, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    Hello, I am Adeeti Khandelwal, and I am looking out for sample SOP for PhD in Mass Communication (Public Relations), I have completed my Master’s in Commerce (Business Administration) from Pune University in 2009 as an external student.

  3. apurva jha on November 19, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    respected mam/ sir
    i want to request u to please provide me SOP on email account. for msc.microbiology

  4. nibinraj on September 26, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    kindly provide Sop for Food safety.

  5. arunraj on August 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    i need some sample sop for MBA in logistics and supply chain management.
    please give some ideas it help full for my carrier.

  6. vignesh on March 18, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    hello i need sop for MBA in uk… thank u…..

    • Hari Veturi on May 3, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Can’t you make your own! Just refer to some samples brada! You’ll be fine! And yea, do not exceed 450 words 🙂

  7. Abdulai Taylor Kamar on February 20, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    Hi,
    i need a statement of purpose on gender,human rights,public policy and international relations.
    please help me with some samples

  8. Umar Naeem on February 11, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Hi,

    I need sample SOP for Computer Networks engineering

    and Telecommunication engineering for my MS.

    if anyone has knowledge about this, then please give some tips

    thanks

  9. suman kalyan pal on January 25, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Hi.. dear,

    This is great to know that universities in USA call SOPs as personal statement.Infact it is a personal statement if HSB is advising us to share the truth of one"s life that is what HSB mean by getting naked.Sharing the most difficult situation of our life and how did we overcome them is what to be mentioned in SOPs.Again overcoming a difficult situation requires a great deal of potential.And that is what called emotional maturity.Without the maturity a person cannot tackle the difficult situations.To be honest I had also gone through vey difficult and gruelling conditions during my graduation period.So, its a great idea being provided by HSB to be naked in SOPs.

    Wish u Good luck…..!

  10. rohini on December 28, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Hi,

    i am applying for graduate program in nutrition and food science.

    can please send me few SOPs so that i can have idea how prepare my own

    thank you

  11. mounika deshpande on December 5, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    I am pursuing M.Sc Microbiology. Can I apply for Phd in USA?

  12. Mahmood on December 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Excuse Me Sir/Ma'am

    would you please to Provide me by some samples of Staement of Purpose for the Linguistics Department . i am applying for the Gradute Studies .

    Thank you So much

    Mahmood

  13. Sujata Singh on November 2, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    Hi
    I am applying for Ph D in various topics of nanosciences. wat i would like to know that if SOP should be topic specific (the one that particular professor is working) or about my interests on all the topics of nanoscience . As the topics of my interest vary from photovoltaics to gas sensors i am very confused as how to go about it. please help

    • Ram on November 6, 2010 at 5:42 AM

      SOP is description of your academic journey, your interests and what exactly you would like to do in the future and ideally how. I would check the current research topics of the university you intent to apply and have one para in the SOP dedicated to that topic. (assuming it is the topic of your interest). Good luck

  14. Nany on July 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    do you send any sample of SOP for the PhD in Information Science

  15. Sid on June 23, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    @Ken. Just a small suggestion. If you can't (or don't want to) help, it's generally better to not reply at all rather than acting smug and posting rude, smarty-pants comments.

    • Ram on November 6, 2010 at 5:46 AM

      Some of the queries are totally outrageous and does require KEN type answers…. Hopefully it will make the person think little bit. 🙂

  16. Sureshkumar on June 15, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    could u please send me some SOP samples. i want to pursue MS in computer network and technology

    • Aravind on June 20, 2010 at 8:37 PM

      Did you even read this page ?

      • Hari Krishna Veturi on January 4, 2011 at 6:37 AM

        I totally doubt! If anyone of them would've read it, there wouldn't have been any question arising about the SAMPLE SOP'S again… I think HSB was right "It will be funny, if someone after reading this article, writes a comment to this article requesting a sample SOP."… Its not being rude mate! I just am suggesting you, just get to know the format and prepare it on yourself… Use your potential atleast for now, you will be perfect in the future and the difference b/w copying and writing on your own is, you would be confident on the one you wrote but not the one you've copied. If it in anyway hurts you, I am extremely sorry…

        • HSB on January 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM

          Agree with Hari – 100%. There are enough sample sops in this blog to use as reference.

  17. tablebubble on May 24, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    ken, doobiedoo is right, please! save us

  18. valentine on May 17, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    iam a cameroonian awaiting to apply for an msc programme in enrgy studies,that is programme of Power Electronics and Drives (PED), Wind Power Systems (WPS) or Electrical Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering (EPSH), and need a sample of admission letter,cover letter and a recomendation.

    thanks

  19. valentine on May 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    please i need a letter of admission for Power Electronics and Drives (PED), Wind Power Systems (WPS) or Electrical Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering (EPSH).that is energy studies

  20. gaurav on February 22, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    I need sample SOP for Biotechnology for applying in UK as well as US universities.

  21. Sandilya Dhanwada on January 4, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    Hi,

    I am a graduate student from Northeastern University, Boston having a Masters Degree in Telecommunication Systems Management(System Development). I wish to apply for a PhD at a few universities that I have short-listed.

    Getting selected in a research group isnt an easy job. Considering that I havent yet done any research work, I wanted to know how to go about my SOP. To elaborate, writing my SOP as if I am speaking my heart out about my strengths is appropriate or should I be professional by just including my abilities and strengths and letting them decide if I am the right candidate??

    Thanx,

    Sandilya.

    • HSB on January 4, 2010 at 8:34 AM

      Talk to professors in the schools you are planning to apply. For PhD you have to decide and apply, not them decide your abilities. With Masters from NE you should be able to decide the area and program you want to study.

  22. swadhin Pradhan on June 4, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    I am confused about going to US or Europe in this recession time. I have monetary problem. I must need scholarship to go abroad.

    • HSB on June 5, 2009 at 4:08 AM

      US or Eurpoe – For education always US wins.

  23. Banwari on May 22, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    I had completed M.Sc in biotech; can i apply for integrated course (MS-PhD)?

    • ken on July 17, 2009 at 5:24 PM

      Why don't you ask the university?

  24. shweta on April 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    hellow frds……. help me for the SOP for MS Nutritional Science.plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…its very urgent

    • ken on July 17, 2009 at 5:24 PM

      Help yourself first.

  25. renu on March 5, 2009 at 4:06 AM

    could u please send me some SOP samples. i want to pursue MS in biotechnology

    • ken on July 17, 2009 at 5:25 PM

      If you can't write your own SOP, you have no abilities in pursuing an MS.

      • david on June 25, 2010 at 1:02 AM

        Ken its better for u to get lost and forget about commenting , rather then giving hese types useless comments . first u better find a good way for yourself ken

  26. Abhishek Sharma on March 5, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    What Kind of SOP required for this course.???

    • ken on July 17, 2009 at 5:25 PM

      What is your course? Finish your question.

  27. Abhishek Sharma on March 5, 2009 at 12:49 AM

    Hello
    I want to know about Engineering Management course. Kindly suggest the name of some of the universities which offer this course.
    Iam having an experience of 2 years as Project Manager with total experience of 3 years in Civil Engineering ( Water Resource ) Consultancy firm. Iam taking GRE in May and targetting this course for spring admission.

    • ken on July 17, 2009 at 5:26 PM

      Don't you have the ability to do a web search?

      • praveen on October 2, 2009 at 9:05 AM

        you rock ken

        • doobiedoo on October 30, 2009 at 12:26 AM

          yeah lol, every one of ken's replies could have been replaced by "…NO" or "use google" and they would have been just as useful. And possibly less rude.

          • Archana on February 5, 2010 at 7:38 AM

            I like this site!
            Hehehe I like your answers too!!



          • Vikas Cheruku on January 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM

            U rock ken!



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