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:
- I need a sample SOP for biotechnology
- I’m applying for MS in pharmacy, can you send me a few sample statements of purpose and LORs?
- 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!