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Statement Of Purpose

The statement of purpose is perhaps the most important, and most challenging, element of your application packet. This letter needs to reflect who you are and why you would be an asset to the program you are applying to. It needs to make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants and yet stay within the genre-based expectations for a statement of purpose.

This is one of the most important documents in your application packet. A good statement of purpose may not necessarily get you in to a program, but a poorly written one could cause the committee to overlook your application. In addition, submitting a strongly written statement works in your favor in such situations as:

  • Having a low grade in one or two of your courses
  • Breaking a tie with other applicants who have performed at your level in terms of GRE and GPA scores
  • Betting into programs in which standardized test scores are weighted significantly less than demonstrating one's professional interests and abilities (i.e., Humanities and certain Social Science fields).

Remember that your statement of purpose is the only opportunity you will have to let the admission committee directly get to know you. They will have some sense of who you are based on your recommenders' notes and on the writing sample you include, but this is the chance for you to personally make a good, strong impression.

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