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How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement

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Why Do You Need a Personal Statement?

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Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School
2. Follow the directions

In January , my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase. It is not right that some people have access to the best doctors and treatment while others have no medical care.

I want to pursue an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia because studying social factors in health, with a particular focus on socio-health inequities, will prepare me to address these inequities. The interdisciplinary approach of the program appeals to me greatly as I believe interdisciplinary approaches are the most effective way to develop meaningful solutions to complex problems.

In this paragraph I make a neat and clear transition from discussing what sparked my interest in public health and health equity to what I am interested in about Columbia specifically: This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background. My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career. For example, in a culture where most illnesses are believed to be caused by witchcraft, as is the case for the Zande people of central Africa, any successful health intervention or education program would of necessity take into account their very real belief in witchcraft.

In this paragraph, I link my undergraduate education and the skills I learned there to public health. The very brief analysis of tailoring health interventions to the Zande is a good way to show insight and show off the competencies I would bring to the program.

I now work in the healthcare industry for one of the largest providers of health benefits in the world. In addition to reigniting my passion for data and quantitative analytics, working for this company has immersed me in the business side of healthcare, a critical component of public health.

This brief paragraph highlights my relevant work experience in the healthcare industry. I intend to pursue a PhD in order to become an expert in how social factors affect health, particularly as related to gender and sexuality.

I intend to pursue a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual Health, and Reproduction. Working together with other experts to create effective interventions across cultures and societies, I want to help transform health landscapes both in America and abroad.

This final paragraph is about my future plans and intentions. Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.

This was a successful personal statement; I got into and attended! It has strong examples, clear organization, and outlines what interests me about the program its interdisciplinary focus and what competencies I would bring a background in cultural analysis and experience with the business side of healthcare.

However, a few slight tweaks would elevate this statement to the next level. So you need more samples for your personal statement for graduate school? Most of examples are posted as part of writing guides published online by educational institutions.

This selection of ten short personal statements for graduate school and fellowship programs offers an interesting mix of approaches. Some focus more on personal adversity while others focus more closely on professional work within the field. The writing in some of these statements is a little dry, and most deploy at least a few cliches.

However, these are generally strong, serviceable statements that communicate clearly why the student is interested in the field, their skills and competencies, and what about the specific program appeals to them. These are good examples of personal statements for graduate school where students deploy lots of very vivid imagery and illustrative anecdotes of life experiences.

There are also helpful comments about what works in each of these essays. Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program. PrepScholar GRE is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also feature 2, practice questions , official practice tests, hours of interactive lessons, and 1-on-1 scoring and feedback on your AWA essays. However, all of these statements are definitely pushing the boundaries of acceptable length, as all are above and one is almost words!

These examples of successful essays to the University of Chicago law school cover a wide range of life experiences and topics. Note, however, that these are all essays that specifically worked for University of Chicago law school. That does not mean that they would work everywhere.

This is something that might not work well for most graduate programs. The student accomplishes this by using clear, well-elaborated examples, showing strong and vivid writing, and highlighting positive qualities like an interest in justice and empathy without seeming grandiose or out of touch. Based on the background information provided at the bottom of the essay, this essay was apparently successful for this applicant.

While this personal statement is strikingly written and the story is very memorable, it could definitely communicate the wrong message to some admissions committees.

This incident perhaps reads especially poorly in light of the fact that the military has such a notable problem with violence against women being covered up and otherwise mishandled.

This student took a risk and it paid off, but it could have just as easily backfired spectacularly. In this guide, we discussed why you need a personal statement and how it differs from a statement of purpose. Then, we provided three strong graduate school personal statement examples for different fields, along with analysis.

We did a deep-dive on the third statement. Want more advice on writing a personal statement? Writing a graduate school statement of purpose? Need stellar graduate school recommendation letters? See our 29 tips for successfully applying to graduate school. Download it for free now: Ellen McCammon Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert.

She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Forget about the content of your essay for a second. The quickest way to blow it is to ignore the directions. If there is a suggested word count, aim to come as close to it as possible.

If there is a direct question, answer it without veering off on a tangent. If you are asked to submit the essay as a single-spaced document in Comic Sans font okay, probably not, but you never know , then so be it. You should have impeccable spelling, grammar, and punctuation throughout your essay, and avoid texting slang or vulgar language unless there is an absolutely compelling reason why it needs to be in your story.

Admission folks will not be impressed by a litany of syllable words or Shakespearean quotes, unless there is a reason why they tie into your story. Use conversational language and a consistent, friendly tone. Try reading your essay out loud to make sure it sounds natural. Better yet, they should come from your heart. In other words, be descriptive and detailed, use colorful metaphors, and avoid superlative terms. You want to try to take your reader to a place or time, and help him or her understand who you are and what makes you tick.

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6 Tips for Writing a Killer Grad School Application Essay. by Dawn Papandrea Freelance Writer. ask you for a general statement (Tell us about yourself.); or about your goals (What do you hope your graduate studies will help you achieve?). No matter the question, you don’t want to end up boring the admission committee with a clichéd.

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