Personal Statement

The personal statement or statement of purpose is an essential aspect of the application process. Personal statements are necessary for a graduate or professional school application and provide insight about your abilities and experiences while also functioning as a sample of your writing skills.

You may want to consider writing a general statement of purpose as the first step in considering graduate school in which you clearly articulate your ideas and the career and educational goals you want to accomplish. Once you have drafted a general statement, you can tailor it to fit programs to which you are applying by talking about the reasons you chose the program and how it specifically fits your background and interests.

Here are several suggestions for writing your personal statement. Think of angles or viewpoints from which to demonstrate your character and potential. Your essay should be personal, accurate, forthright, and genuine.

  1. Use the essay to help the selection team better understand your distinctiveness/uniqueness.
  2. Review examples of personal statements so that you can become familiar with the appropriate tone.
  3. Explain how you became interested in your field of study. Use objective experiences to communicate your message.
  4. Describe how your interests relate to the graduate program.
  5. Explain any gaps between your GPA and scores on graduate school admissions exams.
  6. Describe how you overcame hardships or barriers encountered in life.
  7. Demonstrate how your leadership skills, computer skills, or writing skills were developed.
  8. Explain why you think you will be successful in graduate school.
  9. Once you think you have a working draft of your personal statement, make an appointment with a trusted faculty advisor or a writing consultant at the Fred Meijer Center for Writing & Michigan Authors for feedback.

 The following resources can help you develop your personal statement: