The essay you write for graduate school should concentrate on your academic achievements, your sense of ambition and responsibility and your ability to write well (you will write more in graduate school than in any other time of your life, unless you become a journalist or novelist). Remember: The admissions team is trying to assess the likelihood you will succeed in their program.
- Try to address why their program best fits your own career and academic goals. They want to know you’ve really thought about it.
- Don’t just reiterate your resume. They can read that for themselves.
- Offer specific examples or stories to illustrate your key points.
- If your program is research-based, you should mention your particular research area and, if possible, refer to the faculty at that university whose professional research interests you most and who might be good mentors for you.
- Explain deficiencies (low grades, poor GRE score) but don’t whine. Your successes and failures are your own responsibilities.
- Proofread, and have at least two other humans proofread it, too. (Yes - We are happy to help!)
We recommend the following sites for help with your personal essay:
Of course, our recommendations do not guarantee that you will be accepted into a graduate program. It’s up to you, your academic qualifications, and the program’s requirements.