Grad School Essay Conclusion Maker

Graduate school applications often require a letter of intent, personal statement, or similar essay. These may highlight your personality, interests, accomplishments, and goals, as they relate to what you want to study and why you want to attend that school to do it.

Writing a personal statement for grad school could be one of your biggest opportunities. You can use it to show the school who you are and why they should consider your application. Because it’s something of a first impression, it’s important to make sure your essay is thought out, well organized, and well written. Here are some tips for creating a standout application essay or letter of intent for graduate school.

What Is the Difference Between a Letter of Intent and Personal Statement?

The first step in writing an effective application essay is identifying exactly what you’re meant to be writing. Is your application asking you for a letter of intent, a personal statement, or a statement of purpose? Or are they asking for more than one of these? The basic content of each option is similar. They all talk about your intention to study at that school, and why you might be a good fit. Despite these similarities, there are some key differences which should guide your approach to composing them.

  • Letter of Intent: A letter of intent, or letter of interest, is like a cover letter. It’s a formal letter, ideally addressed to the decision-maker regarding your application. The goal of a letter of intent for graduate school is to provide an overview of your goals in applying, highlights of your experience, and why you’d be a good fit. You’d probably also want to close with a call to action.
  • Graduate Personal Statement: Rather than a letter, a personal statement for graduate school is an essay. It's intended to show who you are as a person, your personal and academic goals, and why you might be a good fit for the program. An important distinction here is “who you are as a person.” Personal statements should speak to what you want to study and why. But you'll probably want to frame it as a personal narrative that helps the reader get to know you as an individual.
  • Statement of Purpose: The biggest difference between a statement of purpose and a personal statement is the intent. While also an essay, a statement of purpose generally focuses specifically on your reasons for applying to a program. The content should focus on the program itself and the specific achievements and experience that make you a good candidate. A statement of purpose could also be known as a graduate school statement of intent, a goal statement for graduate school, or an academic goals essay.

While some programs may only ask for one of these pieces, it’s possible that your selected school might want a few of them. If you’re asked for a personal statement and a statement of purpose, it’s important to think what makes each one different. One strategy to make it a little easier could be to delineate between your “personal” and “academic” achievements. For example, you could write your statement of purpose about the academic and professional experience that makes you a good candidate for that program. Your personal statement might focus on the personal experiences that shaped your character, and led you to choosing that field and that school.

Getting Ready To Write Your Graduate School Application Essay

When you’re getting ready to write your personal essay, you will first need to think about a few key points.

  1. Your Purpose in Writing Your Essay
     In other words, what are you trying to tell your reader about yourself and your goals? Make sure you have a clear message.
  2. What You Want to Say
    Think about the kinds of details, or the type of story you want to tell to achieve your purpose. Do you have a specific experience you want to describe, or certain achievements you need to share? How do these details support your message?
  3. The Style You’ll Use to Write It
    Sometimes, schools might look for a certain style of writing, such as a scholarly voice. However, in other cases, you might have a little bit of wiggle room. This is your chance to show your target school that you’re a competent, engaging writer with personality. Thinking about your strategy in advance could help you do that.

All of this should be informed by the particular school you’re writing the essay for. So before you begin, be sure to read the essay requirements carefully, and research the school and the program in question.

Formatting Your Personal Statement for Graduate School

Thinking about how you’ll structure your essay early on could be an advantage when it comes to writing and revising. One good way to do this could be by drafting an outline of your ideas. By doing this, you could make sure your ideas are organized effectively, and see how it all fits together, even before you start writing.

Chances are you learned the basics of essay structure in high school. But in case you’re out of practice—for example, if you spent the last few years knee deep in math or computer science—here’s a refresher.

  • Introduction
    Anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph, the introduction creates context for the reader. Generally speaking, it should provide an overview of the topics you’ll be discussing. But, depending upon the style of your essay, it could also serve as a dramatic lead-in, setting the stage for a story you’ll be telling..
  • Body
    The body of personal statement, will likely consist of two to four paragraphs. These paragraphs should be sequenced logically – one should naturally flow from the next – and contain the bulk of the essay’s important information. Usually, these paragraphs will begin with a “topic sentence” summarizing the paragraph’s content, but again that may not apply if your statement has a more narrative style.
  • Conclusion
    Rather than introducing new ideas or supportive arguments, the conclusion is where you tie it all together. Close out your essay by making clear what your argument is and what you want the reader to take away from it.

If you’re writing a letter of intent, the above should still apply. However, you’ll need to do this as a formal letter. That should include a header containing the date, the recipient’s name and address, your name and address, and a salutation, as well as a closing and signature. 

How Long Should a Personal Statement for Graduate School Be?

While every school will have its own requirements, generally a personal statement should fall between 250 and 750 words. This is roughly one half to one full page.

First, double check to see if the school provides specific guidelines. If they don’t, then try to be as clear and succinct as possible while still answering the question. Does your personal statement cover all the key points? Is it clear what you are trying to say? Did you repeat yourself? If your answers are yes, yes and no, then your personal essay is likely the right length.

Writing Style For Your Personal Statement

In addition to telling the school about yourself and your goals, a personal essay demonstrates your writing ability to your school. As such, you’ll want to put your best foot forward with an effective writing style. Here are some tips to consider while you write.

  • Strike a balance between personal and professional.
    You might be talking about yourself, but you’re also writing to a graduate school, so it’s important to show that you can write formally. Try and be direct, clear, and organized, to help your reader follow easily. Don’t stray from your topic, and watch your grammar and punctuation! That said, this essay is about you, so don’t be afraid to write in first person.
  • Be engaging.
    Keep your reader interested through your style choices. For example, sticking with active verbs when possible and avoiding passive voice could help enliven your writing. Strong imagery or concrete examples could also make an impression that lasts. And using a conversational tone (but not too informal!) could help personalize it for the reader.
  • Be accurate.
    You want your reader to be interested, but make sure everything you write is true! Avoid embellishing or inventing stories, and stick to facts that could be substantiated.
  • Follow the rules.
    Your school might have specific guidelines for how you write and submit your personal essay. Make sure you follow them to a tee! When in doubt, be conservative, and stick with a traditional font choice (12 pt. Times New Roman) and paper (white). Also make sure you’re spelling names correctly, and using the right credentials and terminology when talking about your target school.

Editing Your Graduate School Application Essay

One of the most important aspects of the writing process is revision. Don’t be surprised if this takes more than one draft to do! Many writers revise over several rounds before settling on a finished product. Here’s a brief guide on the revision process and what to look for.

Before worrying about individual words and sentences, make sure the big issues are covered. Start with things like your ideas, the clarity of your argument, and your overall structure and fix those first.

  • Check your message.
    Think back to the beginning of this process, to the message you decided you wanted to get across. Is your essay or letter communicating that message? Is it clear? If you’re not sure, consider having somebody else read it over.
  • Check your organization.
    If you started with an outline, compare your finished draft to your original outline. Is your essay organized the way you planned? If so, read through it and make sure that it makes sense and has a logical flow.
  • Make sure your paragraphs make sense.
    Each paragraph should have a clear topic or message, and support for that topic. Make sure it’s clear what each paragraph is trying to say, and that each one is organized.
  • Check your style.
    Double check to make sure your tone isn’t too casual. If you included any slang, for example, now is the time to remove it. Then check your sentence structure. Avoid fragments and run-on sentences, and make sure to vary your sentence structure to keep the reader engaged. Try and remove any instances of passive voice, when you can. Reading your essay aloud could be one way to catch any awkward writing you might have missed.
  • Fix your grammar and punctuation
    This is the last and possibly most important step. Make sure you catch any errors in grammar and punctuation. Pay careful attention to common errors, like mixing up your/you’re, and there/their/they’re. Also make sure to check your subject/verb agreement, number agreement, capitalization, and punctuation. Finally, double check spelling, especially when it comes to important names. One strategy to avoid missing anything is to read your essay backwards, starting with the final sentence. That will help force your brain to focus on each individual sentence, instead of skimming over mistakes by accident.

Final Advice

Writing personal statement for graduate school is only one piece of the application puzzle. But it’s more than that. It’s an opportunity to show your chosen school your writing expertise, your passion for your subject, and who you are as a person. Keep in mind what the application is asking you for and what you’re trying to tell them. Take time to edit carefully, and your essay could potentially set your application apart.

Looking for grad school personal statement examples? Look no further! In this total guide to graduate school personal statement examples, we’ll discuss why you need a personal statement for grad school and what makes a good one. Then we’ll provide three graduate school personal statement samples from our grad school experts. After that, we’ll do a deep dive on one of our personal statement for graduate school examples. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a list of other grad school personal statements you can find online.

 

Why Do You Need a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a chance for admissions committees to get to know you: your goals and passions, what you’ll bring to the program, and what you’re hoping to get out of the program. You need to sell the admissions committee on what makes you a worthwhile applicant. The personal statement is a good chance to highlight significant things about you that don’t appear elsewhere on your application.

A personal statement is slightly different from a statement of purpose (also known as a letter of intent). A statement of purpose/letter of intent tends to be more tightly focused on your academic or professional credentials and your future research and/or professional interests.

While a personal statement also addresses your academic experiences and goals, you have more leeway to be a little more, well, personal. In a personal statement, it’s often appropriate to include information on significant life experiences or challenges that aren’t necessarily directly relevant to your field of interest.

Some programs ask for both a personal statement and a statement of purpose/letter of intent. In this case, the personal statement is likely to be much more tightly focused on your life experience and personality assets while the statement of purpose will focus in much more on your academic/research experiences and goals.

However, there’s not always a hard-and-fast demarcation between a personal statement and a statement of purpose. The two statement types should address a lot of the same themes, especially as relates to your future goals and the valuable assets you bring to the program. Some programs will ask for a personal statement but the prompt will be focused primarily on your research and professional experiences and interests. Some will ask for a statement of purpose but the prompt will be more focused on your general life experiences.

When in doubt, give the program what they are asking for in the prompt and don’t get too hung up on whether they call it a personal statement or statement of purpose. You can always call the admissions office to get more clarification on what they want you to address in your admissions essay.

 

 

What Makes a Good Grad School Personal Statement?

A great graduate school personal statement can come in many forms and styles. However, strong grad school personal statement examples all share the same following elements:

 

A Clear Narrative

Above all, a good personal statement communicates clear messages about what makes you a strong applicant who is likely to have success in graduate school. So to that extent, think about a couple of key points that you want to communicate about yourself and then drill down on how you can best communicate those points. (Your key points should of course be related to what you can bring to the field and to the program specifically).

You can also decide whether to address things like setbacks or gaps in your application as part of your narrative. Have a low GPA for a couple semesters due to a health issue? Been out of a job for a while taking care of a family member? If you do decide to explain an issue like this, make sure that the overall arc is more about demonstrating positive qualities like resilience and diligence than about providing excuses.

 

Specific Examples

A great statement of purpose uses specific examples to illustrate its key messages. This can include anecdotes that demonstrate particular traits or even references to scholars and works that have influenced your academic trajectory to show that you are familiar and insightful about the relevant literature in your field.

Just saying “I love plants,” is pretty vague. Describing how you worked in a plant lab during undergrad and then went home and carefully cultivated your own greenhouse where you cross-bred new flower colors by hand is much more specific and vivid, which makes for better evidence.

 

A Good Fit

A strong personal statement will describe why you are a good fit for the program, and why the program is a good fit for you. It’s important to identify specific things about the program that appeal to you, and how you’ll take advantage of those opportunities. It’s also a good idea to talk about specific professors you might be interested in working with. This shows that you are informed about and genuinely invested in the program.

 

Strong Writing

Even quantitative and science disciplines typically require some writing, so it’s important that your personal statement shows strong writing skills. Make sure that you are communicating clearly and that you don’t have any grammar and spelling errors. It’s helpful to get other people to read your statement and provide feedback. Plan on going through multiple drafts.

Another important thing here is to avoid cliches and gimmicks. Don’t deploy overused phrases and openings like “ever since I was a child.” Don’t structure your statement in a gimmicky way (i.e., writing a faux legal brief about yourself for a law school statement of purpose). The first will make your writing banal; the second is likely to make you stand out in a bad way.

 

Appropriate Boundaries

While you can be more personal in a personal statement than in a statement of purpose, it’s important to maintain appropriate boundaries in your writing. Don’t overshare anything too personal about relationships, bodily functions, or illegal activities. Similarly, don’t share anything that makes it seem like you may be out of control, unstable, or an otherwise risky investment. The personal statement is not a confessional booth. If you share inappropriately, you may seem like you have bad judgment, which is a huge red flag to admissions committees.

You should also be careful with how you deploy humor and jokes. Your statement doesn’t have to be totally joyless and serious, but bear in mind that the person reading the statement may not have the same sense of humor as you do. When in doubt, err towards the side of being as inoffensive as possible.

Just as being too intimate in your statement can hurt you, it’s also important not to be overly formal or staid. You should be professional, but conversational.

 

 

Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

Our graduate school experts have been kind enough to provide some successful grad school personal statement examples. We’ll provide three examples here, along with brief analysis of what makes each one successful.

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 1

PDF of Sample Personal Statement 1 – Japanese Studies

For this Japanese Studies master’s degree, the applicant had to provide a statement of purpose outlining her academic goals and experience with Japanese and a separate personal statement describing her personal relationship with Japanese Studies and what led her to pursue a master’s degree.

Here’s what’s successful about this personal statement:

  • An attention-grabbing beginning: The applicant begins with the statement that Japanese has never come easily to her and that it’s a brutal language to learn. Seeing as how this is an application for a Japanese Studies program, this is an intriguing beginning that makes the reader want to keep going.
  • A compelling narrative: From this attention-grabbing beginning, the applicant builds a well-structured and dramatic narrative tracking her engagement with the Japanese language over time. The clear turning point is her experience studying abroad, leading to a resolution in which she has clarity about her plans. Seeing as how the applicant wants to be a translator of Japanese literature, the tight narrative structure here is a great way to show her writing skills.
  • Specific examples that show important traits: The applicant clearly communicates both a deep passion for Japanese through examples of her continued engagement with Japanese and her determination and work ethic by highlighting the challenges she’s faced (and overcome) in her study of the language. This gives the impression that she is an engaged and dedicated student.

Overall, this is a very strong statement both in terms of style and content. It flows well, is memorable, and communicates that the applicant would make the most of the graduate school experience.

 

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 2

PDF of Sample Graduate School Personal Statement 2 – Musical Composition

This personal statement for a Music Composition master’s degree discusses the factors that motivate the applicant to pursue graduate study.

Here’s what works well in this statement:

  • The applicant provides two clear reasons motivating the student to pursue graduate study: her experiences with music growing up, and her family’s musical history. She then supports those two reasons with examples and analysis.
  • The description of her ancestors’ engagement with music is very compelling and memorable. The applicant paints her own involvement with music as almost inevitable based on her family’s long history with musical pursuits.
  • The applicant gives thoughtful analysis of the advantages she has been afforded that have allowed her to study music so extensively. We get the sense that she is insightful and empathetic—qualities that would add greatly to any academic community.

This is a strong, serviceable personal statement. And in truth, given that this for a masters in music composition, other elements of the application (like work samples) are probably the most important.  However, here are two small changes I would make to improve it:

  • I would probably to split the massive second paragraph into 2-3 separate paragraphs. I might use one paragraph to orient the reader to the family’s musical history, one paragraph to discuss Giacomo and Antonio, and one paragraph to discuss how the family has influenced the applicant. As it stands, it’s a little unwieldy and the second paragraph doesn’t have a super-clear focus even though it’s all loosely related to the applicant’s family history with music.
  • I would also slightly shorten the anecdote about the applicant’s ancestors and expand more on how this family history has motivated the applicant’s interest in music. In what specific ways has her ancestors’ perseverance inspired her? Did she think about them during hard practice sessions? Is she interested in composing music in a style they might have played? More specific examples here would lend greater depth and clarity to the statement.

 

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 3

PDF of Sample Graduate School Personal Statement 3 – Public Health

This is my successful personal statement for Columbia’s Master’s program in Public Health. We’ll do a deep dive on this statement paragraph-by-paragraph in the next section, but I’ll highlight a couple of things that work in this statement here:

  • This statement is clearly organized. Almost every paragraph has a distinct focus and message, and when I move on to a new idea, I move on to a new paragraph with a logical transitions.
  • This statement covers a lot of ground in a pretty short space. I discuss my family history, my goals, my educational background, and my professional background. But because the paragraphs are organized and I use specific examples, it doesn’t feel too vague or scattered.
  • In addition to including information about my personal motivations, like my family, I also include some analysis about tailoring health interventions with my example of the Zande. This is a good way to show off what kinds of insights I might bring to the program based on my academic background.

 

 

Grad School Personal Statement Example: Deep Dive

Now let’s do a deep dive, paragraph-by-paragraph, on one of these sample graduate school personal statements. We’ll use my personal statement that I used when I applied to Columbia’s public health program.

 

Paragraph One: For twenty-three years, my grandmother (a Veterinarian and an Epidemiologist) ran the Communicable Disease Department of a mid-sized urban public health department. The stories of Grandma Betty doggedly tracking down the named sexual partners of the infected are part of our family lore. Grandma Betty would persuade people to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, encourage safer sexual practices, document the spread of infection and strive to contain and prevent it. Indeed, due to the large gay population in the city where she worked, Grandma Betty was at the forefront of the AIDS crises, and her analysis contributed greatly towards understanding how the disease was contracted and spread. My grandmother has always been a huge inspiration to me, and the reason why a career in public health was always on my radar.

This is an attention-grabbing opening anecdote that avoids most of the usual cliches about childhood dreams and proclivities. This story also subtly shows that I have a sense of public health history, given the significance of the AIDs crisis for public health as a field.

It’s good that I connect this family history to my own interests. However, if I were to revise this paragraph again, I might cut down on some of the detail because when it comes down to it, this story isn’t really about me. It’s important that even (sparingly used) anecdotes about other people ultimately reveal something about you in a personal statement.

 

Paragraph Two: Recent years have cemented that interest. In January 2012, my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. Doctors in America subsequently diagnosed Fred with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). My parents were told that if Fred’s condition had been discovered in China, the (very poor) orphanage in which he spent the first 8+ years of his life would have recognized his DMD as a death sentence and denied him sustenance to hasten his demise.

Here’s another compelling anecdote to help explain my interest in public health. This is an appropriately personal detail for a personal statement—it’s a serious thing about my immediate family, but it doesn’t disclose anything that the admissions committee might find concerning or inappropriate.

If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase. “Denied him sustenance to hasten his demise” is a little flowery. “Denied him food to hasten his death” is actually more powerful because it’s clearer and more direct.

 

Paragraph Three: 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: the interdisciplinary focus of the program, and how that focus will prepare me to solve complex health problems. This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background.

 

Paragraph Four: My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career. Understanding the underlying structure of a group’s culture is essential to successfully communicating with the group. In studying folklore and mythology, I’ve learned how to parse the unspoken structures of folk groups, and how those structures can be used to build bridges of understanding. 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.

 

Paragraph Five: 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. It also allows me to mention my work with data and quantitative analytics, which isn’t necessarily obvious from my academic background, which was primarily based in the social sciences.

 

Paragraph Six: 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. Unfortunately, it’s a little disjointed, primarily because I discuss goals of pursuing a PhD before I talk about what certificate I want to pursue within the MPH program! Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.

I also start two sentences in a row with “I intend,” which is repetitive.

The final sentence is a little bit generic; I might tailor it to specifically discuss a gender and sexual health issue, since that is the primary area of interest I’ve identified.

 

This was a successful personal statement; I got into (and attended!) the program. 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.

 

 

Graduate School Personal Statement Examples You Can Find Online

So you need more samples for your personal statement for graduate school? Examples are everywhere on the internet, but they aren’t all of equal quality.

Most of examples are posted as part of writing guides published online by educational institutions. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones here if you are looking for more personal statement examples for graduate school.

 

Penn State Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School

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.

 

Cal State Sample Graduate School Personal Statements

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.

However, all of these statements are definitely pushing the boundaries of acceptable length, as all are above 1000 and one is almost 1500 words! Many programs limit you to 500 words; if you don’t have a limit, you should try to keep it to two single-spaced pages at most (which is about 1000 words).

 

University of Chicago Personal Statement for Graduate School Examples

These examples of successful essays to the University of Chicago law school cover a wide range of life experiences and topics. The writing in all is very vivid, and all communicate clear messages about the students’ strengths and competencies.

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. In fact, one major thing to note is that many of these responses, while well-written and vivid, barely address the students’ interest in law school at all! This is something that might not work well for most graduate programs.

 

Wheaton College Personal Statement for Graduate School Sample 10

This successful essay for law school from a Wheaton College undergraduate does a great job tracking the student’s interest in the law in a compelling and personal way. Wheaton offers other graduate school personal statement examples, but this one offers the most persuasive case for the students’ competencies. 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.

 

Wheaton College Personal Statement for Graduate School Sample 1

Based on the background information provided at the bottom of the essay, this essay was apparently successful for this applicant. However, I’ve actually included this essay because it demonstrates an extremely risky approach. While this personal statement is strikingly written and the story is very memorable, it could definitely communicate the wrong message to some admissions committees. The student’s decision not to report the drill sergeant may read incredibly poorly to some admissions committees. They may wonder if the student’s failure to report the sergeant’s violence will ultimately expose more soldiers-in-training to the same kinds of abuses. 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

It’s actually hard to get a complete picture of the student’s true motivations from this essay, and what we have might raise real questions about the student’s character to some admissions committees. This student took a risk and it paid off, but it could have just as easily backfired spectacularly.

 

 

Key Takeaways: Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

In this guide, we discussed why you need a personal statement and how it differs from a statement of purpose. (It’s more personal!)

We also discussed what you’ll find in a strong sample personal statement for graduate school:

  • A clear narrative about the applicant and why they are qualified for graduate study.
  • Specific examples to support that narrative.
  • Compelling reasons why the applicant and the program are a good fit for each other.
  • Strong writing, including clear organization and error-free, cliche-free language.
  • Appropriate boundaries—sharing without over-sharing.

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.

Finally, we provided a list of other sample grad school personal statements online.

 

What’s Next?

Want more advice on writing a personal statement? See our guide.

Writing a graduate school statement of purpose? See our statement of purpose samples and a nine-step process for writing the best statement of purpose possible.

If you’re writing a graduate school CV or resume, see our how-to guide to writing a CV, a how-to guide to writing a resume, our list of sample resumes and CVs, resume and CV templates, and a special guide for writing resume objectives.

Need stellar graduate school recommendation letters? See our guide.

See our 29 tips for successfully applying to graduate school.

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Author: 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

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