Admission committees typically request a brief essay (500 to 2000 words), sometimes called a Personal Statement (also known as Statement of Interest or Purpose). It is a very important piece for assessing your fit for the program, and your writing ability.
Some schools provide prompt questions, so look for those! In general, these statements discuss:
- Your research and/or professional interests
- Your future goals and career plan
- How their institution and/or program will meet your goals
- What you will contribute to the program
We have two short exercises, led via video, to get you started on writing your personal statement!
Curriculum Vitae or CV
You may be asked to provide a resume, or you may be asked for an academic CV. They are related but different, as follows:
|Audience||Fellow academics in your field of study||Hiring managers and human resources officers|
|Purpose||Applying to research-focused graduate studies and academic jobs||Applying to professionally-focused graduate studies and jobs|
|Goal||Display your academic credentials and accomplishments in great detail||Demonstrate you have the skills and experience necessary relevant to a job or organization|
|What readers see||Your scholarly potential||Your knowledge, skills and abilities|
|Essential information||Relevant course projects (essays, presentations, assignments), research experiences, publications, conference presentations, teaching experiences, awards||Academic, work, and volunteer experiences that highlight your accomplishments|
|Length||As long as necessary||2 pages maximum|
|References||Include if requested||Do not include|
The following sample documents were developed by AA&CC staff and student staff, with input from faculty members:
- Model Undergraduate CV for Research-Focused Graduate Programs - with comments [DOCX - 38 KB]
- Model Undergraduate CV for Research-Focused Graduate Programs - without comments (for look) [PDF - 165 KB]
Find more explanation and other useful examples here.
Application & Personal Statement Resources