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:
We have two short exercises, led via video, to get you started on writing your personal statement!
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:
Find more explanation and other useful examples here.
Application & Personal Statement Resources