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How to Close Your Graduate School Personal Statement

How to write an essay with a thesis statement.

One of the most important parts of a graduate school application is the personal statement. This essay should include reasons for pursuing graduate study, the desired area of study, intended use for graduate education, academic background and extracurricular experiences, highlight reasons for choosing that particular school and provide any other pertinent information relating to your qualifications and experience. The goal is to write a story about yourself, so the selection committee has a solid understanding about you by the end of the paper. Although the introductory paragraph is one of the most important parts of the paper, how you close your personal statement is just as critical for making a successful impression.

Tie your closing paragraph to your introductory paragraph by repeating some of the original imagery or information from the opening statement. It is important to think of the opening and closing paragraphs as bookends, which frame all of the content in between.

Develop meaningful conclusions that detail the value you have gained in your own experiences. Use what you have learned about yourself and your intended field to detail your intentions for your future goals.

Show enthusiasm about the chance to be accepted into the program for which you are applying. Make sure not to write with the assumption of actually being accepted. A good example would be, “I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my interest in your program in person.”

Keep it short, about four to five sentences is adequate. It is important to stay focused and not to add any new information in the closing paragraph.

  • Have an adviser or a professor review your paper to give you professional feedback and help you know where you might need to make revisions.
  • Start writing the personal statement long before the deadline. You need to allow time for revision and rewriting. Your personal statement is your best chance to have a competitive edge.

Limit the statement to two pages or less, unless a particular school’s program has different specifications.

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  • Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab: Writing the Personal Statement
  • Dartmouth Writing Program: Writing the Grad School Application
  • Limit the statement to two pages or less, unless a particular school’s program has different specifications.

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  • How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 3, 2023.

A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.

To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:

  • Your personality: what are your interests, values, and motivations?
  • Your talents: what can you bring to the program?
  • Your goals: what do you hope the program will do for you?

This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.

Urban Planning Psychology History

Table of contents

Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, other interesting articles.

Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.

For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.

There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.

The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.

Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene

An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:

  • A personal experience that changed your perspective
  • A story from your family’s history
  • A memorable teacher or learning experience
  • An unusual or unexpected encounter

To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.

Strategy 2: Open with your motivations

To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.

Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:

  • Is it a longstanding passion or a recent discovery?
  • Does it come naturally or have you had to work hard at it?
  • How does it fit into the rest of your life?
  • What do you think it contributes to society?

Tips for the introduction

  • Don’t start on a cliche: avoid phrases like “Ever since I was a child…” or “For as long as I can remember…”
  • Do save the introduction for last. If you’re struggling to come up with a strong opening, leave it aside, and note down any interesting ideas that occur to you as you write the rest of the personal statement.

Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.

To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.

Strategy 1: Describe your development over time

One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.

  • What first sparked your interest in the field?
  • Which classes, assignments, classmates, internships, or other activities helped you develop your knowledge and skills?
  • Where do you want to go next? How does this program fit into your future plans?

Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.

My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.

Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles

If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.

  • Is your social, cultural or economic background underrepresented in the field? Show how your experiences will contribute a unique perspective.
  • Do you have gaps in your resume or lower-than-ideal grades? Explain the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.

Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.

Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.

Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field

Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.

  • Reflect on the topics or themes that you’ve focused on in your studies. What draws you to them?
  • Discuss any academic achievements, influential teachers, or other highlights of your education.
  • Talk about the questions you’d like to explore in your research and why you think they’re important.

The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.

In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.

Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions

Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.

  • If your career is just getting started, show how your character is suited to the field, and explain how graduate school will help you develop your talents.
  • If you have already worked in the profession, show what you’ve achieved so far, and explain how the program will allow you to take the next step.
  • If you are planning a career change, explain what has driven this decision and how your existing experience will help you succeed.

Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.

One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.

Tips for the main body

  • Don’t rehash your resume by trying to summarize everything you’ve done so far; the personal statement isn’t about listing your academic or professional experience, but about reflecting, evaluating, and relating it to broader themes.
  • Do make your statements into stories: Instead of saying you’re hard-working and self-motivated, write about your internship where you took the initiative to start a new project. Instead of saying you’ve always loved reading, reflect on a novel or poem that changed your perspective.

Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.

Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.

Strategy 1: What do you want to know?

If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?

If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.

Strategy 2: What do you want to do?

If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?

Tips for the conclusion

  • Don’t summarize what you’ve already said. You have limited space in a personal statement, so use it wisely!
  • Do think bigger than yourself: try to express how your individual aspirations relate to your local community, your academic field, or society more broadly. It’s not just about what you’ll get out of graduate school, but about what you’ll be able to give back.

You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.

Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.

Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.

Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

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

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

Home › University › How To Write A Personal Statement? 10 Tips + Student Questions Answered › How To End A Personal Statement So The Admissions Committee Remembers You

How To End A Personal Statement So The Admissions Committee Remembers You

  • Published January 20, 2023

A woman smiling while writing on her notebook.

Students are often unsure of  how to end a personal statement.  A strong conclusion makes all the difference in whether your application gets noticed by admissions officers or not.

If you’ve just finished writing your personal statement and you’re stuck on your ending, then don’t worry! This article will walk you through the essentials of personal statement conclusions.

Avoid writing a tedious and forgettable ending for your personal statement by following these rules.

Talk About Your Main Points

Don’t end your final paragraph by stating what you’ve never mentioned in the body of your personal statement. Remember, the purpose of your conclusion is to  wrap up  the package.

You shouldn’t say, “My experiences kindled my passion for engineering,” if you didn’t mention these “experiences” in the first place!

So actually summarising your key main body points is a great conclusion in many cases.

Summarise Your Key Points In A Simple Way

After reading thousands of personal statements, the admissions committee will be happy to see you concluding your personal statement with a clear summarisation of the vital points. 

Go over your personal statement and jot down the main takeaway of each paragraph. Once you have that list, find a way to integrate them into your conclusion.

You can dedicate a sentence to each key point, tie them all together, and you now have a conclusion that does what it’s supposed to do!

how to end a personal statement with 11 tips

Use Your Key Points To Restate Your Passion For Your Course

If you’re wondering how to end your personal statement using your key points, use them to restate your passion for the course you’re applying for.

Say your key points including your skills and experiences, and wrap them up by saying, “With the [your specific skills] and [your specific experiences] I’ve gained over the years, I’m committed to [mention your course].”

By doing so, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. One, you’re reminding the admissions committee that you have the skill set necessary to succeed in your course. Two, you’re demonstrating your dedication to your desired course.

Double Down On Your “Why”

Another powerful ending is to remind the reader of your “why.” Many students pursue their chosen course because they’re not sure what else to take.

So being clear on your purpose immediately sets you apart from the rest. 

To do this, take the most heart-moving story from the body of your personal statement on what inspired you to apply for your course. Mention the main idea of it in a sentence or two, then end with a “for this reason, I believe pursuing [mention course] is the best way to achieve my [state your why].”

If your course is related to education, perhaps your “why” is to help children learn by allowing them to show how they learn best.

Say you’re writing a medical personal statement . Maybe your “why” is to forward technology that helps safeguard the elderly from falling accidents because you witnessed your grandparent suffer injuries from a fall when you were young.

Doubling down on your “why” shows your conviction and direction on why you’re applying for your course.

Mention The Next Step Of Your Application Process

What’s the next step after the admissions committee accepts your personal statement? For many courses, they’ll call you up for an interview . Go ahead and mention this in your conclusion!

Write along the lines of “I’m looking forward to dedicating myself to this course, and I would love to receive an invitation for the interview.”

The reader will right away recognise that you’ve done your research. You know what the next step should be. You  are  serious about this application!

Make The Universities Excited To Have You As Their Student

Studying at a university is not merely a means to an end. It’s a profound journey in and of itself! You’ll meet new colleagues, form lifelong communities, and discover mentors who will guide you along with your future career.

Think of them when you’re pondering on how to end a personal statement. What can you contribute as a student to make the university a better place? Demonstrate your excitement in meeting them, building relationships with them, and serving them!

A statement as straightforward as “I am eager to establish new, lifelong relationships and use my [mention your skills] to help make the university a better place for learning and community-building.”

Demonstrate Your Willingness To Learn

Universities exist to train and mould students, not the other way around! A little humility goes a long way. Show yours by demonstrating your willingness to learn. Nothing excites teachers more than willing students.

To pull this off, make sure you know what values your course upholds. It could be service, excellence, inclusivity, and so on. State in your conclusion that “I’m looking forward to learning how to embody [write down the course’s values you resonate with], to grow and succeed in [mention your field of study].”

There’s so much value packed in this simple personal statement ending. Tweak it and make it yours!

Avoid Famous Quotes

Many students insert famous quotes from well-known persons when ending their personal statements. Avoid this tactic as much as possible because you’re driving attention  away  from YOU as the applicant.

If you want to include famous quotes, put them at the beginning of your personal statement to grab attention. To keep your reader’s attention focused on you in the end, why not come up with a memorable, relevant quote of your own?

Use The Bookend Strategy

Bookends are sturdy objects placed at either end of upright books to keep them standing. When you translate that into writing, the bookend strategy is when the introduction and conclusion statements connect to support the body between them.

You may start your personal statement with a heart-wrenching story about how you watched your beloved pet die of the wrong diagnosis. Then, for your conclusion, you can call back on this story and state how this event fuels you to pursue veterinary practice.

The bookend strategy is a clean and efficient way how to end your personal statement.

Ask Help From Your Family And Friends

If you’re still stuck on how to end a personal statement, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Approach your family and friends because they know you more than anyone. Read to them the introduction and body of your personal statement.

Ask them what particular line struck them the most. Maybe they know something about you that you missed including in your personal statement. What characteristics do they see in you that will help you succeed in your course?

Gather their answers in one place, and after reading them in one go, you now have a decent idea of what to emphasise in your conclusion statement.

Never State That It’s The “Conclusion” Or “Summary”

The most boring, generic way to end a personal statement is to write “In conclusion” or “In summary.” It’s actually one of the topics we cover in  what not to put in a personal statement .

Avoid this writing style at all costs. A good conclusion statement doesn’t require explicit announcements.

By its style and structure alone, the reader knows immediately they’re about to read a lasting statement. So don’t hesitate to proceed straight to the major points. As long as the conclusion connects seamlessly with the previous paragraph, you’re good to go!

Stay Authentic

Universities hold honesty in high esteem. Show authenticity and honesty in your personal statement beginning with an attention-grabbing introduction to a strong conclusion.

The best way to radiate honesty in your personal statement is to write from the right mindset. When you work on your personal statement, your objective is to show  who you are and demonstrate why you are a worthy candidate for the course .

Don’t try to impress. If you come from that standpoint, you’re more likely to add embellishments. The experienced admissions committee can smell insincere personal statements from a mile away. So stick with who you are and let your personality shine through.

Give Yourself A Break, Then Come Back To It

When working on how to conclude a personal statement, you need to give yourself time. After writing a rough draft of your conclusion statement, take a break and return to it after a few days. 

When you return to it, you’ll be surprised to notice details you haven’t seen before. Edit as you like, and make it better. Keep the old versions of your conclusion at hand so you can readily compare them with your newest, edited text. Compare and choose which one sounds better.

5 Bad Examples For A Personal Statement Conclusion

These are 5 personal statement examples for conclusions that don’t meet the criteria outlined above.

  • In this application essay, I have made it clear I am an outstanding candidate for a degree because I think everyone will love my positive attitude and I deserve it.
  • In summary, you can see my highlighted qualifications and experience, I know they’re not the best, but I want to stress that my passion for this field is what sets me apart as a candidate. It shouldn’t matter if the others are more qualified or experienced than me.
  • Remember the skills I have, that’s really what sets me apart from other students, they don’t have what it takes to break the rules creatively and not follow the book.
  • Finally, I would like to thank you for considering me for this opportunity and I hope you will make the right decision by choosing me, otherwise, I may cry and be disappointed.
  • As a final note, it’s easy to see how qualified I am for this degree and how I will excel in it – but you should accept me because I’m cool and will get along with everyone else.

5 Amazing Examples Of A Personal Statement Ending

  • In conclusion, I am excited about the opportunity to study computer science at this university. My passion for technology, combined with my programming skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the research community. I am confident that this program will enable me to achieve my career goals and make a meaningful impact in the field of technology.
  • In summary, I have always been fascinated by the human body and its functions. My experience in volunteering in hospitals, combined with my academic record, makes me confident in my ability to handle the rigours of a medical degree. I am excited about the opportunity to study at this esteemed university and to contribute to the field of medicine through research and patient care.
  • To wrap things up, I am excited to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at this university. My passion for designing and building, combined with my experience in physics and mathematics, make me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to excel in this program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field of mechanical engineering through research and innovation.
  • Finally, I am honoured to be considered for a law degree at this university. My passion for justice, combined with my research skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from the esteemed faculty and to contribute to the legal field through research and practice.
  • As a final note, I am excited to pursue a degree in Environmental Science at this university. My passion for the environment, combined with my experience in environmental research, makes me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact in this field. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field through research and conservation efforts.

How Long Should the Conclusion To A Personal Statement Be?

A personal statement conclusion should be 150-200 words long and leave a positive lasting impression on the reader. A UCAS personal statement should be 4000 characters long, making the conclusion 705-940 characters long – this is just a rough estimation based on the average number of characters per word (4.7).

Do You Feel More Confident Writing A Personal Statement Conclusion?

To  end your personal statement  in the best possible way, you need to know the body’s key points. Use them as pillars when deciding which direction your conclusion takes. 

Will you highlight your future goals? Maybe you want to focus on your why? Take the time to decide. And if you’re stuck, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your family and friends so you can leave a lasting impression on the applications committee.

How much did this article help you out? Don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference!

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how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

How to Write a Stand-Out Personal Statement for Your Graduate School Application

How to write a personal statement for grad school

While deciding to embark on the path to graduate school is an exciting first step toward advancing your career, the application process can sometimes feel daunting and confusing.

One major part of the application that most schools require is a personal statement. Writing a personal statement can be an arduous task: After all, most people don’t necessarily enjoy writing about themselves, let alone at length.

A compelling personal statement, however, can help bring your application to the top of the admissions pile. Below, we’ve outlined what you need to know about crafting a personal statement to make your application shine.

What Is a Personal Statement?

The point of a personal statement is for the admissions board to gain a deeper understanding of who you are apart from your education and work experience. It explains why you’re the right fit for the program and a worthwhile applicant. It’s also an opportunity to highlight important factors that may not be readily available in the rest of your application.

A personal statement is different from a statement of purpose (if you’re asked for that as well). A statement of purpose will touch on your academic and career goals, as well as your past credentials. While those should also be discussed in your personal statement, it’s more about your life experiences and how they’ve shaped you and your journey to graduate school.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Personal Statement

Before you start crafting your essay, there are a few prompts you can ask yourself to help clarify what you want to accomplish.

  • What are the key points you want to communicate about yourself?
  • What personal characteristics or skills do you have that make you a strong candidate for this field?
  • What exactly are your career goals, and how does graduate school play into them?
  • What have you learned about this field already? When did you first choose to follow this path, and what do you enjoy about it?
  • What do you think is important for the admissions board to know specifically about you?
  • Are there any discrepancies or causes for concern in your application you need to address? For example, is there a career and schooling gap, or a low GPA at one point? This is the time to discuss whether a personal hardship may have affected your academics or career.
  • Have you dealt with any unusual obstacles or difficulties in your life? How have they affected and shaped you?
  • What sets you apart and makes you unique from other graduate school applicants?
  • What factors in your life have brought you to where you are today?

Top Tips for Writing a Graduate School Personal Statement

Pick a few points to emphasize about yourself . Introduce yourself to the admissions board. Select key factors about your background that you want the university to know — elements that reveal what kind of person you are and demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate for the school and field of study.

Be very specific . Again, a personal statement is all about communicating what distinguishes you from other applicants. To accomplish that, you need to share specific anecdotes that underscore your statements. If you say you’re a strong leader, present an example of a time you’ve proven that skill through work, school or your personal life. These specific, personal stories provide a deeper understanding of who you are and prove your intentions.

Do your research . Demonstrate what attracted you to the program. If there is a specific faculty member or class that caught your attention, or another aspect of the program that greatly interests you, convey it. This shows you’ve truly researched the school and have a passion for the program.

“Whatever the topic may be, I would recommend writing in a manner that reflects or parallels the institution’s and/or department’s missions, goals and values,” said Moises Cortés, a graduate/international credentials analyst for the Office of Graduate Admission at USC .

Address any gaps or discrepancies . Explain any factors that may have impacted your academic career. If you had an illness or any other personal hardships that affected your grades or work, discuss them. If there is a discrepancy between your grades and your test scores, you can also take the time to go over any extenuating circumstances.

Strike the right tone . While it’s important to give readers a glimpse of your personality, avoid oversharing or revealing intimate details of your life experiences. You should also avoid making jokes or using humorous cliches. Maintain a professional tone throughout your writing.

Start strong and finish strong . As with any piece of writing, you want to draw in your readers immediately. Make sure to start off with an interesting and captivating introduction. Similarly, your conclusion should be a well-written, engaging finish to the essay that highlights any important points.

“ For a personal statement, I think the first and last paragraphs are most important and should always relate the program they are applying to their own experiences and ideas,” Hoon H. Kang, a graduate/international credential analyst with the Office of Graduate Admission, told USC Online.

Proofread, proofread and proofread again . We can’t emphasize enough the importance of rereading your work. Your personal statement is also an analysis of your writing skills, so ensure you have proper grammar and spelling throughout. In addition, we recommend having multiple people look over your statement before submission. They can help with the proofreading (a second person always catches a mistake the writer may miss), give advice about the statement’s structure and content, and confirm it’s the proper recommended length.

Once you’ve considered all of the above and reviewed and edited your personal statement to perfection, it’s time to submit and check off any remaining application requirements, including your resume and letters of recommendation .

Personal statements are arguably one of the most challenging aspects of applying to graduate school, so make sure to revel in this accomplishment and acknowledge your successes.

For more information, visit the  Office of Graduate Admission at USC  and explore  USC Online ’s master’s degrees, doctoral programs and graduate certificates.

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How to Format & Structure Your Personal Statement for Grad School – The 5 Paragraph Approach

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement tips & advice.

In the pursuit of graduate studies, one of the most critical aspects of the application process is writing a personal statement that truly reflects your passion, dedication, and individuality. While every applicant’s journey is unique, structuring and formatting your personal statement can be a daunting task, especially when you’re unsure of how to make it stand out from the crowd. 

A well-structured personal statement not only highlights your achievements, goals, and fit for the program but also shows your creativity, leaving a lasting impression on the admissions committee (adcom).

Over the years, I have shared valuable insights on various aspects of personal statement writing, from do’s and don’ts to opening paragraphs and length . However, today, I want to address the often-overlooked aspect of structuring and formatting your grad school personal statement. 

Although each applicant’s writing style is distinct, some may struggle with organizing their thoughts and effectively presenting their ideas. If you find yourself in this position, worry not – this blog post is designed to help you navigate the process of formatting and structuring your grad school personal statement, paragraph by paragraph.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a personal statement, as admissions committees appreciate diverse perspectives and unique writing styles. However, for those who need a little guidance in organizing their thoughts, this article will offer a clear and concise roadmap to create a compelling and coherent personal statement that effectively communicates your story, passion, and future aspirations. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details of structuring your grad school personal statement, one paragraph at a time.

In this Article

Example 1 (For Masters Program)

Example 2 (for phd program), valuable tip: maintain coherence, paragraph 1: introduction (attention grabber).

You should try to grab the admissions officers attention by starting with a captivating anecdote or a strong statement about your passion for the field . In the introduction you should also provide an overview of your background, very briefly highlighting your academic and professional experiences. Paragraph 1 sets the stage for the rest of the statement, so it’s essential to make a strong impression. 

Here are a couple of examples taken from successful grad school personal statements. These examples will give you a clear idea on how to begin your personal statement and what you should include in the first paragraph. For more examples of opening paragraphs of personal statements for grad school, make sure to check out this post .

“From an early age, I was fascinated by the complexity of the human mind and the intricate web of emotions that shape our behavior. This curiosity was first sparked during my volunteer work at a local mental health clinic, where I witnessed the transformative power of psychological support on individuals facing depression and anxiety. As I pursued my undergraduate degree in psychology at Harvard University, I became deeply engrossed in understanding the myriad factors that contribute to mental health and wellbeing. It is with great enthusiasm and determination that I submit my application for the clinical psychology graduate program at Yale University, where I aim to further my knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the field.”

“Growing up in a developing country, I witnessed the disparity between the haves and have-nots, which motivated my academic and professional pursuits in Operations Research (OR). My journey began with research internships at Cornell, where I developed a passion for mathematical rigor and natural laws governing particle interactions. I later discovered a strong connection to OR through linear optimization courses and internships in finance and geospatial intelligence, which allowed me to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world contexts. These experiences, combined with my dedication to bridging the gap between academia and industry, have led me to pursue a PhD in Operations Research, a field that offers innovative solutions to complex problems and continues to drive progress in various sectors.”

Paragraph 2: Academic Achievements, Relevant Research or Work Experience

In the second paragraph of your personal statement, you should focus on your:

  • Academic achievements such as GPA, honors and awards, and thesis projects.
  • Relevant research experiences such as research projects, RAships, and publications.
  • Relevant professional experiences such as full-time jobs, internships, and volunteer work.

When sharing experiences, it’s important to not only share the experiences themselves but also the impact and achievements that resulted from them.

By covering these elements in paragraph 2, you will demonstrate your commitment to the field and will portray your expertise, and curiosity of the chosen subject, underscoring your potential as a graduate student.

Now let’s take a look at a couple of excerpts from successful personal statements that talks about these elements. 

“Throughout my undergraduate studies at Harvard, I maintained a strong academic record, consistently ranking within the top 5% of my class. My dedication to the field was further demonstrated by my engagement in a research project on cognitive psychology under the mentorship of Professor Jane Smith, which allowed me to explore the intricacies of memory encoding and retrieval. Our collaborative research on the effects of sleep on memory consolidation not only deepened my understanding of the subject matter but also honed my skills in research methodology, critical thinking, and data analysis. In addition to my academic pursuits, I have actively sought opportunities to apply psychological principles in real-world settings. My internship at a community mental health clinic involved working with underserved populations dealing with substance abuse and trauma, providing me with valuable insights into the practical application of psychological interventions and fostering my passion for helping individuals overcome their challenges.”

“Throughout my academic path, I’ve had multiple achievements, such as presenting a research paper at a LEPP seminar and developing a time-series smoothing application for risk-analytics during an internship with BlackRock’s Financial Modeling Group. I also gained valuable experience working as a quantitative developer at Milcord LLC, a geospatial intelligence and knowledge management solutions company in Boston. My work there involved developing belief-network models to predict geographic changes in insurgency and prototyping a dynamic risk-avoidance GPS using a variant of Dijkstra’s algorithm. During my undergraduate studies, I declared a major in Engineering Physics and pursued a concentration in Operations Research. This degree fulfilled my need for mathematical rigor and my interest in the natural laws governing particle interactions. My academic trajectory led me to research at Cornell’s Laboratory for Plasma Studies, where I studied the effects of thin-wire etch techniques on uniform plasma expansion and developed software to analyze multi-wire experiments. During my Master’s degree in Operations Research at Cornell, I took courses in discrete models and service systems modeling. These courses exposed me to graph theory, traveling salesmen problems, and network algorithms, as well as the applications of optimization and queuing theory to various industries. As a graduate student, I worked on a semester-long group project sponsored by Iowa farm-owner Clay Mitchell and supervised by Prof. H. Topaloglu. Our research aimed to assess the feasibility of farm-yield optimization by redistributing eroded top-soil from low-lying areas. This project won 2nd place in the Silent Hoist & Crane Company competition for the best Masters of Engineering project and received special coverage in the ‘Cornell Daily Sun’ newspaper.”

Paragraph 3: Goals, Program Fit, and Future Contributions

In this paragraph you should discuss your: 

  • Career goals: You should discuss your short- and long-term professional aspirations after graduation. Like where you want to work, in what capacity, and where do you see yourself in the future.
  • Study goals: These will include your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree so that the adcom can understand your motivations and intentions. For example, your study goal could be knowledge acquisition, social networking, career change, or skill development.
  • Program fit: This refers to how well you know about the specific program you are applying to and how your goals align with it. So make sure you search the program thoroughly and include any courses, faculty members, research opportunities, internships options or industry collaborations that the program offers.
  • Future Contributions: Talk about the unique ways in which you plan to make a positive impact on the academic community during your graduate study. For example, you can talk about sharing specific skills or knowledge that you have gained from your prior experiences that will be valuable to your peers in grad school.

Now let’s take a look at some excerpts from a successful personal statements that talks about these elements.

“As I embark on my journey in graduate study, I aim to specialize in cognitive psychology to better understand the underlying mechanisms of attention and perception. I plan to use my research to create evidence-based interventions that can help individuals facing learning and attentional difficulties. The cognitive psychology graduate program at Yale offers a comprehensive curriculum and a renowned faculty, making it an ideal environment for me to pursue my research interests, refine my skills, and work towards achieving my professional objectives. I am particularly drawn to the work of Professor John Doe in the area of visual attention, as their groundbreaking research aligns with my desire to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the allocation of attention and its implications for learning and memory. In the short-term, my goal is to contribute to the field by developing innovative approaches to enhance cognitive function and improve educational outcomes, ultimately improving the lives of countless individuals facing learning and attentional difficulties. In the long-term, I aspire to lead a research team or become a professor, actively participating in the ongoing advancement of cognitive psychology and helping future generations of psychologists reach their full potential. By joining this esteemed program, I am confident that I will be well-prepared to achieve these ambitious goals and make a lasting impact on the field.”

“My research interests include stochastic modeling, data-mining, pricing, and capacity allocation problems in revenue-management and supply-chain settings. I’ve been captivated by the complexity of these problems, involving large networks, multiple periods, and numerous products. Consequently, I’ve taken an interest in stochastic approximation methods. MIT’s Operations Management program aligns with these interests, and I am particularly drawn to the work of Professors Farias and Perakis. Their research in online auction bidding strategies exemplifies the innovative solutions that OR can bring to modern business challenges. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of MIT’s Operations Management program, which spans the spectrum of cutting-edge applied and theoretical research in OR, makes it an ideal fit for my academic aspirations.”

Paragraph 4: Personal Qualities, and Experiences

In the fourth paragraph you should emphasize your personal qualities and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the graduate program. This paragraph should show qualities that your prospective graduate program requires. For instance:

  • MBA programs demand resilience, adaptability, and leadership abilities. Top programs value communication skills, a global mindset and entrepreneurial experience.
  • Fulbright scholarship values an applicant’s commitment to making a positive impact in the community. So highlight your extracurricular experiences in this case. Show skills such as time management, leadership, and responsibility.

Here are two example paragraphs:

“Beyond my academic and professional accomplishments, I believe that my personal qualities and experiences have equipped me to excel in the clinical psychology graduate program at Yale. My strong work ethic, demonstrated by balancing a challenging course load with a part-time job and volunteer work at a crisis hotline, has allowed me to develop exceptional time management and organizational skills. As a peer mentor and tutor, I have honed my interpersonal and communication skills, enabling me to effectively collaborate with diverse groups of individuals. I am also a compassionate and empathetic listener, which I believe will serve me well as a psychologist. My experience as a research assistant in a lab focused on the intersection of culture and mental health, coupled with my cultural background and fluency in Spanish and Mandarin, has allowed me to gain a unique perspective on the challenges faced by diverse populations, further fueling my passion for addressing mental health disparities and promoting cultural competence in the field of psychology.”

Remember to tailor this paragraph to your own personal experiences and qualities, ensuring that it accurately reflects your strengths and the unique aspects you would bring to the graduate program.

“Throughout my academic and professional experiences, I’ve developed personal qualities and skills that will contribute to my success in the PhD program. My interdisciplinary background, passion for teaching, and industry experience enable me to tackle complex problems and contribute to the program’s intellectual diversity. I am confident that my unique perspective and strong foundation in OR will help me thrive as a researcher and educator. In addition to my academic pursuits, my role as an Academic Excellence Workshop facilitator for Calculus I and Linear Algebra, as well as a full-time position at Vistaprint’s Customer Analytics department, has nurtured my passion for teaching and mentoring others. My experiences have also allowed me to develop strong communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills, which will be instrumental in my academic career and future contributions to the field of Operations Research.”

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

In the fifth and final paragraph, you should reiterate your enthusiasm for the program, summarize your main points, and express your commitment to contributing to the field. This final paragraph should leave a lasting impression on the reader, emphasizing your potential for success in the graduate program and beyond.

“My passion for cognitive psychology, strong academic background, research interests, and diverse experiences have prepared me to excel in the cognitive psychology graduate program at Yale. I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the distinguished faculty and contribute to the cutting-edge research being conducted in the program. By pursuing graduate study in cognitive psychology at Yale, I am confident that I will not only grow as a researcher but also make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals facing attentional and learning challenges. I am eager to embark on this next chapter of my academic and professional journey, and I am committed to making a meaningful contribution to the field of psychology. Thank you for considering my application.”

“In conclusion, my background in Engineering Physics, Operations Research, and industry experience have provided me with a strong foundation to excel in a PhD program. I am eager to further develop my research interests and contribute to the advancement of OR through cutting-edge research and teaching. The interdisciplinary nature of MIT’s Operations Management program, coupled with the exceptional faculty and resources, make it the ideal environment for me to achieve my goals. I look forward to leveraging my unique skill set and experiences to contribute to the program’s intellectual diversity and help shape the future of Operations Research.”

It is essential to ensure coherence in your writing when writing your personal statement. 

Sometimes, following this 5-paragraph structured format may result in a group of disjointed paragraphs that do not seamlessly gel with each other. 

To avoid this, make sure that you add some final touches to your personal statement to maintain smooth transitions and coherence.

The goal is for everything to nicely meld together, creating a coherent story that effectively communicates your experiences, aspirations, and unique qualities. 

By paying close attention to the flow and cohesion of your personal statement, you can leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee and increase your chances of success in your academic pursuits.

Below you will find the personal statement built out of the five paragraphs that I shared as examples earlier in this post. By adding a few transition words, I was able to create a coherent and engaging personal statement.

“From an early age, I was fascinated by the complexity of the human mind and the intricate web of emotions that shape our behavior. This curiosity was first sparked during my volunteer work at a local mental health clinic, where I witnessed the transformative power of psychological support on individuals facing depression and anxiety. As I pursued my undergraduate degree in psychology at Harvard University, I became deeply engrossed in understanding the myriad factors that contribute to mental health and wellbeing. It is with great enthusiasm and determination that I submit my application for the clinical psychology graduate program at Yale University, where I aim to further my knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the field.

Building upon my strong academic foundation, I maintained a high GPA throughout my undergraduate studies at Harvard, consistently ranking within the top 5% of my class. My dedication to the field was further demonstrated by my engagement in a research project on cognitive psychology under the mentorship of Professor Jane Smith, which allowed me to explore the intricacies of memory encoding and retrieval. Our collaborative research on the effects of sleep on memory consolidation not only deepened my understanding of the subject matter but also honed my skills in research methodology, critical thinking, and data analysis. In addition to my academic pursuits, I sought opportunities to apply psychological principles in real-world settings, such as my internship at a community mental health clinic. Working with underserved populations dealing with substance abuse and trauma provided me with valuable insights into the practical application of psychological interventions and fostered my passion for helping individuals overcome their challenges.

As I transition into graduate study, I aim to specialize in cognitive psychology to better understand the underlying mechanisms of attention and perception, as well as establish clear career goals that will allow me to make a meaningful impact in the field. Yale’s cognitive psychology graduate program offers a comprehensive curriculum and a renowned faculty, making it an ideal environment for me to pursue my research interests, refine my skills, and work towards achieving my professional objectives. I am particularly drawn to the work of Professor John Doe in the area of visual attention, as their groundbreaking research aligns with my desire to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the allocation of attention and its implications for learning and memory. My short-term goal is to contribute to the field by developing innovative approaches to enhance cognitive function and improve educational outcomes, ultimately improving the lives of countless individuals facing learning and attentional difficulties. In the long-term, I aspire to lead a research team or become a professor, actively participating in the ongoing advancement of cognitive psychology and helping future generations of psychologists reach their full potential. By joining this esteemed program, I am confident that I will be well-prepared to achieve these ambitious goals and make a lasting impact on the field.

In addition to my academic and professional accomplishments, I bring personal qualities and experiences that have equipped me to excel in Yale’s clinical psychology graduate program. My strong work ethic, demonstrated by balancing a challenging course load with a part-time job and volunteer work at a crisis hotline, has allowed me to develop exceptional time management and organizational skills. As a peer mentor and tutor, I have honed my interpersonal and communication skills, enabling me to effectively collaborate with diverse groups of individuals. My compassionate and empathetic nature will serve me well as a psychologist. Furthermore, my experience as a research assistant in a lab focused on the intersection of culture and mental health, coupled with my cultural background and fluency in Spanish and Mandarin, has allowed me to gain a unique perspective on the challenges faced by diverse populations. This experience has further fueled my passion for addressing mental health disparities and promoting cultural competence in the field of psychology.

In conclusion, my passion for cognitive psychology, strong academic background, research interests, and diverse experiences have prepared me to excel in the cognitive psychology graduate program at Yale. I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the distinguished faculty and contribute to the cutting-edge research being conducted in the program. By pursuing graduate study in cognitive psychology at Yale, I am confident that I will not only grow as a researcher but also make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals facing attentional and learning challenges. I am eager to embark on this next chapter of my academic and professional journey, and I am committed to making a meaningful contribution to the field of psychology. Thank you for considering my application.”

To sum up: Structuring and formatting your grad school personal statement can be challenging. However, with a clear understanding of what admissions committees are looking for and some effective strategies for organizing your essay, you can create a strong essay that markets your unique experiences. Remember to be creative in your writing style and to focus on the key elements that will make your application stand out. By following the guidelines I’ve outlined in this post, you’ll be well on your way to writing a personal statement that will help you achieve your academic and career goals.

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How to Write a Strong Personal Statement for Graduate School

  • by Heidi Kerr and Paul David Terry
  • November 10, 2020

A student sits on his laptop at the Silo at UC Davis.

You’ve made the exciting decision to pursue a graduate degree. Congratulations! There are a wide range of graduate programs to explore , and once you’ve selected the right program for you, it’s time to begin the graduate application process. 

The statement of purpose and personal history statement are key components of the UC Davis graduate school application . With fewer than 4,000 characters allowed for each essay, these statements can seem particularly daunting. However, each one has a specific purpose for showcasing your academic journey and creating a holistic application.

Below, we’ve analyzed the differences between the statement of purpose and personal history statement and provided tips for writing these graduate school admissions essays. 

Statement of Purpose and Personal History: What’s the Difference?

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The statement of purpose shares your academic objectives with the admissions committee and explains why you want to obtain a graduate degree. The personal history statement provides background about who you are and how your experiences have shaped your interests and ability to overcome challenges. Each essay has specific goals to showcase your experience, passion and story. 

How to Write a Strong Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should highlight your academic preparation , motivation and interests, along with any specializations and career goals that contribute to your program of study. As you write your statement of purpose, it should encompass some of the following:

  • Academic and research experiences - Include any relevant academic studies or research pursuits, internships or employment, presentations, publications, teaching, and travel or study abroad experiences that prepare you for this graduate program. Explain your motivation or passion for these experiences and how they can enrich your graduate study.
  • Interests, specializations, and career goals - Highlight your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area(s) of specialization, and professional objectives.
  • Fit - Explain how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of your graduate program at UC Davis. Identify specific faculty within your desired graduate program with whom you would like to work and how their interests match your own.

The statement of purpose should also address why you want to pursue the particular graduate degree program at the university and what your goals are in pursuing a degree. Remember, the statement of purpose should explain exactly that, your purpose for becoming a graduate student. This is the primary way it stands apart from your personal history statement. 

What to Include in Your Personal History Statement

A student smiles as she inspects yellow liquid underneath a microscope, while her professor watches on.

The personal history statement helps the reader learn more about you as an individual and potential graduate student. Use this opportunity to describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Tell a story that  includes any experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. Consider how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field.

A strong personal history statement begins with an authentic voice and personal narrative. This can reflect your journey to graduate school, any obstacles you’ve encountered, and how you've overcome challenges. Talk about your personal goals and dreams. Explain what motivates and drives you toward this degree. The more your personal statement tells your school about you as an individual, the more it will stand out. Don't write something to impress someone else. This includes language, style and tone. Authenticity is important and resonates well. Tell the truth, in your voice, from your perspective. Use your story to connect.

More Tips and Resources for Applying to Graduate School

Applying to graduate school may be daunting to some, but UC Davis has a variety of resources to help you create a strong graduate school application. Check out the Applying to Graduate School: A Guide and Handbook for ideas and worksheets on how to construct your essays. Or visit our Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services website for more graduate school prep resources. 

Paul David Terry is the assistant director of special interest and affinity networks and alumni diversity lead at the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. He oversees the UC Davis Health Improving OUTcomes blog and enjoys cycling and brewing ginger beer.

Heidi Kerr works as the content and media manager at UC Davis’ Graduate Studies. She has worked as a communications professional at multiple higher education institutions and is passionate about promoting student success.

The authors acknowledge current and former leaders from Pre-Graduate/Law Advising in Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services, especially Annalisa Teixeira, Ph.D. and Cloe Le Gall-Scoville, Ph.D., who granted us permission to reference Applying to Graduate School: A Guide and Workbook .

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Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School: Good, Bad, & Everything In Between

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Your personal statement should demonstrate that you have thought deeply about why you are making the decision to go to grad school and that you are an excellent fit for your target school. Sounds a little challenging? Don’t worry, these personal statement examples will break down the strategy of writing a strong graduate school application.

Comparing Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

Below I will share types of personal statement examples: one with a strong writing approach and one that lacks clarity and may cause confusion for an admissions committee reader. Then I will describe the strengths and weaknesses of each example.

Introduction Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) The ocean is as fundamental to our lives as any other ecological habitat, so why don’t we have systems in place to treat it that way? Growing up in Monterey, California I was first introduced to marine biology through my advanced placement biology class. While in community college I helped form a student-led monthly beach clean-up team. This rewarding experience led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology with an emphasis in ocean preservation. My passion for developing innovative and culturally informed approaches to marine preservation on a global scale have led me to pursue a doctorate in the field of marine biology. My desired research focus will explore solutions to the impacts of micro plastics in our ocean.

Ex. 2-Weak) Yea sure, the ocean is in a devastated condition, but what are we going to do about it? Well, with my degree in bio I plan to get a PhD in marine biology to help figure out how to address micro plastics in our ocean. I know so much already, and I just know that with a PhD I will be able to contribute on a greater scale. I know the PhD is a lot of work, but I am pretty sure I will be able to complete the program and have a great time doing so. I have always wanted to live in Santa Barbara, and that is definitely a part of my decision to apply to your program.

Diving Deeper Into Personal Statement Introductions

So, let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the example introductions above!

  • Throughout the paragraph the applicant demonstrates that they have been involved with marine biology since high school, this is important because it demonstrates their commitment to the field early on in the essay
  • The applicant mentions a desire to live in Santa Barbara, while it may be true, it is not a strong enough reason to pursue a PhD and signals to the admissions committee that you may be pursuing the program for the wrong reasons. Keep details like this out of your personal statement and focus on reasons for applying that are academically motivated.

Conclusion Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) As a first generation college student, and an English language learner, my journey to receive my bachelors of science in marine biology has been tough. Along the way I have developed leadership skills, research and lab experience, as well as a refined passion for the work that marine biologists are able to do when informed by the local community members. I desire to continue my studies with an emphasis on ocean preservation research through the innovative and unique PhD program offered at UC Santa Barbara. It would be an honor to work with Dr. Jonas Mendoza and Dr. Raquel Pacheco, two professors whose work aligns with my research interests and who have been welcoming and encouraging through our email correspondence. While my research goals are ambitious, I am confident that your program offers the resources and mentorship required for a unified effort to resolve the impact that microplastics have on not only human life, but all marine animals and ecosystems.

Ex2. -Weak) I think it’s a miracle that I even completed my B.S degree! That’s how I know that with the funding and laid back atmosphere at UC Santa Barbara I can definitely complete the PhD. I’m not so interested in the teaching part, or the amount of course work I would be required to take, but I just know that once I get out there and get into the water, it will all be worth it. My research experience is competitive and top-notch, I am a great person to work with and easily make friends. I am hopeful to hear back and excited for the next steps! Thanks for reading this far.

Exploring Personal Statement Conclusions

  • The applicant concludes by mentioning the importance of a “unified effort” for their research goals. This goes a long way to demonstrate that they understand how important collaborative effort is. This helps make an applicant more attractive in the eyes of an admissions committee that must also consider the work ethic of all applicants.
  • The applicant describes their research experience as “competitive and top-notch”, even if you have the most impressive curriculum vitae focus on instead listing what you have done, with who and what they outcomes were and let the admissions committee decide how they interpret it.

So, what makes a good personal statement?

Your personal statement will be one of many that an admissions committee will read to assess who its strongest applicants are. you have to remember that the committee members do not get to meet you before they read your application materials. you cannot risk leaving out crucial information. oftentimes, students struggle to talk about themselves, they see it as “bragging” or “showing off”. it is important that you overcome your discomfort and realize that the personal statement is essentially the first impression you will make on the committee. make the most of the opportunity to introduce yourself and make sure to address the following:.

  • Why now? Admissions committees have been through graduate school. They know better than anyone that graduate school is not a choice one makes simply because “you don’t know what else to do”. Demonstrate that you are prepared for the commitment and the work by specifying why you have decided that graduate school is the best option for you at this time and that your current and past experiences align with your intentions if admitted into the program.

A good personal statement will address all of these questions and be mindful about appropriate boundaries with each. Ultimately, it will demonstrate to the committee that you are prepared for the program, that you are likely to succeed if admitted, and that you are passionate about and committed to pursuing a career in which the training and the degree that you will receive is imperative to your future goals.

The importance of a clear narrative:

A clear narrative will allow for the admissions committee to extract the necessary information about you without any hassle. Remember that you are one applicant amongst many, when writing your personal statement do not assume that your reader will know the importance of any information or the necessary context if you do not provide these details for them. Consider these tips when writing:

  • Do not overestimate the importance of proofreading! Read your essays out loud and record the audio while doing it. Does it flow? Does it answer every question provided in the prompt (if provided one)? I recommend finding at least one person who is in graduate school and preferably within your field to read your essay.

Summary and Major Takeaways

The personal statement is usually just 1-2 pages. With a document this short and with so much importance towards your chances of admission, every word matters! Consider these takeaways and do your research at every stage of the writing process.

Do this before you get to writing. Gather information from this blog post, the program’s official website, any correspondence between you and professors or graduate students at each program you will be applying to, and develop a document that lists every experience and detail you wish to include. Use this as a reference as you write so that you are certain you are hitting every point.

Do not skip this step! Seek out support from current graduate students or a writing service for some feedback. Double check for any language that is too casual, or can be off putting or concerning to anyone who will review your application.

Remember that admissions committees are made up of real people who read an unbelievable amount of applications. Do your best to stand out, really think about what sets you apart and what skills you have developed throughout your life that are relevant to the program you are pursuing. After you have your first draft, focus on language and phrases that are both professional and captivating to your reader. Sprinkle in some flare! For more examples, visit our blog to see more personal statement examples that got their writers into graduate programs!

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How to Write a Compelling Grad School Personal Statement

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In This Article:

Your graduate school personal statement is your opportunity to make a lasting impression on admissions committees. It is your chance to demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for your desired program. But often, the task of writing a personal statement can be overwhelming.

To help guide you through this process, here are some valuable tips compiled by UK Online recruitment specialists.

Tips Before You Start Writing 

Be authentic and reflect.

Before you put pen to paper, take some time to reflect on your life experiences, academic journey, and career aspirations. Be authentic and true to yourself in your writing. Highlight the unique aspects of your life that have led you to this point. The admissions committee is interested in who you are as an individual.

Demonstrate Motivation 

Showcase your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree. Explain what drives you, why you are passionate about your chosen field, and how this program fits into your long-term goals. Admissions committees want to see that you have a clear sense of purpose and a genuine interest in the subject.

Highlight Experiences 

Your personal statement is the perfect place to highlight your academic and extracurricular experiences that have prepared you for this program. Discuss any research, internships, or projects that have influenced your decision to pursue graduate studies. Connect these experiences to your future academic and career goals.

Convey Writing Skills 

Effective communication is a crucial skill for graduate students. Your personal statement should showcase your writing abilities. Ensure your statement is well-structured, free of grammatical errors, and flows logically. Seek feedback from peers or writing centers to enhance its quality.

Make an Impression

Your opening paragraph is your chance to make a memorable first impression. Craft an engaging introduction that captivates the reader's attention. Use a powerful anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a striking statement to draw them in. Admissions committees review numerous applications, so standing out from the beginning is vital.

What You Should Include in Your Personal Statement

Introduction.

Your introduction should provide a glimpse of your personality and what motivates you. It sets the tone for the entire personal statement, so make it compelling.

Personal Background

Share your academic history and personal background. Discuss your achievements, academic journey, and relevant experiences. Explain how your background has led you to the point of applying for this specific program.

Motivation and Goals

Clearly articulate your reasons for pursuing this graduate program. What are your short-term and long-term goals? Explain how the program aligns with your aspirations. This section should convey your enthusiasm and commitment.

Relevance of Experience

Highlight the experiences, internships, or research projects that have contributed to your readiness for this program. Connect these experiences to the skills and knowledge you will bring to the graduate program. Show that you are well-prepared.

Unique Qualities

Discuss what makes you unique. Mention your unique qualities, skills, or attributes that set you apart from other applicants. This is your chance to stand out and show why you're a valuable addition to the program.

In your conclusion, summarize your key points and reiterate your passion for the program. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the institution. End on a positive note and leave the reader with a memorable impression.

Remember to be authentic, showcase your motivation, highlight your experiences, convey your writing skills, and make a lasting impression. Craft a personal statement that reflects your unique journey and demonstrates your readiness for graduate studies. Best of luck with your application!

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What is a Personal Statement for Grad School?

Who are you really? That’s what the admissions committee for any program you’re applying to wants to know, and your personal statement is how you can show them. A personal statement is a critical part of the graduate school application process . In an ever-competitive graduate school environment, it’s important to let institutions see who you really are beyond your previous coursework and your GPA. If you’re uncomfortable talking about yourself, this is the time to get past that and really get, well, personal. This is where they get to know you, not just your CV.

Writing your personal statement

Unlike a statement of purpose which explains what you want to do, a personal statement is an essay that explains who you are as a person, and how those qualities will translate to a successful student in whatever program you’re applying to.

A personal statement should include a description of your talents, achievements, interests and goals. More importantly, it should convey how accomplishments and achievements are relevant to the program you’re applying to. Institutions want students who will contribute something valuable to their various graduate programs, and certainly recruiters will be looking for that as well.

Follow the guidelines

Check each program’s requirements and be aware of any guidelines, such as word count or specific details to include. It’s imperative you strictly adhere to any guidelines set forth by an admissions committee. Failing to follow their directions will likely result in the rejection of your application.

Take it slow

Allow enough lead time to write. Your personal statement isn’t something you should sit down and write the night before it’s due. You’ll want to write a few drafts, edit, rewrite, proofread and have someone else review your piece before you submit it.

Organization is key

A personal statement isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of document and should be customized for each program you’re applying to. It’s important to stay organized and keep track of what you’ve sent and to whom.

The process

  • Review the program’s requirements and list of elements to be included in your personal statement.
  • Brainstorm a list of what you want to include and what you want to convey.
  • Review personal statement examples for guidance.
  • Outline your statement, including the elements you want to incorporate and the order.

What should you include in your statement?

  • Start by introducing yourself. Who are you? Why are you applying for grad school? Perhaps a personal story of adversity or challenge played a role. Use that — overcoming adversity is a quality that admissions committees like to see.
  • Highlight your personal, professional and academic achievements. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
  • What is it about the program you’re applying to that appeals to you and how can you make a significant contribution to it?
  • What do you plan to do with your degree when you graduate? Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What kind of personal skills do you bring to the program? Do you work well in a team environment when required? Can you also work independently when necessary?
  • Research the faculty. Note a specific piece of published work that you found fascinating, helpful or enlightening.
  • Conclude by summarizing not only your qualifications for this program, but how you both could benefit from each other.

Take writing your personal statement seriously and put the time in to create a worthy piece. Remember to write a customized statement for each program you’re applying to so that the admissions committees can see your personality and special qualities shine through.

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How to Write a Strong Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

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Written by David Lombardino   |  Updated February 23, 2024

Hook Them Through to the End

You can hook your reader with the introduction to your personal statement . And you can wow them with magical words in your personal statement . But if you don’t write a strong conclusion to your personal statement? You’ll leave program directors and admission committees with a whimper, rather than a bang.

The conclusion forms a critical part of your personal statement. Program directors and admission committees may skip to it after reading your introduction. Or they may start with it, even before reading your introduction.

The reason they do this? To get through the many applications they have to review each cycle.

Good conclusions will deliver the points admission committees expect to see. And great conclusions will enhance their views of you as an applicant.

Here, I present how to write a great conclusion to your personal statement.

Where Does This Advice Come From?

It comes from my 8 years as an editor at UNESCO prior to founding DLA back in 2008 . It comes from interviews I've had with program directors and those who serve on admission committees. And it comes from 15+ years of helping applicants like you write outstanding personal statements .

3 Key Concepts and a Formula for Success

How do you write a conclusion in a personal statement? It starts with these three concepts:

  • Avoid stating it is your conclusion;
  • Avoid introducing an unsupported concept; and
  • Be specific in the details.

First, I will discuss these three key concepts in detail. Then I will share my foolproof method for how to write a personal statement conclusion.

Key #1: Avoid Stating It Is Your Conclusion

A thought you may have is to start your conclusion with “In conclusion.” Or “In summary.” You want to make sure to avoid this, or anything similar.

Why is this? Program directors and admission committees see it's your last paragraph. In other words, they already know it's your conclusion. So make your personal statement great by leaving this out.

Simply, using extra words makes your writing less engaging. Wordiness can indicate a lack of diligence or maturity. It can indicate a lack of focus or clarity. And it can indicate self-doubt in what you are writing.

This is true, no matter where it may occur in your personal statement.

Key #2: Avoid Introducing an Unsupported Concept

Great conclusions advance the concepts of your personal statement. This means avoiding introducing an unsupported idea. Instead, make sure all ideas connect back to what you have written earlier.

Let's say, for example, you haven't yet discussed your love of teaching. And teaching is important to your future career. You'll certainly want to include it in your conclusion. So just make sure you've written about it earlier in your personal statement. That way, it won't come out of nowhere when writing about it in your conclusion.

If you write a new, unsupported idea in your conclusion, you may convey:

  • You do not know how to effectively organize your personal statement;
  • You are trying to cram too many ideas into your personal statement; or
  • You are ticking off a checklist of what to say.

female student smiling in library

There are a couple of exceptions to this point. Are you an older candidate? Do you have multiple significant items you need to discuss? There may simply be not enough room for all these in the body paragraphs. In this case, your only option may be to present one in the conclusion.

In such cases, there are a few guidelines to follow. First is you must fully develop the new idea in your conclusion. You must do more than simply mention it.

Second, it must extend from a point made earlier in the personal statement. It must have a foundation.

Finally, it must dovetail seamlessly with the rest of the conclusion. And it must do so without the conclusion becoming too long. (This can be challenging, so don't be afraid to ask for help.)

Key #3: Be Specific in the Details

Key to writing a great personal statement is being specific . This means being specific both in the words you use (e.g., avoiding using “thing”) and in the details you write.

Many candidates make the mistake of being vague in the conclusion. This relates especially to what you wish to accomplish in the program. You may want to write to "increase my knowledge." Or you may want to write to "gain exposure in a variety of settings."

Can you make these more specific, so they can be more effective for you? For example, in what specific areas do you wish to increase your knowledge? What specific settings do you want to gain exposure to?

Any ways you can be more specific will make your conclusion stronger.

Formula for a Great Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

The formula I present here takes you step by step through writing your conclusion. It includes how to start the conclusion to your personal statement. It includes how to end it. And it includes how long your personal statement conclusion should be.

While the formula makes a logical progression, feel free to change it up. If you find another order works better for you, then go for it. Just make sure you have covered each item in your conclusion.

How Long Should the Conclusion to a Personal Statement Be?

Part 1: start with your vision for your future career.

The key to a great conclusion is in how you start. Start with your vision for your future career. This is a single sentence stating where you see yourself 5 to 10 years from now. Think of your vision as your conclusion's thesis statement.

The vision can be your medium-term goals, your long-term goals or both. Choose whichever option brings a better focus and context for your conclusion.

For example, you may wish to pursue cardiology fellowship after internal medicine residency.

Or you may wish, after law school, to enter private practice with time devoted to pro bono work.

But what if these goals change as you progress through the program? That's okay. You don't have to get them exactly right in your personal statement. And you don't have to stick to them just because you mentioned them.

The aim here is to demonstrate a clear vision for the path you are on. Being intentional will make your application stand out.

female student smiling in library

Part 2: Next, State Precisely What You Seek to Accomplish in the Program

After establishing your medium- and long-term goals, work backward from there. Perform a self-assessment. What precisely do you need to accomplish next? What next step will better position you to achieve your career vision?

The more specific you can be with these answers, the better. Then frame these as what precisely you seek to accomplish in the program.

For example, will you aim to apply for a cardiology fellowship? Then pursuing cardiology electives would be a goal for internal medicine residency.

What about for applying to law school? Is your long-term goal to practice in an area with litigation? Then a goal for law school would be to participate in mock trial.

Part 3: Then, Therefore, State the Specific Aspects You Are Seeking in a Program

First, you established your vision. Then you identified the next step to take toward achieving that vision. Now state which aspects would equip you to achieve that next step.

Does the program have a high rate of case types that align with your interests? Does it offer certain relevant technologies? Training in certain techniques? Particular courses or electives ?

Are there particular faculty whose research interests fascinate you?

What about elective rotations? Or partnerships available in the program?

Do they offer an elective rotation in a cath lab? That would be great for someone wanting a career in cardiology. What about a renown mock trial program? That would be great for a career in litigation.

And you can go further. Are you an aspiring Vietnamese doctor or lawyer? Do you want to work with Vietnamese immigrants? Does the program you are applying to serve such a population? Then mention that.


Geographic and Other Ties to the Program

Do you have geographic or other ties to the program? For example, do you have family or close friends in the area? Do you have colleagues who graduated from the program where you are applying? Great! This is where you would mention them.

This applies even if you are applying for medical residency and are specifying geographic and other preferences in your ERAS Application .

For each of your top-choice program(s), write a different version of your conclusion. Tailor it to each program.

Then group all the other programs by common features (e.g., geography). Make sure to be as specific as possible when doing so. Then tailor a different version of your conclusion for each group of programs.

Part 4: Finally, State What You Offer to the Program

Have you accomplished the above three points? Great! All that's left is to state what you offer to the program.

This is actually quite easy. Start by identifying the themes you have written in your personal statement. Check your introduction and each body paragraph. Then list these themes, in keyword form, as what you offer to the program.

In this way, you accomplish two goals. First is to wrap up your personal statement's main points. Second is to provide a forward-looking statement as you bring it to an end.

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

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how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

  • Personal History Statement

The Personal History Statement helps reviewers learn more about you as a whole person and as a potential graduate student. This may include relevant details on community service, leadership roles, participation in diverse teams, and significant barriers that you overcame to pursue graduate studies.

The Purdue University graduate application allows applicants to select up to two campuses and/or graduate majors per application.  If you are applying to a 2nd choice program, you are only required to submit one personal history statement with your application. Be sure your personal history statement is is all-inclusive, and supports your suitability for your enrollment in all the graduate programs listed on your application. 

Required of all applicants:

  • Describe how your background and life experiences contribute to your ability to be both persistent and resourceful in your graduate studies.
  • Describe how your life experiences have prepared you to contribute to an academic community where scholars with diverse research interests, abilities, backgrounds, and experiences are supported, respected, and valued.
  • Please address concerns that you may have that your academic record does not reflect your true capabilities and discuss mitigating factors that have affected your academic record. Reviewers will be interested in understanding your accomplishments relative to your opportunities.

The Academic Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement are two of the most important documents in your graduate application. The documents should be concise, clear, and free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. You should have others review your document for content, organization, and to ensure that there are no errors. Information in the Personal History Statement should complement but not duplicate information in the Academic Statement of Purpose.

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Helpful Tips for Writing a Personal Statement for Grad School Applications

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: February 29, 2024 , Reading time: 19 minutes

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When writing your personal statement for your graduate school application, you must remember that it can make or break your admission!

The simple reason: Aside from your cover letter, it’s the best way to introduce yourself – your academic performance and potential, your research interests, and your career goals, among others, which demonstrates your fit with the graduate program.

Indeed, the way in which you present who and what you are in your personal statement can set your path in graduate school. 

But we also understand that writing your personal statement is a challenging task, to say the least, because of its enormous impact on your admission into graduate school. With that in mind, here are helpful tips that you can keep in mind to write a persuasive personal statement.

Additional Resources:

  • How To Build a Great Resume and Cover Letter for Your Grad School Job Search
  • How to Get into Grad School with a Low GPA
  • What does it take to get into Graduate School?

Be prepared for three steps in making a compelling personal statement that will increase your success in being admitted to the graduate program of your dreams.

  • First, you must perform intensive research into the program and your interests, accomplishments and goals.
  • Second, you have to write the first draft of your master personal statement – in the same way that you must have a master resume and cover letter – rewrite it a few more times and seek feedback along the way.
  • Third, you must tailor your personal statement for every graduate program you’re sending applications to in the hopes of admission. 

Before Writing Your Personal Statement

Before Writing Your Personal Statement - Image

You must have the right understanding and be in the right mindset before writing your personal statement. With such a strong foundation, you’re in a better position to craft your master personal statement that can be revised according to the requirements and preferences of each graduate program. 

Understand the Purpose of Your Personal Statement

What exactly is the purpose of a personal statement in a graduate school application? What can you do to serve its purpose? These are questions that you must first ask before you can write your personal statement, whether it’s your master personal statement or its tailored version. 

Your personal statement is, first and foremost, a summary of your personal and professional qualifications. You must, however, also keep in mind that it’s an opportunity to tell your story and journey – where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to be.

Your main goal: Demonstrate the ways in which being in the graduate program will contribute to your continuing story and journey – or in other words, highlight your good fit. 

Furthermore, your well-written personal statement will also achieve the following purposes: 

  • Highlight your writing skills in particular and your communication skills in general, both of which are crucial to your success as a graduate student.
  • Explain the weaknesses in your application, such as gaps in your academic journey or professional history or a less-than-impressive GPA.
  • Demonstrate your research interests, skills and contributions, particularly when you’re applying to a research-oriented graduate program. 
  • Address specific questions required by the admission committee to be answered in your personal statement.
  • Highlight your values and character that will allow the admissions committee to get a holistic perspective of who you are.

Indeed, your personal statement is your opportunity to stand out from the competition and differentiate yourself! 

Reflect on Your Unique Qualities

What can you bring to the table? What past contributions have you made and the potential contributions you can make in advancing the body of knowledge in your chosen field? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What trials have you overcome and what triumphs are you most proud of and why? 

These questions may sound like these are made for beauty pageants but you will find that answering them will result in your ability to stand out from the rest of the applicants! By reflecting on your uniqueness, you’re emphasizing your individuality which strengthens your candidacy for admission into graduate school. 

We suggest listing down the answers to the abovementioned page so you will have a reference when writing your personal statement. You can also use the guide below when reflecting on your unique individuality.

1. Academic achievements

Your academic achievements will not only highlight your commitment to excellence but will also be an indication of your academic potential, List down academic awards (e,g., honors program, Latin honors) as well as distinctive research projects and published works. 

2. Unique background

Your personal challenges that contributed to your success in life, your perspective, and your individuality can also be included in your personal statement. You will be surprised by how people are fascinated by individuals overcoming the odds stacked against them!

3. Research interests

Your research interests should ideally be aligned with the graduate program’s research projects, and it’s possible to determine it by looking at previous published research papers authored by professors and alumni. List down your specific research interests and their uniqueness, usefulness, or innovativeness in the field, as well as a brief explanation of your possible contributions to the field. 

4. Professional experience

Your professional experience is also a crucial contributor to your career path and your desire to earn a graduate degree for career advancement. Better yet, write down the insights you gained that differentiate you from other applicants. 

5. Personal interests and passions related to your chosen field of study

Again, you should align your specific personal interests and passions with the graduate program’s mission. You should list down your extracurricular involvement, too, such as community volunteer work, leadership and membership in industry organizations and professional associations, and even sports – but only in relation to how these contributed to your personal and professional growth. 

6. Life experiences

Your life isn’t just a series of academic achievements and extracurricular activities either! Write down life experiences, such as travel and internships, which shaped your personality and perspectives in life as well as your passion for graduate education. 

7. Unique qualities and skills

You should take pride in skills like creativity and innovation, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and communication skills because these are valued life skills. Inclusivity and diversity are of particular value, too, in the academic community. 

8. Career aspirations

Career aspirations are a huge part of anyone’s decision to pursue a graduate degree, so it makes sense that your personal statement will discuss your career goals. 

If you have yet to make a resume, then the above-mentioned aspects can be incorporated into your master resume. If you already have a resume, then you’re halfway into your personal statement – just take the relevant information from your master resume and incorporate it into your personal statement. 

Research the Program

Your next step is researching the graduate program that you’re interested in. If you’re planning on applying to several programs, then you must make appropriate notes about every single program. 

Your research will also be the basis for the tailored version of your master personal statement. You will find it easier and faster to change specific information, format, and details on your master personal statement to fit each program than to start from scratch. 

What exactly must you know about the graduate programs you’re interested in? Here is the crucial information you should get. 

  • Understand the program – what its values and mission are, what its structure and curriculum are, and what its unique features are, including its specializations. These aspects are usually defined in its website and program materials (e.g., brochures, curriculum, and manual/handbook) 
  • Get information about the faculty members, including their research publications, interests, and subjects covered. You will also find the information useful when you’re choosing your academic advisor and research advisor. 

Aside from the program’s official information, you may also consider connecting with current students and alumni. Your talks with them, no matter how short, will likely provide valuable insights into the culture and curriculum, among other aspects, of the graduate program you’re interested in. 

Understand and Follow the Prompt

Many graduate programs make it easier – or harder, depending on your perspective – to craft a compelling personal statement by providing essay questions, known as prompts. You should answer all the points provided in the prompts and keep your answers clear, concise, and compelling. 

For this reason, you must carefully read the prompts a couple of times to gain a better understanding of its essence. When you address the points covered, you will demonstrate the following characteristics that contribute to success in graduate school: 

  • Ability to follow instructions or pay close attention to detail, which are vital in complying with program requirements
  • Enthusiastic interest in the program and a strong commitment to success once admitted since it demonstrates program research and self-reflection
  • Highlights your strong fit with the program, particularly if you answered the essay prompts appropriately

Of course, answering the points in the essay prompts makes it easier to craft your tailored personal statement because it will highlight the required and relevant information the admissions committee is looking for in their decision-making process.

You will benefit in terms of getting guidance on the preferred structure for your personal statement while also avoiding the inclusion of irrelevant information. In the case of the latter, you can increase the clear and compelling quality of your personal statement and, thus, make a more memorable impact. 

Start Early

Due to the extensive preparation in writing your personal statement, starting as early as possible is a must! You should have ample time to research the programs, brainstorm your uniqueness, and writing and editing, seeking feedback, and tailor your personal statement.

When Writing Your Personal Statement

When Writing Your Personal Statement - Image

Now that you understand the importance of your personal statement and you have the necessary information to write it, your next step is to create your first draft. If you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, just do it! You will find that it gets easier as you go along. 

Demonstrate Your Good Fit with the Program

The first order of a persuasive personal statement is demonstrating that, indeed, you’re a good fit with the program. This means that you’re most likely to succeed as a graduate student through dynamic class participation, good grades, and contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field, among other goals of graduate studies. 

Your personal statement must then contain the following qualities that make for a compelling read for the admissions committee. 

Highlight your background.

Your background and experiences, no matter how humble these may be, are crucial contributors in your continuing journey! You must then highlight them in such a way that it explains why and how these aspects of your life led to your decision to pursue graduate education. 

You can highlight your relevant coursework, your participation in research projects (i.e., either with you as the principal author or as a co-author), and your internship experiences. You should also consider highlighting capstone projects that demonstrate your expertise in and passion for your field of study. 

Be sure to relate your background and experiences to the graduate program’s values, vision and mission. Let’s say that the graduate program emphasizes multidisciplinary research collaborations among students, alumni, and professors. Your personal statement should then provide concrete examples of your background and experiences in working with diverse and inclusive teams. 

Discuss your research interests.

Many graduate programs emphasize excellence in research, particularly in fields like public health, biology, public policy, and administration, where a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation is a graduation requirement. If you’re applying to a research-centric graduate program, then it’s best to highlight your research interests and contributions, too, and align them with its research areas. 

When discussing your research interests, you can explain the specific questions and/or topics that you’re passionate about, use concrete examples in your research experience that demonstrate your keen interest in them, and provide research areas you’re planning on pursuing in the future.

You should mention relevant research experiences that contributed to your keen interest in these research areas, as well as highlight significant skills acquired and contributions made. 

You may also mention faculty members and/or research centers in the graduate program that you believe are involved in the research areas you’re interested in. You can also discuss your long-term research goals and their impact on your career goals. 

Emphasize your skills.

Your technical and transferable skills are uniquely yours – no one else has its unique combinations, strengths, and potential! It then makes sense to showcase your set of skills that contribute to your suitability as a graduate student in the program. 

Start by identifying the key skills that the graduate program values, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, aside from research skills. (This is where your list of unique qualities and skills comes in handy)

Then, provide specific examples from your personal, educational, and professional lives that demonstrate these valued skills. Be sure to provide the context, challenges, and outcomes related to these examples. 

For example, in a public health program, you can explain your research paper and/or capstone project that resulted in the development of a more effective measurement of community engagement. You can mention the awards, feedback, and outcomes of your previous work. 

Your professional certifications and specialized training are also useful in highlighting your technical skills and expertise in your field of interest. For example, if you’re applying to a Master of Science in Computer Science program, your Cisco CCNA or CompTIA A+ certifications will be considered favorably. 

Of course, your academic achievements must also be highlighted since these are an indication of your potential for academic success in graduate school. Your above-average GPA, academic distinctions, and Latin honors as well as relevant coursework are worthy of mentioning in your personal statement. 

But since academic achievements aren’t the be-all and end-all of success in graduate school, it’s also crucial to include your extracurricular involvement. But be sure to relate your extracurricular activities with the skills you learned that are, in turn, related to the values of the graduate program. 

You may want to strike a balance between your technical skills and your transferable skills – after all, success in any endeavor is about balance. Being a well-rounded individual with the ability to thrive under pressure and in diverse situations is a valued character trait among the best graduate programs.

Address weaknesses proactively.

If your academic record, professional experiences, and/or life experiences have weaknesses that may have a negative impact on your application, you must address them in a proactive manner.

In doing so, you can influence the way that the admissions committee will look at these weaknesses, namely, see them as strengths-in-the-making. 

But it’s also important to note that unless the essay prompts directly ask applicants about their weaknesses, your personal statement should not discuss your deficiencies.

Your personal statement should ideally discuss your strengths, but if it’s necessary to explain a significant weakness in your application, a brief addendum will suffice. The addendum mustn’t contain tedious excuses but must have a positive tone. 

Here are a few more tips for addressing your weaknesses, whether in the personal statement itself or in an addendum: 

  • Openly acknowledge your weaknesses but limit them to one or two, such as a lower GPA or fewer extracurricular activities. 
  • Provide a brief context of the weakness, such as a family crisis or a personal health issue
  • Demonstrate your resilience, your lessons learned, and your growth
  • Share your future plans about addressing your weakness if it’s a concern. 

Even with your weaknesses, you can still emphasize your strengths that offset them. You may also seek feedback and, throughout your brief explanation of your weakness, maintain a positive tone. 

Align with your educational and professional goals.

When you’ve discussed your multiple strengths and a few weaknesses, you can now connect the dots, so to speak. You should state in clear and certain terms the reasons for your good fit for the graduate program. Your personal statement will be stronger if you keep these tips in mind when aligning your goals with the graduate program’s values. 

  • Expressly state your reasons why your personal values are a good match for the values that the graduate program promotes. If these are inclusivity and diversity, you can state relevant coursework, previous research, and extracurricular involvement related to these values. If these are business or environmental sustainability, do the same, too. 
  • Reflect on the personal and professional experiences, lessons, and growth that contributed to your journey so far and their impact on your future success in the graduate program. 
  • Make a convincing conclusion by emphasizing your enthusiasm for and commitment to being part of the graduate program, as well as your keen interest in making meaningful contributions to the academic community.  

You don’t have to get it right the first time – nobody does – but it’s always a good thing to start your personal statement somewhere. 

Write with Clarity and Conviction

Keep in mind that your personal statement isn’t just a summary of your personal and professional achievements – it’s an opportunity to tell your story! You should then write with clarity in mind, with conviction of heart, and with compelling the readers to consider your application favorably. 

Does it sound like a tall order, especially if you have impostor syndrome about your writing skills? Again, the best place to start is just to start writing! You can also keep these tips in mind so that you can write with clarity and conviction. 

Simplicity is key

Use simple and straightforward words instead of complex language (e.g., jargon and terminology), but avoid using slang and street words, too. Being direct in your intentions means your readers will get the essence of your personal statement and determine your fit with the program.

Besides, with thousands of personal statements submitted, being direct to the point means your readers make the most of their time. 

Cliches are just as cringeworthy as irrelevant information, slang words, and overly common phrases in a personal statement. Again, provide concrete examples instead of revising personal statement templates – or worse, copying them word for word. 

Think of a specific person.

While you will not know the names of the admissions committee, you should write your personal statement with a specific person in mind. This means writing in a conversational style yet still maintaining a respectful tone. 

Use the active voice.

Don’t talk about yourself in the third person – you should use “I” in your personal statement because it’s about you and you alone! Your personal statement will also be more compelling when you use the first-person perspective. 

Provide concrete and specific examples.

We cannot overemphasize the need to provide concrete and specific examples when discussing your accomplishments, skills, and qualities! Doing so transforms the abstract into reality and, thus, makes for a compelling personal statement.

Be concise.

Most graduate programs that require a personal statement for admission purposes have either word or page limits. Your first draft will likely be verbose, which necessitates editing to remove fluff and achieve brevity 

Be authentic.

Think of your personal statement as your own introduction to the admissions committee – it’s less formal than your cover letter and resume. You have the opportunity to highlight your individuality, including your standout qualities here. 

Follow Application Instructions

Some graduate programs have specific instructions about the format, layout, and substance of the personal statement – follow them! These include word counts, number of pages, even font type and size, as well as submission deadlines. 

But if there are no specific instructions, the general rule of thumb is a personal statement 1-2 pages in length with 1-inch margins, double space between paragraphs, and formal font and size (e.g., Times New Roman, 12-point).

After Writing Your Personal Statement

After Writing Your Personal Statement - Image

When your first draft is done, you should not submit it! There’s a reason it’s called the first draft – it’s still rough around the edges – and must be edited for clarity, brevity, and quality. This is both easy since you already have your first draft and hard because of the input and work required. 

Seek feedback.

Let your trusted family and friends, mentors, and even former professors review your personal statement for constructive criticism. Be open to their feedback, too, but remember that it’s your final decision in the end. 

Proofread and edit.

You may use grammar and spelling apps to detect errors, but your informed judgment is still the best. You must, after all, consider the overall flow and structure of your personal statement. 

Tailor each personal statement.

With your master personal statement, you have a template on which you can create a tailored personal statement for every program. While your personal statement will have many things in common between different programs, there should be differences in them, too. These differences are the result of every program’s unique essay prompts, format and layout requirements, word count limits, and values. 

Tips for Writing a Personal Statement for Grad School Applications - fact

In conclusion, writing your personal statement isn’t an easy task but it can be broken down into manageable chunks! When you think of it in this manner, your personal statement will tell YOUR story and convince its readers that, indeed, you’re an excellent candidate for your dream graduate program.

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Career Center

Division of student affairs, tips: writing a personal statement for grad school.

  • It’s what you say and how you say it
  • It’s not an autobiography, but it’s the story only you can tell
  • This is your opportunity to: (1) let them know things about you they’re not going to learn through other parts of the application process (i.e., don’t focus on grades and classes which they’ll see in your transcripts), (2) fill in the blanks, (3) connect your past, present and future and (4) synthesize or tie all the pieces of your application together
  • It’s an essay: have a clear intro, conclusion and smooth transitions
  • Answer the questions asked
  • Follow the rules – especially those relating to length
  • Wait until the last minute.  Give yourself plenty of time to make and review several drafts over time
  • Bring up controversial topics, such as strong political viewpoints
  • Focus on high school experiences/accomplishments
  • Use clichés and gimmicks (quotes, “I always wanted to be x….”)
  • Incorporate too much overt self-congratulation (“I’m very compassionate”)
  • Be overconfident to the point of arrogance
  • Start off each sentence with “I…”
  • Waste space detailing what x field is (the reviewers know this and probably know more than you), but do tell them what x field means to you
  • Get too personal or too private – you want it to be a personal statement, but keep it positive and professional.
  • Blame others
  • Focus on negatives. If trying to explain a negative occurrence (i.e. a low GPA, poor test scores, etc.), make sure the problem is in the past, it’s resolved, it’s sympathetic and unlikely to happen again in grad school. You may also consider addressing some problems/negatives in an addendum
  • Use pseudo-academese; you want it to sound like you (tape record yourself reading a draft)
  • Just say what you think the committee wants to hear
  • Include your hobbies/interests unless relevant
  • Write a list of all your hobbies and interests without explaining them
  • Focus on what makes you unusual, distinctive, impressive – events, experiences (research, internships, hardships overcome), qualities, skills and other things that enhance your probability of success in x field (prove it, though, don’t just say it)
  • Discuss when and how you became interested in the field and what (and how) you’ve learned since
  • Give a sense of your motivations and commitment –  for/to applying to this program and pursuing this field – let your enthusiasm show
  • Capture their attention in the opening paragraph – find an angle, tell a story, make it memorable
  • Keep it clear and concise – be selective
  • Use short paragraphs
  • Get personal – it’s a personal statement after all
  • Put your name and identifying information on all pages
  • Use positive, confident and upbeat language (i.e., “I’m productive with my time” opposed to “I don’t waste time”)
  • Get feedback (faculty, Career Center staff, Writing Center, etc.)
  • Be concrete – avoid generalities
  • Be honest – committees want personal insight, to get a sense of the real person. They admit people, not credentials
  • Do your homework – research the program, faculty and their research, the institution (catalog, website, etc.). Address compatible areas of interest. Don’t stroke their egos (too obvious)
  • Self-reflect
  • Discuss your goals. What you mention is not a binding contract
  • Sell yourself – discuss how you’ll be an asset to the program/school, what you can contribute, how’ll you add to the program’s legacy and reputation

For more general guidelines for writing a Personal Statement see our Document Section .

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how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

Second only to the opening paragraph , the closing paragraph of a personal statement is the part that people often struggle with the most.

From repeating key points to underselling achievements and ambitions, a personal statement conclusion can be the least effective aspect of the document.

That’s frustrating, as a personal statement closing paragraph is often the part that leaves the greatest impression in the mind of the reader.

So how should you end a personal statement and create a great final paragraph?

When considering how to end a personal statement, don’t summarize existing content in a repetitive conclusion. Instead, clarify your suitability with a new example and evidence your value to the institution. Lastly, outline your ambitions in relation to the opportunities presented by the course.

I’ve broken down each of these elements in detail so that you can craft a successful personal statement final paragraph…

The Final Paragraph Must Evidence Your Suitability

Instead of detailing all the key areas in which you are a suitable candidate for the course or role early on in your personal statement, it is valuable to hold back at least one example in order to add credibility and weight to your final paragraph.

This could outline an additional course you have completed or a qualification that you have achieved, but it could equally be a volunteering opportunity or work placement that reinforces your suitability for the higher study of a particular subject.

Admissions teams really want to see that applicants are clearly suitable for the courses they’re applying for, but also that they are suitably prepared for academic success.

Essentially, they want to know that you understand what you’ll be doing on the course and that you’re qualified to do it well . That’s why driving this point home in the last paragraph is so important.

For more of my powerful personal statement strategies, just click here .

The table below gives some examples of ways in which you might evidence your suitability in your final paragraph . They won’t all apply to you, but the chances are that you will recognise some of these aspects from your own preparation for higher education, and be able to include them:

Connect your prior experiences directly to the course content, giving your subject choice credibilityExplain how an extended project or piece of research has given you the skills for higher educationOutline the ways in which membership of a club or group has given you the resilience to cope with universityConsider the ways in which your current studies have equipped you with a relevant, specific skill
Illustrate how work placements/internships have given you an applied understanding of the subjectShow evidence of research into the achievements of course alumni and link your own achievements with theirsGive an example of your ability to use high-level independent study skills for research and academic writingExplain how you have used transferable skills to meet deadlines and to remain positive and motivated

Here’s how a sentence might look in a personal statement example…

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

If you’d like a detailed post on the skills you need to include in your personal statement, then why not check this out?

Outline Your Value to the University or Employer

It’s important that the final paragraph of your personal statement clearly outlines your potential value to the organisation. To understand exactly the kind of content that admissions tutors are looking for, ask yourself this question:

How will the university I am applying for, the faculty in which I will study and the community in which I will live, be better for having me be a part of it? David Hallen

As Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin puts it:

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

If a university can see evidence that you will make a positive contribution to their organisation clearly in the final paragraph of your personal statement, then you will have left them with an excellent impression of your potential.

But how exactly might you add value, and how do you write about it concisely?

Adding Value to your Personal Statement

  • Experience of diversity when contextualised in terms of social, cultural, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or ability. Your experiences will add to the wisdom and education of your cohort at a time when identity and empathy is paramount.
  • Knowledge of more than your subject . The life experiences, travel, background and passions that make you an individual and that you can share in a positive context are vital.
  • Sports skills or related team and community experiences . From playing soccer to white-water rafting, acapella singing or ultimate frisbee, the skills you bring to share with others are an important way to add value.
  • Experience of or intention to mentor . If you can show that you intend to mentor and support other students with a particular level of expertise, you’ll be a tremendous asset.
  • Proven commitment and dedication . Explain how you have the tenacity and resilience to overcome challenges by equating that with a specific example from your own life, and give the reader the confidence that you will successfully complete the course regardless of the hardships you face.
  • If you have experiences of leadership , make these clear and indicate how these are of value to the organisation. From captaining a team to leading on a research project, your ability to motivate and facilitate those around you make you a genuine asset.

A couple of sentences in your final paragraph that meets this goal might look something like this:

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

For some excellent advice on developing some outstanding personal statement examples, check out my post here . Alternatively, using a free software package like Grammarly can really help applicants convey the depth of their academic value. Check it out here or hit the banner below…

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

Finish Your Personal Statement by Showing Ambition

The last essential element of a great final paragraph is proof of ambition relating to the content and outcome of the course you are applying for .

If you can show that you have an informed understanding of where the course can take you and a good idea of the demands of the industry you might want to enter, your final paragraph will be far more convincing.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve achieved 3 important tasks before you type a single word…

  • You’ve fully researched the course(s) you are applying for and can reference the academic content, employment opportunities and outcomes
  • You’ve got some practical and theoretical understanding of the industries related to the course, prior to application
  • You’ve given some contextualised thought to your potential role within those industries, and how the course will help you reach that goal

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

For more specific content on how original a personal statement should be, and just how to include your ambitions and experiences in a way that readers will find compelling, check this post out .

Once you’ve got some notes on these three points, you can put a sentence together that evidences your ambition, promotes your application and demonstrates your understanding of your sector. An effective couple of sentences might look like this:

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

You can watch a great tutorial on showing ambition in your personal statement below, or check out some helpful UCAS resouces .

Whatever order you decide to tackle them in, if you ensure you include the three elements detailed in this post, you’ll be sure to write a relevant and compelling final paragraph, leaving the reader confident about making you an offer.

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

Good luck with your personal statement, and don’t forget to contact me if you’d like some 1-1 support. You’ve got this! D

Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.

David Hallen

I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...

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  • How to End a Personal Statement
  • Tips on How to End a Personal Statement Successfully

Tips on How to End a Personal Statement Successfully

How to Format Your Personal Statement Correctly

5 successful ways how to end a personal statement, 5 worst ways how to end a personal statement, general tips on making a personal statement application, 5 great examples of a personal statement ending, personal statement for a medical school, personal statement for mathematics, personal statement for a law school, personal statement for a biology, personal statement for economics.

It is important to write this paper according to all requirements. With this document, you must prove that you suit the chosen position and show the admission committee or a recruiter that you are much better than all other candidates. Reading this you will learn how to end a personal statement properly.

You can create a personal statement for graduate school , a university, or any other place you want to apply to. When people create this document, they often make a big mistake when they try to write those things they think the admission committee or recruiters want to see in the ideal candidate for the position. To avoid this you can look at college application essays samples prepared by an admission essay writing service to be sure you do everything right.

You should understand there is a huge difference between this essay and an honestly written one. You need to be sincere and mention only true things about yourself. Don't try to look better than you are, just try to describe yourself brightly to be selected from tons of other applicants.

Needless to say, you have to grab the officers' or recruiters' attention, otherwise, you won't get chances to apply for a position of your dream. We suggest writing this document very carefully and thoroughly because your future depends on it. In our guide, we will give some general hints on writing and paying attention to the conclusion - it is the last part of this important paper. Go ahead and keep reading to find great tips and successful examples!

How to write personal statement ? Students need to format a personal statement just like any other kind of essay. If you want to make a strong and well-structured work, follow a three-paragraph structure:

  • Introduction — in this part you have to make a catchy beginning to grab the reader's attention. You have to mention the name of the company or the course and the position or degree you are applying for.
  • The body part — feel free to make several paragraphs here to support your candidacy. You have to provide readers with information about your personal experiences, characteristics, skills, goals, knowledge, achievements, etc. Don't forget to write the brightest examples from your experience to prove all the qualifications you mentioned.
  • Conclusion — it is a short closing paragraph where you have to thank your audience for reading. A good idea is to put a phrase you hope to hear from them soon. You need to summarize ideas shortly and wrap up your paper properly.

When you are making the conclusion for personal statement , your goal is to concentrate on the main idea of your document. Remember you should write in the laconic style to make this part short but effective. Summarize your skills and interests shortly, include your plans for the future years, and provide information about why you fit the chosen course. Be careful with the length: your personal statement conclusion should be around ⅓ of the entire paper (150-200 words). We have one more blog that has an answer on how long is a personal statement . 

The conclusion of your personal statement makes the second first impression on your audience. Use these effective hints to create a bright ending that will attract your reader:

  • Include key points about the qualities you expect of yourself when you graduate from the school. Explain why you want to study. Demonstrate your interest, why you have the inspiration to learn, and why you have the enthusiasm.
  • You can write a short concluding story related to your experience. Don't just describe your skills the chosen course needs, but tell how you have developed them.
  • Give your readers a better understanding of how you are going to use your life experience in achieving your goals. Tell about your transferable skills — this can be leadership, good organizational skills, ability to work both independently and in a team.
  • Mention that you are not afraid to use your opportunity, take new challenges and solve difficult problems. Give an explanation why you fit this course. Prove that you not only fit the selection requirements, but you have made a research to realize what this course will involve.
  • Restate the main idea of your personal statement to tie all parts of your personal statement together.

These are the things you should never write in your personal statement:

  • End up with a question and leave your readers in a suspense.
  • Writing a number of things that are not related to the main goal.
  • Providing no plans for the future and no point of view.
  • Choosing courses that are not related to the particular school.
  • Copyright infringement (if you are using personal statement examples from other people, make sure you do not copypaste words - their rights are reserved).

If you have no idea how to create a personal statement for college , we are ready to share some useful ideas that will help you to complete this task. Read them carefully to understand what information you need to put in this paper:

  • First of all, read maximum information about the course you want to choose. Make sure you started making your personal statement beforehand so that you have enough time for writing.
  • Take a sheet of paper and write down your skills, achievements, experience, activities outside of school, etc.
  • Compare the list with the course description, and highlight the most relevant points.
  • Make a clear plan what points you're going to include in your paper. Here you need to answer two questions: "Why did you decide to choose this course?" and "Why are you suitable to study the chosen subject?".
  • Try to explain why you chose a certain school among many others. For example, if you are making a personal statement for a medical school, you have to explain to the admission committee why you are interested in medicine and why you want to choose it as your future profession.
  • Don't just list your personal experiences and activities, but describe them - include in your personal statement bright examples to prove them.
  • Make sure your work is structured properly. Remember the entire paper should not be too long: 500 words is enough. It's not a good idea to overdo this number, because the committee doesn't read papers that don't fit requirements.
  • Try to be honest and sincere, never try to write false things because it will eventually come out. Just be yourself and don't panic.
  • Don't bring any unimportant information. Never include in this paper your negative experience.
  • Your audience has to feel excited from the first sentence of the personal statement. Keep in mind that boring & uninteresting papers have no chances to win.
  • When your paper is finished, check every page thoroughly & correct all grammar and logical mistakes .

We want to share four successful examples that can be helpful if you feel insecure concerning how to end a personal statement correctly. Read the most successful examples to help you in writing a personal statement of your own!

I am a self-motivated & responsible person & I am looking forward to challenges. I am totally ready to solve difficult problems. I know a medical career has a lot of demands & I am sure that my desire to become a good doctor & my volunteering experience in the hospital will be very helpful.
I decided to start my career in the mathematics field because I always love my mathematics studies, so I was never in a doubt about choosing it as my future degree. I hope that my experience & my willingness to learn math will help me to make a successful career of a mathematician.
I am interested in many subject areas but lately, I turned my attention to a career in the law sphere. I can pay attention to the tiniest details; I hope this will help me to become a good lawyer. I was always good at analyzing information; I am able to find strong evidence & present persuasive arguments.

Keep in mind that there is one more blog on law school personal statement . It has a useful guide and necessary tips to help with this kind of writing.

Biology is a subject that always drew my attention. I am interested in living things & evolution, & I always work hard to find explanations of everything. I am ready for the most difficult challenges & I hope that my experience in biomedical research & my ability to gather & analyze information will help me to become a successful biologist.
Economics is a challenging subject that always attracts my attention. I understand the importance of this discipline for the entire world & I have chosen it as my future degree. I believe that my ability to achieve goals & attention to details will help me to become a good economist.

We hope you have found a lot of useful information on how to end a personal statement in our article. Good luck in writing your own document on the high level & making your own bright future! You may always refer to a professional writing agency and save your time!

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If you dream of serving your community as a dentist, you’ll need to enroll into a respective higher education program and provide certain documents to the committee. One of them is your dental school personal statement, which helps grab the interest of the admissions committee.A personal statement i...

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I’m In Grad School & This Is How I Wrote A Strong Personal Statement

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

 After spending weeks researching programs, making pros and cons lists, and making sure it’s the right step for you , you’re finally ready to dive into your grad school applications. Compared to undergraduate applications, grad school applications require a bit more material, and depending on the programs you’re applying to , each one may have specific requirements When I was applying to grad school, one university required certain genres to be represented in my writing sample with specific word counts, while another allowed me the choice of material I wanted to submit and was more open regarding the word count of each piece.  

However, regardless of the universities and programs you’ll apply to, they all require the same application material: the personal statement. It seems easy in theory — at least, it seemed that way for me. But sitting down to actually write it was a totally different story. I went through at least four different drafts and yes, one draft was even done the old-school way, by hand with pen and paper. Knowing how to write a personal statement for grad school seems daunting at first, but here are some tips to help you write yours from a grad student who’s been there.

woman who is a medical writer, a job you can get with a biology degree

Don’t overthink it. Just start.  

If you’re like me, you’re probably waiting for the right moment to sit down and write your personal statement: a clean desk, a fresh cup of coffee, and a clear mind. But if you keep trying to wait for that moment, it’ll make writing your personal statement harder. For me, the difficulty in waiting for that moment manifested as anxiety. I kept a note on my phone with ideas of lines I wanted to include in my personal statement and a list of ideas I wanted to expand upon, but I still felt an impending sense of anxiety the longer I waited. 

When it came down to it, I woke up one morning during winter break and just decided to go for it. Jumping into it definitely helped because my mind wasn’t focused on trying to be perfect. Instead, I simply wanted it done and that’s where it all came together. 

Think of it like your cover letter to grad school.  

Looking back at the personal statements I wrote, they are very much written like a cover letter to the admissions departments of the schools I applied to, without the overtly professional tone and a little more word count to work with. You do want your personal statement to reflect your professionalism and dedication to the program you’re applying to, but you don’t want to lose your personal voice. 

In the same way that you’d want to stand out as an ideal candidate for your dream job, you want to have the same effect with your personal statement. Or, in the same way you don’t want your cover letter to just restate your resume, you don’t want to tell the same story the admissions team could already gather from your transcripts and other documents. 

Most universities have a personal statement writing guide on their website for applicants to reference. For example, some of the questions to consider when writing that are listed in the personal statement guides from Yale University , Stanford University , and Purdue University include: 

  • What would the admissions team benefit from hearing about that isn’t already reflected on your transcript? 
  • Is there a weakness you can highlight that will showcase your perseverance and your problem-solving skills? 
  • If you are sending in a resume or CV along with your application, is there an experience listed there that you can further highlight in your personal statement? 
  • What event or experience inspired you to pursue your chosen field or area of research?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

women in hijab studying on picnic blanket

Tell a story with your personal statement. 

Now, you aren’t writing a novel, but you want your personal statement to stand out. Start your statement with a hook that will grab the admission team’s attention and keep them invested in not only your statement, but you as a candidate. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have been turning to grad school, but while application numbers have increased, enrollment numbers continue to dwindle . So, you want to make sure your personal statement leaves a mark. It can be the deciding factor on whether or not the admissions department chooses you.

Don’t be afraid to get vulnerable. 

All great stories are vulnerable in some way. As a writing grad student, I hear it all the time and can attest. So don’t be afraid to get vulnerable in your personal statement. Now, you don’t want to trauma dump on the admissions department, nor do you want to reveal anything you wouldn’t want to in the long run, but you do want to form a connection with the people reading your personal statement. The line between oversharing and being authentic can be blurry, but Forbes has some questions and insight you can consider while writing your personal statement. 

One of the programs I applied to was at the same university I was enrolled in as an undergrad, so in my personal statement, I reflected on what my experience at the university was like. I included elements of me being an international student and what it would mean for me and my education if given the opportunity to continue my education on the same campus I’d found a home at. 

pexels shvets production 7516381?width=1024&height=1024&fit=cover&auto=webp

Show how you’d fit in at the university or program. 

Going off of the previous point, you’re applying to certain schools and programs because you can ultimately see yourself succeeding there. Don’t be afraid to express that in your personal statement. If the school you’re applying to has a motto, slogan, or mascot, try to see how you can incorporate it into your personal statement. A little school spirit can go a long way. If there are any faculty teaching in the program whose research you admire or who are academic role models to you, mention them in your personal statement. If you come across as invested in the university you’re applying to, chances are they’ll want to invest in you. 

The more eyes on it, the better. 

Send your personal statement to your peers, your parents, or your academic advisor for review. If you’re spending hours or days working on your personal statement, chances are you may miss a word here and there or a punctuation mark. So even if you’re setting aside time to proofread and polish it, getting someone else to read it can help ensure that the final version is as polished as can be. It also won’t hurt to get some feedback on the content as well! 

Now, you do have a word count to meet with your personal statement, so chances are you won’t be able to hit every point you’d want to make. But if you consider these tips while writing yours, you’ll be able to write a personal statement you’re proud of and that will reflect yourself as an ideal grad school candidate. 

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How to End a Personal Statement: Strong Tips And Examples

EssayEdge > Blog > How to End a Personal Statement: Strong Tips And Examples

When everything is written down, thoughts are made up together and you see the whole picture of your essay right in front of your eyes, you may think of how to end a personal statement . It may seem to be the easiest part of writing, but, to some extent, it is not. The destiny of the conclusion is to formulate the last impression of you as a personality. 

Table of Contents:

How to close a personal statement

Concluding the results of a completed job is always the most pleasing step in doing anything. Moreover, you can see with your own eyes the way you have passed to achieve your aim. The same regards personal statement conclusions. The key point of writing the conclusion is to accentuate the willingness of the applicant to receive a studying offer and get admitted to the educational institution. You have to think closely about the last paragraph in your essay. It must be the last bullet point to persuade the reader to do next-step actions further.

It may be difficult to decide what exact point you want to add at the end of the essay to complete the writing. First of all, take a break, read your essay several times, and summarize in your mind everything you have written. It is necessary to write standout sentences in your personal statement conclusion to assure the admission tutor that you are the one who is worth getting a place in the educational institution.

Brandon D.

While writing, remember that you should concentrate on your essay’s main idea, whether it is the given topic or your personal opinion. The summary should be short and terse, but expedient. Moreover, keep in mind that you are supposed to fit into the given requirements. Your conclusion should be about ⅓ of the entire paper.

And remember to check, check, and check everything a few times.

How to end personal statement and not to fail it

While thinking about how to end personal statement, you may come up with a bunch of questions. The main one may be about what to write and not screw everything up. Here are a few examples of what you shouldn’t write in your conclusion paragraph.

  • Rhetoric questions Forget about writing the statements you don’t know how to answer. This may only confuse the reader and leave them in suspense. In this way, you may only underline the point of not knowing something.
  • Writing a list of your skills without proofs Even if you want to demonstrate all your skills, don’t do it without proof. Don’t waste the words for just designating the things you are able to do or the knowledge you have. It is wonderful that you have all these aspects, but the admission tutor may not understand the destiny of just naming. Try to involve them all in your main paragraph of the essay.
  • Not expressing your future intensions Don’t just tell about your former personal background. It would be good to add to your personal statement conclusion some ideas on your future perspectives. Describe what you want to get out of the studying process and how you would embed it into your life and career.
  • Plagiarism from successful essays It is not prohibited to use samples of successful essays just like a pattern. However, you must not copy paste as all the rights of the writer are reserved. It may only spoil your reputation and will not bring any advantages to your essay. If you feel that you need help, it is better to refer to personal statement editing rather than plagiarize.
  • Writing the statements that are not related to the topic It is very good if you have a lot of stories to share. Though, you must be careful and think closely about whether the story you write about related to the main topic of your essay or not.

Need help? Check out EssayEdge editing services:

Personal statement conclusion: tips on doing such a thing

So, how to conclude a personal statement? Your conclusion should be comprehensive and impressible. Below you can find a few tips on how to write everything well.

  • Take a break Really! It is worth it so to start in advance to have time to leave your writing for some time. After a break, you will read it with a new sight. Maybe you will remove something or, vice versa, add some more information. While having a break, you can think about the conclusion, you may recollect something in your mind that is worth to be written down.
  • Read everything many times Yes, you may feel aversion from your essay, but remember that it is a step to your future success and that is why you have to be attentive to the details. Try to figure out the main storyline of your essay and hold it till the conclusion. Peruse everything that is already written many times and you may feel what is missing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help If you feel confused and don’t know how to close a personal statement, you don’t have to be scared. Everything can be resolved, remember about that. Ask your friends or parents to read your personal statement as they don’t know you. They may share with you some ideas and tell the general impression. According to that knowledge, you can easily make up your thoughts. If you are still not sure about your text, you can use personal statement editing services. Professionals will touch you up to the thought that is in need.
  • Summarize everything you mentioned above Yes, it is a very useful skill if you can do a summary, no matter if it is your essay or review of achievements that you have been doing through the years. Placing the accents and underlining your best sides would be a good idea.

Personal statement conclusion examples

As it is mentioned previously, there is nothing wrong with using personal statement conclusion examples. In this way, you can find inspiration and feel more confident and secure that you move in the right way. You shouldn’t neglect using successful examples to see how it works, but in no way, you mustn’t copy paste such samples into your essay.

Here is an example of a successful personal statement ending.

To summarize everything mentioned above, I reckon that I am that one person who is worthy of getting the allowance to enter the university. The main reason for that is my strong motivation to implicate the knowledge I’m supposed to get while studying, into the life of people around the world. As I mentioned before, I have such goals and a number of gained skills. Being admitted to the university may support my intentions and help me to develop the abilities I’ve already had. Moreover, I feel that this is a place where I must improve myself. I have a lot of familiar students and their stories about studying and university life impress me every time I hear them. My plans are global and I can make them real while studying and after graduating as I will have resources and experience. 

It is an example of a successful conclusion as the applicant highlighted their motivation, made an accent on the plans, and summarized the story that was told in the main paragraph. Also, this person mentioned that they have a kind of connection to the community of this university that gives an understanding that it will be easy for him to become a part of the university society.

Ending the personal statement is difficult, but the most pleasing part of the whole essay. With patience and efforts, everything can become possible. You can use examples to get inspiration. Moreover, using tips can really help you to cope with the given tasks. Remember that everything will be fine.  More details on how to write personal statement you can find in the EssayEdge blog. 

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  • Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Writing Sample

Details about submitting a statement of purpose, personal statement, and a writing sample as part of your degree program application

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Statement of Purpose 

The statement of purpose is very important to programs when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Your statement should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You should describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen degree program, noting the experiences that shaped your research ambitions, indicating briefly your career objectives, and concisely stating your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Your degree program of interest may have specific guidance or requirements for the statement of purpose, so be sure to review the degree program page for more information. Unless otherwise noted, your statement should not exceed 1,000 words. 

Personal Statement

Please describe the personal experiences that led you to pursue graduate education and how these experiences will contribute to the academic environment and/or community in your program or Harvard Griffin GSAS. These may include social and cultural experiences, leadership positions, community engagement, equity and inclusion efforts, other opportunities, or challenges. Your statement should be no longer than 500 words.

Please note that there is no expectation to share detailed sensitive information and you should refrain from including anything that you would not feel at ease sharing. Please also note that the Personal Statement should complement rather than duplicate the content provided in the Statement of Purpose. 

Visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a Personal Statement is required. The degree program pages will be updated by early September indicating if the Personal Statement is required for your program.

Writing Sample 

Please visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a writing sample is required. When preparing your writing sample, be sure to follow program requirements, which may include format, topic, or length. 

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3 Successful Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Article written by Ellen McCammon. Originally published on PrepScholar.com.

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40 Phrases Every Graduate Student Should Know

  • Publication date June 28, 2024
  • Categories: Grad School
  • Categories: glossary , graduate school , online grad school , online learning , terminology , terms to know

Three University students are seen sitting together in class as they work together on an grad school terminology. They have a laptop open between them as they each give input for the assignment.

Graduate school can feel like it has its own language. You may have heard students and faculty say certain phrases in passing, but what does it mean? Are these terms critical for your own studies, or are they just academic lingo? At WPI, we are experts in all things  graduate school , and we’ve got your back! Click through to discover some essential phrases you may encounter during grad school and what they really mean!

You may have heard this phrase before from faculty describing student status.  refers to students who have been formally accepted into a degree program.  refers to students taking courses at the university without being formally admitted to a degree program.
  When considering advanced education, you might choose between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree. A graduate certificate is a focused, shorter program that provides specialized knowledge in a specific area. A graduate degree, such as a master’s or doctorate, involves more extensive study and research in a broader field. 
These are terms that refer to the type of courses students are taking.   refers to learning that occurs   without real-time interaction, such as recorded lessons and flexible deadlines.   refers to learning in real-time, with live interaction between students and instructors, such as a traditional classroom.
You may have encountered these terms when exploring graduate engineering programs. refers to a professionally oriented degree focusing on practical skills, designed to prepare students for engineering practice. , on the other hand, is usually research-oriented, requiring a thesis or significant research project, and focuses on developing theoretical knowledge and research skills.
In graduate programs, you might hear about TAs and RAs. A is a graduate student who assists with teaching duties, such as grading, leading discussion sections, or lecturing. A , in contrast, is a graduate student who assists with research projects, often working closely with faculty on experiments, data analysis, and other research activities.

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

These terms often come up in discussions about graduate research requirements. A is a research project required for a master’s degree, involving original research on a specific topic and presenting the findings in a written document. A , however, is an extensive research project required for a doctoral degree, involving more comprehensive and in-depth research.
In academic settings, you might hear about cohorts and classes. A is a group of students who start and progress through a program together, fostering a sense of community and support. A , however, refers to a group of students attending a particular course who may or may not interact outside that course.
Graduate students often face these exams at different stages. cover a wide range of material from the student’s field of study and are usually required to earn a degree. assess a student’s readiness to undertake dissertation research and are typically part of doctoral programs.
Graduate students often have both advisors and mentors. An is a faculty member assigned to guide a student through their academic program, helping with course selection and research direction. A , meanwhile, is a more experienced individual who provides broader career and personal guidance, often going beyond academic concerns.
In academic and professional contexts, you might be asked to provide a CV or a resume. A curriculum is a detailed document outlining your academic achievements, publications, and professional history. A , in contrast, is a concise document highlighting your skills, experiences, and education, typically for job applications.

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  These terms are often used interchangeably in academic institutions. Credits are points earned by completing courses, used to measure academic progress toward a degree. Units, though often synonymous with credits, can sometimes refer to different measurements depending on the institution. 
  When writing research papers, you’ll encounter both the abstract and the introduction. An abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, providing an overview of the main points and findings. The introduction, on the other hand, is the opening section that introduces the topic, provides background information, and outlines the research question and objectives.
  Graduate students often seek financial support through fellowships and scholarships. A fellowship is financial support that often includes a stipend, tuition, and research funds, and is usually awarded based on academic merit. A scholarship, however, is financial aid awarded based on merit or need, typically for tuition support. 
  In the context of research funding, you’ll hear about grants and fellowships. A is funding provided for a specific research project, often requiring detailed proposals and reports. A offers broader financial support for a student, which may include a stipend and tuition, without being tied to a specific project. 
  In the journey of a PhD student, candidacy and postdoctoral positions are important milestones. Candidacy refers to a stage in a PhD program where the student has passed required exams and can begin dissertation research. A postdoctoral position, however, is a research position undertaken after completing a doctoral degree, focusing on further specialized research. 

how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

In professional programs, you might encounter internships and practicums. An internship is work experience, often paid, that provides practical experience in a student’s field. A practicum, on the other hand, is a supervised practical application of previously studied theory, often part of professional programs like education or healthcare. 
  Many universities and colleges alike refer to , or classes required to take in a degree program. You will also hear about , which are optional courses that students can choose based on their interests.  
  You might already be familiar with GPA terminology if you attended high school in America. is a numerical representation of a student’s academic performance. However, some classes or exams may be referred to as where students receive either a “pass” or “fail” instead of a traditional letter or number grade. 
  You may hear this term referring to student academic work. An is a short, written overview of a research study’s purpose, methods, results, and conclusions, usually about a paragraph or so. A refers to a longer synopsis that can include various aspects of the entire document or topic to provide the reader with more context. 
  You may hear this term referring to student academic work. An is a short, written overview of a research study’s purpose, methods, results, and conclusions, usually about a paragraph or so. A refers to a longer synopsis that can include various aspects of the entire document or topic to provide the reader with more context. 

We hope that this article can help you decipher some of the tricky terminology you might hear about grad school. Understanding these terms can make navigating your graduate education journey smoother and more manageable. Whether you’re just starting to explore graduate programs or are already immersed in your studies, having a clear grasp of these concepts will help you make informed decisions and better communicate with your peers and faculty. Good luck on your academic journey and remember, every step you take brings you closer to achieving your goals! 

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IMAGES

  1. 💌 Personal statement conclusion. How to Conclude Your Personal

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  2. 11+ SAMPLE Grad School Personal Statement in PDF

    how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

  3. Grad School Admission is Real if You Read a Personal Statement Sample

    how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

  4. Graduate School Personal Statement

    how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

  5. writing a personal statement for graduate school: Step-by-step guide

    how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

  6. Your college personal statement as well as writing a college PS for

    how to conclude a personal statement for grad school

VIDEO

  1. Conquer Grad School Application Anxiety with this FREE Tool

  2. Grad School Statement Advice

  3. Writing a Winning Graduate School Statement (workshop)

  4. 3 TIPS TO HELP YOU STRENGTHEN YOUR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE FOR GRAD SCHOOL! #gradschooltips

  5. Preparing to Write Your Personal Statement

  6. How to Write the Personal Statement for UGRAD || SOP for Global UGRAD

COMMENTS

  1. How to Close Your Graduate School Personal Statement

    Make sure not to write with the assumption of actually being accepted. A good example would be, "I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my interest in your program in person.". Keep it short, about four to five sentences is adequate. It is important to stay focused and not to add any new information in the closing paragraph.

  2. How to Write Your Personal Statement

    Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene. An effective way to catch the reader's attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you're stuck, try thinking about: A personal experience that changed your perspective. A story from your family's history.

  3. 3 Successful Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

    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 ...

  4. How To End A Personal Statement: Make A Lasting Impression

    To do this, take the most heart-moving story from the body of your personal statement on what inspired you to apply for your course. Mention the main idea of it in a sentence or two, then end with a "for this reason, I believe pursuing [mention course] is the best way to achieve my [state your why].". If your course is related to education ...

  5. How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School: Tips & Samples

    Strike the right tone. While it's important to give readers a glimpse of your personality, avoid oversharing or revealing intimate details of your life experiences. You should also avoid making jokes or using humorous cliches. Maintain a professional tone throughout your writing. Start strong and finish strong.

  6. How to Format & Structure Your Personal Statement for Grad School

    Paragraph 5: Conclusion. In the fifth and final paragraph, you should reiterate your enthusiasm for the program, summarize your main points, and express your commitment to contributing to the field. This final paragraph should leave a lasting impression on the reader, emphasizing your potential for success in the graduate program and beyond ...

  7. How to Write a Strong Personal Statement for Graduate School

    The more your personal statement tells your school about you as an individual, the more it will stand out. Don't write something to impress someone else. This includes language, style and tone. Authenticity is important and resonates well. Tell the truth, in your voice, from your perspective. Use your story to connect.

  8. PDF Writing a Graduate School Application Essay

    composing your application essay/statement:Demonstrate motivation, enthusiasm, maturity, and personal uniqueness, while articulating clearly why the program is a good match for your interests; explain your passion for the field and note a. connections to the department or program.Articulate long-term goals, why you want to go to graduate school ...

  9. PDF How to Write Your Grad School Personal Statement by Jessica Tomer

    conclusion, and you're almost there! The following best practices will take you the rest of the way to a winning grad school application essay. Personal statement DON'TS • Don't repeat other parts of your application. Your GPA, test scores, and most activities will be covered sufficiently in your basic application • Don't be negative.

  10. Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School 2022+

    Graduate Personal Statement Examples. Below are three personal statement examples for grad school. Read these to get an idea of what to expect when writing yours. Keep in mind that different schools may have specific requirements. Some might give you a prompt to write your personal statement. Make sure to answer the prompt fully.

  11. PDF Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School

    ld to describe your scholarly interests.• Graduate school is extremely challenging—inte. ectually, emotionally, and financially. Convey that you have the energy and perseverance to succeed through examples of challenges you . w you've overcome them.What to avoid:• Cliché: Statements like, "I've always wanted to help people," "I ...

  12. Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School: Good, Bad ...

    Comparing Graduate School Personal Statement Examples. ... Exploring Personal Statement Conclusions; Conclusion Paragraph "Strong" Example: The first two sentences are reiterating some of the major points that the applicant would have provided details about in the body of the essay, this helps the reader to remember your key points. ...

  13. How to Write a Compelling Grad School Personal Statement

    Conclusion. In your conclusion, summarize your key points and reiterate your passion for the program. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the institution. End on a positive note and leave the reader with a memorable impression. Remember to be authentic, showcase your motivation, highlight your experiences, convey your writing ...

  14. What is a Personal Statement for Grad School?

    A personal statement should include a description of your talents, achievements, interests and goals. More importantly, it should convey how accomplishments and achievements are relevant to the program you're applying to. Institutions want students who will contribute something valuable to their various graduate programs, and certainly ...

  15. How to Write a Strong Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

    Key #3: Be Specific in the Details. Key to writing a great personal statement is being specific. This means being specific both in the words you use (e.g., avoiding using "thing") and in the details you write. Many candidates make the mistake of being vague in the conclusion.

  16. Personal History Statement

    Tips for writing your Personal History Statement. Personal History Statement. The Personal History Statement helps reviewers learn more about you as a whole person and as a potential graduate student. This may include relevant details on community service, leadership roles, participation in diverse teams, and significant barriers that you overcame to pursue graduate studies.

  17. Helpful Tips for Writing a Personal Statement for Grad School

    Your professional experience is also a crucial contributor to your career path and your desire to earn a graduate degree for career advancement. Better yet, write down the insights you gained that differentiate you from other applicants. 5. Personal interests and passions related to your chosen field of study.

  18. Tips: Writing a Personal Statement For Grad School

    Use short paragraphs. Get personal - it's a personal statement after all. Put your name and identifying information on all pages. Use positive, confident and upbeat language (i.e., "I'm productive with my time" opposed to "I don't waste time") Proofread. Get feedback (faculty, Career Center staff, Writing Center, etc.)

  19. How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

    When considering how to end a personal statement, don't summarize existing content in a repetitive conclusion. Instead, clarify your suitability with a new example and evidence your value to the institution. Lastly, outline your ambitions in relation to the opportunities presented by the course. I've broken down each of these elements in ...

  20. The Best Ways How to End a Personal Statement Properly

    These are the things you should never write in your personal statement: End up with a question and leave your readers in a suspense. Writing a number of things that are not related to the main goal. Providing no plans for the future and no point of view. Choosing courses that are not related to the particular school.

  21. I'm In Grad School & This Is How I Wrote A Strong Personal Statement

    Tell a story with your personal statement. Now, you aren't writing a novel, but you want your personal statement to stand out. Start your statement with a hook that will grab the admission team's attention and keep them invested in not only your statement, but you as a candidate. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have been turning to ...

  22. Expert Tips for Crafting a Strong Personal Statement Conclusion

    The key point of writing the conclusion is to accentuate the willingness of the applicant to receive a studying offer and get admitted to the educational institution. You have to think closely about the last paragraph in your essay. It must be the last bullet point to persuade the reader to do next-step actions further.

  23. Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Writing Sample

    Please also note that the Personal Statement should complement rather than duplicate the content provided in the Statement of Purpose. Visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a Personal Statement is required. The degree program pages will be updated by early September indicating if the Personal ...

  24. 3 Successful Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

    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 ...

  25. 40 Phrases Every Graduate Student Should Know

    Thesis vs. Dissertation: These terms often come up in discussions about graduate research requirements. A thesis is a research project required for a master's degree, involving original research on a specific topic and presenting the findings in a written document. A dissertation, however, is an extensive research project required for a doctoral degree, involving more comprehensive and in ...