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How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement

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Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School

Why Do You Need a Personal Statement?
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As the wife of an active duty military man, I have had to make many compromises in life, but with all of the challenges, opportunities have arisen. It may not have been my first choice to move every couple of years, but each new location has given me the opportunity to teach our two daughters more about the world we live in It must have driven my mother crazy to know that the minute a tomato left on the counter too long began to mold and decompose it suddenly became endlessly fascinating to me, and must therefore not be thrown out.

Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. I am a very different person now than the one I was just a few short years ago.

Events in my life, both planned and unexpected, have conspired to bring me to a place where I know for sure that teaching is in my blood and I am now seeking admission to the Ph.

In the two years that have passed since I earned my undergraduate degree, much has changed in my life. I returned to my homeland of Malasia after six years of living in the United States and began working for a major international company. My family never had much money for food, let alone presents. I am passionate about becoming a tax accountant. This is probably not a sentence one hears everyday, if ever, but for me it is true.

I know many people fear and loath taxes, and are frightened and put off by the complex laws that govern their applications, but I am just the opposite; they fascinate me Although it might seem like it simply involves luck, getting into graduate school involves more than just having your name randomly drawn out of a pile.

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. This shows that you are informed about and genuinely invested in the program. Plan on going through multiple drafts. Another important thing here is to avoid cliches and gimmicks.

The first will make your writing banal; the second is likely to make you stand out in a bad way. The personal statement is not a confessional booth. You should also be careful with how you deploy humor and jokes. When in doubt, err towards the side of being as inoffensive as possible. You should be professional, but conversational.

Our graduate school experts have been kind enough to provide some successful grad school personal statement examples.

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. 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: Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points? We have the industry's leading GRE prep program. Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible. 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. Recent years have cemented that interest. In January , my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase. 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: This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background.

My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career. 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. 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.

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. Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.

This was a successful personal statement; I got into and attended! 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. So you need more samples for your personal statement for graduate school? Most of examples are posted as part of writing guides published online by educational institutions.

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.

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. Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program.

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4 SAMPLE GRADUATE SCHOOL ESSAYS #1. "From Working Poor to Elite Scholar" --This essay uses an outstanding combination of personal information and academic exposition. The personal information makes the reader interested in this young woman as a person, and the academic information proves that such interest is.

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Don’t make assumptions about your graduate school personal statements. Many programs simply ask you to submit a personal statement without any further guidance. Other programs will tell you exactly how they want the essay structured along with word count limits and formatting requirements.

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For something as important as your grad school essay, you're going to want expert input. Put our pros to work to help you write the best grad school personal statement when you choose from our graduate school essay services. 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.

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Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School. Writing a personal statement for graduate school may at first seem like an overwhelming task. It sets the tone for your grad school application after all. While every personal statement should be different, these examples can help you brainstorm ideas and give you a place to start. Graduate Personal Statement: Rather than a letter, a personal statement for graduate school is an essay. It's intended to show who you are as a person, your personal and academic goals, and why you might be a good fit for the program.