Statement Of Purpose – Guide and Sample

The Statement of Purpose also called a personal statement is an essay or written statement given by an applicant who wishes to apply in some college, university, or graduates school. The application essay is a common and important part of a university or college admissions process.
Some universities may require one or more essays to be completed, while others make essays optional or supplementary.
The Statement of Purpose is a personal statement about an individual or student. It contains details such as who they are, what has influenced their career path, professional interests and where they plan to go after their university education. The statement of purpose is like a chance for the candidate to talk directly to the admissions committee. It is a means to stand out from among various candidates with similar qualifications. It is a chance to convince the admissions committee that you have the uniqueness, the thirst for knowledge that could add value to your class.

How to write a great SOP?

To write a good SOP, firstly it is better to start with points that reflect one & self. We can start with introspection and mentioning all the important events in your life that have positively influenced your thoughts, personality, actions, etc. It would be best to talk about motivations,
aspirations, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and even failures, etc. Mention about why you are interested to study in the particular field and put across your passion for the same. The reader while reading your SOP has to know that you’re passionate about that particular field of study or course. Also, mention failures and what you learn from it and have worked towards making it a success after a failure. An individual should be able to express himself well and his suitability and passion towards the particular area of study. These are some ways through which we can write a good SOP.

What should be the length of an SOP?

The length of an SOP mostly depends on the course and university selected. The SOP should have the complete and essential information of the student’s profile. . It can be longer or shorter depending upon the requirement of the university.

  • A good SOP ranges from 800 to 1500 words.
  • An SOP should be around one or one and a half page of a word document.
  • Generally should not exceed two pages.
  • An ideal SOP usually consists of 5 paragraphs of about 200 to 250 words each.
  • The length of each paragraph must be consistent as too long paragraphs may become boring to read.

Why is Statement of Purpose Important?

A Statement of Purpose is important in the admission process. It gives the information about a candidate’s profile to the admissions committee.

  • The SOP is a key to unlocking an individual’s admission to a particular university.
  • An SOP helps universities to decide if the applicant is suitable and is interested in a particular program or not.
  • An SOP acts as a first impression about yourself to the admission officer.
  • It gives a clear understanding of one & personality, attitude, ambition etc.
  • The SOP defines the candidate’s career goals and motivation.

Sample Format for SOP

An SOP does not have a fixed format. However, the content must be cohesive and connected.

  • The first paragraph can have a self-introduction and goals.
  • The next two paragraphs must consist of career progression from school to present.
  • The SOP should state your motivation.
  • Then mention about why you wish to study that particular course and college.
  • The SOP should state your reasons for studying in a country.
  • The SOP should state why you intend to study abroad.
  • Lastly, the last paragraph must tell about how you plan to achieve your goals.
  • It should mention what you intend to do after the course.
  • The SOP should neither be too short nor too long.
  • The SOP should define everything clearly.

Statement Of Purpose for MBA

A Statement of Purpose is compulsory for admission in any Business School and its value is as much as that of your GMAT score. A well-written SOP can cover for your performance in GMAT. 

Sample Format for MBA

  • Introduce yourself well and your inspiration to choose the field of MBA
  • Explain your future plans in your choice of field
  • As an MBA course accepts students from different backgrounds, you must explain why you chose MBA after your Bachelor’s degree
  • Elaborate on your work experience, the majority of colleges have work experience as mandatory criteria. But, do not limit your SOP to that
  • If you do not have work experience, you must mention the jobs of responsibility that you have undertaken
  • Research about the University and mention the reasons why you choose them 
  • Conclude your SOP with your future plans, short-term or long-term.

Statement of Purpose for Masters

SOP for Masters is an essential criterion for many Universities that offer Master’s level courses. A good SOP can exponentially increase your chances to get admission to your dream university as it is considered one of the most important documents of judgment.

Sample format for Masters

  • Your introduction should be very engaging. The reader should get the idea of your interest in the course in the first few lines itself
  • Mention your reasons on continuing down the path of your field of interest
  • Write about any work experience, workshops, or seminars
  • You must prove your interest in the course with all the means necessary
  • The SOP should be centered on your research in Masters 
  • Your SOP should conclude convincing the reader about your education plans

Statement of Purpose for PhD

A Statement of Purpose for PhD is highly focused on research.  The key idea while writing an SOP for PhD is your contribution to the research in the University. Writing a good SOP for pursuing PhD is very crucial as it represents all your hard work in your field and “sells” your plan for Doctorate in that field.

Sample format for PhD

  • Introduce yourself and your research plan
  • You can talk about your research topic, approach towards it and any backup research ideas that you have
  • Your past academic experience can work as proof of your passion towards your field
  • Since it is the epitome of all courses, the SOP for it needs to be reasonable and professional
  • Mention any research papers that you have written with a brief summary of it
  • You must mention why you chose that particular university for research.  Refer to their department and faculty, which makes it look more personal
  • Write about your career goals, be it short-term or long-term
  • End your SOP with a humble note 


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