A personal statement for masters program is one of the most important parts of your college application and writing a good one is what’s the exception between receiving an offer and being rejected.
If you’ve been tasked with presenting a personal statement, you should keep in mind that whatever you submit must put you forward as the right candidate for the course. Additionally, it should convince the admissions officers that you deserve a place on your program of study.
Achieving the above, is a skill most postgraduate students are yet to acquire but thankfully this article on How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters covers everything you need to know on doing this.
In this article you’ll learn:
- What is a personal statement?
- Tips for making your personal statement for masters stand out
- How to write a personal statement for masters
- Personal statement for masters sample
- Examples of personal statement for masters
- Conclusion – things to avoid when writing a personal statement for masters
Read: Admission Interview Tips.
What Is a Personal Statement?
A personal statement AKA admissions or application essay or statement of purpose is a type of essay or written statement a candidate presents to a college, university, or graduate school they are applying to, explaining why they want to attend that school, study a particular course, and why they would be a perfect fit for these things.
A personal statement for masters is an essay you submit specifically for your postgraduate application. Writing one presents the opportunity for you to promote yourself to a school and show the admissions teachers that you are the perfect candidate for a course.
Tips For Making Your Personal Statement For Masters Stand Out
Before we get into how you should write a statement of purpose for masters, we would first like to share with you certain tips to include in your essay to make it stand out from that of other applicants and be convincing enough to any admissions officer that reads it. The tips we have mentioned here, cover general things like starting and ending your personal statement, timing, length, and what to include and what not to include in the essay, etc.
1. Starting And Ending A Personal Statement
When starting a personal statement, you would want to right off the bat grab the reader’s attention. To do this, start the statement by writing about your degree of choice, next why you want to study it and then how you got interested in it.
The next 2 sentences after that should cover a summary of your background in the chosen field, and you conclude by saying what you plan to do once you acquire your graduate degree.
Also start with that the evaluators reading want to hear first, then every other information should come second. You will notice we’ve used in the sop examples for masters we will share with you later in this article.
2. Plan Ahead
A personal statement is not something you rush while writing, which means if you want to get something good before you application then you must start to decide things like the length and how long it should take to complete.
Let us throw more light on this…
For length, a personal statement should be brief ranging somewhere between 500 -700 words, although schools often detect how long it should be. So, this is dependent on the institution you are applying to.
In terms of what to say in a statement, you could include personal experiences like why you were driven to apply for the program, an experience you had with a scholar in your chosen discipline, a course you took that inspired you to pursue masters, or a key moment during your studies which further motivated you.
No matter what you decide to write, just keep in mind that you need to take your time to craft something good even if it means creating several drafts before the real thing and do not forget to proofread the statement for errors.
3. Research Your Program Of Study
Researching your program of study is one way to establish that you truly understand the discipline you’re getting into and prove to the admissions officer that you thoroughly thought about it before applying.
And because you want to put yourself forward as a serious candidate, one way to make you research easier is for you to visit the website of the department you are applying to. This page will contain information about faculty members, their specialisation, and publications.
From the intel, you gathered there you can now identify which professors match your interests and which ones you will benefit the most from learning under. After you’ve found this out, relate the same in a sentence or two in your statement of purpose for masters.
Example: “I would be honoured to study under the tutelage of Professor Nadia whose work I found resonated strongly with my beliefs and intended projects in this course”.
4. Avoid Clichés, Junks, And Many Details
When writing a statement of purpose for master degree try to avoid clichés, junks, and unnecessary details so that you don’t lose or bore your readers in between. Be as concise as possible, even if it’s your chance to express yourself.
A personal statement is an opportunity for the admissions committee to get information that tells the that you are suitable for the course. So, when you overpower your statement with too many words, stories, and useless details, you come off as someone who is just trying to meet the word count.
5. Include Your Personal History Only If It Adds To The Statement
Do not include your personal history in your statement of intent for masters if it is not relevant to your purpose of study. This means no need for you to tell that story about that time you helped someone treat a cut and immediately realised that you wanted to be a doctor or nurse or how you developed a taste for reading at a very young age.
We can guarantee you that the hundreds of other applications competing for the same spot you are felt the same way, so saying those things really doesn’t make you unique.
On the other hand, if you are going to add personal history to your statement, you can put in things like an internship you did and the experience you got from the job, a major research project you ran by yourself, publications you’ve read or published, conferences you’ve attended or presentations you’ve done. These experiences are more concrete and are directly related to your program of study. They also set you apart from other applicants.
6. Don't Use The Same Personal Statement For All Your Applications
One common mistake applicant make that you shouldn’t is using the same statement of purpose for master degree for all your applications. Using the same information repeatedly even if you are going to change the university names is risky and could land you in a big mistake on a day you forget to be thorough.
All programmes have their own unique set of questions they want to see answered and information they need in your personal statement.
And even if some of them like extracurricular activities, proposal for project, why you are applying to the school, your unique qualities, and research works you’re doing might appear the same, do not use one statement to respond to all of them.
Write a new unique personal statement every time you want to apply.
How To Write A Personal Statement for Masters
When writing a personal statement for masters there are several steps and ground rules you need to follow to ensure that it comes out good enough to impress the admissions team of a school, and ultimately convince them to give you a spot on your program of study.
If writing one is something you are currently struggling with and can’t seem to get down the process of it right no matter what, this section on how to write a personal statement for masters, discusses in detail everything you need to get help with yours.
There are 4 parts to consider when writing your personal statement and we have listed them below:
1. Planning A Personal Statement
A personal statement is a piece of writing showing your academic interests and is only for application purposes which means there is no room for any autobiographical information in it about your personal life. Be as to-the-point as possible when writing it and stick to telling the school why you are the right person for the course, plus any other extra information detailing your achievements.
Before You Start:
Allot plenty of time to write your msc personal statement so that you don’t rush it. Remember, this simple piece of writing is your one shot at convincing a school that you are the best applicant they’ve seen and as such can either make or break your application.
Read the information expected of you from the university, rules and guidelines given, selection criteria and understand what they mean. Also research the institution.
Do a thorough research on the course you are applying for; this will help you explain better why you want to study it. The tutors interviewing you can tell when you are lying and presenting yourself as uninformed can cost you the admission.
Ensure that you don’t use the same personal statement for all your applications.
When writing the statement there are some questions to ask yourself that can help you plan it better. Those questions are:
- Why you want to study a master’s and how does it benefit you in future?
- How does the course you have chosen fit into your pre-existing skill set?
- How do you stand out from the crowd as an applicant - e.g., work experiences you’ve had in the same field you are applying for?
- What do you aspire to do or be as a future career and how will the course help you achieve that?
- How can your work or skillsets contribute positively to the department/ university you are applying to, or society at large?
On the other hand, if you are applying for the masters to change from the field you studied in your undergraduate to another field, you should tell the school why you decided to take a different path in your studies.
Questions to ask yourself for this include:
- Your reason for deciding to change your discipline.
- How your undergraduate degree will be material for bringing fresh insights into your masters course.
- How changing your study path will help you attain your future career.
2. Structuring A Personal Statement
Having good structure for your personal statement for master degree is important because it ensures that everything from the beginning, middle, and ending of the statement is written and equally falls in place perfectly.
We’ve left some tips for you below to help you:
Start your personal statement with an attention-grabbing introduction that is not dramatic or cliché. That means you should not begin with any of these over-used phrases we’ve listed out below:
For as long as I remember…
Since my childhood…
I want to apply to this course because I’ve always felt a strong connection to it…
All my life, I have always loved…
My interest in (course) always ran deeper than…
I’ve always been zealous about…
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in…
My past educational experiences have always…
'My passion for Child Psychology is influenced by my curiosity in how autism affects the personality of children living with this condition. That's why I dedicated the 3rd year of my undergraduate study interning with the Child Rehabilitation Centre in my community, which caters to the patients and work closely with their families in developing care plans that work for their child.
You would want to be as snappy as possible with your opening because the admission officer has over a hundred applications to read and can’t waste all their time on yours. This means you should avoid overpowering it with unnecessary facts, quotes, and stories from your life.
The middle part of your ma personal statement is where the main content of the write-up should be. This is where you show your dedication to the course you’ve chosen, what motivated you to choose it, and why you are the right candidate for it.
When writing the middle part of a graduate personal statement, you should:
- Give concrete reasons why you want to study a course at the University. The reason could be because of how the course is aligned to your future career or the University’s reputation in teaching that program.
- Mention relevant things like projects, dissertations, or essays you’ve done, and any work experience you have.
- Show proof of your core skills like and how they can contribute to the department.
- Prove what makes you a unique candidate.
- Discuss who your main influences for wanting to study the course are and why.
- Add experiences like memberships to clubs that are related to your field, papers you’ve written before, awards, scholarships, or prizes.
- Draw focus to how the course links to your past and future.
- Mention your academic and non-academic skills and how they fit the course.
- Keep the statement length between 250 -500 words or as directed by the school.
- Sentences should be no more than 25-30 words.
- Use headings to break up the content – Why this university? Why this subject? Etc.
- Make claims and provide evidence to back each of them up. This can be done by discussing your work experience and academic interests.
Language and tone to use:
- The tone for your masters application personal statement should be positive and enthusiastic, to show you eagerness to learn and so that you convince the evaluators that you have what it takes to succeed.
- Use exciting and refreshing language, and an engaging opening line.
- Ensure you grammar, punctuations, and spellings are accurate.
- Avoid exaggerated claims you cannot backup.
- Don’t use cliché generic terms and keep your focus on the course.
Keep the ending of your essay for master degree application concise and memorable, leaving no doubt in the admission officers mind that you deserve a spot on the program.
To create the best ending summarise all your key points without dragging it our or repeating yourself. The ending should be simple, end on a positive note and make it clear that the school will be lucky to have you on their program.
Personal Statement for Masters Sample
In this section, we have left a masters personal statement example for you, which you can use as material to write yours for any course of study you are applying to a school for.
My passion for Filmmaking, was influenced by my growing up reading novels and plays by my idols William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Maya Angelou, which graciously provided me with the opportunity to not just hear good stories, but also appreciate great storytellers whose plays still shake the foundations of the film industry.
Growing up, I loved movies and found myself fascinated by the stories, the characters and most importantly the realization that the human mind could create something so beautiful and gripping. I studied each film like a guide and whenever they ended, I would act out the scenes on my own, putting on a one-woman show for myself whenever I was alone at home. These things would later form the basis of me writing my first published book which was a drama titled The Reward of Evil Deed.
To me, loving literature and chasing it down all these years was something that made me different, but I also enjoyed it because films are more than something I just wanted to watch and forget, it is something that I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t just want to appreciate great films, I wanted to make them.
During my bachelor’s degree in India, I had the privilege of taking Literature classes stemming from British, American, and Indian literature to broaden my mind. I was also opportune to read great authors like John Donne, John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Anton Chekov, Virginia Woolf, and of course Margret Atwood who I follow closely on Instagram. Three years later not only did I graduate as one of the best students in the school, but I did so with a first-hand knowledge of what it means to be a passionate storyteller whose art transcends time, language barrier, and location.
In addition to devouring Literature and watching satirical films like it’s the news, I am also an avid reader and prolific writer who throws herself into whatever she sets her heart on. I am the proud author of Forgetting Bangalore which is a personal memoir about my three years of studying in India, read amongst my closest friends who I shared those times with. In school, I also wrote the script for a short film for the class Psychology assignment titled The Ordeal which I uploaded to my YouTube page and uploaded to my application form.
Apart from writing for myself, I also function as a content creator/marketer for companies I have worked for in the past and is still working for now. I play the Bass guitar well and occasionally dabble in Lead guitar.
For far too long, I have aspired to be, but now I want to become a filmmaker and I strongly believe that through your institution that I would be able to learn and master all the aspects associated with filmmaking. I hope to attend Central Film School next year, enrolling in MA Practical Filmmaking under the tutelage of the amazing Faculty members.
Although I don’t have the professional skills or much of a background in filmmaking, I am passionate and have a zeal burning strongly that it will set the film industry on fire. I am a good storyteller, I am brilliant, resilient, and determined to succeed, and when I want something, I push until I get it, I am also a fast learner. I strongly believe that these attributes are what will help me successfully complete this master’s program.
Personal Statement PDF
You can also download this statement of purpose sample for masters degree pdf here and take your time to read it later – Personal Statement For Masters Sample.
See Also: Student CV Template.
Examples of Personal Statement for Masters
We have taken the time to source for some of the best postgraduate personal statement examples, which you can use in addition to the personal statement for masters program example as a template to write yours.
While you scroll through our list, you will find the perfect masters essay example for any field you wish to apply for, from business administration, to Psychology, to information technology, and lots more.
1. msw personal statement
We have found one of the best msw personal statement examples out there for you.
2. personal statement for masters in public health
3. personal statement for masters in management
4. personal statement for masters in education example
5. psychology masters personal statement
6. sample personal statement for masters in data science
data science masters personal statement
7. speech and language therapy personal statement
statement of purpose for masters sample: speech and language therapy
8. business administration personal statement
personal statement for masters in business administration
9. personal statement for masters in cyber security pdf
masters degree personal statement examples for cyber security
10. personal statement for masters in finance
msc finance personal statement examples
11. statement of purpose for masters in information technology pdf
msc personal statement examples for information technology
12. international development personal statement
statement of purpose for masters example
13. msc international business management personal statement
international business management personal statement examples
14. computer science masters personal statement
15. personal statement for masters in economics
statement of purpose sample for masters degree in economics
16. mha personal statement
statement of purpose format for masters in health administration
Conclusion – Things to Avoid When Writing A Personal Statement For Masters
When writing a personal statement for university masters, there are some things you should avoid, so that you don’t ruin your essay. We have listed out those things below:
• Avoid negativity.
• Following an online template blindly.
• Do not include unnecessary course modules, personal facts, or extra-curricular activities in your personal statement.
• Do not lie or exaggerate an achievement or event.
• Do not include inspirational quotes to your statement.
• Avoid using clichés, gimmicks, humour, over-used word such as 'passion' or ‘driven’.
• Do not make pleading statements.
• Avoid mentioning key authors or professors in your field without any explanation.
• Avoid using sentences that are too long.
• Avoid flattering the organisation or using patronising terms.
• Do not repeat information in your statement that you have already listed in your application.
• Avoid waffling i.e., writing at length.
• Don’t start writing your personal statement at the last minute.