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10 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement

1. read the instructions carefully.

This is especially important when you are applying to multiple programs. Pay particular attention to length limits and content/questions you are supposed to address.

When you attend a Post Grad Application Support appointment, it can be very helpful to bring these instructions with your drafts (in hardcopy!)

2. Focus on yourself

Avoid getting into long explanations of the courses you took, or places you volunteered. The selection committee will be more interested in how these experiences influenced your perspective, your intellectual development and motivated you to pursue further education. YOU are the main focus of the personal statement.

3. Demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm

Post graduate education can be very challenging and stressful. The committee will be looking for evidence that you are truly motivated and excited about what you want to study since such students make more positive peers and are more likely to successfully complete the program.

4. Start early

Although personal statements aren’t usually very long, you will need to write multiple drafts to get your statement to the level you want it to be.

This is a different kind of writing than you are used to, and it can take much longer than you expect to figure out what you are trying to say, and how to say it in the most effective way. Beginning 2-3 months before your deadline is a good rule of thumb.

5. Explain any discrepancies in your application in your personal statement

Be sure to address any grades on your transcripts that do not reflect your academic ability, especially if they occurred in the last two years of your degree, and are in courses related to the programs to which you are applying.

Your explanation should be concise, and focused on assuring the committee that whatever the problem was, it is in the past and will not impact your ability to do well in the future. You can discuss strategies for doing this in a Post Grad Application Support session.

6. Review good sentence and paragraph structure

A personal statement requires you to put a lot of information in very few words, so the structure of your sentences and paragraphs is key. The Purdue Online Writing Lab is an excellent resource to review these elements of good writing before you get started.

7. Use the active voice

This means put “I” in the subject position of your sentences and avoiding terms like ‘allowed’ and ‘gave'; with you as the receiver rather than the initiator of the action.

For example, instead of “This course gave me a new understanding of...” use “Through this course, I gained a new understanding of...”.

8. Give explicit reasons for selecting the program for which you are applying

The selection committee will select qualified candidates who can give rational, persuasive reasons why that program is a good fit for them.

Compelling reasons for selecting a program could include the fact that there are several professors who are experts in your particular area of interest in a particular program, or that the structure of the program will enable you to focus on a particular topic.

Maybe the location is near an important resource, or there are courses specifically focused in your area of interest. Make sure you clearly articulate why these aspects of the program appeal to you.

9. Indicate what your goals are once you’ve graduated from the program

Committees like to get a sense of how you see their program supporting your goals to make sure you have realistic expectations and to ensure you are not making erroneous assumptions as to the purpose of the program

10. Revise, revise, revise!

Check for problems with the structure and flow of your statement. Look for awkward phrases, jarring transitions, ambiguous statements and, of course, grammar and spelling errors. Get feedback from as many people as possible. The Personal Statement Peer Review is an excellent resource to help you do this.


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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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York University

Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Area offers opportunities to engage in clinically-relevant research in psychotherapy process and outcomes, neuropsychology, health psychology and personality.

Graphic representing clinical psychology

The Clinical Area prides itself on excellence in research—with over $4 million currently held in external research funding.

The Clinical Area values the development of clinical skills by offering a variety of theoretical and technical approaches to psychological treatment and assessment and training through our in-house Psychology Training Clinic, and external practica and internships. Students who are interested in specialized training in clinical neuropsychology can apply to the Clinical Neuropsychology stream after being admitted to the Clinical Area.

All faculty, adjunct faculty, and applied practicum supervisors serving as supervisors in clinical practicum and internship training, are members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Prior to completion of this Area's PhD, students are required to demonstrate:

  • Competence in research into clinically relevant problems. In addition to course requirements, this Area relies heavily on an apprenticeship system. Each student works closely with his or her supervisor and psychologists practicing in a wide range of internship settings for an interactive enhancement of both the academic and practical aspects of the student's educational experience.
  • Competence with a reasonable sample of cognitive, personality, behavioural, neuropsychological, and psychometric techniques of assessment.
  • Competence with a reasonable sample of cognitive, behavioural, experiential, interpersonal, and psychodynamic systems of psychotherapy.

Students who are interested in specialized training in clinical neuropsychology can apply to the Clinical Neuropsychology stream after being admitted to the Clinical area.

For more information about the Clinical Psychology graduate training, please contact the Director of Clinical Training: Dr. Joel Goldberg   [email protected]

The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the  Canadian Psychological Association  (CPA). The date of the last re-accreditation by CPA was in 2022 for a period of 7 years.

Contact Information for the CPA Accreditation Office:

Dr. Stewart Madon Registrar, Accreditation Panel Canadian Psychological Association, Accreditation Office 141 Laurier Ave. W., Suite 702 Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J3 Tel: 1-888-472-0657 (ext. 328 for administrative assistant) Email: [email protected] Website: Canadian Psychological Association

Additional Program Information

Faculty Member

  • Rodrigo, Achala
  • Boritz, Tali
  • Eastwood, John D
  • Katz, Joel D
  • Keough, Matthew T.
  • Rosenbaum, R. Shayna
  • Turner, Gary R
  • Angus, Lynne
  • Fergus, Karen D
  • Fitzpatrick, Skye
  • Goldberg, Joel
  • Mills, Jennifer S
  • Mongrain, Myriam
  • Pos, Alberta E
  • Rich, Jill Bee
  • Wardell, Jeffrey
  • Westra, Henny Alice

Psychology Research Labs

Applicants who wish to be considered for admission to the Clinical Area must specify “Clinical” as their primary area of interest on the Supplemental Form.

It is strongly recommended that you contact potential faculty members to see if they are available to supervise a graduate student prior to listing them as a potential supervisors in your Personal Statement. See our Faculty Directory to learn more about faculty members’ research interests. Make sure to list the names of Clinical faculty you are interested in working with on the Supplemental Form.

Students who are interested in specialized training in clinical neuropsychology can apply to the Clinical Neuropsychology stream after being admitted to the Clinical area. Please indicate in your Personal Statement if you plan to apply to the Clinical Neuropsychology stream.

Non-refundable application fee (paid online) OR Credit Card information submitted with the application. If you do not have a credit card and/or cannot apply online, you can request a hard-copy application form by calling 416-736-5000

Documents needed to apply:

  • Letters of Recommendation . A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required.
  • Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended . When applying, unofficial transcripts are acceptable. If you are made an Offer of Admission, you will be required to provide official transcripts as a condition of admission. Transcripts are considered official when sent directly from the issuing institution(s) to York University.
  • Describe your past training experiences and what makes you ready for intensive research and clinical training at the graduate level;
  • describe what motivates and/or inspires you, as it relates to your current research interests/specific supervisor, the Clinical program, and your broader career goals;
  • highlight your most important scholarly contribution/product or knowledge mobilization activity (e.g., thesis, poster presentation at a conference, presentation);
  • describe how you/will you consider diversity, equity, and inclusion in your clinical and research endeavours? You can use personal experience or learning to highlight this.
  • Curriculum Vitae. Make sure to indicate your educational and relevant employment history, any honours or scholarships you have received, any posters or publications you have been involved in, and relevant clinical volunteer experiences. We recommend that you take a look at samples of how academic curriculum vitae are organized to format your CV effectively. At the same time, there is no one specific format required.

For International Students

  • Official Degree Certificate in countries where Degree Certificates are issued separately (i.e. Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Pakistan etc.). Official copies MUST be submitted. Applicants should check International Credentials on the following website: futurestudents.yorku.ca/graduate/equivalency .
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score , if English was not the language of instruction for your undergraduate degree. Applicants are required to provide proof of language proficiency if their first language is not English or they have not completed at least one year of full-time study at an accredited university in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of instruction. York reserves the right to request a successful English language proficiency test 404 result.

Submitting your Application

Apply online yorku.ca/gradstudies/psychology/future-students/how-to-apply to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to submit your full application.

If your application package does not contain all the required documents, your file may not get to the Psychology department. As a result, a review of your application by the professor you are interested in working with may be delayed.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the Graduate Psychology Program at [email protected] .

  • Public Disclosure Tables (.pdf)
  • Psychology Clinical Program Students’ Handbook 2023–2024 (.pdf)

personal statement for masters york

First row left to right: Dr. Joel Goldberg,Dr, Jeffrey Wardell,Dr. Jill Rich,Dr. Karen Fergus. Second row: Dr. John Eastwood,Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum, Dr. Jennifer S Mills, Dr. Henny Westra, Third row; Dr. Matthew Keough, Dr. Myriam Mongrain, Dr, Joel Katz, Dr. Alberta Pos, Fourth row; Dr. Skye Fitzpatrick, Dr. Kristina Gicas. (Photo of Dr. Gary Turner is unavailable)

Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research in Clinical Health Psychology:

  • Brittany Rosenbloom

Graduate Student Award in Clinical Neuropsychology:

  • Iris Yusupov

Norman Endler Research Fellowship:

  • Julia Halilova

Student Excellence Award:

  • Sara Pishdadian

personal statement for masters york

The Graduate Program in Psychology at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.

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How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters (17 PDF Sample Examples)

Published: 14 Mar 2022 Study Abroad 97,913 views

How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters (17 PDF Sample Examples)

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.

Check out:  How to Write a Good CV for Students - Resume Examples for Students (PDF).

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:

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…

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.

For Formatting:

  • 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.

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.

social work masters personal statement .  

2. personal statement for masters in public health

mph personal statement examples

3. personal statement for masters in management

Personal statement for master degree sample for masters in management .  , 4. personal statement for masters in education example.

personal statement for masters in education example

5. psychology masters personal statement

psychology masters personal statement example

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

statement of purpose for masters in computer science pdf

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.  

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  • How To Write Masters Personal Statement

A strong Masters personal statement is an essential part of your postgraduate application . It is your chance to convince admissions tutors that you are the right fit for the course and deserve a place in their programme. 

In this comprehensive guide on how to write a Masters personal statement in the UK, we covered everything you need to know to write a successful postgraduate personal statement. Plus, real student examples. 

We really understand how challenging and stressful can be to write a personal statement for a master. Let’s start. 

What is a Masters Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a written type of essay that you submit as part of your postgraduate application. It is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the university and demonstrate to admissions tutors that you are a good fit for the course. Admission tutors need to choose among lots of applicants, essay can make a big difference in your postgraduate application. 

How long should a personal statement be for masters?

You should aim to write a masters personal statement of around 500 words.

However, some universities may require more, often up to 1000 words. Hence, it is important to check the application guidelines before writing your statement for a specific university and course.

How should I structure my masters personal statement?

When it comes to writing your personal statement for masters or postgraduate, it’s important to have a clear and logical structure in mind. 

Starting with a strong introduction that captures the reader’s attention and explains why you’re interested in the specific Masters programme you’re applying to. 

Use the following paragraphs to discuss your academic and professional background , highlighting the skills, experience and knowledge that make you a strong fit for the programme. Emphasize how the course aligns with your future career goals .

Keep in mind that you have a limited word count, so make every sentence count . Use short, concise paragraphs that are easy to read and understand. 

In your personal statement conclusion, summarise why you’re the ideal candidate for the programme and leave the admission tutors with a good impression.

Keep it short and to the point. 

Aim for a total of four or five paragraphs in your personal statement for master degree.

When applying for a Masters degree , use standard fonts and text size of 11 or 12. If you’re applying through UCAS postgraduate service , font style won’t be an issue as text is automatically formatted.

Question to ask before writing

Consider asking yourself the following questions before writing your personal statement for master’s degree:

  • What inspired you to choose this specific Masters’s programme?
  • What aspect of the subject matter excites you?
  • How did your undergraduate studies shape your decision to apply for this programme or university?
  • Do you have any relevant work experience that can strengthen your postgraduate application?
  • What personal experiences can you share that align with your decision to apply to this programme?
  • What accomplishments can you highlight that demonstrate your qualifications for this course?
  • Why did you choose to apply to this university in particular?
  • What are your future career goals?

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  • How to Write a Personal Statement That Stands Out

What should I include in a personal statement for masters?

When writing your personal statement for masters degree , it is important to tailor it to the postgraduate course you are applying for. 

Some general guidance on what you should include in your personal statement for masters:

Your reasons for applying for a particular postgraduate programme and why you deserve a place above other applicants. Write about your academic interests , career goals and the university’s reputation , and write about which aspects of the specific course you find most appealing.

Address how undergraduate study has prepared you for a postgraduate course, mentioning your independent work (e.g. dissertation) and topics that most interested you.

Highlight relevant skills and experience that will enable you to make an impact on the specific course, summarising your abilities in core areas including organisation, communication, time management, and critical thinking. 

You can also cover any grades, include awards, work placements, extra readings, or conferences that you’ve attended and how these have contributed to your Master’s study.

Explain your career aspirations and how the course will help you achieve them. Describe how studying your chosen course fits in with your long-term ambitions and career path.

Tie in your undergraduate studies – for example, if you did your dissertation on something and you’d like to expand on it in your master’s. Trying to link the two together is distinct from the undergraduate personal statement. Shona Barrie – Director Of Admissions, University Of Stirling

How to start a personal statement for a master?

At the start of your personal statement for a Masters’s programme , it’s important to make a strong and lasting first impression . Admissions tutors read hundreds of applications per course, so you want to make sure that your opening sentence is concise , clear , and impactful .

Instead of trying to come up with a catchy opening, focus on getting straight to the point and highlighting your qualifications for the course. Avoid over-the-top statements, gimmicks, or popular quotes as they can come across as contrived and make it harder for admissions tutors to take you seriously.

Here are a few examples of strong opening sentences to consider:

“With a background in Environmental Science and a passion for sustainable energy solutions, I am excited to apply for the Masters programme in Renewable Energy at your university.”

“As someone who has always been interested in the field of Artificial Intelligence and has gained experience in coding and machine learning, I am eager to further my studies in the Masters program in AI at your university.”

“Through my undergraduate studies in Psychology and my professional experience as a mental health counsellor, I have developed a strong interest in neuropsychology. That’s why I am excited to apply for the Masters course in Clinical Neuropsychology at your university.”

In each of these examples, you can see that the students are specific about their backgrounds, interests, and experiences, and how they align with the postgraduate programme they are applying to.

How to end a personal statement for masters

When it comes to ending your personal statement for a Masters application, it’s important to impress university admissions tutors. 

Your conclusion in the master’s personal statement should be short , and to the point , and leave no doubt in the mind of the admissions tutor that you are the perfect candidate for the course.

One way to do this is by summarising your key points and highlighting how they demonstrate your qualifications for the programme. Keep it concise and avoid repeating yourself or going off-topic. 

Instead, focus on making it clear why you would be a good student at the university.

To give you an idea of what a strong conclusion can include , we wrote a few examples :

“With my background in X and passion for Y, I am confident that I would thrive in the Masters programme at your university. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the department’s research and further my professional growth.”

“I am eager to bring my experience in X and my interest in Y to the postgraduate course at your university. The opportunity to learn from and collaborate with esteemed faculty members is truly exciting for me.”

“As someone who has always been passionate about Y and driven to make a difference in the field of Y, I am confident that the X course at your university is the perfect fit for me. I look forward to the opportunity to grow as a professional and make an impact.”

Work Experience in a personal statement for masters

Including your professional experiences in your masters personal statement can provide valuable insights into your interests and understanding of your chosen area of study. 

This is especially crucial when applying for postgraduate courses, as it demonstrates your proactivity and dedication to your future academic or career goals, which universities look for in postgrad applicants.

Instead of simply listing your work experiences, it’s important to reflect on them.

Share with admission tutors not only what you did on your job but also what you learned from it and how you plan to apply those lessons in your postgraduate studies. 

This highlights your ability to reflect and learn from your experiences, which is an essential skill for postgraduate students to have.

What should you avoid in a personal statement for Masters?

When writing your personal statement for a Masters courses, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid and ensure it stands out and increases your chances of being accepted to the study programme.

  • Be original: Avoid using quotes in your statement, instead use your own words and voice. This will make your essay unique and more personal.
  • Avoid clichés : To make your statement stand out, avoid using templates or commonly used phrases. Instead, use your own words to express yourself.
  • Keep it concise: Keep your statement to around a single page and make sure it is relevant to the programmes you are applying for.
  • Be selective: Only include hobbies or experiences that are relevant to the courses you are applying for and explain why they are important to you.
  • Show, don’t tell: Instead of saying you’re passionate about the subject, show it through your words and experiences.
  • Tailor it: Make sure to tailor your personal statement for each programme you are applying for. 
  • Avoid lists: Instead of listing your qualifications, explain how they make you a strong candidate for the masters programme.
  • Proofread: Before submitting your application, make sure to proofread your personal statement for any errors or typos, and double-check that it is for the correct programme and university. It is always a good idea to get help from professionals, to check grammar and proofreading.

By following our guidelines on what to avoid, you can ensure that your personal statement is clear, concise, and tailored to the programme you’re applying for. Increasing your chances of being accepted.

Difference between personal statements for postgraduate and undergraduate

A personal statement for postgraduate study and one for undergraduate study are similar in that they both serve as a way for you to introduce yourself and demonstrate your qualifications , but there are some key differences to keep in mind when writing each .

For postgraduate study , personal statements tend to be more specific and targeted . Instead of providing a broad overview of your interests and experiences, you should focus on how your background, skills, and goals align with the specific courses and field of study you’re applying to. 

This requires you to do more research on the programme and its entry requirements, and you should highlight how you will be able to contribute to the university and chosen programme.

Postgraduate personal statements require a more detailed explanation of your academic and professional experience. This could include discussing your previous coursework, research experience, and any relevant work or internship experience, and how they have prepared you for masters study.

Also, you will need to mention in a postgraduate personal statement your long-term goals and career aspirations in more detail. This will give the admissions tutors a sense of how you plan to use the learnings from the programme to achieve your career goals.

Lastly, master’s personal statements tend to be shorter than undergraduate ones, usually around 500 words. It is assumed that as postgraduate students have more academic and professional experience, they do not need as much space to prove their worthiness.

While a personal statement for undergraduate study can be more broad and general, a personal statement for postgraduate study should be more focused, specific, and tailored to the course you’re applying for.

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Masters personal statement example

I am eager to pursue a Master’s Degree in Finance as I believe it aligns perfectly with my career goals. The programme’s academic rigour and focus on corporate finance, coupled with its practical relevance to the current industry, make it the ideal choice for me. My background in the financial services industry, combined with my undergraduate studies in Electronics and Communications Engineering and my postgraduate diploma in Marketing and Finance, have prepared me well for this next step in my education.

I have a strong passion for problem-solving, mathematics, and analytical thinking, and I am eager to apply these skills within the field of finance. I believe that a Master’s Degree in Finance from your esteemed university will provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical experience to excel in the industry. I am particularly interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of current techniques and developments in finance, financial applications, and financial markets, as well as honing my research skills.

My ultimate goal is to secure a challenging and rewarding role within the finance profession. I understand that there is still much for me to learn, but I am excited to embrace new challenges and become a valuable contributor to the field. I am confident that this program will provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my career goals.

Read other personal statement examples .

Research Course You’re Applying

It’s essential to research the programme and demonstrate your understanding of the field you are entering. This will show the admissions tutors that you are well prepared for the course and have a clear vision for your future research, study and goals.

One way to present your familiarity with the field is by mentioning specific scholars and researchers who work in the department. 

You can find this information on the university’s website, and by reviewing the research interests and publications of the faculty members. 

By aligning your interests with those of the faculty members, you can show that your research will fit well within the department and that you have a clear understanding of the master’s degree programme.

It’s also important to avoid generic statements such as applying to the school because it is the highest ranking or because you love the city where it is located. 

If you have already contacted a professor or faculty member in the department, make sure to mention it in your personal statement. This will show that you have taken the initiative to learn more about the programme and that you are eager to work with the department’s faculty.

What admissions tutors are looking for a master’s application?

One of the main things that admissions tutors are looking for is an explanation of how the course links your past and future. They want to see that you have a clear understanding of how the programme aligns with your interests , goals , and career aspirations . 

This can be demonstrated through your academic and non-academic experiences, as well as your skills, commitments, and enthusiasm for the field – we already discussed this in detail in previous parts of this guide.

Admissions tutors also want to see that you have a solid understanding of the institution’s area of expertise. This means showing that you have done your research on the university’s research focus and facilities, and how they align with your research interests. 

Other than that, they want to see evidence of your knowledge and genuine interest in the subject, perhaps including some academic references or readings.

Another key element that admissions tutors are looking for is evidence of your abilities, commitment, and enthusiasm.

Deadline For Postgraduate Applications

The deadline for postgraduate applications in the UK can vary depending on the university and programme to which you are applying. 

Some universities may have a fixed deadline while others may have rolling deadlines. It is important to check the specific deadline for the universities and courses you are interested to study. The UCAS postgraduate deadline is usually around the end of March, however, it’s always a good idea to verify with the university you are applying for.

It is also worth noting that some universities may have an earlier deadline for international students or certain programmes, so it is important to check the deadline for your specific situation.

Final Thoughts

A strongly written personal statement is an essential part of your postgraduate application. It is your chance to demonstrate your academic interests, abilities and goals, and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the course. 

Remember to tailor your statement to the course you are applying for, be concise, and focus on your strengths and how they align with the programme.

When it comes to applying for a Masters’s programme, the process is often different than that of undergraduate studies in the UK. Probably you will be submitting your application directly to the university. However, it is worth noting that UCAS Postgraduate, a service provided by UCAS , has a search tool for limited master’s programmes.

Most UK universities require a personal statement when applying to a masters degree programme. However, some universities instead have a predefined set of questions for applicants. 

You can submit a personal statement to as many universities as you are applying to for your Masters degree.

No, but if you have any questions regarding university programmes for masters, you can contact the admission manager and discuss. 

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Personal statements for postgraduate applications

A well-crafted Masters personal statement is the key to convincing admissions tutors that you deserve a place on a postgraduate course. Discover the dos and don'ts of writing a personal statement and take a look at some examples for inspiration

What is a personal statement?

'We certainly find the personal statement an essential part of the application process,' says Helen Hayes, assistant registrar (postgraduate and non-standard admissions) at Aberystwyth University.

A Masters personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your postgraduate application . It's your first real chance to sell yourself to the university and to demonstrate to admissions tutors that you're right for the course.

It's likely that you've already written a personal statement for your Bachelors degree , so this should give you some idea of what to expect. However, don't be tempted to use your undergraduate personal statement as a template. You will have progressed academically since then and admissions tutors will want to see evidence of this.

Your postgraduate personal statement should be unique and tailored to the course that you're applying to. Use the opportunity to show off your academic interests and abilities, and to demonstrate that the programme will benefit from your attendance as much as you'll benefit from studying it.

'From an admissions officer perspective, given that we have to read a large number of personal statements, we are always keen to see enthusiasm, interest and passion for the subject emanating off the page,' adds Helen.

How long should a postgraduate personal statement be?

A Masters personal statement should be around 500 words. This equates to one side of A4. However, some universities require more, often two sides. Some institutions also set a character limit instead of a specific word count, so it's important that you check the application guidelines before starting to write your statement.

As they're relatively short in nature, don't waste words on autobiographical information. This isn't necessary in postgraduate personal statements. Instead, focus on why you want to study a particular programme and your potential to successfully complete the course.

What should I include in a Masters personal statement?

You should tailor your personal statement to fit the course you're applying for, so what to include will largely depend on the course requirements. However, in general you should write about:

  • Your reasons for applying for a particular programme and why you deserve a place above other candidates  - discuss your academic interests, career goals and the university and department's reputation, and write about which aspects of the course you find most appealing, such as modules or work experience opportunities. Show that you're ready for the demands of postgraduate life by demonstrating your passion, knowledge and experience.
  • Your preparation  - address how undergraduate study has prepared you for a postgraduate course, mentioning your independent work (e.g. dissertation) and topics that most interested you.
  • Evidence of your skillset  - highlight relevant skills and knowledge that will enable you to make an impact on the department, summarising your abilities in core areas including IT, numeracy, organisation, communication, time management and critical thinking. You can also cover any grades, awards, work placements, extra readings or conferences that you've attended and how these have contributed to your readiness for Masters study.
  • Your goals  - explain your career aspirations and how the course will help you achieve them. 'Describe how studying your chosen course fits in with your long-term ambitions and career path,' advises Helen.

Address any clear weaknesses, such as lower-than-expected module performance in your undergraduate degree or gaps in your education history. The university will want to know about these, so explain them with a positive spin. 'We look for positive reflection in situations like this,' explains Helen. 'Cover how things have been addressed and what will be different in your proposed postgraduate studies.'

How should I structure my personal statement?

Your personal statement should follow a logical, methodical structure, where each paragraph follows on from the one before. Make sure paragraphs are short, succinct, clear and to the point. Remember, you only have 500 words to use.

Capture the reader's attention with an enthusiastic introduction covering why you want to study a particular Masters. Then, engage the reader in your middle paragraphs by summing up your academic and employment background, evidencing your knowledge and skills and demonstrating why the course is right for you.

Your conclusion should be concise, summarising why you're the ideal candidate. Overall, aim for five or six paragraphs. You can use headings to break up the text if you prefer.

The majority of postgraduate applications are submitted online directly to the university. If this is the case, present your personal statement in a standard font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman, text size 11 or 12. If your course application is submitted through UKPASS (UCAS's postgraduate application service) font style won't matter, as personal statements are automatically formatted.

How can I write a good postgraduate personal statement?

  • Give yourself plenty of time and don't rush . Your personal statement can make or break your application so it needs to be perfect. Tutors can tell if you're bluffing, and showing yourself up as uninformed could be costly. Before you start, read the rules and guidelines provided, check the selection criteria and research the course and institution.
  • The best personal statements adopt a positive, enthusiastic and professional tone and are presented in clear, short sentences . Avoid elaborate or overly complicated phrases. Unless otherwise stated, all postgraduate personal statements should be written in English and your spelling, grammar and punctuation must be spot on, as the personal statement acts as a test of your written communication ability.
  • Don't use the same supporting statement for every course . Admissions tutors can spot copy-and-paste jobs. Generic applications demonstrate that you have little understanding of the course. In order to stand out from the crowd, Masters personal statements must be unique and specific to the course and institution.
  • Draft and redraft your statement until you're happy . Then ask a friend, family member or careers adviser to read it. Proofreading is incredibly important to avoid mistakes. Memorise what you've written before any interviews.

What do I need to avoid?

  • follow online examples too closely
  • use your undergraduate UCAS application as a template
  • be negative
  • lie or exaggerate
  • use clichés, gimmicks, humour, over-used words such as 'passion' or Americanisms
  • include inspirational quotes
  • make pleading/begging statements
  • needlessly flatter the organisation
  • include irrelevant course modules, personal facts or extra-curricular activities
  • namedrop key authors without explanation
  • use overly long sentences
  • repeat information found elsewhere in your application
  • leave writing your personal statement to the last minute.

How should I start my Masters personal statement?

Try not to waste too much time coming up with a catchy opening. The more you try, the more contrived you'll sound and the more likely you are to fall into the trap of using clichés.

Avoid using overused phrases, such as:

  • For as long as I can remember…
  • From a young age…
  • I am applying for this course because…
  • Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…
  • I have always been interested in…
  • I have always been passionate about…
  • I have always wanted to pursue a career in…
  • Reflecting on my educational experiences…

Admissions tutors read hundreds of applications per course so the opening paragraph of your personal statement needs to get straight to the point and make a real impact. Avoid overkill statements, gimmicks and popular quotes.

If you're really struggling, come back and tackle the opening once you have written the rest.

How should I end my personal statement?

Conclusions should be short, sharp and memorable, and leave no doubt in an admissions tutor's mind that you deserve a place on a course.

The perfect ending should pull all of your key points together without waffling or repeating yourself.

Like the rest of your Masters personal statement, keep the ending simple. Be succinct and make it clear why you'll be an asset to the university and end on a positive note, with a statement about why the institution would be lucky to have you as a student.

What are admissions tutors are looking for?

  • an explanation of how the course links your past and future
  • an insight into your academic and non-academic abilities, and how they'll fit with the course
  • evidence of your skills, commitment and enthusiasm
  • knowledge of the institution's area of expertise
  • reasons why you want to study at the institution
  • demonstrable interest in the subject, perhaps including some academic references or readings.

Personal statement examples

The style and content of your postgraduate personal statement depends on several variables, such as the type of qualification that you're applying for - such as a  Masters degree , a conversion course or  teacher training . Here are some postgraduate personal statement templates to help you get started:

Business management personal statement

Postgraduate courses in business management are popular among graduates. To make your application stand out your personal statement needs to cover your motivations for choosing a specific course at a particular university, your career goals and how the Masters will help you achieve them. Be sure to mention relevant transferrable skills and work experience, even extra-curricular activities count. Read up on management courses .

Computer science personal statement

If you'd like to complete a Masters but studied an unrelated subject at undergraduate level you'll need to explain why you'd like to change disciplines. In the case of computer science your personal statement will need to show that you possess the technical, mathematical and analytical skills necessary, as well as demonstrate your  knowledge of the subject area. Gain an insight into the information technology sector .

Law personal statement

You'll apply for an LLM the same way you would for any other Masters, directly to the university. Whether you're undertaking a general LLM or a more specific programme, such as an LLM in human rights or international business law, you'll need to convey why you want to study the law in more depth and how this could potentially aid your career. Discover more about LLM degrees .

Nursing personal statement

If you didn't study the subject at undergraduate level but you'd like to apply for a postgraduate course in nursing your personal statement needs to convey your reasons for choosing this career path, as well as demonstrate a specific set of skills, knowledge of the working environment and relevant  experience. Find out more about working as an adult or children's nurse .

Psychology personal statement

Applications for conversion courses such as these are fairly straightforward and made directly to individual institutions. You need to explain why you want to change subjects and how your current subject will help you. Explain what experience you have that will help with your conversion subject, and what you hope to do in the future. Learn more about  psychology conversion courses .

Social work personal statement

If your Bachelors degree was in an unrelated subject but you now have ambitions to work as a social worker you'll need a Masters in social work (MSW) to qualify. Social work Masters have a substantial work placement element so you'll need to cover what you hope to achieve during this time as well as demonstrate other relevant experience. Find out more about social work courses .

PGCE primary personal statement

As well as detailing why you want to work with this particular age group, a PGCE primary personal statement should highlight the ways in which your educational background has inspired you to teach. You'll need to cover relevant skills you have gained and any related work experience, as well as demonstrate your knowledge of the primary national curriculum. Read up on PGCEs .

PGCE secondary personal statement

You'll need to cover why you want to teach at secondary level while also acknowledging the pressures and challenges of working with older pupils. As you'll be teaching a specific subject, you'll need to evidence your knowledge in this area and demonstrate how your first degree was relevant. It's also essential to highlight any related work or voluntary experience. Learn more about teaching personal statements .

Find out more

  • Search postgraduate courses .
  • Find out what else you must consider when  applying for a Masters degree .
  • Completed your application? Discover what  postgraduate interview questions  you may be asked.

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York University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to The University of York. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities .

History Personal Statement Example 2 I am captivated by the diversity and depth offered by a History degree; attracted by the way it encourages us to be analytical of the values and patterns of past societies. It was in my final year of secondary school that I was awarded the History Attainment Award, although my desire to study History dates back to an earlier age when I visited the site of the allied landings in Normandy at just eleven years old...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 4 I find it amazing to watch as the digital revolution sculpts society at a rate that has never before been seen; there is so much to still be discovered. Quantum computing is a topic that particularly interests me, stemming from my studies and keen interest in physics...

Politics and International Relations Personal Statement Example 4 The era in which we live goes through constant turmoil and shifting powers. Not a day goes by without a change somewhere on our planet, which in turn has an effect on yet another change to come elsewhere...

International Relations Personal Statement Example Being of Pakistani heritage means I am at the heart of multiculturalism that many would say defines Britain today. Growing up as a British Asian in the last decade has allowed me to experience life embedded in a world of politics, not only from a Western perspective but also that of other cultures...

Economics and PPE Personal Statement Example My aspiration to study economics at both advanced and degree level has stemmed from my lasting interest in current affairs and world development. These issues require an application of economics in real-life situations and can be related to many diverse subjects such as politics, philosophy and psychology...

Physics Personal Statement Example 4 The elegance of the scientific subjects, in particular physics is what has established my eagerness for a deeper insight into the subject. What sets physics apart from the other sciences, in my opinion, is that it can be practically applied to all instances of life...

Languages Personal Statement Example 10 At the age of eight, a friend introduced me to Guy Hamilton's 1969 film 'Battle of Britain'. This instilled in me two things: my doomed childhood ambition to be a Spitfire pilot, long since grudgingly abandoned, but also, perhaps ironically, a love for the sound and feel of the German language that has stayed with me all through the intervening decade...

History Personal Statement Example 7 It isn't an exaggeration to say my devotion to History has moulded me into the diligent and ambitious person I am today. History continues to shape our contemporary world and my opinions have been formed from an intellectual curiosity about the resonances between the past and the present...

Biology Personal Statement Example 5 Outside was always my favourite place as a child, splashing in puddles, inspecting insects under magnifying glasses and having snail races with my brothers. The living world fascinated me. My enthusiasm has only increased over the years and living by the sea has inspired me further...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example 2 Science is not just a subject taken in school, or a body of knowledge; it is a state of mind as well – always inquisitive and wondering. As a child, the world around me constantly captivated me and inspired questions, and I found delight in having my questions answered, always wanting to learn more, from fundamental particles, to atoms and molecules, to organisms, planets, and the universe...

Biochemistry Personal Statement Example 1 The need to survive is a remarkable thing, for it has allowed evolution to equip organisms with a range of extraordinary capabilities in order to stay alive. Since reading 'Why Geese Don't Get Obese' by Widmaier, my interests have developed in the molecular adaptations of animals; for example, the antifreeze protein that prevents the blood of Antarctic Notothenioid fishes from turning into ice...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 11 “If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

Biology Personal Statement Example 8 My interest in Biology started at a very young age due to spending a lot of time outdoors. I am intrigued by the functioning of living organisms and how they are all linked; one small change in one species will affect a whole range of others...

Maths and Economics Personal Statement Example 1 By skimming through a daily broadsheet or examining journals such as ‘The Economist’ it is clear to see that economic issues affect everyone both locally as well as on a global scale. However, I have been interested by Mathematics for many years and have found my enjoyment for it has increased as the depth of my understanding has grown...

English Personal Statement Example 22 What I enjoy above all else in a piece of literature is the feeling that it has brought about change, either in me or in some wider context. Literature which offers the opportunity for an adapted way of living or thinking, however slight, is I think a thing to be kept and treasured in our intellects...

English and Philosophy Personal Statement Example English has always been at the forefront of my mind, whether it be writing storybooks as a child, play-writing as a teen, or analysing literature at A Level. I enjoy the thrill of writing creatively but equally enjoy composing non-literary pieces where I can put across my views, inform or debate...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example (IB background) Few aspects of life fall outside the scope of chemistry and this is what fascinates me about this dynamic and fundamental science subject. From a young age I have enjoyed and excelled in mathematics which reflects my logical and enquiring mind...

English Literature and Creative Writing Personal Statement Example 1 I once aspired to be a visual artist, a photographer or painter. However, I later discovered the unique ability of poetry and the written word to maintain its power and resonance in a world saturated with images and messages...

Midwifery Personal Statement Example 4 From a young age I have had a desire to help and care for people. Once I was old enough to understand the uniqueness and beauty of all stages of pregnancy and birth, I knew that I wanted it to be a part of my everyday life...

Social Work Personal Statement Example 14 What can be more rewarding than finishing work, going home knowing you have made a difference in someone's life? In society we have individuals who need caring and support for them to have quality lives and be healthy beings...

English Literature and Sociology Personal Statement Example Since I have begun to study A Level English Literature, it is the way in which writers use expression within their writing to influence and manipulate the reader's emotions which has most intrigued me...

History Personal Statement Example 37 My interest in history lies in the simple fact that I have always been fascinated by the past. At eleven I won a full academic bursary to attend my current school. This was a way into a community in which my intellectual curiosity would be valued and where I could further my enthusiasm for history...

Physics Personal Statement Example 13 Attending university has been a lifelong dream of mine; ever since my childhood, I have been told that I should, and I have always agreed with the sentiment. If I were asked to pin down an exact reason, however, I would be forced to confess that I do not know - I just enjoy learning new things and exercising my mind...

Sociology Personal Statement Example 10 I have, for a long time, been interested in the inner workings of society: how and why subcultures develop. Also, how political policies shape the direction of society for years and I wonder why people act in the way they do (here, I have sympathy with Robert Owens' view that we are mostly the mere products of our environment), not only how we shape society, but how it shapes and changes us...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example 17 The realisation I wanted to study Chemistry at degree level came with my growing appreciation of its contribution and significance in shaping modern society, coupled with an increasing interest in the subject as my knowledge and understanding have developed...

Business Management Personal Statement Example 7 The role of a leader can be tough. Motivating people, supporting people, making decisions and learning from your mistakes are only just a few things you can expect from managing a team. However if you, your team members and your business prosper and succeed, it gives you a sense of achievement like no other...

English Literature & History Personal Statement Example 1 Throughout my education, I have constantly been captivated and inspired by my History and English studies. I have recognised how the two disciplines entwine and coexist to create an invaluable tool with which to explore the past and future...

Mathematics & Computer Science Personal Statement Example I have found mathematics a fascinating subject since my early years. I enjoy it as it is challenging and logical. I am particularly interested in decision mathematics as it is a field that is directly related to real-life applications of mathematics and can be used to solve problems, such as finding the optimal solution for transporting materials from one place to another while minimising the cost...

PPE/Politics and Economics Personal Statement Example 1 I have a strong interest in the close relationship between political events and economic developments, highlighted by a study of Russia in the lead up to the 1917 revolution. I was grabbed by the film adaptation of Ten Days That Shook the World, with its emphasis on its power of the masses...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 70 Quid est homo? Why do different people act dissimilarly in the same situations? Why are some people affected by mental illness (like my mother) and others are not? These and other questions have aroused my interest in the only subject that can answer these issues - psychology...

Archaeology Personal Statement Example 6 I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and civilisations, reflected in my enduring love of history, and more recently, archaeology. Compared to modern history, archaeology carries a sense of enigma which makes it much more stimulating for an imaginative and inquisitive mind...

English Literature Personal Statement Example 20 I was once told by a writer at Bath "LitFest" that literature is "all about control". At a young age, his words seemed obscure, but years later, I am finally able to grasp his meaning. On one side of a barrier of ink and paper, a writer aims to understand and control their world, whilst a reader attempts to lose control in a boundless, imaginary world...

Mathematics Personal Statement Example 16 I have always had a passion and a thorough understanding of the subject of Mathematics. This helped me to progress academically because, unlike a lot of people, I have not had to worry about passing my GCSE Maths exams...

Law Personal Statement Example 84 The reason I want to study law, is that it has always intrigued me; there’s never been any other option for me it has always been law. I am captivated in the development of the law as it interests me the way the law is changing around the needs of civilisation...

Sociology Personal Statement Example 12 A Gospel choir tour around South Africa was the catalyst for my fascination with human culture. As I travelled I was able to directly experience a multiplicity of cultures even within this one country...

Mathematics & Physics Personal Statement Example 2 My enthusiasm for Mathematics and Physics comes from the fact that they are both used to further our understanding of the universe and have applications in all other areas of science. My main area of interest in Physics is particle physics as this tells us how fundamental parts of our universe interact with each other...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 56 Computer Science - the most exciting insight into humanity's mission to conquer the future. It has been my favourite and most fascinating preoccupation since childhood, though back then I did not even know it...

Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement Example 3 In this day and age virtually every aspect of our lives may be considered political. My passion to study Politics stems from this tenet and a belief that a comprehension of Politics is integral to understanding the current state of humanity...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example 18 Chemistry explores the properties of all matter and energy in our universe, which eventually leads to breakthroughs that benefit mankind, ranging from how to prevent food from decomposing to understanding what chemicals can help or harm you...

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personal statement for masters york

Step 2: Requirements

Minimum requirements.

Graduate study is open to qualified students who possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or the equivalent from a foreign institution and an adequate background in the field of study that they wish to pursue. Normally the equivalent of an undergraduate major in the field is required. If you are an international applicant, your academic credentials will be evaluated based on the characteristics of your country’s educational system and the level of work completed. See our page on information for International Applicants.

The Application

City College only accepts applications submitted online via our online application. Submitting the online application is one part of a two-step application process. The second step is for the applicant to mail all supporting documents (official transcripts, application fee, and any other supporting documentation that is not submitted through the online application). All supporting documentation should be sent to the appropriate Office of Admissions. Please see the addresses below. Applications are considered incomplete until all materials are received.

Application Fee

There is an application fee of $75, which is non-refundable and may not be applied to any other fees.  The fee can be paid by credit card or echeck through the online application. You can also mail a money order payable to The City College of New York, Office of Graduate Admissions, 160 Convent Avenue, Marshak Science Building, Room 24, New York, NY 10031. Application fees are subject to change. Fee waivers are not available for graduate students unless you are a U.S Veteran who can provide a DD2-14.  

Personal Statement

A personal statement about your educational or career objectives should be typed and enclosed with the application. The personal statement is your way of introducing yourself to the Admissions Committee. Your personal statement should be of the kind and quality that expresses why you have chosen to pursue a graduate degree. This is also an opportunity to discuss any challenges you may have faced during your undergraduate study. Certain programs offer specific prompts for writing your personal statement. You will have access to those prompts once you begin the application process. The personal statement is one of several credentials that will determine your eligibility for admission to a graduate degree program at The City College and should be no longer than one page in length. The personal statement should be uploaded to your online application.

Letters of Recommendation

Most programs require two letters of recommendation, but some may require up to three letters. Recommendations must be submitted on official letterhead.

Recommendations should be submitted online as part of the online application. Your recommender will complete a brief assessment of your ability to be successful at the graduate level and will also upload a narrative letter in support of your application. All applications to the School of Architecture must include curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s intellectual and design abilities.

Recommendations may be academic (past or present professors) or professional (employers/supervisors).  Friends and relatives are not accepted.  Programs reserve the right to request additional letters or information.  Recommendations can be submitted after the application has been completed, but must be submitted by the published deadline.


Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial and will be used for evaluation purposes only. Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution of higher education previously attended, even those that did not confer a degree. All transcript uploads must include a key, legend, or back copy of the transcript. Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Scans must be clear and legible, and all transcripts/records should include the student's name. See  Guidelines for Official Translations of Documents  for more information.

Please do not mail materials that you have uploaded unless specifically requested by the Admissions Office.

Any admission offers will be contingent on receiving and verifying all official transcripts, certified translations, and/or credential evaluations pertaining to the applicant's entire post-secondary academic career, prior to the registration deadline.

Official transcripts must arrive in the envelope, sealed and stamped by the Registrar’s office. If the official transcript does not include the conferral date of baccalaureate degree, please request an official copy of the diploma or provisional certificate as well. Transcripts (and diplomas) not in English must be accompanied by a translation.

Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between unofficial and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of the admission offer.

Program Requirements

Programs may require additional elements, such as interviews/auditions and portfolio material.

Language Test Requirements: TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson (PTE) or Duolingo

All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English, are required to submit official language scores. This requirement applies to all applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries and non-English speaking countries in Africa. The language tests are not required of permanent residents of the U.S. or individuals who have been granted official refugee or asylum status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The language tests are not required of students from countries where English is the official language, or by students that have studied full-time at a university for at least two years at an institution in a country where English is the official language. Applicants who attend a university in a foreign country where English is the medium of instruction are NOT waived from this requirement.

All scores expire after two years. The Institutional Code for City College is 2083. This Institutional Code number will ensure that your scores are sent to The City College Office of Admissions. Scores sent directly to any academic department will delay the processing of your application. City College does not use department codes.

Each graduate program may requires a different minimum score for consideration than another. Please consult the program requirements for you program's minimum score.

Graduate Record Examination, (GRE)

The GRE has been suspended until further notice.

Test scores can still be submitted with your application if you choose to submit them. GRE score reports may come directly from ETS (Educational Testing Service) and can also be verified electronically by the admissions office. GRE scores expire after five years.

The Institutional Code for City College is 2083. This Institutional Code number will ensure that GRE scores are sent to The City College Office of Admissions. City College does not use department codes.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2023 15:02

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Ll.m. applications: the personal statement.

LL.M. Applications: The Personal Statement

The personal statement can be a daunting part of the LL.M. application process—what to write, and how to write it? Here are some tips from admissions officials to help guide you through the process.

While it’s only one of many elements going into an LL.M. application, the personal statement can be a tricky one to master. 

Many law schools are not very specific about the requirements for the personal statement, aside from word count. Georgetown University Law Center, for instance, asks applicants to describe their background, goals, and reasons for applying to the program; Stanford is looking for information about the applicant’s experience in legal practice, interest in graduate study, and professional goals.

“To be honest we are purposefully broad in our description because we want applicants to have the freedom to express themselves in whatever way they see fit,” says Justin Swinsick, director of graduate admissions at Georgetown. 

“However, applicants should think about what they would say to the admissions committee if they were sat in front of them and had the chance to highlight the very best things about themselves and how the program and school will take them where they want to go.”  

Other law schools are more explicit; Northwestern asks applicants to answer two essay questions, while Harvard requires a two-part statement—one addressing a theoretical framework or analysis to a current legal problem, and another that says something about the applicant’s motivations for the LL.M. and how it relates to his/her future plans.

This year, University of Pennsylvania also updated its personal statement requirement to include a bit more guidance, calling for a statement of no more than two pages, and specifically recommending that the applicant avoid repeating his/her CV. 

For some schools, like Trinity College Dublin, the personal statement is optional; around 10 to 15 percent of each year’s pool of applicants sends one as part of their applications, according to Kelley McCabe, senior executive officer of the School of Law at Trinity.

“We’re looking for further insight into the applicant's current research interests and their career plans and goals for the future,” she says. “But we focus mostly on academic transcripts, the two academic references and the applicant's CV.”

“These documents give us a holistic picture of the applicant.” 

Tackling the LL.M. personal statement

One of the cornerstone pieces of advice is: be specific. Admissions officers read many personal statements, and you want yours to stand out in their memories. 

“Spend some time really thinking about why you want to get an LL.M.” and why that specific program fits this reason, says Elise Kraemer, director of graduate programs at UPenn.

Be honest and open about yourself; you could be moved to write about an inspirational figure in your life, an important event, or even about the school itself—which is fine, as long as you direct the statement back to you, Georgetown’s Swinsick recommends. 

Kraemer agrees: “Although a personal and/or family stories can be moving, if you use one, be sure that it directly supports your application.”

Sometimes, a well-justified directness can pay off. Swinsick says one applicant start her statement by writing that she wanted to pursue an LL.M. in order to make as much money as possible. “This was certainly an unusual way to start and played into negative stereotypes of why one pursues legal education,” Swinsick recalls. But she went on to tie this into how she planned to leverage her legal studies, career and financial success into bringing help and visibility to problems plaguing her community in a developing country.  

“It was very well written, highlighted her best qualities, and tied together why she wanted to pursue the program and why Georgetown’s program in particular would help her achieve her goals.” 

Mistakes to avoid in your personal statement

While it’s a good thing to be personal, don’t overdo it either. “Some of the more colorful statements I have read entail very personal details that usually would only be shared with clergy, partners or close personal friends,” Swinsick says.

And polish is key: proofread, check your word limit, and make sure it looks as professional as possible. For Kraemer, a minor typographical or grammatical error—especially from non-native speakers—is not a deal-breaker, but a statement that is “poorly written or contains unprofessional content” can be. 

“Take some time to work on it,” Kraemer says. “Don’t leave it to the last minute.”

And the resounding consensus from every law school is: always, always check the name of the school at the top of the page. Every year, every admission committee receives personal statements addressed to the wrong school. “I tend to be relatively forgiving on this one, but it never looks good,” Kraemer says. 

How much does your personal statement matter?

The value of the personal statement can vary from school to school, but in general, a strong one can significantly bolster the merit of an application. 

“It’s the only communication that we receive in the applicant’s own voice and is one of the best ways for the committee to ‘get to know’ the person applying,” says Kraemer. “It is not uncommon for a personal statement to have a significant impact on how we evaluate a candidate—a particularly strong or weak statement can be determinative.”

It can also afford an opportunity for the applicant to explain or put in context to the admissions committee a negative element of their application—a poor grade or language score, for instance. And this effort will show; an applicant that puts time and thought into their personal statement shows that they are serious about pursuing graduate legal education, Swinsick says.

“A personal statement is just that—personal,” says McCabe. “It gives the admissions committee a sense of who the applicant is so, when writing it, they should be true to themselves.”

LL.M. personal statement quick tips

  • Be specific. Address why you want to get an LL.M. and your career goals.
  • Be honest, about your background and the reasons for applying for an LL.M.
  • Address any negative elements of your application, such as a low TOEFL or ITELTS score.
  • Make sure to proofread your personal statement and check your word count.
  • Make sure that you've addressed the statement to the right law school.

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Applicant Statements

In your application, you will have the opportunity to tell us about yourself in two ways: 

The Statement of Academic Purpose (required), which describes your academic plans. Some programs may request specific details.

The Personal History Statement (optional), which gives information on your background.

Each statement is short — no more than two double-spaced pages, unless a maximum word count is specified. No updates or revisions are accepted after submission, so please proofread each statement carefully.

The Ph.D. program in Social Psychology is requiring a Statement on Quantitative and Programming Skills Preparation  in lieu of the general test of the GRE.

Once you begin your online application, please review the instructions in the Applicant Statements section for the most up-to-date information.

Statement of Academic Purpose

Animal studies, anthropology.

  • Anthropology / French Studies

East Asian Studies

Economics (advanced certificate computational social science), hebrew and judaic studies, international relations, general psychology m.a., religious studies.

  • XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement

All Other Programs

In a concisely written statement, please describe your interest in Animal Studies and your past and present work as it relates to your interest in this field, your educational objectives, and your personal and professional goals.

Ph.D.— The Statement of Academic Purpose should offer a clear sense of your training in anthropology or related fields, your strengths as a scholar, and the reasons you are applying for the doctoral degree. It should refrain from lengthy personal anecdotes. While applicants need not indicate a precise dissertation topic, it will be helpful to the admissions committee to have a sense of their main area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the critical theoretical questions and/or conversations that drive their interest in pursuing the degree. Finally, applicants should address their particular reasons for wanting to work within the Department of Anthropology at New York University. The statement may not be more than 1,500 words.

Anthropology / French Studies 

The Statement of Academic Purpose should offer a clear sense of your training in anthropology, French Studies or related fields, your strengths as a scholar, and the reasons you are applying for the doctoral degree. It should refrain from lengthy personal anecdotes. While applicants need not indicate a precise dissertation topic, it will be helpful to the admissions committee to have a sense of their main area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the critical theoretical questions and/or conversations that drive their interest in pursuing the degree. Finally, applicants should address their particular reasons for wanting to work within the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of French Studies at New York University. The statement may not be more than 1,500 words.

The Department of Chemistry does not ask for a Statement of Academic Purpose. Please do not provide one. However, they do ask you to describe your motivation for graduate school in chemistry. You may elaborate on chemical problems of the greatest interest to you and include discoveries in the field of chemistry that have inspired you.

Ph.D.— Please concisely describe your past and present work—and your academic training—as it relates to your intended field of study and your academic and career goals. Although you are not yet expected to provide a specific dissertation topic, please do your best to indicate your principal area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the central theoretical questions that are motivating your pursuit of a graduate degree. Finally, please indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,200 words in length.

M.A.— Please concisely describe your past and present work—and your academic training—as it relates to your intended field of study and your academic and career goals. Also, indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,000 words in length.

In a concisely written statement, please answer the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the program?
  • What do you want from the program?
  • What experience do you have with computer languages? Which ones?
  • How skilled are you in these languages?

The work of the faculty of the Department of English at NYU is characterized by a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, encompassing literary history, theory, and criticism, as well as careful reflection on the methods of literary study. We are especially interested in graduate students who will be comfortable bridging historical periods in their reading and writing, and who are curious about a wide variety of approaches to literary studies. The admissions committee requires from all applicants a statement of academic purpose, which will be judged as a piece of writing. It will use this statement to evaluate how well your aspirations and interests suit those of the Department of English at NYU. This statement of academic purpose should be succinct (no more than 1,200 words) and address most, if not all, of the following questions:

  • What kinds (genres, styles, forms, etc.) of literature most engage you? 
  • What, for you, is the purpose of reading literature critically? 
  • Are there particular kinds of criticism/theoretical approaches/methods of literary study that you would like to work within or learn more about? 
  • How have your intellectual and scholarly interests been shaped by your time outside and beyond the college classroom? 
  • In the light of the description above, do you have a particular reason for wishing to work within the Department of English at New York University?

Please describe briefly and concisely your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives at NYU, and your career plans. In addition, please include your reasons for choosing your field of study. The Institute of Fine Arts Admissions Committee requests that you consider the following for inclusion in your Statement of Academic Purpose. Please make your statement succinct (2-4 typed pages; please note this limit is a bit longer than what is specified at the top of this page) and use the upload button below to include it in your online application.

  • Aspects of your background that may be relevant to a career in the history of art or conservation.
  • Name your primary area of interest within art history or conservation.
  • What you think are the critical issues in this field.
  • Your reason for choosing the Institute of Fine Arts rather than another graduate program.
  • Your career plans.

Please describe briefly and concisely your past and present academic, research and/or professional accomplishments as they relate to your intended field of study, your educational objectives while at NYU, and your career goals following the master's program. State your specific area of specialization in the general master's program in psychology and include your reasons for choosing this field of study. What specific goals and objectives do you have for applying to NYU? The statement should be concisely written, in a professional/academic, rather than a personal/informal style, and should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

All other Psychology applicants should refer to the instructions for All Other Programs .

In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

Ph.D.— Applicants to the doctoral program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies are required to append to their statement of academic purpose a one-page, double-spaced description of their proficiency in Hebrew and the sources from which it was acquired. Non-native speakers of Hebrew should indicate

  • The institutions at which they studied Hebrew;
  • The textbooks from which they studied;
  • The extent to which their program of study incorporated Biblical, classical, and modern Hebrew; and
  • The highest level achieved.

Native speakers should indicate the years completed in Israeli schools and universities. 

Applicants to the doctoral program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies may also, at their option, include an autobiographical statement in Hebrew, one page maximum. This statement should be hand-written personally by the applicant and should be saved as a pdf file to be uploaded.

All Programs except Joint M.A. in International Relations/Journalism

Please explain, in a brief and concise manner, how your past studies and work experience relate to a course of study at the graduate level in International Relations at NYU. Please also explain why you chose to apply to study in the IR Program at NYU and the specified concentration (if any), or the dual degree M.P.A.-M.A. in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy and International Relations, and how NYU specifically will help you to advance your personal and professional objectives. The statement should be no more than two double-spaced pages. NYU’s Program in International Relations trains individuals who wish to make a difference in the world either through the practice of international affairs in government, the non-governmental or private sectors or through continued academic study. With that in mind, please reflect on the following questions in writing your Statement of Academic Purpose:

● How do the Program’s objectives fit with your own goals and interests?

● How will your educational objectives help you achieve your future career goals?

● Where do you see yourself 10 years after graduating from NYU?

Applicants to Journalism programs should refer to  separate instructions .

In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. As part of your statement, please explain why you are interested in the academic study of religion and what you hope to achieve upon completion of the M.A. in Religious Studies. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement

Prepare a narrative that integrates your past and present work as it relates to your intended field/s of study, your intellectual objectives, and your long-term goals. We encourage you to include ideas for a potential master's project. In particular, we ask that you indicate how and why your work/research would best be facilitated by XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, and the broader Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages. 

Personal History Statement

The purpose of this optional essay is to get to know you as an individual and as a potential graduate student, and how your lived experience will significantly contribute to our goals of equity, inclusion, and academic excellence at the Graduate School. Please describe how your personal background has motivated you to pursue a graduate degree. Please note that the Personal History Statement is not meant to be a general autobiography.  The statement is optional and should not exceed two double-spaced pages. It should not duplicate the Statement of Academic Purpose.

Statement on Quantitative and Programming Skills Preparation

Social psychology.

Please be brief. Bullet-point responses are preferable. Answers to all questions should not exceed 1,000 words in total; estimate about 200 word answers per question.

  • Please list all college-level, post-baccalaureate, and/or graduate school courses you have taken in statistics, mathematics, logic, or related quantitative disciplines (including in-class and online courses). For each, list the course name, university, main topics covered, and grade received.
  • Please list any computer programming languages you know. Describe any special projects you completed using these programming skills.
  • Please list any statistical software you have used. Describe any special projects you completed using these programming skills.
  • Have you analyzed data independently and/or analyzed data that you collected to test your own research ideas? Please describe the kind of data (e.g., questionnaire, behavioral, eye-tracking, fMRI), the kinds of analyses you performed, and number of projects that used those data and analyses.
  • Describe any other aspects of your skills or training that have prepared you for doctoral studies and research in social psychology. You might include content covered in lab meetings you routinely attended, grants received to fund your skill development, professional or career opportunities that provided skill building or training, etc. Do not report GRE scores; we are not accepting GRE scores in the fall 2022 application.
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personal statement for masters york

September 22, 2020

Mature – Personal Statements

Whether you apply through a UCAS application, or through the Mature Learner entry scheme, you will need to write a personal statement. 

This is a body of text where you describe your skills and experience and how this makes you an ideal candidate for the course you’re applying for. 

Your personal statement is often the only way that admissions officers get to see the person behind the application and it’s your chance to impress. We want you to demonstrate that you are passionate about your chosen subject area and that you’ve done your research and are fully informed about the area you want to go into. Watch this video to find out more, or keep reading below. 

We expect you to talk about your experience that relates to the field in question. For example, if you’re applying for an Occupational Therapy course, you may mention your experience of working in a caring capacity such as work experience in a hospital or a care home. If you’re applying for Business, you may mention your experience of being involved in the business admin or accounting side of your job. 

As a Mature Student, you may have been out of education for a while. Use this to your advantage and discuss how your time out has given you real-world experience in the world of work. Don’t worry about trying to sound too academic – as long as your writing is professional and grammatically correct you will be fine. Don’t feel pressured to use longer words, a concise personal statement which is clear and easy to read is best. A piece of writing that is difficult to read or understand is not a good way to introduce yourself. 

There are lots of ways you can structure your personal statement and there are lots of online tools to help you get started. I’ve listed some below





  • Don’t lie or exaggerate
  • Don’t plagiarise – we use tools to check how similar your personal statement is to others. This is a historic tool, so has a bank of personal statements from previous years.
  • Don’t use quotes, humour or get too opinionated 
  • Don’t rely on spellchecker – make sure you have other people read it and check your spelling and grammar. If you need more help, Grammarly is a really good app to use (it s free)
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute – you’ll need to do multiple drafts, and ask someone at your college or someone you trust to read it through and give you feedback. 

If you want more support with your personal statement, please email [email protected] 

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></center></p><h2>Personal Statement</h2><p>Nyu personal statement -a helpful guide with examples.</p><ul><li>January 2, 2024</li></ul><h2>Writing Services</h2><ul><li>Academic Writing Service</li><li>Admission Essay Writing Service</li><li>Personal Statement Writing Service</li><li>LOR Writing Service</li><li>Motivation Letter Writing Service</li><li>Proofreading Service</li><li>Company Profile Service</li><li>Coursework Help</li><li>Thesis Help</li><li>Dissertation Help</li><li>Homework Help</li><li>Term Paper Writing Services</li><li>Essay Writing Services</li></ul><h2>SOP Writing Services In India</h2><ul><li>SOP Writers Near Me</li><li>SOP Writing Service India</li><li>SOP Writing Service Hyderabad</li><li>SOP Writing Service Kerala</li><li>SOP Writing Service Bangalore</li><li>SOP Writing Service Delhi</li><li>SOP Writing Service Pune</li><li>SOP Writing Service Mumbai</li><li>SOP Writing Service Vijayawada</li></ul><h2>Table of Contents</h2><p>Is getting admission to New York University your dream? </p><p>If so, you shouldn’t take your NYU personal statement for granted. Because this brief write-up has a very strong impact on deciding your admission. </p><p>In this blog, we have bundled a whole lot of information about this document such as: </p><ul><li>New York University personal statement paragraph structure</li><li>3 NYU personal statement examples</li><li>Top 5 personal statement writing steps </li><li>Great tricks and writing advice from experts </li></ul><h2>How Does an NYU Personal Statement Help You Materialize Your Dream?</h2><p>New York University is not only a top university in the USA but also is ranked among the top universities in the world. So, getting admission there is not easy unless you make your profile stand out. </p><p>Your personal statement NYU can go a long way in making you stand out because:</p><ul><li>It enables you to list all your strengths and skills with evidence </li><li>It provides you with an opportunity to show who you are and what your background is</li><li>It gives you the space to underscore your proudest qualities and show how you can contribute to NYU</li></ul><h2>How Long Should an NYU Personal Statement Be?</h2><p>Paragraph structure for personal nyu statement.</p><p>Your personal statement is an admission requirement and is going to remain in the records. So, it is necessary to write it incorporating a certain structure that is acceptable to your university. </p><p>Using a good structure for your essay makes it easier for your audience to review it. Moreover, it adds a logical outlook to your document. </p><h2>Top 5 Personal Statement Writing Steps</h2><p>Follow the below steps to prepare yourself for writing the personal statement and execute the writing part effectively.</p><h2>Understand the expectations:</h2><p>Before taking your pen to write the NYU personal statement, know what the university is trying to know about you. They want to see in the document your motivation, qualities, subject knowledge, and relevant skills. Gather relevant points for these key prompts. </p><h2>Read real-life examples:</h2><p>It is good to review one or two NYU personal statement examples to develop a precise picture of it and to be able to write it confidently with a clear perspective.</p><h2>Start early:</h2><p>It may be tempting to delay personal statement writing to the last day. But doing so will lead you to feel stressed at the last moment. Start early so that you can have enough time for reviewing and corrections. </p><h2>Meet all requirements:</h2><p>Make sure that your personal statement meets all the requirements such as the recommended word count, text formatting, question prompts etc. Ensuring these aspects will increase your application’s acceptance chance. </p><h2>Review and rectify:</h2><p>Once completed, it is highly recommended to go through your personal statement at least four to five times and see if it looks incoherent, illogical, or erroneous. Even a single mistake can cause you to lose your edge. </p><h2>NYU Personal Statement Examples</h2><p>My passion for law has its roots in my ideology of rewards and justice. The uncanny nature of human behaviour brings forth the necessity to distinguish good deeds from the bad ones. Interestingly, the world needs some parameters or clauses that determine whether an act is acceptable or not. Here lies the idea of justice and rewards. Law has evolved over time, justifying actions of the members of every civilization. Presently, we find law as a natural integration of our ethical system. In fact, law is something that we unconsciously adhere to. My interest in Political Science further complemented my interest in law. Channelizing my interest and energy towards productive shores, I decided to be a lawyer. The advanced program that your university offers would streamline my profile significantly.</p><p>My deep-rooted interest in politics compelled me to explore the legal domain. In India, the socio-political-legal segments are uniquely intertwined. While studying political science, I got to explore some aspects of the Indian legal system. However, I aspire to imbibe relevant knowledge on international laws, particularly revolving around human rights. In one of my readings, I came across the fact that the defendants in American criminal cases were unable to receive a lawyer until 1963. Again, in ‘Gideon Vs Wainwright’, the Fourteenth Amendment was unanimously interpreted by the Supreme Court. This ensured counselling to the people who required it. This happened almost a century after Britain’s Prisoners’ Counsel Act of 1836 provided the right to the accused. I believe it to be my duty to stand by people who are baselessly accused or need support. Eventually, it has been both politics and law that influenced my professional goals.</p><p>During my Intermediates, I had taken all the subjects that would propel me towards the legal sector. Apart from studying political science, I had psychology and philosophy as my main papers. Eventually, I was able to logically scrutinize human behaviour. In the process, I learned to visualize things from other peoples’ perspectives. To establish myself as an advocate, I need to explore the legal sector, just like a barrister or a solicitor. Studying psychology and philosophy has already bestowed me with a deep insight into human behaviour. This poised me in a position to evaluate morality and differentiate wrong from right. This is the substance constituting law.</p><p>At the graduation level, I will get the opportunity to meet new aspirants from different cultures across the globe. This will foster my growth as an independent person. I am aware of the necessary efforts and responsibilities to shoulder at the graduate level. With my orientation and experiences complimenting my professional goals, I am determined and ready to shoulder fresh challenges. I feel my innate drive to push me forward to sustain the upcoming challenges. In the process, I will be able to embrace success in my professional path, which would eventually help me realize my dream. I have always looked for opportunities in the reality surrounding me. With my ambition to support the needy to get through the legal complications, I look forward to equipping myself with the necessary knowledge.</p><p>If given a berth in your esteemed university, I would be happy to refine the academic environment through knowledge sharing. Peer learning, I believe, happens to be one of the most effective means of learning in global universities. Through mutual respect and collaboration, I wish to bring people from different cultures together, binding them to work for a common goal. The globally acknowledged degree will enhance my employability in India and abroad, leveraging my professional profile substantially.</p><p>We have added here an NYU personal statement example PDF to help you understand how the tips and guidelines we have shared are implemented in a real-life scenario of personal statement writing. Download and read it carefully. </p><h2>If You Ignore These Mistakes, There Will Be a High Chance for Rejection</h2><p>Most students care about grammatical mistakes while ignoring a few other serious issues. </p><p>Here is a list of mistakes you should keep in check while writing your New York University personal statement.  </p><h2>Forgetting the purpose:</h2><p>Many start their personal statement very impressively by narrating a good story but fail to address key points. Answering all the prompts should be a priority.</p><h2>Repeating information:</h2><p>There is information which the admission panel can easily pick up from other documents, for instance how much you scored on your graduation. Avoid such details.</p><p> Some of the personal statement examples circulating online contain too many cliched styles. Try to write your personal statement as a unique piece of a document about you. </p><h2>Not showing your capability:</h2><p>One of the key goals of personal statement writing is to show how capable you are to undertake the program at NYU. Do that without fail. </p><p>Grammatical and spelling mistakes, even the smallest ones, should be avoided to create an impression that you have given a serious attempt at writing your essay.</p><h2>Writing Tips from Industry Experts</h2><p>Have you noticed how perfect the personal statements written by professionals are? </p><p>How do they draft it so well? </p><p>Here are their tried and tested personal statement writing formulas. </p><ul><li>Do not allow your personal statement to have any contradiction with any other documents in the application</li><li>Try to present your points in the active voice as much as possible. This will enable the essay to look more powerful and closer to you. </li><li>Express your interest and enthusiasm without any hesitation. The stronger you make them appear, the better. </li><li>Use simple words. The point is to make your ideas get communicated to the reader. Using flowery language will make that difficult. </li><li>Keep the focus on you. The personal statement is a document about you. So, it should remain focused on you throughout. </li><li>Address any area that you want the admission committee to know about you or else that would remain as a question mark. For instance, a poor grade on your transcript. </li></ul><p>Why NYU? Why do many students study there? You should know the reasons not only to write your personal statement but also to give yourself a strong meaning for your choice. </p><p>Here are five reasons why NYU is worth considering for your higher studies. </p><ul><li>NYU boasts a good selection of programs. </li><li>The university has a very diverse community of students and faculties. </li><li>NYU is in the city of New York, the most ambitious city for many. </li><li>Some of the world’s popular scientists, politicians and artists are NYU alumni </li><li>NYU is well equipped with world-class infrastructure for classes, meetings, and conferences.</li></ul><h2>How to Apply to New York University?</h2><ul><li>Visit the official website of NYU and find out the New York University requirements</li><li>Check your eligibility to apply through their online tool </li><li>Once you have ensured that you are eligible, get ready with all other required documents such as personal statement, TOEFL, LOR, application etc. </li><li>Choose the program you wish to apply to. Register your account and submit your documents. </li><li>Receive the confirmation in your email. Read it and follow up</li></ul><h2>On A Final Note…</h2><p>An above-average NYU personal statement is a must to secure your berth at New York University. </p><p>The information shared through this blog should equip you for the same. </p><p>Are you ready to write your New York University personal statement now? </p><p>Let us know in the comments below. </p><p><center><img style=

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What’s a personal statement for college.

Senior Associate, JPMorgan Chase

personal statement for masters york

As you complete your college applications, whether it’s through the Common App or by individually applying, you’ll likely come across prompts in the application that ask you to write about yourself. Think of it as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committees of the schools you’re applying to in a different way than the insights recommendations and your transcript can provide.

Sometimes called an admissions or application essay, a personal statement, or a statement of purpose, what’s typically being asked for is information about your background, experiences, accomplishments, future goals, and any challenges or obstacles you may have had to overcome. Because of that, when it comes to any personal statements you write for college applications, the aim is usually to showcase your personality, interests, and character in a compelling and authentic way.

Keep reading for more information about personal statements, the prompts to expect, and some tips for mastering this part of a college application.

When will you have to write a personal statement during the college application process?

Many college applications require a personal statement of some kind. For applications submitted through the Common App, a personal statement is a required component for nearly all colleges and universities that use the platform. The Common App allows students to write one comprehensive essay that’s sent to all colleges they’re applying to through the system. This means you’ll write just one personal statement, which will be part of every college application you submit through the Common App. Some colleges might ask for additional shorter essays, known as supplemental essays, on top of this, so be prepared for those asks.

Many scholarship applications also require at least one personal statement or essay as part of the application process. Like college applications, scholarship personal statements provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their qualifications, experiences, and personal motivations. A personal statement for a scholarship application often serves as a way for applicants to demonstrate their merit, express their career and educational goals, and explain how they’d benefit from and contribute to a scholarship program.

How can your personal statement impact your college applications?

Your personal statement can have a significant impact on your college applications in several ways:

  • Demonstrating your character and personality: Your personal statement offers admission committees insight into who you are beyond your grades and test scores. It can showcase your values, motivations, and unique qualities, helping to paint a more comprehensive picture of you as a prospective student.
  • Highlighting your achievements and experiences: It allows you to discuss your academic accomplishments, extracurriculars, and any challenges you’ve overcome. This can demonstrate your potential for success and your ability to contribute to a campus community.
  • Conveying your passion and commitment to a particular school: A personal statement allows you to articulate your academic and career goals and connect them to your reasons for applying to a specific college or program. Admissions committees are looking for students who are genuinely interested in and committed to their educational and personal growth, along with being excited to attend their school.
  • Setting you apart from other applicants: A well-crafted personal statement can help you stand out among applicants with similar academic credentials. It allows you to showcase what makes you unique.
  • Addressing any weaknesses or challenges: If any aspects of your application may raise concerns to the admissions committees, such as a lower grade point average (GPA) in a particular semester, your personal statement can allow you to provide context and explain any extenuating circumstances. This can help mitigate potential red flags in your application.

How do you know what topic to write about in your personal statement?

Over 1,000 U.S. colleges accept the Common App, so many students will be choosing from among the Common App’s seven essay prompts.

Below is the list of essay prompts from 2023-24 Common App :

  • “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
  • “The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”
  • “Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”
  • “Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?”
  • “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”
  • “Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?”
  • “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.”

Beyond the prompts from the Common App, which many students utilize, some schools may have their own applications with their own prompts or supplementary prompts that they expect students to complete.

For instance, at Yale University , one of the school’s supplementary prompts is: “Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above [on your application].” At Amherst College, one of the supplementary questions is: “In what ways could your unique experiences enhance our understanding of our nation and our world.”

What makes a good personal statement for a college application?

A lot goes into writing a strong personal statement for college applications.

Hafeez Lakhani of educational coaching firm Lakhani Coaching told the New York Times to think of it like this: “Every college is like a dinner table. What will make you the most interesting contributor to that dinner table conversation? What will make you help everyone else have a more interesting experience?”

Lacy Crawford, a former independent college application counselor and author of Early Decision, told USA Today : “These essays should read like smart, interesting 17-year-olds wrote them. A sense of perspective and self-awareness is what’s interesting...I think most students are torn between a pathway dividing a diary entry and a press release. It’s supposed to be a marketing document of the self.”

Here are a few tips to make the most of a personal statement.

  • Tell a story: Use the space to showcase your personality, interests, personal values, life experiences, and even your sense of humor. Don’t just use it to regurgitate your accomplishments, which can be gleaned from your high school transcript and other parts of your application.
  • Consider emphasizing your volunteer work and other community work: Many college admissions offices look for students who are active in their communities, be it volunteering or in different ways. The personal statement is a good place to emphasize how you’re making the world a better place.
  • Emphasize any extra work you’ve done to dive into your field of interest: Be it internships, college-level courses at a community college, or extracurricular activities, anything that shows you’ve done extra work to explore your chosen field of study will help to emphasize your passion. Tie this passion to why you’re particularly excited about attending a particular school, and you may have a winning formula.
  • Make sure you check grammar and spelling: You don’t want to write a great essay and let a few grammatical and spelling errors get in your way. Read and re-read your essay to check for spelling and grammar, and get a few people you trust to help you proofread your work as well.

Final thoughts

A strong personal statement can make a positive impression on admissions officers and contribute to a well-rounded and compelling college application. It allows you to showcase your strengths, demonstrate your potential, and express your genuine interest in the college or program.

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Read kate middleton’s full statement on her heartbreaking cancer diagnosis.

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Princess of Wales Kate Middleton announced in a video message Friday that she has cancer .

Read her full statement here:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery .

personal statement for masters york

“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful.

“However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.

“This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment.”

"It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful," Middleton said.

“But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok.

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Kate Middleton

  • Kate Middleton revealed she’s been diagnosed with cancer in a bombshell announcement Friday.
  • The royal is undergoing chemotherapy, and will not return to official palace duties until she is cleared by her doctor.
  • Kate had waited to reveal the news of her cancer until her children were off from school for Easter break.
  • The announcement comes after weeks of speculation and baseless conspiracy theories surrounding the royal.
  • The princess has been facing controversy regarding a scandal involving ‘digitally altered’ photos of her family.
  • Middleton recently underwent abdominal surgery.

“As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.

"But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok," the Princess of Wales continued.

“ Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too. As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both. We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment.

“My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery. At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

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Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis announcement


personal statement for masters york

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Jewish NYC high schoolers warned against applying to Ivy League over antisemitism: not 'safe'

J ewish high schoolers in New York City were warned against applying to Cornell University over the school's reported failure to protect Jewish students from repeated instances of antisemitism, Fox News Digital has learned. 

"As a national network of alumni dedicated to countering antisemitism on campus, we felt an obligation to warn prospective Jewish students and their families about Cornell’s failure to protect our community," Avi Gordon, executive director of Alums for Campus Fairness, said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

Alums for Campus Fairness sent brochures to all high schools in the New York City metro area this month, arguing "Cornell refuses to enforce the student code of conduct, fostering a hostile climate that endangers Jewish students."

"Considering Cornell? Cornell is not a safe place for Jewish students," the group’s brochure added. The brochures were styled to look like promotional materials sent by the university to prospective students, according to Alums for Campus Fairness.

Cornell is located in Ithaca, New York, roughly 200 miles from the Big Apple. 



Last year, the Department of Education opened investigations into a handful of colleges over claims of discrimination on campus, including three Ivy Leagues: Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. The House Ways and Means Committee also announced a probe into four elite universities in January over their handling of campus antisemitism, including: Cornell, Penn, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

On Cornell’s campus, Fox News Digital reported last year that professor of history and self-identified "secular Marxist" Russell Rickford was accused of "justifying terror" after describing the war in Israel as "exhilarating." 


A Cornell student, 21-year-old Patrick Dai, was also arrested in October after allegedly posting threatening messages on a Greek life message board. 

"Watch out pig jews. jihad is coming. nowhere is safe. your synagogue will become graveyards. your women will be raped and your children will be beheaded. glory to Allah," Dai allegedly wrote Oct. 28, according to a criminal complaint.


The school has also seen protests against Israel, and graffiti on campus reading "Israel is fascist,"  "F–k Israel" and "Zionism = Racism."

A Jewish activist in New York City , Lizzy Savetsky, told Fox News Digital that Cornell is obligated to protect Jewish students from discrimination under Title XI. 

"As a mother, the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college campuses are of paramount importance. Universities like Cornell have an obligation, not just ethically but under Title XI, to ensure that Jewish students and those who support Israel are protected from discrimination and harassment," she said. 

"If these institutions fail to create a secure environment, they send a clear message to the Jewish community that our children are not welcome. It's imperative for colleges and universities to take decisive action against antisemitism, ensuring that all students can pursue their education without fear for their Jewish and Zionist identities." 

Alums for Campus Fairness calls on Cornell to fire Rockford, enforce the student code of conduct, and define and denounce antisemitism. 



The group also calls on the Ivy League to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s statement on antisemitism, which outlines: "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

Following the outbreak of war in Israel, Penn and Harvard both saw their former presidents resign amid national and campus outrage after they appeared before Congress in December and were grilled about their handling of antisemitism on their respective campuses. 

This year, Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack wrote a letter to the school community following another alleged instance of antisemitism, condemning the student for an alleged social media post calling for the deaths of "Zionists." 


"This morning we learned of a post on social media allegedly from a Cornell student explicitly stating that ‘Zionists must die.’ Cornell Police and the Office of Student Conduct are investigating and if we determine that it was posted by a member of the Cornell community, they will be held fully accountable and appropriately sanctioned," Pollack wrote in January. "This post is heinous, and I condemn it in the strongest terms."

The letter was soon slammed by prominent Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson as "window dressing" after the school received a letter from the House Ways and Means Committee in January indicating Cornell could lose its tax-exempt status over its handling of antisemitism on campus . 

"Coming a day after a congressional letter putting Cornell's federal funding at risk, the Cornell administration's reaction seems like window dressing, to make it seem they are doing something," William Jacobson, who joined the faculty in 2007, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that month. 

Cornell’s media team told Fox News Digital on Monday morning that the school does not have a comment on the brochures sent to high schoolers. 

Original article source: Jewish NYC high schoolers warned against applying to Ivy League over antisemitism: not 'safe'

Alums for Campus Fairness.sent brochures to NYC Jewish high schoolers warning them against applying to Cornell. Alums for Campus Fairness.

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Scientists uncover evidence that microplastics are contaminating archaeological remains

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Posted on 21 March 2024

Researchers have for the first time discovered evidence of microplastic contamination in archaeological soil samples.

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Researchers have for the first time discovered evidence of microplastic contamination in archaeological soil samples. The study, published in Science of the Total Environment , was carried out by the universities of York and Hull and supported by the educational charity York Archaeology.

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Emory University

Emory primatologist Frans de Waal remembered for bringing apes ‘a little closer to humans’

Emory University | March 16, 2024

Book cover for "Chimpanzee Politics"

40 years of publishing : From "Chimpanzee Politics" in 1982 to "Different" in 2022.

Book cover for "Different"

Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal — who pioneered studies of animal cognition while also writing best-selling books that helped popularize the field around the globe — passed away March 14, 2024, from stomach cancer.

De Waal, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of Psychology and former director of the Living Links Center for the Advanced Study of Ape and Human Evolution at the Emory National Primate Research Center, was 75.

From his groundbreaking 1982 book “Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes” to 2019’s “Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves,” de Waal shattered long-held ideas about what it means to be an animal and a human.

“One thing that I’ve seen often in my career is claims of human uniqueness that fall away and are never heard from again,” de Waal said in 2014. “We always end up overestimating the complexity of what we do. That’s how you can sum up my career: I’ve brought apes a little closer to humans but I’ve also brought humans down a bit.”

“It’s difficult to sum up the enormity of Frans de Waal’s impact, both globally and here at Emory,” says Lynne Nygaard, chair of Emory’s Department of Psychology. “He was an extraordinarily deep thinker who could also think broadly, making insights that cut across disciplines. He was always ready to participate in an intellectual discussion.”

In addition to being a world-renowned scholar, beloved teacher and supportive colleague, “Frans was funny,” Nygaard says. “If a discussion became fraught, he could make just the right irreverent remark to get everyone to laugh and break the tension.”

personal statement for masters york

“We may accept that we are descended from apes, but it takes the likes of Frans de Waal to remind us that we haven't traveled that far.” —TIME Magazine, Top 100 People who Shape Our World

Breaking taboos

George Romanes, a protégé of Charles Darwin, tried to connect ideas of animal consciousness and human consciousness in the late 1800s, but his theories were dismissed as anecdotal and anthropomorphic.

For nearly 100 years, the subject of the social mind of animals remained largely taboo in the scientific community. Finally, in 1976, neuroscientist Donald Griffin published his first edition of “The Question of Animal Awareness: Evolutionary Continuity of Mental Experience.” That book compiled observations suggesting animals might have thoughts worthy of exploring and that it was possible to do so in a scientifically objective way.

“Donald Griffin opened the door just a little bit and then Frans pushed it wide open. The rest is history,” says Harold Gouzoules, an Emory professor of psychology who studies primate social behavior and vocal communication.

personal statement for masters york

Frans de Waal as a young scholar

De Waal wrote hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles comparing primate and human behavior. He demonstrated the roots of human nature in our closest living relatives through his studies of conflict resolution, reconciliation, cooperation, empathy, fairness, morality, social learning and culture in chimpanzees, bonobos and capuchin monkeys.

A prolific writer and editor, his impact reached far beyond academia through his articles for major magazines and newspapers and his 16 popular books that have been translated into 20 languages. He was a gifted speaker who wove deadpan humor into his many public talks — usually filled to capacity — about his research. His TED Talks have been viewed millions of times.

Animal emotions: In this Emory video, watch Frans de Waal discuss his 2019 book, "Mama's Last Hug."

A young Frans de Waal holds a baby monkey

Training the next generation

Through teaching and research projects, de Waal also helped train and influence many leaders in the field of animal cognition.

“Frans was a fantastic mentor, he really believed in his students,” says Sarah Brosnan, who received a PhD in 2004 in Emory’s Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution Program. Brosnan is now Distinguished University Professor of psychology at Georgia State University where she investigates the evolution of cooperation, decision-making and economic behavior among primates.

“Frans told us the best way to come up with research questions was to watch your animals and they will tell you what’s important,” recalls Brosnan.

She took his advice to heart.

One day, while Brosnan was feeding capuchin monkeys at the primate center, she tried to distract the dominant male, Ozzie, while she slipped peanuts to the others, to keep him from grabbing them all. Ozzie caught on, however, and brought Brosnan a piece of a naval orange from his enclosure, offering it in exchange for a peanut.

Oranges are generally a choice treat to monkeys, rating even higher than peanuts. “I wondered if the reason Ozzie was willing to trade a chunk of orange for a peanut was because everyone else was eating one,” she recalls.

A master of visualization

That simple question led to Brosnan and de Waal developing the famous cucumber-grape study on fairness.

Two capuchins were situated in enclosures next to one another. A researcher would ask them to do a task and if they succeeded give them a treat. The catch was one monkey was always rewarded with a piece of cucumber while the other monkey sometimes got a piece of cucumber and sometimes got a grape — a preferred treat among capuchin monkeys.

A video de Waal filmed of one of the experiments created a media sensation.

Unequal pay for equal work:  When the first monkey gives the researcher a rock, she is rewarded with a cucumber slice. But watch what happens when the first monkey sees the second monkey hand the researcher a rock — and get a much tastier grape instead.

A monkey that received only cucumber appears perfectly happy until she sees her companion receive a grape. Then her behavior changes. She accepts the next piece of cucumber only to throw it back at the researcher, pounding the surface in front of the enclosure and shaking its Plexiglas walls.

“That video struck home with a lot of people,” Brosnan says. “Who hasn’t felt like that monkey that’s only getting cucumbers? Our research showed something about the evolution of the sense of human fairness.”

De Waal, a skilled visual artist and photographer, routinely videotaped experiments — long before that became common practice in labs.

“Both Frans and I used the cucumber-grape experiment video in our TED Talks,” Brosnan notes. “Frans taught his students how to write well and how to give a good presentation. You weren’t allowed to just read some text. Your slides always had to have images and videos.”

Image captions

Frans de Waal in classroom writing on a white board

Animal reconciliation

Franciscus Bernardus Maria “Frans” de Waal was born in 1948 in s’Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, where he trained as a zoologist and ethologist at three universities — Nijmegen, Groningen and Utrecht. In 1977 he received a PhD in biology from the University of Utrecht where Jan van Hooff, a Dutch biologist renowned for his research involving primates, was his mentor.

personal statement for masters york

Frans de Waal as a young boy

For his dissertation, de Waal began working with the colony of chimpanzees at the Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands. That work led to his first major discovery: chimpanzees make up after fights.

“I discovered that by just seeing how the opponents would come together after fights and kiss and embrace,” de Waal later said. “I never had trouble getting primatologists interested or convincing them, but other scientists were often skeptical. This meant conducting experiments and collecting data to convince them.”

Instead of describing the behavior he observed using a clinical term, such as “post-fight, affiliative contact,” de Waal called it reconciliation — a word, up until then, reserved for humans. This research became the basis of his book “Chimpanzee Politics,” which compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians.

“There really was no history of someone studying something as complex as reconciliation in animals,” says Kim Wallen, who recently retired as an Emory professor of psychology. “Frans faced a lot of challenges because he looked at questions that were outside the mainstream of animal behavior research. He persisted and carved out an area of his own.”

In 1981 de Waal moved to the United States to join the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.

Wallen, who studied sex-related behaviors in humans and non-humans, recruited de Waal to join Emory in 1991. “His reputation preceded him,” Wallen recalls. “It was a big coup for Emory.”

A black and white photo of Frans de Waal as a child wearing a tie

Understanding our inner ape

At the field station of the Emory National Primate Research Center, de Waal kept a small office atop a tower. A windshield-like opening in the office overlooks a habitat where multi-generational groups of chimpanzees live outdoors.

De Waal supervised the construction of a building adjacent to the habitat for cognition research with the chimpanzees. A door would slide up allowing the chimpanzees to voluntarily come inside to try to solve a puzzle or perform a task.

A large part of de Waal’s research also encompassed bonobos, what he called “the forgotten ape,” including studies of bonobos in the San Diego Zoo and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both the chimpanzee and the bonobo are our genetic twins, but for 1.5% difference in DNA. And while chimpanzees rely on aggression to solve problems, the peaceable, sex-loving, female-dominated bonobos are so chill de Waal described them as “the hippies of the primate world.”

In his 2005 book, “Our Inner Ape,” a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, he used these contrasting ape societies as the context to examine some of the most fundamental, complex and intense manifestations of human nature.

“We have an enormous spectrum of behavior, so don’t believe claims that we are inherently nasty, aggressive, selfish and uncooperative,” de Waal said in a 2006 interview. “My argument is that we have the potential to be everything we want to be. Our job is to bring out what we want.”

Frans de Waal holding binoculars as he looks down from an observation tower to watch chimpanzees

Making the most of every minute

In addition to his extreme productivity as a scientist, teacher and communicator, de Waal was a social animal, especially when it came to his students.

“I think Frans came across sometimes as reserved but he wasn’t like that once you got to know him,” Brosnan says. “He was so much fun. He would hold what he called ‘simian soirees’ at his house where graduate students would gather to talk. He was a fantastic piano player and he would play for us.”

De Waal retired from Emory in 2019 but remained active. He was in demand internationally and traveled widely, attending conferences and giving public talks. “The number of talks he would give in a year was always off-the-charts impressive,” Gouzoules said. “It was almost like a rock star touring around.”

De Waal also continued writing, publishing “Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist” in 2022. In 2023, he made an appearance in New York for a public discussion with film icon Isabella Rossellini about the book, and what we may learn about sex and gender from primate studies.

personal statement for masters york

Frans de Waal speaking at the Phil.Cologne international festival for philosophy in Germany in June 2023. (Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto via AP)

De Waal made his home in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where he lived with his wife of more than 40 years, Catherine Marin. The couple also maintained an apartment in the Netherlands where he had an affiliation with the University of Utrecht.

De Waal was made a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion In 2010 and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. Among his many awards are the E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award (2020), the Galileo Prize (2014), the Ig Nobel Prize (2012), Discover magazine’s “47 All-time Great Minds of Science” (2011), Time magazine’s 100 world’s most influential people (2007), the American Psychological Foundation Arthur W. Staats Award (2005) and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for “Peacemaking Among Primates” (1989).

Frans de Waal wearing a headset microphone for a speech

Frans de Waal: Highlights from a career exploring animal and human behavior

1948: Born in s’Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands 1970s: Trained as a zoologist and ethologist at three Dutch universities (Nijmegen, Groningen and Utrecht) 1975: Began working with chimpanzees at the Arnhem Zoo (the Netherlands) 1977: Received PhD in biology from the University of Utrecht 1981: Joined the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, focused on reconciliation behavior in monkeys  1982: Published first book, “ Chimpanzee Politics ,” which compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians 1984: Began working with bonobos (San Diego Zoo) and chimpanzees (Emory National Primate Research Center) 1989: Published “ Peacemaking Among Primates ” 1991: Joined Emory University’s Department of Psychology and National Primate Research Center, and began mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral fellows 1993: Elected to the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences 1996: Published “ Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals ” 1997: Published “ Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape ” 2001: Published “ The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections by a Primatologist ” 2004: Elected to the National Academy of Sciences 2005: Published “ Our Inner Ape .” Elected to the American Philosophical Society 2006: Published “ Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved ” 2007: Named one of TIME magazine’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World 2008: Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS) 2010: Knighted: Order of the Netherlands Lion. Published “ The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society ” 2014: Published “ The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates ” 2016: Published “ Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are? ” 2019: Published “ Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves .” Retired from Emory University.

2022: Published “ Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist ”

Story by Carol Clark. Title center portrait photo by Catherine Marin. Other photos by Emory Photo/Video or courtesy unless noted. Design by Laura Douglas-Brown.

Frans de Waal teaching a class by a white board

To learn more about Emory University:

Please visit the  emory.edu  and the  emory news center ..

personal statement for masters york

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  1. 5 Personal Statement For Masters In Education Example

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    The Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) requires all institutions with teacher education programs impacted by the above changes to complete a Statement of Assurance Form by July 1 st, 2024. Questions should be sent to [email protected].