By: William O. Taylor, PhD, Pre-Law & Pre-Graduate Advising Coordinator
Your personal statement is your chance to let an admissions committee know who you are and how admitting you will benefit: you as a professional, the field you will one day contribute to, and their program. In a short space you can make yourself into a three-dimensional and appealing applicant. You have the power in your essay to frame all of the other elements of the application within the narrative of your path of success. Be ready to revise your essay for different applications if you see ways to make it better suited to any particular program or to address different prompts.
You will want to emphasize different things, depending on the kind of program you are applying to. If you are applying to a research-based program, you will need to be sure to make clear how your previous experience has prepared you to undertake advanced research successfully. If you are applying to a professional program, you will need to make clear how you are committed to the mission and prepared for the demands of that profession. Though it is important in all statements to give some idea of who you are, for some programs – like law schools – this is your primary task. Know what your statement is supposed to do before you begin working on it. We can help.
For help approaching your personal statements, please come and visit Pre-Grad, Pre-Health, or Pre-Law Advising.