To share your interest and enthusiasm for the specific work you are applying to do
To demonstrate what you can contribute to the program to which you are applying
To state your professional goals and what or how you hope to contribute to this program
Read the personal statement question carefully and analyze what it is asking for
Visualize your audience: will this be read by a scientist? A physician? An administrator?
Make yourself as desirable to the selector as possible while being honest about yourself
Your research interests as they relate to the work you are applying for
Year of study and current major, related academic and career goals, impressive academic credentials
Experience in the Field:
Any special connection to this work such as prior experience or family background
Something unique about your research interests or an idea that fuels your own research interests.
Your Proposed Contributions to the Program and Benefits of the Program to You:
Personal qualities that would benefit the program, demonstrated through examples
What you can do for them; what you seek to gain from the opportunity
How this specific work fits into your academic and research goals
Writing and Mechanics: ~ The correct usage conveys your attention to detail
Make positive statements: “I have experience in…” not “I don’t have experience in x, but do have…”
Craft clear, engaging opening and closing sentences
Check that the opening statement is supported in the body and consistent with the closing statement
Organize the statement so it flows from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph
Proofread for grammar, spelling, paragraph breaks, and correct punctuation
Does this statement show my interest in this specific program, or could it be sent to any program?
Does this statement describe me specifically, or could any good student in my field use this?
Reread the personal statement multiple times out loud for clarity, logic, and flow
Have someone else read the statement. Visit the UMBC writing center.
Share your finished personal statement with the faculty member writing your recommendations
Limit the statement to one and a half to two pages with at least one and a half spacing
Include a header with your name on each page, which will be numbered as well
Restating the question / topic, Rewriting your transcript or resume
Clichés such as “to make the world a better place”; instead, explain exactly how such a lofty goal will be achieved
Providing unrelated information, e.g., explaining when you learned you were not interested in computers
Using phrases like “this opportunity will be fun and interesting for me”; focus on what you can contribute
Any background earlier than high school
For more information:
Director of Communication and Outreach
firstname.lastname@example.org | (410) 455-5754