One of the most important things in a graduate school application is the statement of interest. A statement of interest is a short essay in which you have the opportunity to tell the school some key things about you and why you want to and should be accepted into the program. This is the school’s first impression of you, so it is important to make that first impression an effective one.
There are a few things that you should make sure to include in the statement of interest, some of them being details about your previous education experience, the field in which you wish to study, the goals you have set for yourself going into a graduate program, and why this school’s program is the best one for you. It is also helpful to include any academic achievements that you’ve accomplished or rewards that you’ve received. It is also helpful to do ample research on the school that you are applying to so that you are knowledgeable about them and their program. Showing that you’ve done your research will help show your drive and determination to get into the program.
Now that we have a better idea of what a statement of interest is, let’s talk about how to write one that is strong and effective.
Questions to Ask Yourself While Writing Statement of Interest
Before writing your statement of interest, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. Write down the answers to these questions so that you have a visualization of all of the information that needs to be included. This will make organizing your thoughts and information into the format of an essay much easier. Let’s go over the three most important questions to ask yourself prior to writing your statement of interest.
1. Why you?
There will most likely be many other applicants applying to the same program that you are, so why should they pick you? What qualities do you have that set you apart from the rest? Which accomplishments have you made that will show the school that you are right for the program?
Make a list of the qualities, accomplishments, and academic awards that you have received that you feel will help show the school you are a good fit for the program, as well as help you stand out from the other applicants.
2. Why this field of study?
Showing the school that you are passionate about what you are studying can help increase your chances of getting into the program, so tell them why you chose to go into this field of study. Talk about the things that interest you about whatever subject you’re studying, and tell them about the things you’ve found intriguing throughout your studies so far. If you don’t have a passion for something, odds are you won’t produce as great of work as something that you are passionate about, so show the school that you truly care about what your studying and are eager to learn more about it.
3. Why this program?
Now that you’ve gotten the chance to tell the school why you’re a great fit for the program, talk about why the program is a great fit for you. This is where any research that you’ve done on the school and their graduate program comes into play.
Tell them the things that you drew you to this specific program. Do they have a strong reputation in your field of study? Do they offer any unique things that other graduate programs don’t offer? Is there a certain professor or faculty member that you really want an opportunity to work with?
Whatever your reasons for choosing this specific program may be, let the school know.
Check Also: Available Programs for International Students
Writing the Statement of Interest
Now that you’ve developed all of the information that needs to go into the statement, it’s time to write it. One thing to keep in mind as you begin writing your paper is that most schools value quality over quantity, so don’t ramble on or fluff your words to acquire five pages. In fact, the more clear and concise you are, the better response you’ll get from the school. The admissions committee receives hundreds of applications that they have to read through, so if you are able to get your point across in one or two pages, they will greatly appreciate it.
Be sure to use a professional tone when writing the statement. There is a time and place for humor or anecdotes, and a statement of interest is not one of them. The point of a statement of interest is to tell the school about who you are as a student and a professional, similar to a cover letter, so don’t try to crack jokes or tell unnecessary stories in an attempt to be more personable.
Once you’ve written the statement, it is crucial to go over it and make any necessary edits to correct any grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. Sending a statement of interest to an admissions committee with these errors in it is a very easy way to make a bad first impression, so be sure to triple check your work before sending it out. It may help to print out the statement rather than just doing the edits on the computer so that you can make marks and notes on it.
Lastly, be sure to follow the formatting guidelines of the school that you are applying to. Not following these guidelines is another easy way to make a bad first impression. If you don’t follow the guidelines for the statement of interest, they may think that you are incapable of following simple directions which can result in a rejection right off the bat.
A statement of interest is an extremely important part of the graduate program application process. Writing one that is strong, concise, and effective can greatly increase your chances of being accepted into the program you are applying for. Hopefully, you finish this article with a clearer understanding of what goes into writing an effective statement of interest and can apply that knowledge when it comes time to write one of your own.
I hope that this article on how to write an effective Statement of Interest was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.