Group photo
Author:
SACREDAMULET's Photo SACREDAMULET Posts: 3,256
2/23/11 4:18 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
@ Both- Those are great insights! My references were right there to help, and I'm sure they gave me the best references possible. My statement doesn't include any cliches and is direct as to what I hope to achieve with my degree. Not knowing a whole lot about the personality of the department I can't say if I would mesh with it or not. I don't know if it is as applicable, because this is an online program.

5'4
vegan

Leader- Healthy Vegan Slim-Down, Feel Great Workshop

Leader- Living With Bipolar





 Pounds lost: 18.0 
0
10
20
30
40
UREXFROMTEX's Photo UREXFROMTEX Posts: 25
2/19/11 10:40 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm getting my master's in geology, so basically as Ruth said, admissions differ from department to department. I can give you some advice from my experience, though. My advisor is head of the graduate admissions committee, and I have heard a few nuggets of wisdom from him regarding admissions.

The "I've wanted to do this since I was a little girl" line is uber cliche, and makes them "want to puke" (his words). I'm trying to remember what I said in my S-O-P, but I believe I used a paragraph to illustrate how I got to the place where I knew what I wanted to do (I did science fair projects in high school on the effects of wastewater effluent on aquatic macro invertebrates). I talked about that and my undergraduate research experience led me to the point where I wanted to pursue grad school focusing on environmental geochemistry.

The more concise you can be about what you want to do for your research and what you want to do for a career, the better. I had a faculty member read my S-O-P and he was really impressed that I had completely mapped out my career plan. Now, does that mean my life will exactly follow that path? Of course not, but it showed where I want to go.

My department has a policy of not admitting students that don't have advisors lined up already. Most people have talked to a faculty member or two they are interested in working with, and the interest is reciprocated. This is how I got into grad school. I had terrible grades as an undergrad (I hated geology as a major, but you can still do environmental science in the department), so I impressed my advisor with my knowledge of chemistry and he basically had to call-in a few favors to get me admitted. Since then, I've had an internship at a national lab. I'm sure glad my advisor saw the potential in me!

I hope my experience helps you a little bit! Good luck!

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
Theodore Roosevelt


RUTH2301's Photo RUTH2301 Posts: 773
2/18/11 3:57 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm sure it depends a little bit on the field you're applying to. However, based on a few years of experience on our Graduate Admissions Committee, they are definitely looking for two things:

(1) Are you a "fit" with their department? Do your interests fit well enough so that even when they change a bit, you'll still fit in the department? Does your career track (i.e. what you intend to do with your degree) mesh with the objectives they have for their students, and the ways they prepare their students for life-after-grad-school? Stuff like that.

(2) Do you have a plan and/or specific goals in mind? It doesn't really matter if you actually end up pursuing those precise goals, but they want to know if you can formulate a research plan, if you can think about your work in the right sorts of ways, and if you are the sort of person who is likely to be successful in their program.

The main thing that will make admissions committees "drool" will be glowing letters of reference. Which you unfortunately have little control over at this point. But your statement of purpose should be articulate and to the point while expressing your intellectual curiosity and your interest in the field you are applying for.

Does that help?

SACREDAMULET's Photo SACREDAMULET Posts: 3,256
2/18/11 10:57 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm new to this group. I'm applying for grad school right now, and I need to do a "Statement of Purpose". They want to know about my background in my field and what I intend to do with my degree.

Do you know of any particular things they are looking for, or is that individual? I'm not sure if there's something universal that would make admissions committees drool.

Thanks!

5'4
vegan

Leader- Healthy Vegan Slim-Down, Feel Great Workshop

Leader- Living With Bipolar





 Pounds lost: 18.0 
0
10
20
30
40
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Graduate Students General Team Discussion Forum Posts

Topics:
Last Post:
10/17/2018 1:26:25 PM



Thread URL: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x979x40003792

Review our Community Guidelines