How to Write a Personal Statement for Graduate School — Examples
Writing a personal statement example for graduate school might at first seem like an overwhelming task. It sets the tone for your grad school application, after all. While every personal statement for graduate school should be different, the examples that follow could help you brainstorm ideas and give you a place to start.
Can you get your personal statement grad school example professionally edited? Absolutely! Having an effective personal statement that reflects your abilities and personality may assist you in the graduate school admissions process!
6 Tips for Graduate School Personal Statement Examples
- Make sure your personal statement is unique
- Find out what the requirements are before you start writing.
- Be sure to answer your prompt entirely (if you received one).
- If there is no prompt, select a central idea and stick to it.
- Incorporate why you would be the perfect candidate and showcase your skills and/or qualities.
- Proofread and edit.
Are there Grad Schools that do not require Personal Statements?
Absolutely! One way of dealing with the headache of personal statements is to avoid them altogether! Below, find some of the most popularly applied-to graduate schools that may not require personal statements:
- Apply eligible work experience and prior college credits toward up to 75% of your undergraduate degree
- Experience a Purdue Global undergraduate program for an introductory 3-week period. There’s no financial obligation beyond the application fee
- Competency-based ExcelTrack™ programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money
Graduate Personal Statement Examples
Below are three personal statement examples for grad school. Read these to get an idea of what to expect when writing yours.
Keep in mind that different schools may have specific requirements. Some might give you a prompt to write your personal statement. Make sure to answer the prompt fully. If you do not have a prompt, focus your personal statement around a central idea or message. The goal here is to show the admissions committee why you are a good candidate for admission to a certain program, be it business, communications, engineering, or other programs, and demonstrate your qualities. These include your writing capability, goals and reasons for applying, and your personality and background. Also, be sure to follow all other specified guidelines, including length, and copy edit carefully.
Personal Statement 1: Student Pursuing Admissions into an English Program
While I will never make the grandiose statement of knowing the nitty-gritty of my life’s plan at an early age, I can state—with a degree of certainty—that it would undoubtedly involve books.
In that much, I was accurate. All the more so when I began to attend ABC College for my undergraduate studies. Entering the college as a Theater and English double major, I soon became consumed with the latter. It’s important to note that my diploma lists a BA in English, and not the aforementioned. I became intrigued with critical theory, a trend that my professors highly indulged in. With their encouragement, I would be able to explore the analysis of non-canon works such as fan-authored fiction, romance novels, and graphic novels. Albeit the classics were always present (I cap my Jane Eyre reading count at a wholesome 7), it was refreshing to take a stab at new works. The course load kept me insanely busy and my brain constantly turning.
The following year, post-graduation, would be the finalizing stroke. I was fortunate enough to work a slew of odd jobs: bartender, cast member at Walt Disney World, and facilities assistant to a financial investment banking firm. Out of these, a few stood out: my blogging experiences for a non-profit theater, my editing position with a marketing firm, and the freelance gigs friends would throw my way.
Why did these stand out to me, though? All of them dealt with what was near and dear to my heart—dissecting text and getting to the meat of things. Frankly, it wasn’t enough—I missed the chunk of myself that got left in undergrad. The part that was encouraged to dissemble text and put it out into the world as something new and unexplored. It took me a year of doing these odd bits of work to confirm that graduate school was the best option for me. It is a chance to hone my skills and dive right back into the deep end of literature.
I had stated that I previously had little inkling as to where my adult life would take me. I’ve experienced a little bit more of life since then. It is my sincere hope that a graduate education at GradSchools.com University can set me on a path toward future academic pursuits. At this point in time, my studies would be geared in three possible directions: future application into a PhD program, a professional teaching career, or a career in book publishing (which places a high emphasis on graduate studies). In addition, it would be a personal goal to exhibit current and future work at conferences to become part of the national—or even international—literary discussion.
I’m certain that GradSchools.com University’s English department can best address not only my current needs and professional aspirations but also my academic curiosity.
Personal Statement 2: Student Pursuing Admissions into an Engineering Program
Ever since I was a teenager, it has been my goal to increase access to assistive technology in underserved communities. Specifically, I want to work toward developing inexpensive and accessible adaptive technology for special needs children in educational settings. The XYZ Engineering program has historically been and continues to be a leader in the field of innovation. Additionally, your focus on the diverse needs of disadvantaged communities, and on using technology to help improve the lives of those in need aligns with my passion for using my skills to help others thrive.
While I’ve been gifted in mathematics, science, and technology since I was young, it wasn’t until I reached high school that I dedicated myself to developing and improving assistive technology. I have always been lucky enough to thrive both at home and in school. Though my school and community lacked money and resources, the support of my teachers and mentors helped me to succeed. But that wasn’t the case for everybody.
When I turned 14, my younger brother entered elementary school. It quickly became evident that he needed the robust support of a special education program to succeed in a regular classroom, not to mention throughout life. And while his teachers and the administration at his school were dedicated to supporting him as much as possible, the lack of funding in our district made it extraordinarily difficult to access the technology my brother needed. My parents attempted to do some of this on their own outside the school system, but quickly realized how much of it was financially out of reach.
My brother was lucky. With the dedicated support of his school and our parents’ determination, he eventually was able to get the help and resources he needed. But how many other children aren’t so lucky? Innovation is, in many ways, an expensive thing. But should that be the case for the people who need it most? When the cost of developing crucial technology is passed down to families in need, kids go without help. With my flair for creativity, dedication to helping others, and technical expertise, that’s something I can change. By making essential assistive technology affordable for all, more schools could provide their students with the services they really need, and families can rest easy that their children are able to thrive.
That’s why I spent my undergraduate years studying engineering at ABC University. Not only did I graduate near the top of my class, but I was lucky enough to assist the head of my engineering department, in conjunction with several other departments, in a research project on increasing physical mobility for individuals with functional movement disorders. The results of this project are soon to be published in a peer-reviewed Medical Engineering journal.
I also completed an undergraduate internship experience in a major medical device engineering corporation headquartered in my hometown. There, I was directly mentored by experienced industry professionals. I continue to rely on their guidance, both personally and professionally, to this day.
Because of our shared passion for using engineering to help real families and communities advance, I am requesting admission to the XYZ Engineering master’s program this upcoming semester. I intend to pursue the study of assistive technology development. My overall objective is to make strides in the cost-effectiveness of and broader access to necessary technology in classrooms across the country. Together with your rigorous academic program and support, I believe I can do that as a member of the XYZ Engineering school community.
Personal Statement 3: Student Pursuing Admissions into a Healthcare Administration Program
If you’d asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up as a kid or even in college, I’d have said, “Help people.” But as a registered nurse in a Manhattan ER for five years, I learned my true calling is much more specific. I want to serve and advocate for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals so they can give patients the best possible care.
My years as an emergency room nurse taught me my strengths and guided me toward my purpose. This mission led me to my primary goal now, pursuing a Graduate Degree in Hospital Administration. The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered gaps in hospital systems and processes—specifically, for how we provided treatment and services. For instance, I worked at a hospital where policies lacked the flexibility to expand ICU capacity and improve end-of-life care and training.
I faced these two critical factors every day during the overwhelm of COVID-19’s peak. Our team of nurses and doctors discussed solutions in our scarce free minutes, usually in the hours just before dawn. When my head finally hit the pillow for a few hours, I found comfort in these messages. It reminded me of our shared goals—we were in this together. But in the light of day, I faced the fact that our team of nurses and doctors held no decision-making control over these factors.
Space is always at a premium in New York City, but never more so than in its C19 ICUs. In the first three months of the pandemic, the fatality rate for NYC hospitalized C19 patients was about 32 %. That was nearly a third of those who tested positive for the virus. In those first few months, we didn’t know that statistic. We held hope in our hearts and the hands of patients thinking this would influx of dying might subside any day. But the hospital was overwhelmed and forced to implement pandemic policies. Family members were sent away, and I became one of the only visitors for many dying patients. We also lacked enough end-of-life care resources and training to handle our patients’ pain to our previous standards and loss.
During this challenging time, I discovered my strengths, and many transfer seamlessly into hospital administration. These include communication, resilience, active listening, problem solving, professionalism, and ingenuity. I’m inspired to help change healthcare for the better at a higher level. That’s because our team of doctors and nurses developed policy ideas and system solutions throughout C19. But we didn’t have the agency to make these improvements. That has motivated me to earn a Graduate Degree in Hospital Administration.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught me that I can serve a greater purpose with my skills, experience, and passion to help create positive change in hospital administration. I’m ready to put my C19 days and nights to good use serving medical teams and their patients for a better tomorrow in standards of care.
Feel free to refer back to these personal statement for graduate school samples throughout the writing process. Or check out our How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School article for more advice. You can also find a sample letter of intent here. Good luck!
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