How to Write a Statement of Purpose

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a document in which you describe your academic interests and state how studying at the institution to which you are applying will benefit you. Typically the SOP is no longer than 300 words and serves as a chance for you to show yourself as an individual beyond your transcripts and courses list. Other candidates may have similar grades and similar recommendations; the SOP gives you the chance to make a direct statement about why they should choose you.
• Maximum 300 words
• Single-spaced
• 12pt.
• Standard font

The essay should include the following parts:

1. Introduction
Describe the general areas of study that interest you. For example: "I wish to study Political Science with an emphasis on Mediterranean countries.”

2. Academic Background 
Summarize your academic work, where, and what you have studied; describe classes or projects that you have found particularly interesting.

For example: "I am a third year student at (your school) (your major). I am interested in.... I have studied with.... I have been reading...."

3. Program Choice
State why you would like to be accepted to that particular program.

  • Be specific. Is it the courses, the faculty, research projects, or facilities? Have you read papers from that department or are there professors whose research interests are similar to your own?
  • Be careful to talk more about yourself than about the school or the faculty members. They already know who they are; they want to learn about you.

4. Conclusion
End with a statement requesting that they consider you for their program