Also called a personal statement, letter of intent, letter of purpose, and other titles, the admission essay is your chance to influence the admissions committee beyond what is apparent in a transcript or resume. While most schools want you to address such basic questions as Why are you interested in the field?, Why are you interested in this program?, and Why do your experiences make you a qualified candidate?, be aware that the wording of the essay question varies from school to school. Pay very close attention to how the question is worded and be sure to answer the question that is actually asked. Do not make the mistake of trying to write one essay to cover all your applications. For more help writing essays, utilize these resources and consider having a professional review your drafts at the Center for Career Development and/or UT’s Writing Center.
Before you mail it
|There are several books and numerous websites that contain general information about writing a personal statement as well as examples of graduate admission essays. Among them are these good ones:|
Before you start writing, organize your thoughts, goals, and experiences by answering the following questions:
- What is the most unusual/unique thing about you?
- Who and what were intellectual influences on you?
- Which writers, articles, or books in your field of study have impacted you?
- Who were your favorite college professors, and why?
- What is the best paper, exam, or lab you wrote in your major, and why?
- What is the most important concept you have learned in college?
- Define your career goals as specifically as possible.
- What are your plans?
- How will graduate education facilitate those plans?
- What is your 5-year goal? 10-year goal?
- What is the historical background to choosing those goals?
- When and why did your interest in the field begin?
- What work/volunteer experiences influenced your choice?
- How has your family impacted your choice?
- How have you prepared yourself to succeed in graduate school?
- What personal attributes make you likely to succeed in the profession you have chosen?
- Discuss any research you’ve been involved in.
- What were the outcomes?
We are aware that many high school students plan to engage in peaceful demonstrations as a result of the recent tragedy in Florida. We want to reassure students that have applied or are admitted to UT that disciplinary actions enforced by your high school in association with participation in peaceful demonstrations will not affect your admissions decision.
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