Learn how to write a statement of purpose (or 'graduate school essay') that will make your background and experience stand out from other applicants. This course will cover the basics of writing a statement of purpose (what exactly to include and what to leave out) - including several interactive and fun exercises that will help you define your passion in a format that will make applicant reviewers want to accept you. This course will also provide you with insider information about the graduate school review process and how to avoid common application mistakes.
Write a compelling narrative about you and your experience
Easy to follow steps and exercises will get you to a terrific statement quickly
Writing a statement of purpose is very difficult! This course breaks down the process into easy to follow steps, guidelines, and fun exercises that will help you create a statement that will be enjoyable to write. In this course you will break down the statement into important 'puzzle pieces', and then use these pieces to create a theme that is specific to you and your background. At the end of the course you will have a completed statement that is unlike the rest of the pack.
Content and Overview
This course contains 11 lectures and over 3 hours of content. In addition there are 11 unique exercises that will help you define various components of the graduate statement of purpose.
This course is designed for anyone planning on applying to graduate school – whether the application is due in a few weeks or roughly a year away. The course content is applicable for both applied (e.g., medical school, law school, social work) or more research/STEM based programs.
What are the requirements?
What am I going to get from this course?
What is the target audience?
I'll go over the course structure as well as your game plan to create an exceptional statement of purpose by the end of the course. I'll focus on key insights that I've had while reading hundreds of statements. I'll also suggest some key factors that will increase your motivation to write your statement of purpose.
In this section I will describe, in detail, how to complete the two exercises, and why they are important to getting started with your statement of purpose.
In this lecture I will highlight how a reviewer sees the applicant, how to develop a strong and clear narrative about yourself, and how to incorporate humor, self-disclosure and other important factors .
In this section I will describe how to complete the three exercises, and how they can help you develop a strong and coherent narrative about yourself, that is professional without being generic or dry.
In this lecture I will highlight how a reviewer sees your experience, and specifically how to write about your knowledge, skills and abilities ('KSA'), and how to do this in a way that is exciting to the reader.
In this section I will describe how to complete the two exercises, and how they can help you constructively build a brief narrative about the most important experiences that have prepared you for your graduate program.
In this lecture I will highlight how a reviewer sees your fit with the program - one of the key elements to a statement of purpose. I'll show you how to identify the unique attributes of a program and how to integrate this into your background and experience.
In this section I will describe how to complete the two exercises, and how they will help you gather information about graduate programs so that you can write a compelling argument for why you are a perfect fit, with your specific experiences and background.
In this lecture I will show you how to bring together all of the pieces of the puzzle thus far (you, your experience, and the program) to create a 'hook' or theme to your statement.
In this section I will describe how to gather your information from the 9 previous exercises, in order to create narratives for your statement. I will then show you how to make these threads into statements.
In this lecture we will go over crucial details about the tone of your final statement, common application and statement flaws, self-disclosure, and assessing the quality of your writing. Finally we will address the question, “When is it ready to send?”
I received my Ph. D. in psychology from UC Berkeley in 2005. I have been a professor and instructor for more than 10 years, working with graduate students in both applied and research oriented programs. I have evaluated hundreds of statements of purpose and helped numerous students get into top graduate programs throughout the US (including Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley and many more).