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Academic Statement of Purpose

The Academic Statement of Purpose is an opportunity for you to share information that will help reviewers understand your academic interests and objectives, assess your academic background, preparation, and training, and determine if you are a good match for the program to which you are applying.

The Purdue University Graduate School application allows applicants to select up to three graduate campuses and/or majors per application. If you are applying to a 2nd or 3rd choice program, you are only required to submit one academic statement of purpose with your application. Be sure your academic statement of purpose is all-inclusive, and supports your suitability for your enrollment in all the graduate programs listed on your application.

A statement, not exceeding two pages in length, is encouraged.  The following topics should be addressed in your Academic Statement of Purpose.

  1. What are your professional plans and career goals? How will attending graduate school assist you in reaching those goals?
  2. Describe your research, scholarly, or creative interests. What topics are of particular interest to you? Reviewers know that interests change over time but try to be as specific as possible.
  3. Discuss how your experiences, skills, and abilities have prepared you for graduate study. Relevant topics may include coursework, work and research experiences, internships, presentations, exhibits, publications, and community service. If you describe a research or scholarly experience, include information on the topic, research mentor, your role, and outcomes.
  4. Describe how your skills, preparation, and interests are a match for the program to which you are applying. Identify faculty who share your research and scholarly interests. Reviewers will want to know that you have researched the program, faculty, and key focus areas.

The Academic Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement are two of the most important documents in your graduate school application. The documents should be concise, clear, and free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. You should have others review your document for content, organization, and to ensure that there are no errors. Information in the Personal History Statement should complement but not duplicate information in the Academic Statement of Purpose.

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