The 9 Questions your Graduate School Statement of Purpose must answer and How to answer them

If you’re writing your graduate school statement of purpose and don’t know how or where to start, or you’ve written one and are not sure whether you’ve covered everything, then this brief article is for you.

Grab a pen and a paper, write each question down and take your time to answer.

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What do you want to study?

Mention the FIELD and specify the SPECIALIZATION.

Why do you want to study (the FIELD and SPECIALIZATION?)

Explain your interest and career goals. Clearly explain why the specific field and specialization and not any other.

How did you become interested in this topic?

Explain with reasons how you became interested in the topic. Don’t take the easy route or give generic answer about passion and interest from childhood.

So far, what have you done to learn this topic and specialization?

Mention the degrees you’ve acquired, projects and coursework you’ve undertaken, etc. Again, give specific information.

If you’re applying for graduate studies in a field different from what you studied in undergraduate, read this important guide.

What’s your previous experience in this field and how has it shaped your understanding of the subject?

Bring up your research, teaching, volunteer, and professional experience and show with specific outcomes how this has helped your understanding of the subject.

What skills are you lacking in this field at the moment?

Explain the specific skill that you lack and which will be acquired through the graduate studies. This is very important because if you have the skill you wouldn’t need to apply to the graduate program.

Why is this program/graduate school the next step in your academic life?

This is the place where you underscore the need to learn the skill you’ve identified as lacking in question 7.

How does this program help your journey?

Explain how you the graduate studies will benefit you. Underline the outcomes you require and explain how the program will help you.

What things in our program attract you?

Explain the specific things that appeal to you. Mention specific professors in your field/specialization and how your research interests align. Mention the syllabus, methods of teaching, faculty or any other aspect that appeals to you.

If you’ve answered the 9 questions, now you’ve an outline to work with. Craft a draft answering each question in 50-100 words.

After you’ve written your SOP, now it’s time to have it edited and reviewed.

At, we recommend that you get someone who knows you to read your Graduate school statement of purpose to check if you’ve brought out your individuality well.

Alternatively, you can have it reviewed by someone with expertise in your field.

At phdstatementsofpurpose, we have friendly experts who’ll check your statement of purpose against the requirements. They’ll comb through each sentence and check it against specific requirements of your program and university.

We will then advise on what you need to change (grammar and context) so that the final product not only captures who you are but also makes you stand out.

Still struggling to start your Graduate school statement of purpose? Click here for expert HELP.

Check out some of the Samples and how they answer the 9 questions


PhD Statements of Purpose