Skip to main content

Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

You’ve made the decision to pursue a graduate degree, and your application is nearly complete. All the letters of recommendation are in, your writing sample is polished and ready, and your academic transcripts are organized. However, there’s one crucial component left to address – the required personal statement. But why is the personal statement so significant in the context of a graduate program application?

Numerous graduate school programs, including the Agricultural Education and Human Sciences (AEHS) Graduate Program, mandate a personal statement as part of their application requirements. This element serves as a valuable tool for the admissions committee to gain deeper insights into the educational objectives, research interests, and other pertinent background details of the applicants – aspects that may not be apparent from other obligatory application materials.

To assist you in crafting an insightful personal statement for the AEHS program and enhance the overall appeal of your graduate school application, here are five valuable tips.

Keep it Professional

Maintaining a high level of professionalism is crucial. Ensure that you address professionals by their accurate titles and refrain from using slang or jargon that could be misconstrued or unclear. It is advisable to have someone proofread your statement before submission; obtaining a second opinion on your writing can assist in identifying punctuation mistakes and other grammatical errors. Above all, remain authentic and true to yourself.

Share Your Research Interests and Plans for the Future

The AEHS admissions committee considers the personal statement as a platform for expressing your research interests and outlining your future plans. This integral component of the application aids our committee in assessing your compatibility with the program. Feel free to articulate your enthusiasm for the discipline, delve into your research interests, and elucidate how you intend to apply the knowledge gained in the program to real-world scenarios.

Be Honest About Previous Academic Pursuits

If your undergraduate GPA falls below the program requirement or if certain aspects of your application materials are not as robust, it’s important to acknowledge that NC State Graduate School mandates a 3.0 GPA for admission. The AEHS program encourages applicants to utilize their personal statement as a platform for explanation. Adopting a holistic admissions approach, our program recognizes that using the personal statement to address any concerns or red flags in your application can be pivotal, potentially making a significant difference and fortifying your overall application.

Share a Little Bit About Yourself

The AEHS program emphasizes that the personal statement serves as your chance to provide insights into who you are. Take the opportunity to explain why you’ve chosen our program, elaborate on your interests, and clarify your motivations for pursuing graduate studies with us. Whether a life experience has prompted your quest for further education aligned with our graduate program or if a previous student has inspired your pursuit of the same degree, share your story. Regardless of the circumstances, we view the personal statement as an icebreaker—a promising initial step in establishing enduring connections with prospective program faculty.

Mind Your Word Count

Similar to many admissions committees, our graduate admissions committee diligently evaluates numerous applications each admissions cycle. This process is both rigorous and time-intensive, underscoring the importance of adhering to the specified word count. While a slight deviation beyond the word count limit might be acceptable, an excessively lengthy personal statement can impede the reviewing process, diverting time that could be allocated to assessing your other application materials. Conversely, personal statements that fall short in length may convey the impression that insufficient thought and effort were invested. In essence, it is advisable to meet the minimum length requirement.

For additional valuable tips on crafting a personal statement for graduate school, please explore the links provided below: