Jump to content


Welcome to The GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)
Guest Message © 2014 DevFuse

Icon Notices

  • [March 2012] February (and January) Stats: Did you make it to the top ten posters? Check here


SoP vs. Personal Statement, little work experience (professional master's)


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 TypeA

TypeA

    Espresso Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 99 posts
  • LocationDetroit, MI
  • Program:MPH/MPP

Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:47 PM

Hello! I really need to get in gear in the next couple weeks and write up SoPs and personal statements for the MPP and MPH programs I want to apply for. Here are some sample prompts:

SoP: The Academic Statement should be a concise, well-written essay about your professional and academic goals (1000 words). The admissions committee is interested in how your background has influenced these goals as well as how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

Personal statement: A Personal Statement is also required for all applicants (500 words). This statement is meant to convey how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree.


For professional master’s program SoPs, how thoroughly should I develop my areas of interest? I have several, all within the purview of health/health policy, but otherwise relatively unrelated (e.g., the separation of physical and mental health vs. intelligent regulation of emerging technologies that have a direct impact on public health, along with a few others, though most aspects of health policy interest me on some level). My interests are largely motivated by work I did in classes during my senior year.

I worked part-time in college in various positions, only one of which was particularly relevant to my choice in graduate studies (and then, only loosely, as I was an administrative assistant). I can discuss how one of the other jobs dissuaded me from pursuing medicine, though. I graduated in May and currently have a full-time position that is... shall we say adjacent to health policy, but I’ll only have been working for ~3 months when I write these essays. Is it improper to rely heavily on educational experiences (classes I really enjoyed that left me wanting to learn more) in my SoP when the prompt for the personal statement specifically asks for educartional opportunities?
  • 0
Attending: University of Michigan School of Public Health (MPH, Health Management & Policy); University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy (MPP)

#2 runonsentence

runonsentence

    Latte Macchiato

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 730 posts
  • LocationCincinnati, OH
  • Application Season:Already Attending
  • Program:PhD, Rhetoric and Composition

Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:48 PM

For professional master’s program SoPs, how thoroughly should I develop my areas of interest? I have several, all within the purview of health/health policy, but otherwise relatively unrelated (e.g., the separation of physical and mental health vs. intelligent regulation of emerging technologies that have a direct impact on public health, along with a few others, though most aspects of health policy interest me on some level). My interests are largely motivated by work I did in classes during my senior year.


I'm not quite sure what the question is/means. Can you clarify what you're asking for, here? (Or, maybe my answer to your second question will cover it?)

As to your second question (whether or not to rely on educational experiences in your SoP), I'd say that you should do your best to make the SoP a "forward-looking" document. While your background will come into play in explaining how you came to your research interests, your interests and goals themselves are the focal point of this document. (Note that the first sentence of the prompt says that this document is about your goals.)

The personal statement, by contrast, is where you get to spend more time discussing your background and how it led to you wanting to pursue graduate school. This is where you'll want to put most of the information about your school background.

So for instance, in your SoP, you might say something like, "My interest in X, which was developed through A and B courses, was honed even more in a research opportunity with Dr. Smith. I want to continue exploring this issue and get a MPP/MPH because it will be of great use to me in a career as a medical policy person because.... I am interested in exploring [more about research interests here] at Z university, because the faculty at your program are committed to the same kind of work." Here I've noted where my research interests came from, but I've focused more on the goals themselves.
  • 0

#3 TypeA

TypeA

    Espresso Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 99 posts
  • LocationDetroit, MI
  • Program:MPH/MPP

Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:07 PM


I'm not quite sure what the question is/means. Can you clarify what you're asking for, here? (Or, maybe my answer to your second question will cover it?)



Thanks! That was really helpful for the second part of my question. Let me see if I can clarify what I mean in the first part: I know that this forum is hugely populated by PhD applicants/candidates, and in the SoPs for those programs, it is critical to have a specific research interest. What are the expectations, when applying to a professional master's program, of defining topics of interest? There are several topics I could see myself working with in the future, and while they all fall under the umbrella of health policy, they're otherwise a bit disjointed. Should I commit to one of these interests for my SoP, and flesh it out as thoroughly as possible? Can I use the paper to examine two or three, and explain that I'd love to use grad school to explore them in more depth?
  • 0
Attending: University of Michigan School of Public Health (MPH, Health Management & Policy); University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy (MPP)

#4 runonsentence

runonsentence

    Latte Macchiato

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 730 posts
  • LocationCincinnati, OH
  • Application Season:Already Attending
  • Program:PhD, Rhetoric and Composition

Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:38 PM

You're welcome! As to your question, it's a good one, and I guess I'm not the person to answer it (hopefully another professional program applicant will stumble on in).

My instinct would be to go with one or two "primary" interests and flesh those out, and then mention your other interests more briefly. Since the SoP is entirely devoted to your goals and interests, I think it would be best to give them a bit of "meat," here.
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users