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Hi fellow humans, Applying to English PhD programs. Looking at the NYU GSAS required application materials, I noticed they say that a personal history statement is *optional*. Importantly, the department's webside does not mention this at all. (https://gsas.nyu.edu/content/nyu-as/gsas/admissions/gsas-application-resource-center/statement-of-academic-purpose-and-personal-history-statement.html) I also noticed on the CollegeNet application forms of some schools that there's a place to add a paragraph or so as a diversity statement. I know that the personal history and diversity statements are two separate things meant to highlight different aspects of myself or my academic/community involvement, but I was wondering if anyone has any insights as to whether these are actually taken into account in the admissions decisions, or whether they're only used for deciding on additional and external fellowships/funding etc. that is available to a variety of minorities, or for other reasons unrelated to admission. As an international student, I'm unlikely to qualify for such additional fellowships, and am therefore wondering whether there's any value in investing the time to write these statements. I have things to say, but would like to focus on the SoP and WS if these other two statements are irrelevant to the adcoms. I perused the forum for answers to these, but if I missed a discussion on the matter a link to it would be very appreciated! ?
Hello, I'm in the middle of the application process to several UC PhD programs in social psychology and I'm having a hard time with the personal history statement. I've already written my statement of purpose, but I'm really struggling with the personal history statement because I'm having difficulties organizing it and figuring out how to fit everything in that the prompt asks for. I'd really appreciate it if anyone knew where I can find sample personal history statements or if anyone is willing to share their own statements. Either will be fine, I'd just appreciate any direction anyone can offer. Here is the prompt for the statement: Applicants for our graduate programs are selected using a holistic evaluation system. This essay will assist both the admissions committee and fellowship review committees to evaluate your background and motivation for graduate study. In your personal history statement, please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. A sample of topics that you might address in your statement is below. However, please structure your statement in any way that you feel best represents your personal history. Please do note that there is a 1200 word maximum for the statement. Any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences or opportunities relevant to your academic journey Challenges and/or obligations you have had to address in order to achieve your educational goals and how you addressed them Employment while an undergraduate How your perspectives or activities contribute to social or cultural diversity and/or make you sensitive to the experiences of underrepresented groups This "Personal History Statement" is required for all applicants who are US Citizens or legal US Permanent Residents and is different from the "Statement of Purpose" that is required for all applicants. The "Statement of Purpose" is expected to focus on your academic/research background and interests while the "Personal History Statement" is expected to focus on your personal background.In addition to the "Statement of Purpose" and "Personal History Statement", some academic programs require applicants to provide a writing sample. Applicants will be notified about any such requirements by their program and will submit any additional items separately and directly to the program. Thank you!!
The following is the prompt of Personal History Statement of UC Berkeley: Please describe how your personal background and experiences influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree. In this section, you may also include any relevant information on the following: How you have overcome barriers to access higher education How you have come to understand the barriers faced by others Your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education Your research focusing on under served populations or related issues of inequality Your leadership among such groups I think that the prompt wants me to write a statement on why I choose to go to graduate school based on my personal experience. But, how overcoming obstacles to accept education helps to explain the motivation for grad study? I really hope someone can explain this a little bit. Thanks a lot.