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  1. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, a well-known adage that stands true through time. Even before we could speak, we used graphics to communicate. Today, we are surrounded by designs of all kinds- from the home screen on our mobile phones to the big billboards out on the streets, graphics are a timeless medium to communicate. As a school boy, I had always loved to sketch cartoon characters. A Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering gave me exposure to machines of different shapes and sizes. I was intrigued by how design made even the most complex machines easy to use. These experiences gave me the initial push towards graphics and designing which later drove me to the point where I aspire to attain a Masters in Design. During my final year at college, I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop. Impressed by how all-encompassing a software could be, I marveled at how it gave a person the freedom to design what they imagined, without inhibitions. I was eager to start using Photoshop, and started taking tutorials online. Initially, I learnt image retouching and color corrections. As I progressed, I started taking advanced tutorials on compositing, matching lighting and coloring desaturated images. Gradually, I learnt the software in and out. I began by designing as per the tutorials, but after spending hours on reading blogs and looking at designs and compositions for inspiration, I started applying my knowledge to make designs from scratch. During my final semester I got placed as an intern at Skrilo, a firm wherein I had to work on design templates for their mobile application using Photoshop. However, after my internship I graduated and got placed at a firm called Aptara where I had to re-write user manuals for trucks and cars. My interest towards design kept me from continuing at this job. Within 8 months, I quit my job at Aptara and started working for Skrilo again. I now had greater opportunities to learn and work on designs and embraced them. I took a course online - “Introduction to Graphic Design” at Lynda.com. This course made me see how vast the field of Graphic Designing was and taught me the significance of planning my designs on paper before taking it to the machine. I also recognized the importance of feedbacks for designers. Sharing my work with different designers around the world on social media has really helped me grow as a designer and made me realize that the final design evolves with criticism. My job required me to design mobile ad banners for the company’s mobile application. I learnt about the specifications of designing for android devices. This included choosing the right fonts, colors and the specified sizes of the different components on the screens. Though most of my job was done using Photoshop, working with different teams also taught me to study design briefs and make designs tailored to meet specific needs. Enjoying every aspect of being a graphic designer, I started taking tutorials more often, learning about the latest features of Photoshop and studying design in general. After having worked on 4 different versions of Photoshop, I decided to take the Graphic Designing Specialization course by CalArts on Coursera. During this course, I got to work on almost every aspect of designing, including hand drawn sketches, icons, design briefs, color theory and typography. With an insight to the German Art School Bauhaus, I also learnt about the history and origin of design along with the different designers and typographers whose designs are popular till date. The final Capstone Project gave me the opportunity to test all the skills I had learnt so far. For this I got to build a complete Brand Identity from scratch, including its logo, logotype and color scheme. After this course I had gained a much better understanding of how brands work in the real world. I had now worked on it all, except for illustrations. Drawing sketches on a computer is lot more challenging than doing it on paper. Therefore, I have been taking online courses to learn Adobe Illustrator for more than a year now. I have gradually grown into a designer and I feel that with the blend of the creative and analytical mindset that I have developed over the years, I can contribute a lot to the design community. With the field of Graphic Design growing leaps and bounds, the Graphic Design Masters program at the Rhode Island School of Design is well equipped to help me drive my efforts in the right direction. The curriculum at RISD is balanced to prepare aspiring designers like me for the future while at the same time giving us a strong hold of the traditional practices. I believe that having done a bunch of courses online, an opportunity to study design at a campus like RISD will help me get better at what I like doing best and open an ocean of opportunities that the field of design has to offer.
  2. One of the hardest parts about grad school applications is writing your statement of purpose (SOP). When I was working on mine last year, I had no idea where to start. So, instead of Googling it and ending up with a generic SOP, I attended three different open houses and asked a lot of questions to find out what schools really look for. In the end, the answer was pretty simple: Schools want to know that you can be successful academically, even when faced with obstacles. With that in mind, I made a list of the challenges I faced throughout graduate studies and picked the ones I thought would best show the qualities that SLP programs seek: persistence, dedication, confidence, and a passion for helping others. I wrote about how I worked full time and studied at night, and how I still managed to make the dean's list. I wrote about how I did not initially qualify for any graduate programs, but found out what I needed to do and persisted in meeting those requirements. "GRAD SCHOOL IS HARD!" This is what everyone tells us. Admissions committees just want to know that you are a candidate who will not give up when things get tough, and that you are a person who will go above and beyond to become a well-rounded clinician. So before you write your SOP, make an outline: What made you want to become an SLP? What challenges did you face while working on the academic requirements, and how did you overcome those challenges? What qualities do you have that helped you face those challenges? (Focus on qualities important for SLPs) What are the things the school is most proud of? (Have a unique paragraph for each school, describing what specific things made you want to go there) Why is that school the best option to help you reach your goal of becoming an SLP? When you have the answers to these questions, it will be a lot easier to start working on writing your essay. Please add any additional tips below! I know I would have loved a thread like this last year when I started working on applications!
  3. This is the SOP I wrote for the LBJ School, any feedback is welcomed - please! Running for public office has always been a dream of mine, for as long as I can remember. As I have grown older, the reasoning behind the choice has changed, but my motivation and drive have remained the same. Career politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are so out-of-touch with the average American; Congress spends weeks, months, and multiple sessions in stalemate due to the hyper-partisan climate while American families are struggling due to an ongoing Trade War, senseless gun violence, environmental issues, and cuts to social service programs and healthcare. Climate Change and growing inequality are two of the biggest challenges that the world will face in the next half century, and the United States needs to be at the forefront, combating these issues head on rather than standing in stalemate due to an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to Congress People's names. Global warming, vanishing glaciers, rising sea levels and increased pollution have the potential to do catastrophic damage to the environment and the planet as a whole. What’s more, current economic and tax policy, coupled with cuts to social service programs, have led the United States wealth gap to expand exponentially; billionaires and corporations are receiving tax breaks, subsidies, and other incentives while families such as mine are seeing tax increases, cuts to vital social service programs, and politicians who are forgetting about us. Being raised in a lower middle class family has had struggles and disadvantages over the years. One of the biggest disadvantages is being used as a pawn in political chess. Oftentimes, political demagogues, Conservative and Liberal alike, play to the middle class’s fear of tax increases, cuts to social service programs, and the rising rates for health insurance, for votes. Candidate A might state in his campaign that he/she will cut taxes x% for families, or earmark however many million dollars for social service programs such as food stamps, only to renege on those promises once in office. Far too often, families like mine have been taken advantage of - used for votes, and then neglected on the legislative agenda, I am hoping to change that. Broken promises and the need to change policy decisions and directives have driven me to obtain my Masters degree in Public Policy - I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as the growing middle class, especially my lower class continues to endure tax increases, a lowered access to healthcare, and cuts to social service programs. Furthering my education at the Lyndon B. Johnson school will allow me to I am applying to the Public Affairs program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School as I want to further my education in order to make the changes that politicians have promised my family, and families like mine for years. Moreover, attending the LBJ School would allow me to gain hands-on experience with policy, learn from some of the greatest minds in Public Policy, and prepare me for a role in the ever changing political world. The United States needs more young minds combating these issues, not career politicians who are happy to sit in a stalemate as long as their checks are cashed and agenda is met. Ten years from now, I see myself running for public office, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about it. Multi-Millionaire Congressmen and Women do not know the struggle that lower class families face and are unprepared for the next half century. Congress and State Legislatures need young minds, fresh voices, and a breath of fresh air in order to deal with two of the most important issues that are going to be facing this country, a climate crisis and rising inequality, I want to be one of those young voices. A Master’s Degree from the LBJ School will allow me to learn how to deal with these issues, give me the proper tools to be an effective policy crafter, and learning from distinguished professors such as David Eaton and Kenneth Flamm will allow me to better understand environmental and economic issues, while also learning the newest and best ways to combat them. While the Public Policy program at LBJ drew me in immediately and I do not necessarily need to focus on a concentration, I was particularly interested in having a concentration in either Energy Studies or the duel Business and MPAff program. I am particularly interested in the work of Professors Pat Wong, Sheila Olmstead and the aforementioned David Eaton and Kenneth Flamm. Dr. Wong’s work on welfare reform and social service coordination are particularly of interest to me because of my own personal background and experience working in the Wisconsin State Legislature, as the Representative I interned for dealt with many welfare reform Bills and sat on a social service committee. I feel as though I am a match for this program due to my internship experience and motivations. Experience in the Wisconsin State Legislature for a year and a half and with the Sierra Club for six months have allowed me to gain hands-on experience with policy, cost-benefit analysis, and have afforded me the opportunity to help craft specific Bills. Moreover, meetings with constituents, lobbyists, and lawmakers have given me an opportunity to fully understand and respect the political process. Far too often the Representative I interned for would receive constituent letters that stated “please save my healthcare” or “I cannot endure another tax cut” and all I could write back or say on the phone was that I was sorry. I felt powerless and voiceless, both as an intern and as someone who could identify with these constituents. On the other end of the spectrum, working at the Sierra Club allowed me to see the legislative process from a different lense. Lobbying for certain environmental protections, increased funding for programs, and attempting to sway budgets and legislators showed me that with enough persistence, voices of all backgrounds can be heard and be successful. Completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has allowed me to take classes with distinguished professors and given me an opportunity to thrive in classes such as: Ecology, Environmental Conservation, Statistics, Microeconomics, and various Public Policy classes. President Obama stated that “change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Rather than waiting for a once-in-a-lifetime politician to fix the political woes of America, I have decided that I want to be the change we seek. A Masters degree from the LBJ will allow me to advance my career and ensure my voice is heard.
  4. I am starting to write my Statement of purpose and I am currently doing Btech in ECE but want to pursue CS/Informatics in TUM,Germany.How should i justify my change of major(I am genuinely not interest in ECE), also I had 2 backlogs in 2nd year which I have cleared now but my percentage dropped ,should I mention this?My current GPA is 7 acc to Indian scale and 2.5 according to German scale.Please advise.
  5. I'm planning on submitting applications for master's programs in statistics/bio-statistics this fall, and I'm not quite sure how to approach the statement of purpose. I have a relatively good idea of how it works for PhD programs (i.e. research experience, professors or labs to work with, etc.), but if my goal is not a PhD, how do I write this? Most terminal master's are not too research-heavy so I'm just not sure how I can approach this when statements of purpose tend to be mostly about research experience and research goals. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!
  6. So I am applying for MENG course in CS in Cornell. I want to work in industry for a few years and then pursue my PHD. Can I mention the same thing in my SOP? I mean do my goals sound reasonable? Thanks!
  7. I will be glad if someone can help reviewing my SOP for PhD position in Computer Science. If you can, please let me know to send it to you as a private message.
  8. Greetings everyone. I was wondering if someone could take a look at my statement of purpose for graduate school applications? It would be good to get perspective(s) on it so that I can be more prepared! Thanks! -Izzie Statement of Purpose- Graduate Applications.docx
  9. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE In Physics, the understanding of light has evolved over the past few centuries and has enabled it to play a critical role in shaping each and every branch of science and engineering. Medical field has benefited from it the most where light forms the basis of optical imaging. Indeed, what intrigued me most is the “production of sound by light” when I was first introduced to a concept of photoacoustic (PA) imaging in my master’s thesis. While working on my thesis, I studied many articles including “Listening for the sound of cancer” which altogether inspired me to pursue research in the area of PA imaging. I feel the need to strengthen my fundamentals in Biomedical Engineering and therefore, in line with my goal of pursuing a career in research I find graduate studies in Biomedical Physics as a stepping stone to achieve this goal. I had obtained my Integrated Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME) from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, one of the prestigious engineering institute in India. My curiosity in BME arose due to my exposure to various biomedical instrumentation, surgical procedures and treatment protocols because of my mother who was then suffering from chronic kidney disease. My motivation in the field grew stronger when she passed away in my third semester. That was a biggest shock of my life and it also affected my studies throughout the year. Nevertheless, the support of my family and friends helped me to overcome that situation. The experiences I got during her illness helped me to meticulously work on my semester projects involving development of ECG and EMG circuits with their signal analysis. Working on projects provided me a good understanding in electronics, bio-signal processing and coding. Later on, these skills proved instrumental in learning Medical Imaging when I was introduced to it in seventh and eighth semester by Dr. Ratan Saha who taught us Physics of Medical Imaging. The theoretical knowledge acquired from his lectures became handy when he took our entire batch to a Cancer Hospital in our city. My interaction with technicians and doctors of medical imaging gave me an exhilarating experience. That day I was so overwhelmed and enthusiastic to learn and work in the area of biomedical imaging. As an old proverb say “where there is a will there is a way”, similarly, I got an opportunity to work on PA imaging (an emerging biomedical imaging modality) in my Master’s thesis under the guidance of Dr. Saha in my ninth semester. My Master’s thesis entitled “Photoacoustic signal computation from different erythrocytes” has given a firm understanding of basic building blocks of PA phenomenon. I also studied how to calculate the PA field from single cell using Green’s function and Exact methods. I thoroughly studied the works of Prof. Kolios and Dr. Saha which helped me to discern the influence of shape and size of the PA source on the spectrum at ultra-high frequency range (>100 MHz). The PA spectral features at high frequency may play a critical role in differentiating between normal and abnormal RBCs. In my thesis, I investigated about the dependence of PA signal on the distribution of optical absorption coefficient inside a single RBC. The results suggested that chromophore distribution affected the PA spectrum. Also, these results leaded to a conference article entitled “Effect of Gaussian distributed optical absorption profile of red blood cell on photoacoustic field ” in WESPAC-2018 (Western Pacific Acoustic Conference) held in New Delhi. Moreover, my thesis experience facilitated me to work with Mr. Anuj Kaushik, a PhD student of Dr. Saha. In this collaborative work, we first studied how differential PA cross-section (DPACS) vary with polar angle theta for different spheroidal and non-spherical axisymmetric particles. After that, we determined the morphological parameters of a normal and abnormal RBC by fitting with different form factor models (tri-axes ellipsoid and finite cylinder model). Our result established that both models provided a good fitting in the case of normal RBC where the error was within 4%. This work has leaded to a publication “Study on angular distribution of differential photoacoustic cross section and its implication in source size determination” which was recently published in Journal of Optical Society of America A. The part of the work has also been submitted to European Conference on Biomedical Optics (ECBO-2019). During this work, I also did simulations of PA field in k-Wave Matlab toolbox. This manuscript gave me a first-hand experience of working in a group, the importance of perseverance in a research field and taking criticisms of a reviewer as a positive feedback. Overall, I think the research experience I got while working under Dr. Saha helped me to build my attitude as a researcher. I have taken a careful decision of choosing Dr. Micheal C Kolios as my potential supervisor for the graduate studies in your university because I am very familiar with his research and also the collaboration of Dr. Saha with Kolios lab has kept me eager to learn more about his research works. My supervisor Dr. Ratan K Saha also encouraged me to apply for Master’s program at Ryerson University. In Kolios's lab, I would like to gain theoretical and experimental knowledge in the area of PA imaging and photoacoustic microscopy (PAM). In conclusion, I am aware that a strong dedication, devotion and determination is required to pursue a career in research. Nevertheless, I am sure that my motivation, quest for knowledge and a strong passion to contribute in the field of biomedical imaging will drive me to achieve my carrier objective. I, therefore, look forward to begin my journey as a graduate student in your university.
  10. Hi, Here's my SoP for applying to PhD in Astriphysics mainly in European Universities. Thanks in advance for helping me out with the review. <SOP> Being an ardent lover of science, I always wondered about the underlying physical processes in the universe. I spent a considerable amount of learning about astrophysics which predisposed me to want to get into Astrophysics research. I enrolled myself in a BSc Physics program at Ramnarain Ruia College followed by the University of Mumbai for MSc in Physics. At both the institutes, I had an experience of both education and research going hand in hand creating a stimulating environment where one gets the flavour of scientific research very early in their careers. I went to two of Astronomy and Astrophysics courses outside of my curriculum which introduced me to various branches of the subject including stellar physics, planetary sciences and active high energy astrophysics. As a subject, physics continues to dazzle me. I think my interest in physics is mainly because I have a knack for understanding the basic structure of things. I am particularly intrigued by how fundamental physical laws can be used to explain the underlying physical processes behind the formation and evolution of the universe. In recent times, I have been doing research internships focused on exploring observational and computational aspects in astronomy and astrophysics. These internships have opened up for me the fascinating world of complex astrophysical phenomena and their understanding from a physicist’s point of view Here are the Astrophysics and Space Physics projects I worked on during my BSc and MSc program: ● Stellar Polarimetry (June 2018-July 2018): As a part of the research fellowship on Observational Astrophysics organised by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), I worked on a project involving Optical Polarimetry, where I measured distances to the molecular clouds of Taurus and Ophiuchus using polarimetry. For this, I had used data from the data release DR2 of Gaia satellite as well as Heiles 2000 catalogue. Furthermore, I also tried to point the magnetic field directions in the map of these clouds with the same data. This project was done using Python. ● Convection-diffusion Forbush Decrease (FD) study (April 2017-March 2018): In my MSc project at the University of Mumbai, I worked on a phenomenon of cosmic rays called Forbush Decrease (FD). I studied the variation of solar wind speed and magnetic field along the FD profiles using a convection-diffusion model with the help of WIND satellite data. From the results of the study, I concluded that this is the first attempt to reproduce the complete FD profile of both types of events (ICME-induced and CIR-induced) using the diffusion-convection model. The project is under review with the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). ● Very High Energy (VHE) detection of Fermi AGNs (May 2017-June 2017): I did a project in the Astrophysical Sciences department of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The main objective was to investigate how many sources will be detectable by the Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (MACE) situated in Hanle, Ladakh. I used the 3FGL catalogue from NASA’s Fermi satellite for the source detection. The project was done using the C language and I used two models of PowerLaw and LogParabola models. ● Radio Astronomy Research Camp (December 2014): I was selected for a Radio Astronomy research camp held in New Delhi in December 2014 in which I worked with radio images of GMRT in the FITS format and used SAO Image DS9 software for its analysis to identify which galaxies belonged to the class of radio galaxies of FRI and FRII. The Observational Astrophysics research fellowship at IIA covered a variety of Astrophysics branches via lectures from experts in the field, mainly from IIA and some from ISRO and NCRA, along with an introduction to different tools of IDL (Interactive Data Language), Spectra Cyber, powspec and HeaSoft and gave a basic idea of how spectroscopy is practically measured and how analysis of astronomical data is done. This is precisely what made me interested in various astrophysics branches, stellar astrophysics being one of them. The PhD position at the Physics of Stellar Objects (PSO) of the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies interests me because it focuses on one of the very important aspects in Astrophysics of the Mach number. How Mach number simulation for stellar evolution provides an easy way to study the entire life cycle of a star capturing its temporal evolution, which otherwise is computationally challenging, interests me the most. I have also worked with magnetic fields for my project during my MSc while studying the effects of the magnetic field and its components on Forbush Decrease. Magnetohydrodynamics was a part of my curriculum as part of my Plasma Physics course. Additionally, although it was not extensively used in my project on FDs, I needed to have a basic understanding of MHD equations, which is what makes me a suitable candidate for this project. Moreover, the position requires experience in numerical methods. Apart from my projects in Astrophysics and Space Physics that included numerical methods, like the Trapezoidal method for integration and the Lagrange method for Interpolation for my project at BARC, I have had an entire course on Numerical Methods in the third semester of my MSc which exposed me to a number of major numerical techniques useful in Physics. The PhD position at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies suits my preference as it provides an ideal climate to pursue my interests. I believe that the kind of training that I had through my course work and internships will prove an asset in pursuing my research career at the PSO group. It would be a perfect environment for me to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in summer schools and projects to the research in an area of my choice. The knowledge and skills that I would gain from this experience would go a long way to help my aim to achieve a greater understanding of astrophysical processes and equip me with the necessary ingredients to keep working in this highly exciting field. </SOP>
  11. Hi all, I'm revising my SoP for grad programs in Human-Computer Interaction and would be extremely grateful to get any feedback/criticism before submitting. Is there anyone in this field (or related fields) who may be willing to help? More than happy to swap/review other statements- even if in different areas. Thanks in advance! Danielle
  12. Can anyone evaluate my SOP? I always loved mathematics. It seemed to me mysterious as a game and fulfilling when a problem is being solved. However, when I got older, developed the idea that mathematics is just a game is not the whole story. Through my bachelor, I took courses in various fields from geometry to probability and statistics. For the bachelor project, I elaborated a paper named “A Problem in Cartography” by John Milnor, a discussion on which is the best way to project a sphere on a plane. I continued my studies in Pure Mathematics, getting admission from Sharif university of technology by achieving rank 28 in Master University Entry exam. At Sharif, after taking “Real Analysis”, “Ergodic Theory” and “Stochastic Analysis” became interested in stochastic processes. They seemed to include thorough theoretical concepts and a broad range of applications in the real world, satisfying my desires. Moreover, my country and the world has been suffering myriads of financial crises. Therefore, more complex and accurate financial instruments are needed. Specifically, I am interested in improving option pricing model of Black-Scholes, having unrealistic assumptions toward the market. For instance, consider the neglect of liquidity risk a factor causing the 2008 crisis and the constant mean and volatility of stock price that contrasts with the market, switching regimes now and then. As my A grades of “Real Analysis”, “Ergodic Theory” and “Stochastic Analysis” indicates, I have a professional background in stochastic processes. And with the diverse math courses, taken during my bachelor and master, I have the ability of perceiving problems more easily. Nonetheless, option pricing is not all about mathematics. Eventually, one has to develop a basic understanding of financial and economical understanding. As so, I obtained the requirement by auditing “Mathematical Finance”, “Financial Econometrics”, “Microeconomics”, “Financial Engineering” and “Foundations of Economics” during the 1-year gap through my master. In addition, I acquired R programming skills which seems to be vital with the increasing complex calculations, including time series analysis, statistics and deep learning. However, my bachelor GPA is 2.9 and is lower than the required one, my master GPA is 3.9, showing my significant improvement. The “Math and Stats” MA program, offered by York university is an exact choice for me. According to the faculty website, there are many professors maintaining a research interest on this subject (Probability and Stochastic processes), specially professor Hyejin Ku, working on option pricing by weakening or removing some assumptions made by Black-Scholes model. And the probability stream required courses fits well with my background. Moreover, the offering of Financial Engineering Diploma a cooperation with Schulich School of Business, not only provide me with an opportunity to get to know more about the industries but also a well-rounded career. As a result, the whole program strengthens students in both theoretical and industrial aspects of Financial Mathematics. There are two reasons why I am applying for MA. First, I’m not that professional in research since my master is non-thesis. In addition, it only takes one year so, I can start my PHD much faster.
  13. Hello, I am attaching my Statement of Purpose below. I have never written one before. Any suggestions and bits of advice? I am applying for Masters of Architecture I am a 25-year young Architect currently practicing Architecture professionally for more than two years and a half. I have been born and brought up in a middle-class family in a small coastal town called Alibag near Mumbai in India. Most of the choice of vacation places by my parents were places of historical importance, monuments, temples, beaches, forts as the overall cost was not so much. I neither had the privilege of visiting any luxurious hotels or destinations or any trips outside my country nor was I much interested in such vacations at that time. I was always fancied by seeing all the buildings and structures around me, even the ordinary ones. I was a kid with too many questions for my parents, and the question I had the most whenever I went to a new place was ‘Dad, do u know who built this?’. Initially his answer would be, ‘Why don’t you grow up and find yourself, and in the process, you might build a good building too’, but eventually at the end of the day he used to find out and tell me, and I used to write the names of the buildings followed by the owners’ name or whoever built it. By this time, I had no idea how the Architecture around me was having an influence on my life for good. When I completed my 10th grade back in 2008, I got the opportunity to join an NGO that my dad was a part of for 10 years. He would teach free yoga every Sunday to whoever wanted to learn yoga. Within a month I got to know that there was a person who comes to learn yoga there was part of an NGO in my hometown, whose activities included cleaning of forts, statues, monuments and it also included trekking and hiking activities. I knew by volunteering there I would get to visit historical monuments, forts and go on trekking and trips for free. There was a senior member in that NGO who was an Architect. I knew he would be the most relevant person to get all the answers for the questions I had about built form. Internet was not very accessible at that time with only dial-up connection with speed in kbps. He used to also take me to site visits on his projects, and I would tag along asking him questions which he happily answered to me. Going to new places I would only notice all the built form around me, and I felt each building, and every structure had a story to tell to me, I just had to observe and ask. I remember getting emotional and crying whenever I saw a damaged monument. Architecture by this time had already started becoming relevant to me in my early life. As a performing child in academics, my family expectations were I pursue science, but that was what I never fantasized. My fantasy was buildings and structures. For these three years, until I completed my 12th grade, I learnt how to sketch, and I made a sketch of every new place that I went to. I also learnt sculpting and bamboo carving during this time. I was very active in sports, and I have more than 75 awards and certificates in various competitions like skating, running, swimming, karate etc. After completing my 12th grade I chose Architecture, and by this time my parents knew what my interests were, and they backed me even though for us Architectural studies were costly. I joined an Architectural College in 2011. However, in 2012 after my 1st year, I had a significant health issue, and I had to take a break during 2012-2013. I re-joined a different architecture college under the same University, which was nearer to my home so I could travel from home daily. For the first 6 months after recovering from my health issue, I travelled daily, two hours to and two hours from college. When I recovered completely, I shifted in a rented apartment near my college. I earned my Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Mumbai. In my vacant time during these five years, I participated in several architectural seminars involving technical and design and workshops on construction techniques by different materials like wood, bamboo, CLT, Etc. I also attended workshops for sculpting, building materials, digital architecture, parametric and organic architecture, acoustics. Etc. I also got the opportunity to assist my professor in two of his projects which were load-bearing structures. I was active in sports at my college. I joined the Kho-Kho team in 2014, got the 4th prize for District Skating Competition in 2016, and was on the football team from 2016 to 2017. I was the cultural head of the college from 2015 to 2017, where I helped to manage and organize cultural events and activities and recruit new members in the association. I was also a part of the Students Council of Architecture from 2015 to 2017. This exposure allowed me to develop my leadership and social skills. My thesis topic for the final year was 'Mixed-Use Development,' and I focused on tackling issues like urban sprawl, migration, congestion, travelling time to and from work and intended to solve them by integrating several building typologies. Metro cities and upcoming Urban cities in India are going to contribute a significant chunk to India’s GDP, and Urban cities are going to be the hosts for international collaborations. My thesis was my sincere attempt to provide an example on how Mixed-Use development can play a vital role in making these cities capable of hosting such global events and pressure without damaging its economy and quality of living, and how my thesis could be potentially implemented on a larger scale. I want to further explore this topic by gaining knowledge about Urban design practices. In the university, the coursework focused on theoretical aspects rather than practical regards. Therefore, to gain practical experience, I started my internship at an Architectural firm back in Jan 2016 and continued for 4 months there, after which I got recommended by my employer to one of the best firms in Mumbai. They hired and allowed to work as a part-time junior architect as my academics were also going on. I took a break for my final year thesis semester in October 2016 and re-joined the same firm back in May 2017 and worked there full time at the post of an Architect & Designer for 14 months till June 2018. I am currently working as a Planning Architect at a construction firm who is a business associate of the previous firm, I worked in. I have been teaching a few subjects at NATA classes every Sunday since May 2017. I also have been freelancing, mostly bungalow projects at my hometown in collaboration with an RCC consultant and a contractor since December 2017. I have been fortunate enough to be able to acquire Bungalow projects through the people I have known through both the NGOs that I am part of, and also through my friends and relatives. In India people like everything that is for free, and people don’t like to work for free. I have been taking advantage of this scenario and had the opportunity to gain tremendous knowledge about the practical application of architecture. In addition to these projects, I am currently working on a Resort project in my hometown. I have been fortunate enough to gain practical knowledge of various construction techniques during this time. I have good practical experience and abilities such as the ability to carry out plans, supervise and oversee the actual construction process. My work has also allowed me to reflect upon my shortcomings and the areas which I need to receive additions and intensive training on. Looking back at my hometown and the places I have been to in India, I know there is so much that can be done to improve the quality and the experience. These places have so much potential for improvement since India is a culturally diverse and vibrant nation. Given the ability, power and responsibility, there is a wide array of things that can be done. I believe that our fraternity has been accountable for everything we have been seeing around us ever since the first thought to assemble a structure or a built form was established. As part of the same fraternity we have the power and responsibility to provide the future generations with a healthy and feasible habitat, and we could offer them with self-sustainable cities and a favourable climate that can prevail for ages, which is possible by the current advancement in technology. Everything we build now will have an impact then. I believe that such self-sustainable cities are likely in the coming decades and I call my version of it a 'Dream City.’ By doing this, we could stop borrowing the earth from our future generations. With the current advancement in space technology and exploration, it is inevitable that we will be building structures in outer space and on other planets, for example, mars. If someone has to be the first person to step on an extra-terrestrial planet why not the person be from our fraternity, and undoubtedly why not an Architect? An Architect is an Artist, imagine building everything from scrap from the perspective of an artist -one who has thorough knowledge about built form & spaces, environment and design. It will be a beautiful self-sustainable place to live in. I have a firm understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of Architecture Design and Technical implementation, and I feel that I am prepared to begin the next step of my development which is the pursuit of higher education in Architecture. I think that it is crucial building upon my previous training and education in a stimulating atmosphere full of diverse viewpoints and ideas. The diverse and international students body combined with modern facilities and esteemed professors at your university will provide me with a cutting-edge education that will prepare me for any challenges I may face in the future. It will also put me together for a lifetime of success in the field of Art, Architecture and Design. Your master's program is integral to my dreams and goals, and I will much appreciate your consideration of my application.
  14. Dear All, I am applying to some US Universities for a Ph.D. in Economics. I would like to request if someone from among you, with the relevant background, would volunteer to review my Statement of Purpose. Thanks.
  15. I just realized that in the last sentence of my SOPs, I refer to the programs as lasting "three years." Only one of my programs lasts three years....whoops! How bad is this?
  16. Hi all! This may be a bit of a weird question, but I can't find an answer anywhere. It's recommended everywhere to change up your SOP in order to highlight your best unique fit at each school. My letter writers asked for a CV and a draft of my statement of purpose. Should I send each different SOP to my letter writers so they can see what I discuss about fitting to each school specifically? Should I send one SOP and just notes about specific fit at the other schools I'm applying to? Thanks!
  17. Hello, I am applying to graduate programs in biology this year. I have almost four years of post-graduate research experience in top-tier institutions and labs, and am a co-author on 5 peer-reviewed articles, 3 of which are in Science/Cell/Nature. I have good GRE scores. I think I would make a strong applicant apart from the glaring issue of my undergrad GPA (3.1). Unfortunately I experienced domestic violence and medical issues towards the end of high school up till sophomore year of college, which were partially resolved with professional help and positive changes that my family and I have made. I am really agonizing over whether this is appropriate to mention in an SoP. I haven't dove into the details at all so far, just said something along the lines of "I've experienced serious personal and medical issues at the time and persevered through them and my grades drastically improved in the last two years..." Is this sufficient? I am sure there are a lot of stories similar to mine, particularly from folks who dealt with mental health challenges and that's perhaps even harder to address. I would love to hear how everyone's tackling gaps in their application due to these reasons, and I hope you all are doing better now.
  18. Do graduate schools check SOP for plagiarism? If they do, what would be an acceptable level of resemblance/similarity to already existing texts (in percentage)?
  19. Willing to swap or help with yours if you help with mine! Attending the University of North Carolina at ______ I began my undergraduate career with the intention of obtaining a degree in Psychology. This decision was based on my general interest in the brain and human behavior. After completing my second year I decided to double major in Biology due to my desire to understand the brain at its’ most fundamental level. As I advanced through my degrees and questioned what type of career I would like to pursue I became increasingly interested in the experimental side of neuroscience. I was particularly fascinated by research identifying the ways in which conscious beings possessed differing perceptual abilities and the various environmental and biological causes behind these differences. My growing curiosity towards the research aspect of neuroscience prompted me to take the initiative to seek out research experience through my university. Pursuing an interest in the role of learning and memory in mental disorders, I applied for a position in Dr. Blank’s Behavioral Pharmacology and Comparative Cognition lab. I was accepted and completed five semesters and two summers as a research assistant. This opportunity allowed me to gain experience in a lab and become familiar with the daily proceedings that occur within a research setting. I was able collaborate with graduate students on various aspects of their research endeavors. This included weekly presentations which allowed me to become skilled in the communication needed in an effective lab group. I also had the opportunity to attend the Society for Neuroscience conference which further opened my eyes to how vast the field of neuroscience is. During my time in Dr. Blank’s lab I studied the effects of both drugs and non-pharmacological variables on memory processes in rodents. I assisted graduate students on several projects seeking to identify drug effects on rodent reinforcement learning, recognition, and episodic-like memory using behavioral assays such as the odor span task and radial arm maze. In addition to studying behavioral pharmacology I also worked on projects seeking to identify the limits of certain cognitive abilities in rodents. I appreciated the breadth of our research because it gave me exposure to both the biological underpinnings of behavior as well as the importance of experimental design. Under the supervision of Dr. Blank I was also able to hone my interests and experience independent research as well by completing an undergraduate thesis project titled Effects of Ketamine on a Rodent Model of Memory Capacity: A Test of the NMDA Hypo-activity Hypothesis of Schizophrenia. The purpose of this research was to determine the validity of NMDA antagonists as an animal model of the working memory deficits commonly seen in individuals with schizophrenia. After an extensive literature search I became interested in which NMDA antagonist might provide a rodent model with the most translational significance. In the past different NMDA antagonists had produced disparate effects on cognitive measures. While completing this project I was able to follow my own experimental question from its original hypothesis through to the analysis of the resulting experimental data and it’s subsequent presentation and defense. I found this to be a highly rewarding experience that solidified my interest in pursuing graduate work and an academic career. Following my undergraduate education I have continued to learn and focus my research interests in neuroscience through reading and following online course materials such as MIT’s Neural Basis of Learning and Memory, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Cognitive and Behavioral Genetics as well as courses on data analysis and MATLAB programming. My long term goal is to continue to conduct research and teach at a university level, however I would also love to be involved with the same open courseware platforms that have allowed me to learn outside the walls of a university. I enjoyed the research I was involved in during my undergraduate career, however, I felt that I would like to explore neuroscience working directly with humans. During my search for graduate programs I hoped to find a program with an interdisciplinary approach that would allow me to explore this interest. I would love to be able to gain experience with brain imaging techniques and computational modeling while contributing to the field of neuroscience. After researching the doctoral program in Psychology at UC Blank I found that it provided everything I was looking for. I am especially interested in the work of Dr. Blank combining behavioral experiments and computational models to study working memory and learning. Working memory became one of my biggest interests during undergraduate school and I am interested Dr. Blank’s research on it’s interference with reinforcement learning. I am also interested in how motivation plays a role. I was also intrigued by Dr. Blank’s research involving genetic factors influencing cognition. I believe this program would help me gain important foundational skills and allow me to explore my research interests further so that I can develop myself as a research scientist further. I believe I am a good fit for this program because my interests closely align with the research being conducted. I hope to bring what I have learned so far and build upon this while continuing my research career at UC Blank.
  20. Hello, The Schools I am applying to have a word cap for SOP at 1000. Is it safe/advisable to exceed this limit? Do ad comms take this as a serious breach or would let it pass? Thank you for your time.
  21. I am attaching my first and my second draft just in case you are interested in where it started. This draft is a complete rewrite based on the help I got last time I posted. I think this is moving in the right direction and I feel like the feedback has really been helpful so please lend me a hand again! This is just under 500 which is the limit for my shorter SOP and I will have room to add a bit for the schools that allow 700 words. Statement of purpose rough 2.docx Statement of purpose rough 1.docx
  22. Dear all, I am an international student applying to several Microbiology programs for Fall 2019 in the US. I got my masters in the US in 2016, but for several reasons I could only start my application for PhD this year. I am starting to freak out because the deadline is approaching. I have plenty of stuff I want to put in (I have 9 years gap between undergrad and PhD application) which hopefully tell my key experiences and reasoning of wanting to do a PhD, yet this makes my draft almost 3 pages long. I would like any help to comment and criticize my SoP (rip it off if necessary) especially to cut them down but still conveying a complete and sustained narrative. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance. ? SoP - Microbiology - Microbot (Gradcafe).docx
  23. Hello! I am applying to Ph.D. programs in History (Modern South Asian Legal history) and hoping to have my Statement of Purpose reviewed. I have a few people from my previous school giving me feedback, but I'm hoping to get a few more opinions. It's currently 4 pages double-spaced (1140 words). Reply/PM if you're willing to help me out! I'll swap if you have an SOP you want to be reviewed.
  24. So I've seen countless advice to not include any information about mental health issues, and I agree that it can cause admissions to cast doubt on you. However, would injury also fall into this category? My GPA fell quite drastically when I had an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury which in turn hindered my learning/recollection abilities for a semester or so. It was in fact this injury that ultimately, by coincidence, got me into the field that I'm currently applying for PhD studies in. The latter I don't see as relevant to my application, but the former does seem potentially worthy of being included. With this context, would it be reasonable to have a couple sentences explaining my weak GPA during said semesters, or would it be viewed as an overall negative for my application?
  25. Hello! I am applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology (mostly developmental) and hoping to have my Statement of Purpose reviewed. I have a few people from my undergrad university giving me feedback, but I'm hoping to get a few more opinions. It's currently 3 pages single spaced, so any advice on where to cut back would be useful. Reply if you're willing to help me out! I'll swap if you have an SOP you want to be reviewed.
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