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philipjames11

Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement

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So for some reason almost all University of California schools require Personal Statements on top of Statements of Purpose. Will anyone actually read this seriously, or is this a formality for UC schools? Any tips on writing it outside from the generic prompts?

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Hi!

I'm applying to two UC schools (UCSD and UCSF) and neither require a personal statement in addition to a statement of purpose... I think you should always assume every part of your application will be seriously considered. Otherwise, turning in a half-hearted statement may cause concern on the admissions team.

That being said, if they do require both a PS and SOP maybe your SOP can be more academic/research based while your PS can talk more about your motivations/your "story".

Hope that helps~

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One thing I've learned from going to grad school app talks at my college (in a research university) is that even faculty members on the same admission committee care about different things. One said "the most important piece for me is the personal statement" and another said right after "well I don't usually read it". So I agree with the response above, always assume all pieces are taken seriously, at least by someone.

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This answer might be a bit late for your application cycle but I applied to UC Berkeley and the approach I took was that the personal statement was my opportunity to show them who I was as a person and how my experiences (whether personal or professional) led me to the decision to apply for graduate school in my field and  the statement of purpose was to show why I'm qualified for that specific program and why my research interests made me a good fit.

Edited by CNord

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