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Please help with SOP advice (criminology)

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I'm applying to UC Irvine for an MAS in Criminology and would really love any critique on my SOP. Im trying to turn my application in by Monday or Tuesday so any advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!!


“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.”


- Ted Bundy


            Zest. That one word shares a parallel between the weather and a beautiful young girl living in *****, ****** in the month of August 2003. Not only was that her favorite word, she was full of zest. It seeped out of her every pore, welcoming anyone around her to share her eagerness for life. Early one morning someone violently took the zest away from her forever. ********* fought for her life in those early morning hours, the dark stranger was not going to steal the thing she cherished most – her life. When they found her battered body the next morning she had been brutally raped, strangled, and partially set on fire. They collected the DNA evidence found underneath her fingernails, which created a full DNA profile of the dark stranger that murdered her. Three years later, the antagonist to this story was revealed because of that DNA profile, and ***** ****** will be spending the rest of his life in a ******** prison.


This true story was the initial catalyst in my fascination with the study of criminology. At the time 22 year-old ***** ****** was murdered, I was in my junior year of high school. I recall how much her murder impacted my views on the issues of crime against other people. Although I never knew ***** personally, her luminous smile runs through my mind along with the thought that it will never be seen again. She helped me realize my true purpose is to try to make an impact in our crime-riddled world. My decision to enroll at ***** ****** University (****) was the next step to further my education and I was immediately drawn to psychology. The psychology courses taught me how the human mind is such a powerful instrument and how each human being differentiates from the next. Nature vs. nurture is widely discussed in the world of psychology and applied to most subjects, including violent criminals. Although the psychology department was more experimental, when I discovered there was a forensic psychology minor I jumped at the chance to take the required courses. Unfortunately, at **** ****** State University there is not a forensic psychology or criminology degree offered, so when I had finished the program, I added criminal justice as a dual degree to tread as closely as I could to criminology. I may have lost my focus in school obtaining my degree in psychology but when I began volunteering at the sheriff’s office I felt I was on the correct path. Between helping with an abundance of paperwork, I was able to read and study case files in which I was able to see first hand what my criminal justice classes instructed. Volunteering included with my undergraduate degree has provided me with good base to further my studies.


After a lot of self-assessment on my future and what the next step was in my life and career path I began seriously considering furthering my education in graduate school for criminology. Knowing I wanted a career within the FBI, I came to the realization that if I attended graduate school it would be for my own scholastic drive and tenacity within the area of study that have captivated me for the majority of my life and would set me on the right path to the future career I have yearned for. After doing substantial research on many graduate schools, I found UC Irvine has a well-designed course structure along with flexibility to continue working a full time position. While volunteering at the sheriff’s office I worked two jobs to save as much as possible to pay for a higher education. A real career in the field of criminology can only come by understanding the different components of the field, which can be attained by gaining a master’s degree. Crime is a constant fixture in the world today and there is a need for academically trained individuals who are taught to understand the criminal psyche. Furthering my horizon with a higher level of education in the criminology field will help me reach my future career goals of working within the government.


My fascination in the area of serial crime and the psychological processes behind it is an area I would like to advance my knowledge on and perhaps build my capstone paper topic on. ***** ****** and ******* *******’s areas of research parallel some of my interests and it would be such a privilege to expand my knowledge on these subjects. An advanced skill in crime in our world today and the assorted facets of law and our society is something I will gain by receiving a master’s degree in criminology. I am aware that intense study in a specialized field is going to be far more difficult to excel in. But I feel that I have reached the point in my life in which I know where to point my full focus towards in order to reach a successful career, and that is excelling in your program.


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