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SOP in UK vs. US Humanities

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I am currently studying in the UK, and am applying to US universities (I did my undergraduate degree in the US so I know US institutions). 

But an SOP in the UK is really a very confident and slightly detailed research proposal. I was cautioned by one department in the US to not be too research-obsessed or I will come across as unteachable.

Which leads me to a question -- is it good to have a less research-oriented SOP for US institutions? Like, should I be saying things like what I hope to learn at these places, as well as what my research will entail?

I'm very confused. I'm worried my SOP is far too much like a research proposal for US institutions' likings...

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Hi, I'm studying my masters in the UK at the minute and have applied to US PhD programmes. My SOP touched upon the research I want to do, by relating it to that of the department I was applying. For example "I am enjoying my computer simulation module, and plan to do my MSc project in this, looking at modelling a rat doing backflips. Dr XYZ's work in modelling the forces animal gymnastics area influenced my train of thought, and this is something I would love to build upon more in my PhD". (N.B. no I don't research animal gymnastics). Acknowledging that I have the experience, know the field, know the POI has some cool work in the field and head-tilting that I'd like to work with them in that area more.

Hope that helps a bit.

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I'm in the same boat: did my undergrad and masters in a humanities subject in the UK (by the look of your signature, maybe even at the same university as you?) and have just submitted applications to several US universities. I completely get how difficult it is, when over here you're encouraged even at masters level to think of yourself very much as a specialist in a particular topic or subfield! I also got cautioned by a professor in one of the departments I'm applying to not to be too specific at this stage, so I've been trying to strike the balance of showing that I have proper research interests and an understanding of where I sit in relation to my field, without being too precocious or prematurely narrowly-focused.

I have no idea whether I've done the right thing, but based on my instincts, and pieces of advice I picked up from current US grad students and professors, I talked about my academic background, gave a brief summary of the topics and ideas I explored in my masters, then suggested possible ways I might build on those interests (without tying myself down to a specific project), and then attempted to make the case for why those interests/questions/theoretical orientations would be a good fit with that department (and one or two specific professors) in particular.

One thing I'm a bit worried about is that US masters degrees seem to involve producing a much longer and more in-depth piece of research for their "thesis" than we do for our "dissertation" (which, for my programme at least, was 13-14,000 words, about the length of a very long journal article). I'm hoping they don't get unrealistic expectations about how much research I've already done. 



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