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The University's "Special Something" in a Personal Statement

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Hello all! I've noticed in a few threads on personal statements for PhD programs that aside from the pros/cons of mentioning faculty at a program, you should reference what makes that program unique or unique for your study. I'm struggling to put my finger on what exactly this means. For example, colloquiums and consortiums sound good, but since so many programs have these, is that satisfactorily unique? Is the ability to take classes across departments good, and if so, is it wise to mention which departments I'd be interested in? Perhaps I'm overthinking this altogether, but I figured I would ask what some of you noted in your personal statements.

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I wouldn't think colloquia make any place unique. Every department I know has those. The ability to take classes elsewhere might be, but: (i) make sure that it actually happens in practice, not just in theory. You wouldn't want to say you're excited about taking courses with/talking to [blah] if the department actually discourages that, or it's just not done. That makes you not a good fit. (ii) Assuming it's done, the question is why those courses or scholars in other departments matter for you. That's the thing that would be important to spell out to establish fit. Other things to consider are methodological approaches, access to particular resources, an appealing structure of the program/the funding, relevant extra training (do they have a certificate you'd like? do their students often go for a semester abroad, and that's something that would be beneficial to you?). Beyond just the few scholars who might be potential advisors, what makes the program as a whole a good fit? Is it the right size? In a good location? Allows lots of collaborations, which you like? Insists on having a second project beyond the dissertation which you think is good because you are interdisciplinary? I'm making stuff up here, but I hope you see where I'm going with this. 

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