The purpose of the SOP is to indicate strong research interest and your potential for advanced research. It will consist of your motivational story; education; projects -academic and professional- to show your expertise in the subject; why you want to pursue the degree now; short and long-term goals; why this University and lastly why you are a good fit for the school. Please note that the SOP should be written in REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL order (Present to Past).
Please follow the accepted SOP format given below:
It is advised to start your SOP with an account that inspired you to take up the particular course. The introduction should not consist of any generic information rather it is advisable to talk about any specific instance that motivated you to pursue this course. Make sure this instance is from your recent past (as the university would like to know about your recent accomplishments).
The earlier lines are generic observations. Please give a specific instance or event that can showcase your interest in the MS. You may talk of a recent research paper that you have read or a project that you undertook.
Begin this para with the name of your college/ school, location, year of enrolment, year of completion, course name, subjects studied. Mention the subjects that you feel you have a stronghold or knowledge in. Also, include major projects that you have undertaken along with the timelines (Month/ Year), and a brief description of them. This should follow up with any Industrial visits, Internships, training, Seminars, workshops, symposiums, and the likes.
Professional Experience (if any)
Start this para with the name of the present organization, with details of the date of joining, location, designation, and a brief description of your profile/ Job responsibilities. If possible mention any major project that you were involved in, focusing on your particular role. Next, you can write about your previous job in the same manner as stated above.
Why Masters and Why Now
This paragraph includes information about your reason for pursuing a Master’s, also the skills that you would like to inculcate and enhance through this course. It is important that you mention your reasons with valid examples or substantial information. Also, you need to state WHY THIS IS THE PERFECT TIME for you to pursue a master’s. If you have professional experience provide your reasons why you are leaving the job to pursue this course.
- What skills or knowledge are you planning to enhance through this course?
- How will it help to achieve your goals?
- What are your goals?
- Short-term: what are you planning to do just after your master’s?
- Long-term: in the long run, where do you see yourself?
This is the Most Important Part of your SOP. The University focuses a lot on this paragraph as it reflects that you are focused on your career and you have planned each step thoroughly. Please note that this paragraph needs to be divided into two parts, Short-term, and Long-term Goals, and should comprise specific information, nothing generic.
- Short-Term Goals (0-5 years after completion of course): This paragraph should provide details regarding your plans soon after completing your Master’s degree. You need to describe the job profile you are interested in along with the companies and the department you would like to work in. This should follow the Job responsibility that you are expected to undertake and perform.
- Long-Term Goals (10-15 years after completion of the course): This paragraph should elucidate your plans after completion of the course within a period of 10-15 years. Please specify how this short-term goal will lead to your long-term goal. Please note, if you have research plans do specify few details about the research work you would like to work, details of where would you like to do the research along with some important work done on this particular field. End this paragraph with how pursuing a master’s will help you to accomplish these goals.
Why this particular University
Mention a good reason that would justify you pursuing this course at this University. Mention some specific features of the university that suit your requirements. Add names of any faculty and their research areas in this program (give names), research labs/centers, clubs, activities, subjects in the curriculum/electives, and also the scope of these in enhancing your profile. To give these details you need to visit the university and program website.
Please visit the university’s website and talk about a few subjects in the curriculum. Also, mention the names of 1 or 2 professors and their area of research that interests you.
Keep these following details in mind when writing this paragraph; participated in any event, played any sport, associated with any NGO work, any club, any independent project work done, etc. (Mention apart from academics what you have done). State how these activities that you have participated in college will help you or prepare you for extracurricular activities at this University. How have these activities shaped you as a person and how can you contribute to the university with these experiences/ interests?
Very crisply at the end mention that how you are prepared for this particular degree and why they should take you.
Try to make this draft with around 800–1000 words.
Also, read our other article on the SOP –
Download writing guidelines of SOP: Writing guidelines of SOP