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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences - The University of Texas at Dallas

Statement of Purpose


Many prospective graduate students fail to realize the importance of the Statement of Purpose. Indeed, for many PhD applicants, the information in the Statement of Purpose is extremely important to the admissions decision making process. A Statement of Purpose is the opportunity for a graduate student to achieve the following objectives.


  • Explain how past educational, research and professional experiences have prepared you for the Graduate Program to which you are applying. A few sentences describing each of these experiences and their relevance to the Graduate Application is very appropriate. Typically, students should emphasize their past educational and research experiences and explain their relevance to their application. Past personal experiences should be de-emphasized and possibly not mentioned at all.

  • Explain what course of study you plan to pursue as a graduate student. If you are applying to the PhD program, then you should explicitly describe your research area of interest and mention specific faculty members whose research interests appear compatible with your research interests.

  • Discuss your post-graduate career objectives. Once you receive the Graduate Degree, will you pursue a career in Academia as a Professor or Instructor? Do you intend to apply for further training such as Medical School or Dental School after you graduate? Do you intend to apply for a particular position in industry? If so, what type of position are you interested in obtaining?

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