The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Write a Personal Statement

Bring a draft of your personal statement to our office for feedback. We will help you polish your piece so it engages readers and stands out. Our library also has resources to assist you with your writing and samples of personal statements for a variety of graduate programs.

Sample opening paragraphs
Writing resources

What to Include

Your personal statement is a sample of your writing skills. Check for grammatical errors and typos and keep it concise. Have as many people to proof your work as you can. Your personal statement also gives the admissions committee insight into who you are as a person. Be sure to answer the question they are asking, and let your voice and personality come through in your writing. Include information about your background or extenuating circumstances relative to your application, such as reasons for a low GPA during a particular semester.

Academic Experience and Research Interests: Connect your academic experiences and research interests to the program. You may also want to include personal qualities that make you a good researcher. Be sure to back up those statements with specific examples that illustrate your skills. Don’t rehash information that you provide elsewhere in your application.

Extracurricular Experiences: Highlight leadership roles. Don’t just describe experiences; talk about how they’ve developed your skills and interests and relate those experiences to your goals.

Career Goals: Indicate how you plan to use your graduate training. You don’t have to map your life out in detail; just identify some general goals. Admissions committees are interested in how a graduate education fits in with your life plans.