Student Success Centre

Personal Statements

A Personal Statement is a document used when applying to graduate schools or post-graduate programs. It assists admissions committees in getting to know the applicants on a personal level. It also provides supplementary information used in conjunction with transcripts and resumes. It summarizes any personal and academic experiences that prompted application to the specific program. It includes evidence of individual suitability to the program’s aims and objectives.

When Do I Use a Personal Statement?

Different forms of Personal Statements may be required by different schools. Pay attention to the given title to guide the information you include. A Personal Statement is also known as:

Plans of Study tend to be more formal and academic than personal. They often include previous research experience which contributed to current interests and some indication of future research plans.

Points to Consider When Writing a Personal Statement

Before you get started, you should:

Reflect on these questions:

Other aspects to consider:

What Should I Include in a Personal Statement?

Possible sections may include (not necessarily in the order given):

Do’s For Preparing Your Personal Statement:

Don’ts For Preparing Your Personal Statement:

Additional Resources:

There are a number of resources available which offer specific examples of personal statements. One site, allows you to view a variety of personal statements organized by subject. A few samples from this site include: