2020 Application Pro Tip: Statement of Purpose

Nov 25 2020
Graduate Admissions Office

At the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, we make a concerted effort to familiarize ourselves with each of our applicants. Although we receive many applications across our three graduate programs, each admissions committee takes a nuanced approach when reviewing each applicant. We consider academic transcripts, resumes, and letters of recommendations, and we carefully consider each applicant’s Statement of Purpose.

Your Statement of Purpose should serve as the thesis statement for your application. It should discuss your academic and policy interests, while also detailing your commitment to public service. It can include what led you to where you are academically and professionally, and your aspirations after graduation. The statement should also include how SPIA could help you accomplish your goals. In other words, your Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to tell us who you are, how you hope to establish your legacy, and how SPIA can help you get there. Ultimately, this statement will serve as an important part of your application as it will help our admissions committee envision you as a member of our community.

Remember that much of the application review process is about our committee getting to know you and your trajectory. Therefore, when writing your Statement of Purpose, write genuinely about your passions and convictions. Discuss your aspirations. Provide us with the opportunity to read about who you are and what you wish to achieve. Through your statement, we truly look forward to getting to know you.  

Thank you for your interest in SPIA!