Statement of Purpose (SOP) what you need to know?

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Statement of Purpose (SOP) what you need to know?

Statement of Purpose (SOP)   what you need to know?

A ‘Statement of Purpose,’ particularly known as SOP, is a detailed description given by the candidate imaging his /her personality traits, educational and professional backgrounds and also explaining the reasons to choose a particular course, institution and  country  and the career opportunities thereafter. It is submitted before the admission committee (Adcom) at universities or colleges and Visa centers so as to convince them to accept your application in order to get your student visa issued. Each SOP should be unique

SOP is the most crucial part of your student visa application and visa officers are highly interested in reading your honest statement of purpose. So, if you copy paste content from someone else’s SOP, it could result in the refusal of your application.

Importance of an SOP 

A Statement of Purpose is neither a CV nor a Biodata. It is rather a detailed story clearly revealing your personal profile properly which includes your life visions ,your  wish to study abroad, career goals, beliefs, subject knowledge, and your future plans after pursuing a course abroad. In short, a well-written SOP portrays your overall personality and outlook and it is scrutinized by the institution to which you are applying. Hence, it is an opportunity to pitch your purpose to the committee and reasons why they should select you over other applicants. Even though your academic background is a bit poor, a good SOP could compensate it by highlighting your future goals and ambitions which would eventually help you seek your admission in the desired college. A well-written SOP also reflects how well you can express your thoughts using your writing skills.

A general SOP format is given below


It is better if you start your SOP with an anecdote (of an account) which 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.

Academic Background

Begin this paragraph 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 it. This should follow up with any Industrial visits, Internships, training, Seminars, workshops, symposiums and the likes.

Professional Experience (if any)

Start this paragraph with the name of the present organization, with details of 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 Masters, 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 masters. 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 masters?
  • Long-term: in the long run, where do you see yourself?

Career Goals

This is the most important part of your SOP. The University/college focuses a lot on this paragraph as it reflects that you are focused about 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 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 masters will help you to accomplish these goals.

Why this particular University,/College

Mention a good reason that would justify you pursuing this course in 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 in order to get more details

 Extracurricular Activities

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?


Write a short paragraph at the end mentioning how you are prepared for this particular degree and why your application should be accepted

Try to make this draft with around 800–1000 words.

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