How Should I Begin a Statement of Interest?

A well-crafted statement of interest can draw the attention of an admission committee.
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An effective statement of interest can help your graduate school application be pulled to the top of the pile. Graduate school admission committees want to see that you have researched their programs, that you are genuinely interested in their graduate school and that you will be an asset to their graduate program. It's important that you craft a winning statement of interest to get noticed.

Visit the graduate school and talk with the director of the program to which you are applying to learn more about available positions. Read and take notes on the position for which you are applying. Write down what you think the program is looking for. Read the graduate school's guidelines for submitting applications, and any specific requests it has about the formatting of your statement of interest.

Write a list of your skills that you would provide upon acceptance into the graduate school. Write a list of all leadership positions you have had in the past, and two or three things that you learned or skills you gained from the the position. List results you have obtained in previous schooling, such as your grade-point average or academic honors.

Compile a written list of 10 to 12 reasons you are interested in the graduate school. Which programs does the graduate school provide that interest you? Select the top four or five reasons to include in your statement of interest. Next, tie these interests into your skills. For example, if you're interested in a graduate school that offers a continental philosophy program, you'll want to note your publications and educational achievements in continental philosophy.

Draft your statement of interest starting with the most compelling reason the position interests you. For example, you could talk about the friendly faculty, award-winning program directors, beautiful campus or challenging work. Be specific about what impresses you about the school, and note any personal experience you've had with the school, such as a meeting with a faculty adviser. Use your other three or four points to support your main point that the graduate school is attractive or valuable.

Write about how you intend to apply your skills and experience to be an asset to the graduate school or make the graduate school more valuable. For example, say that your friendliness would be a compliment to the personable atmosphere, or that your writing skills would be an asset to the school's award-winning newspaper.

  • Use a formal and professional tone for your statement of interest to communicate your serious interest in the position.

Jered Slusher, born in 1987, has been writing online articles since 2005. His poetry and academic essays have appeared in The Ohio State University at Lima "Hog Creek Review." He holds a bachelor's in English from The Ohio State University.