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Graduate Admissions - Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose

The goal of this essay is to get to know you as an individual and as a potential graduate student. We encourage applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences to apply. The University of Maryland, a public institution, is committed to supporting the diversity of the graduate student body and promoting equal opportunity in higher education. This commitment to diversity furthers the educational mission to serve the increasingly diverse population and educational needs of Maryland and the nation. Both the Dean of the Graduate School and the University of Maryland affirm that diversity is critical to promoting lively intellectual exchange and the variety of ideas and perspectives essential to advancing higher education and research. Our graduate students contribute to the global pool of future scholars and academic leaders, thus high value is placed on achieving a diverse graduate student body to support the University of Maryland’s academic excellence. We invite you to include in this statement how you may contribute to the diversification of graduate education and the University of Maryland  community.

The admissions committee is interested in your academic, professional and personal background and goals.  In your essay, please address the following points as appropriate.

 

  • Your preparation and motivation for graduate study, including the academic, work, and/or research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, studio projects, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
  • Your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area/s of specialization, and professional objectives.
  • Your fit with the graduate program at Maryland, including how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of the graduate program at UMD. Please identify specific faculty within your desired graduate program with whom you would like to work and how their interests match your own.
  • Any educational, familial, cultural, economic, and social experiences or challenges; community service and outreach activities; residency and citizenship; first-generation college status; hurdles you have overcome; opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences will contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; leadership and/or community-building experiences; and how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate educatio

In 2018-2019, the Inclusive Graduate Education Working Group proposed the revision of the graduate application's Letter of Recommendation Form and Statement of Purpose. The language above is a result of this effort.