Statement of Intent: How to get a ticket into your dream university?

13th November 2018 by Varada A | SOP For University

Mostly, graduate courses inclined towards research work, like Master’s or PhD ask applicants to attach a statement of intent along with their allied admission documents. Now this might confuse most of the students and feel it as a daunting task to put together all their qualities and aspirations within a limited word count. But here we are to make the process simpler as well as helpful to impress the educational authorities, by sharing some effective guidelines on how to write a statement of intent.

The objective of writing a statement of intent is quite essential and resolute. From a selection committee’s point of view, it has a motive of understanding an applicant, on more personal basis. They will view the statement of intent to assess the determination level of  the applicant and weigh his educational and career goals, to check whether all these sum up to the course’s requirements and how far the applicant is serious about applying to that particular college/university. The letter will also be reviewed to see if the prospective student matches with the teaching faculty.

Although our tips might not guarantee you the precise results, but we can assure that this article on how to write a statement of intent will surely give you a clear picture about this important admission document.


There are likely to be number of ways and letter of intent formats available online or other resources, but let we tell you a secret – all of them carry one single objective, and that is, to prove a student’s abilities and accomplishments are the best to get admission in a specific educational institution.

Most of the statement of intent samples advise the students these following points:

  • Good and compelling Introduction
  • Main purpose or motivation behind applying certain course and college/university
  • To highlight educational qualifications and achievements
  • Share personal qualities and experiences relevant to the course applied for
  • Future plans and professional goals


Now let us get down to elaborate on these points in more detail….

As you may be racking your brains as to how to write a statement of intent always keep in mind that the admission panel will have to sort through a huge number of applications and they wouldn’t have enough time to spend on one particular letter. So make an introduction that catches the reader’s attention at the very first sentence and make them want to read further.

The basic method to write a statement of intent is to convey your interests and idea at the initial stage itself so that the reader will understand your requirements and aspirations. Through your writing, tell what made you to go for that particular graduate course, in a brief and clear manner. Describe how this course will help you to achieve your career and professional goals. And how your educational background, skills and achievements are in sync with the course’s requirements and related to your future objectives. Tell in what areas you are interested to pursue research work as well as your previous ones and academic projects. Do your homework and get information about the departments and specific professor who specialise in your chosen field and mention them in your letter. So that the reader will get to know how far you are serious with the course and college. Do not dwell too much on one single point and sound boring.

Avoid including details or information that is not relevant to your prospective course or any experience that will not help in any way in the admission process. Whatever you achieved so far, should seem to connect with the course you are applying for. If at all you had a change of academic course within your educational journey so far, you have to mention the genuine reason behind the change.

Be honest but don’t overstate. In most cases, the statement of intent format is summarised within one or two pages maximum; within a word count of 400-800. So try to accommodate whatever you want to state in crisp, concise and compelling manner. Don’t share any lies or be over creative. Admission committee will easily find out fake letter from a genuine one and reject your application right away.

Always reflect positive approach in your writing and instead of using passive voice, write in an active voice. Give enough references and examples to prove your competence, instead of just putting like “I am very hardworking and proficient.”

Finally, check the letter to see:

  • If everything – qualification, skills, achievements, research work – is covered
  • If all your interests are conveyed properly
  • If your motivation is matching with what you have written
  • If there is clarity and flow
  • If there are any misinformation, spelling mistakes or grammatical error


It is advisable to get your letter of intent reviewed and proofread by some qualified person. This has to be done only after you have gone through the entire content of the statement yourself. Before submitting the statement of intent finally, it is better to have a feedback – either from your professor or mentor, on whom you can rely on for academic purpose.

On another note, don’t fret out if your application has been rejected. It is not that your qualifications or achievements are not up to the mark the graduation course. Sometimes, it maybe that there wouldn’t be relevant professor or teaching facility to handle your kind of research program that is mentioned in the statement of intent. Or even that, there are teachers but limited number of seats in that particular college/university. It is completely OK! If you are rejected now, reapply to the same course after a gap.

However, we really hope with this tips on how to write a statement of intent you get into your dream graduate program and educational institution at the first go itself. We wish you all the very best and hope this article was very helpful for you.

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