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Guidelines for your Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be an essay, clearly and concisely written, articulating your educational and professional goals. Include your background and past experiences that relate to the program of application. The Admissions Committee is looking for evidence of commitment, motivation and compatibility with the goals of the professional program. The personal statement should be typed with 500 words or less.

PERSONAL STATEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT

The Admissions Committee may make an admission decision without ever meeting the candidate. The personal statement can add a dimension that cannot be obtained from transcripts or letters of recommendation. Well-written personal statements can help to fill in gaps that are not explained by information requested on the application forms and can have a strong impact on your application.

A SAMPLE OUTLINE

The following is a suggested outline for your personal statement. Endeavor to include all the pertinent information but be as brief and concise as possible—remember there is a 500-word limit. Reflect carefully on what you want to say before you begin. It is important that your statement indicates to the Admissions Committee compatibility with the professional goals of the program.

INTRODUCTION

Introduce yourself; give the Admissions Committee a sense of you as an individual and the talents you possess. Include in this section the basic reasons for your application to the program.

BODY OF STATEMENT: Qualifications and Background

This section should constitute the body of your personal statement.

  • Address your previous course work in general and how you think it relates to the professional program.
  • Discuss experiences in related fields and the impact they have had on you.
  • Include any specific experiences that demonstrate motivation for pursuing a career in allied health and the relevant experiences such as jobs or community service.
  • Discuss your background only as it relates to the program of application.
  • Highlight your abilities to develop ideas, your initiative and your capacity to work through complex ideas.

CLOSING PARAGRAPH

The Admissions Committee should be left with a strong impression that you are qualified and will be successful. It is important in this paragraph to provide summary comments on what has previously been mentioned in your personal statement.

You do not have to follow the above outline, but your statement should include the kinds of information that will help the Admissions Committee reach a decision.

FINAL TIPS

How carefully the personal statement is written will determine how effective it will be. Admissions Committee members will not be impressed by an unorganized presentation in which background material and ideas appear random. Carefully proofread the personal statement for grammatical errors, typographic errors and misspelled words. A separate personal statement should be submitted for each program you seek admission to. Admissions Committee members will not be impressed with a personal statement that eloquently describes your desire to be admitted to another program.

Although you are trying to make a good impression in your application personal statement, try to avoid creating an image of a person that does not exist. The Admissions Committee is impressed by such characteristics as enthusiasm, intelligence, talent, leadership, maturity, creativity and perseverance. Do not try too hard to impress; no one expects perfection.

Admission committee members are interested in the person and the potential the person presents for the program. Admission committee members look for evidence that you can evaluate ideas and interests clearly and with confidence. Make your personal statement your own; do not just write what you perceive the committee wants to read. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your creativity, thoughtfulness and to distinguish your individuality.

References to Aid You in Preparing Your Personal Statement

  • The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 13th ed., (1982). Powell, E. & Angione, H. (1990).
  • The Associated Press Stylebook. New York: Dell. Ross-Larson, Bruce. (1982).
  • Edit Yourself: A Manual For Everyone Who Works With Words. New York: Norton.
  • Strunk, William & White, E.B. (1979). The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan, 3rd ed.
  • Zinsser, William. (1990). On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction. New York: Harper and Row, 4th ed.

Department of Allied Health Sciences
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
358 Mansfield Road, Unit 1101
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-1101
Telephone: (860) 486-2834
Fax: (860) 486-5375