Writing your Statement of Purpose is an important task while applying for university admissions especially for graduate studies.
In the previous post, we shared several tips on writing a powerful SOP and its standard format. This post is primarily about Statement of Purpose Examples. we’re gonna share two examples of SOP. They’re based on civil engineering domain but you can tailor it according to your major and intended field of studies.
One most important thing; these examples are just for inspiration and to give you an idea of how an SOP is written. Don’t ever try to copy anything. It’ll do you more wrong than good. Reason being the selection committee members have years of experience to figure out if an SOP has some copy/plagiarized material. Hope that’s obvious to you. Without any further ado, let’s give these examples a read.
Statement of Purpose Example # 1
Since I was young, I have always expressed a propensity for exploration. Be it by the stream behind my house, through books on ancient history, or the geopolitical space portrayed by the globe on my dresser, I always found something to explore and contemplate. While many of these interests have waned over the years, the intellectual curiosity that they fostered has only strengthened. Throughout the past four years of undergraduate studies, I have had the pleasure of exploring the field of civil engineering. While I have greatly enjoyed my explorations thus far, I have not yet finished my journey. Given my intellectual curiosity and my passion for geotechnical engineering, continuing my studies, ultimately towards the goal of a Ph.D., at MIT, is the most sensible route in my academic journey.
While structures, and more specifically those found above ground, have been the main focus of my undergraduate study, my interest in geotechnical engineering has slowly grown from the seeds planted in the summer of my sophomore year, as a field engineering intern at The City Airport. During my time on site, I was captivated by the sheer magnitude and intricacies of the pile driving process, pile cap construction, and the details specified within the foundation plans. Through the two geotechnical engineering courses that I was enrolled in as a junior, I have gained an understanding of how soils are affected by stresses, how water flows through them, the engineering properties of soils, and how to properly test and determine each of them. In addition, through the technical reports that I have completed in my Soils Mechanics Laboratory class, as well as in my Fluid Mechanics Laboratory class, and my Civil Engineering Materials class, I have acquired the skills necessary to critique experimental results, compile data, and efficiently write in a technical manner. These skills, which I have honed over the past few years, make me an excellent candidate for graduate-level research at MIT.
Beyond my technical writing skills, my analytical skills and engineering sense have improved greatly over the past four years. Through many of my junior and senior year engineering courses, I have grown to understand the importance of, and reasoning behind various analysis techniques. For example, through gaining an understanding of the theory and meaning behind the analysis techniques taught in my Structures II course, I have been able to much better understand the significance of settlement in structures, the effects of loading on indeterminate structures, and the importance of understanding these effects. Like many engineering students, I possess mathematical prowess, but the firm conceptual grasp that I have the capacity to acquire differentiates me from other candidates.
This semester, I am currently enrolled in Introduction to Geotechnical Applications, in which I have learned about induced stresses to greater detail, shallow foundations, bearing capacity of soils, as well as deep foundation analysis and design. In addition, working with one of my professors, Dr. M. L., I contributed to research pertaining to earth pressure balance tunnel boring machines, and their effects in soft soils. Our research, which is a continuation of Dr. M. L.’s previous work, focuses on utilizing tunnel boring machine operational parameters and tunnel properties to predict the maximum surface settlement expected. Thus far, I have interpreted and extracted data from scholarly publications, which we have utilized to further train a prediction algorithm. In addition, I have also performed local and global sensitivity analyses on the prediction equations that were output by the algorithm. Currently, a portion of our research has been submitted to and will appear as a paper in the World Tunnel Congress, which will take place in Dubai in April of 2018. Through the research that I have conducted thus far, I have gained a much greater understanding of the academic research process, which despite its occasional frustrations, has proven to be a source of enjoyment that I plan to continue in the years to come.
As for my graduate studies, I hope to continue to build off the engineering knowledge base that I have thus far acquired. I desire to further explore the geotechnical engineering field, through continued study, research, and contemplation of more cutting-edge niches within the field.
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Beyond the next two years, I plan to find a research topic, specifically relating to tunneling, deep excavations, or deep foundations, that is both relevant and personally compelling enough to focus on for a few years more, with the goal of completing a doctoral thesis. In my quite arduous graduate school search, I believe that MIT will provide me the greatest likelihood of discovering a research topic that is both viable and aligned with my interests. More specifically, the research conducted by both Dr. C. D. and Dr. W. H. have piqued my interest. Dr. C. D.’s previous research in tunneling, specifically pertaining to its analysis, design, and risk analysis, along with Dr. W. H.’s research into tunneling performance, and laterally loaded piles in soft clay are all appealing to me and very relevant.
Beyond my studies, in my career, I plan to make a lasting impact on others through the work I conduct. Whether my career ultimately resides fully in academia or partially in industry, I desire to contribute significantly to the projects I will ultimately work on. Be it a semester of teaching at university or the construction of a new airport, I desire to be a positive, knowledgeable, and compelling leader. I wish to position myself such that I will be able to most effectively utilize my talents and passions to bring about a positive change to the world.
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Statement of Purpose Example # 2
Dear Recruitment Committee,
A recent essay by Charles Fairhurst, one of the fathers of rock mechanics, drew my attention. The essay, entitled “Thinking Deeper”, made an extensive review of Earth Resources Engineering and global challenges. Current projections state that Earth’s population is expected to rise at a rapid rate over the next decades, resulting in a population of 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, and nearly 11 billion by the year 2100. Alongside this, the increase in the average standard of living will result in greater consumption of energy and planetary resources. As civil engineers, we should play a leading role in the preparation of our planet for such population growth so that it can be achieved in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
Civil engineering strives daily to improve the conditions under which we live. The construction of roads, railways, ports, dams, and other types of civil infrastructures allow for the structuring and enable territories’ economical and social activity. Besides, it plays a major role in the development of technologies needed for energy production and the mitigation of both human and naturally occurring disasters/phenomena such as earthquakes or environmental degradation connected to soil pollution or minerals extraction, which remain the foundation of national economies. The associated environmental aspects of all these activities are totally integrated within civil engineering projects nowadays. That benefits the ecosystem, but also the human being as a component thereof.
After eight years of studying Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, I would like to pursue a research career in the fields of Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Engineering. My name is John Doe and I intend to undertake doctorate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throughout my studies, I have developed a deep interest in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering with energy applications. I completed my undergraduate studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2016, graduating from the University of The City as the valedictorian of my class. As an undergraduate, I was involved in a research project on the effect of clay’s swelling on foundations at regions with groundwater table oscillations. This work was highly influenced by my experience as an exchange student at the University of the State. There I had the fortune of studying under the supervision of Prof. M. L. whose courses in physics of flow and geotechnical design have greatly contributed to reinforcing and broadening my knowledge in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering.
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Attending the University of the State during my senior year was a pleasure, most rewarding, and highly educational. Not surprisingly, I came back to the United States to do my MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the same institution working under the supervision of Prof. M. L. again. Among the potential topics I was presented with, energy geotechnics strongly caught my attention. Not only because of the relevance of the area but also for the potential contributions that can be made producing significant economic and environmental impacts to our society. Thereby I became interested in geo-energy systems. My current research focuses on CO2 sequestration in rock formations. We are currently conducting laboratory experiments on sandstone samples. Our goal is to investigate the change in the rock’s Hook: a brief review of an essay that draws the candidate’s attention, and relates the statement directly to the research interest from the beginning. Some candidates address their statement as a letter to the committee, although this is not required. properties (permeability, strength, etc.) due to this process. My interests also include numerical modeling of this process to better understand physics and correlate it with experiments. My interdisciplinary studies have provided me with a solid background in both civil engineering and environmental sciences. I have had the opportunity to study many of the fields of civil engineering such as hydraulics and hydrology, structures, coastal and maritime engineering, geotechnics, water resources, and environmental engineering.
I firmly believe that attending your prestigious Doctorate Program would allow me to acquire top-notch knowledge and to work with faculty leaders in their respective fields, which would definitely boost my career in energy geotechnics. For instance, Prof. C. D. is working on flow through fractures in rock formations, which is a key aspect in carbon sequestration. Given my interdisciplinary background and laboratory expertise, I think I would be able to contribute to his work. That expertise on fluid dynamics and rock mechanics that I have would also benefit Prof. C. D.’s work on constitutive modeling. I find very interesting the possibility of applying my previous experience on experimental work on sandstone samples into the research Prof. C. D. is conducting on hydraulic fracturing of granite for geothermal energy applications, and also to get more expertise on numerical models of flow through fractures.
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Joining your department and working jointly with faculty members like Prof. C. D., will contribute to my career goal of becoming an R&D leader in the energy sector. My aim is to get involved in the development of more efficient and cleaner energy systems, taking advantage of resources that are still way underexploited, like geothermal energy. Moreover, I would also like to be part of some of the initiatives that the department holds in this area, like the Clean Energy Hackathon. This is the way how I intend to address the challenges mentioned by Charles Fairhurst at the beginning.
I am aware that admission to your Civil and Environmental Engineering Doctorate Program is competitive, but I am qualified and fully prepared to meet all the challenges that doctorate studies may present.
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Final Thoughts on these Statement of Purpose Examples
We hope these two Statement of Purpose Examples would be helpful for you in your graduate admission process. If so, please consider sharing them with other fellow students.
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