Cs Phd Application Essay

Statement of Purpose Examples from Ph.D. Program Applications

November 2017 (perspective of an assistant professor)

Here are the statements of purpose written by myself and some of my students for our Ph.D. program applications. These are mostly for computer science and HCI (human-computer interaction) Ph.D. apps, but the structure generalizes to other fields as well.

For the rationale behind how these statements are organized, read A Five-Minute Guide to Ph.D. Program Applications.

  • My statement of purpose and one page of additional info for Stanford computer science Ph.D. (applied in 2005)
  • Xiong Zhang became my Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester (applied in 2014)
  • Mitchell Gordon was my undergrad student and went to Stanford computer science Ph.D. (2015)
  • Jeremy Warner was my undergrad/masters student and went to UC Berkeley computer science Ph.D. (2015)
  • Ian Drosos became my Ph.D. student at UC San Diego (2016)
  • Sean Kross became my Ph.D. student at UC San Diego (2016)
Related pages tagged as grad school applications:

First, I would recommend reading some of the requirements from schools you intend on applying to. Most schools have very similar requirements, but it may be worth looking at the schools that you are most interested in attending before you get started (page requirements, etc. can deviate from school to school).

Since you are applying to PhD programs you will want to be addressing the questions of "What makes you an individual well suited to research in computer science?" and "Why should institution X accept you?"-- this will involve talking about your past achievements, what made you want to pursue a PhD in computer science, what type of research you want to do, etc.

As far as definitive strategy goes, there are numerous routes you can go (I will leave a couple of links at the end of this post). One that I would recommend is to write the majority of the statement such that it can be sent to any institution (i.e., is not institution specific). Set it up (as far as continuity goes) so that your last paragraph is why you want to attend institution X. This way you will only need to re-write the last paragraph for each application you send out.

Here are some helpful links I found:

Sample Statement for MIT

A post on SoP w/ Example

An article with some examples

Hope that helps!

answered May 1 '16 at 4:33

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