How to write the concluding paragraph in a graduate school statement of purpose (SOP)

Typically the closing paragraph in a graduate school statement of purpose (SOP) explains why the applicant believes the program they’re applying to is a good fit for their research interests and future goals. I would recommend that you research the program, university, and city for any unique advantages offered. Below is a list of suggestions that you may find and use in your concluding paragraph in your SOP.

  • Specific professors you want to work with
  • Specific courses that are offered every year that dovetail with your research interests
    • E.g., theory-based courses; internships; directed-reading courses
  • Specific program or university strengths in the research topic or method you will specialize in
    • E.g., ethnography; literary analysis; sex work; pop culture
  • Guaranteed research or teaching assistantships
  • Professional development courses
    • e.g., applying to grad school; writing grants, scholarship applications, resumes, and CVs
  • Conferences, colloquiums, or other speaking engagements for students
  • Regular lectures by famous scholars
  • Organizations you would volunteer with or work with

Always remember to explain why you’ve listed these elements in the concluding paragraph of your SOP so the graduate school applications committee better understands your motivations, commitments, and intentions.

Please let me know in the comments if there’s any other interesting features of the programs you’re applying to that you would include in this list!

Photo by Zen Chung on

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