what's up with "rejection due to SOP"?

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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

what's up with "rejection due to SOP"?

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:28 am

With nothing to do other than checking my inbox 10000times/day.. I was just going through some of the early posts here.. I am quoting one of them( there are also many other similar posts)

NOTE:The following quote is just for a reference, the arguments and discussion that follow are not directed in anyway to Julius_Sumner_Miller

Julius_Sumner_Miller wrote:G01 is right, you should feel lucky that you are receiving any response at all. When I first applied to graduate school a few years ago only 2/8 schools actually bothered to send me a response (one acceptance, one rejection). One southern school (which I will not name) I applied to responded to my status inquiry with a very rude email which basically said if my GPA were .5 better I would still have been rejected because of my statement of purpose and letters. This was right after Katrina so I responded to the guy by writing "enjoy next year's hurricane season, pal" :twisted:

rejection due to letters of recommendation is understandable, maybe the recommender didn't write a very positive recommendation, but i fail to understand rejection due to SOP? every applicant tries to write all the +ve aspects of his/her UG research and experiences and awards etc etc. what can go wrong in an SOP that can weaken your application to an extent that you are rejected?

here are some points that came to me mind:
1. weak english? hmm may be, but the above poster is a domestic applicant.
2. belaboring too much on weaknesses.
3. trying to give a lame excuse for poor grades.
4. projecting oneself as too presumptuous.
5. making a technical error while writing about your research experience.

what else can be there.. can anyone shed some light here..

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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:32 pm

Re: what's up with "rejection due to SOP"?

Postby johnpauljones » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:12 pm

My interpretation would be that the research interests you did/didn't mention in your SOP don't mesh well with the research opportunities available at the university.

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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: what's up with "rejection due to SOP"?

Postby geshi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:42 pm

This is a second-hand quote (i.e. I didn't talk to the prof, but I read a post by someone who did talk to the prof), but a prof at MIT said:
"A good SOP won't get you into graduate school, but a bad one will keep you out." I'm assuming they're looking for just a well written SOP then they stop caring once they've made sure it isn't complete garbage. Of course this could have just been an MIT thing. I'll try to find the article I read that said that.

Edit: Found the article. http://pages.physics.cornell.edu/~larri ... chool.html

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