How to convey my situation in SOP?

User avatar
satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby satyad18 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:28 am

Situation: "I completed my under graduation in Electrical engineering. Whereas, I wanted to pursue my under grad degree in physics. It was due to family pressure (saying that B.Sc physics in India has no scope and even if I do M.Sc, it would take me 5 years in total to complete my degree, which is only 4 years in engineering), that I ended up with electrical engineering!"

How to convey this thing in my SOP.?

Here is what I've written in my present SOP: "Due to some situational constraints, I couldn’t pursue my under graduation degree in physics. Instead, I ended up selecting Electrical Engineering from....blah..blah."

Is this 'situational' thing alright? Or should explain it in more detail? In what ways could the admissions committee interpret this?

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby grae313 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:18 pm

If the physics degree offered in India has significant and real disadvantages to the engineering degrees I think that's worth explaining. Family pressure is worth explaining. People are still young when entering college, and not everyone makes the right decisions all the time. It could make for a good story of how you learned what you were truly passionate about and never to compromise for it again or something sappy like that.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:58 pm

Don't forget to cry a little on your SOP, so they can REALLY see how passionate you are.

-Riley

User avatar
satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby satyad18 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:58 pm

grae313 wrote:If the physics degree offered in India has significant and real disadvantages to the engineering degrees I think that's worth explaining. Family pressure is worth explaining. People are still young when entering college, and not everyone makes the right decisions all the time. It could make for a good story of how you learned what you were truly passionate about and never to compromise for it again or something sappy like that.


WhoaNonstop wrote:Don't forget to cry a little on your SOP, so they can REALLY see how passionate you are.

-Riley


Its true that I learned my lesson! But this sentimental thing, doesn't it give a bad impression on the admissions committee?

User avatar
satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby satyad18 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:45 am

grae313 wrote:If the physics degree offered in India has significant and real disadvantages to the engineering degrees I think that's worth explaining. Family pressure is worth explaining. People are still young when entering college, and not everyone makes the right decisions all the time. It could make for a good story of how you learned what you were truly passionate about and never to compromise for it again or something sappy like that.

Should I really write those things or should I just leave that point entirely and instead explain how I got interested in physics?

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby grae313 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:52 am

I've heard from many professors that they basically skip those "I became interested in physics at a young age..." paragraphs. They don't want a bio, they want to read about your research experience and qualifications for being a grad student. They also want to hear explanations for anything unusual in your application. If it were me, I wouldn't spend a lot of time writing about it, but I'd definitely mention very briefly that although I had great interest in physics, I got my degree is engineering because of this and that valid reason etc etc.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:26 am

satyad18 wrote:
grae313 wrote:If the physics degree offered in India has significant and real disadvantages to the engineering degrees I think that's worth explaining. Family pressure is worth explaining. People are still young when entering college, and not everyone makes the right decisions all the time. It could make for a good story of how you learned what you were truly passionate about and never to compromise for it again or something sappy like that.

Should I really write those things or should I just leave that point entirely and instead explain how I got interested in physics?


I would recommend avoiding this at all costs. We are all more or less identical in regards to how we feel about physics and how we came to it. We all thought Relativity/QM/String theory was so neat and had to learn more, we all wanted to be the next Albert Einstein and hoped we could revolutionize the way we understand the universe, we all got weak in the knees when Carl Sagan said "billions and billions", etc. As grae said, your primary focus needs to be on telling them why you will do great in a research setting.

User avatar
satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: How to convey my situation in SOP?

Postby satyad18 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:58 pm

grae313 wrote:I've heard from many professors that they basically skip those "I became interested in physics at a young age..." paragraphs. They don't want a bio, they want to read about your research experience and qualifications for being a grad student. They also want to hear explanations for anything unusual in your application. If it were me, I wouldn't spend a lot of time writing about it, but I'd definitely mention very briefly that although I had great interest in physics, I got my degree is engineering because of this and that valid reason etc etc.

HappyQuark wrote:I would recommend avoiding this at all costs. We are all more or less identical in regards to how we feel about physics and how we came to it. We all thought Relativity/QM/String theory was so neat and had to learn more, we all wanted to be the next Albert Einstein and hoped we could revolutionize the way we understand the universe, we all got weak in the knees when Carl Sagan said "billions and billions", etc. As grae said, your primary focus needs to be on telling them why you will do great in a research setting.

Thanks guys. Really appreciate! :)




Return to “Statement of Purpose and Resume”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests