SOP Maryland: 2 parts

grenupet
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:11 pm

SOP Maryland: 2 parts

Postby grenupet » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:31 pm

The SOP instruction for the University of Maryland say

Write a brief (1000 ‐2000 word) statement addressing the following two questions:
  • What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland, College Park? Indicate, if appropriate any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field or allied fields, your plans for a professional career, or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject.
  • What life experiences have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large and diverse institution such as the University of Maryland? Among the items you might care to include would be your financial, community and family background, or whether you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education or any other factors that you believe would contribute to the diversity of our academic community. You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to purse your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and/or your capacity for working through problems independently
.


Does anyone know if that is supposed to be in one file or can I split it into two?

How bad will it be if I only answer the first (more traditional) question? I don't really know what to say for the second point.

TakeruK
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: SOP Maryland: 2 parts

Postby TakeruK » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:26 pm

It says write "a ... addressing the following two questions", so I would think you should write one essay. However, this is quite long (1000-2000 words). When schools ask for 2 separate files, the typical length is around 1-2 pages each (500-1000 words). So, this school is asking for the same amount of text as all the other schools, however, they want it all in one file.

I would answer this by dividing my statement into 2 sections, so it's like two mini-essays with subheadings that indicate which question I was answering, but that would be my choice, not necessarily the only way to do it.

Ignoring the second question is a very bad idea. I can't advise you on what to write because I don't know you. But if you happen to be the dominant demographic in your field, and have had a lot of advantages and privileges, you might choose to write about any work you may have done to help increase the diversity of our academic community.

grenupet
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:11 pm

Re: SOP Maryland: 2 parts

Postby grenupet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:21 pm

TakeruK wrote:It says write "a ... addressing the following two questions", so I would think you should write one essay. However, this is quite long (1000-2000 words). When schools ask for 2 separate files, the typical length is around 1-2 pages each (500-1000 words). So, this school is asking for the same amount of text as all the other schools, however, they want it all in one file.

I would answer this by dividing my statement into 2 sections, so it's like two mini-essays with subheadings that indicate which question I was answering, but that would be my choice, not necessarily the only way to do it.

Ignoring the second question is a very bad idea. I can't advise you on what to write because I don't know you. But if you happen to be the dominant demographic in your field, and have had a lot of advantages and privileges, you might choose to write about any work you may have done to help increase the diversity of our academic community.


Hi TakeruK, thanks for you reply.
While I do not fall into the standard minority categories, I am an international applicant and I moved away from my birth country when I was roughly 13.
Do you think I should focus on this for the second question?




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