Statement of Purpose (SOP) for MS Courses : What to write in SOP for MS?

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Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 28, 2023 15:03 IST

Every SOP (statement of purpose) is a unique draft that is aimed at detailing your life’s journey so far and also sharing your future goals and aspirations. Like no two individuals can be truly alike, no two SOP can be made in the same manner. Each applicant would have his/her unique characteristics, life stories, and academic achievements. Even if the successes are similar – your graduation score for instance! – The failures would be different. However, the basics of how to write an SOP for a Master’s Program remain the same.

SOP for MS: What to Write?

Here are a few things that you must include in your SOP for a Master’s (MS/ MA/ MSc.) Programs. Here’s a quick look at a few of them:

1. Academic Goals

What applicants often forget to understand is that your academic goals can be different from your professional goals. And in a statement of the purpose intended for Master's (MS) programs, it is essential to also list down your academic goals. Maybe, your only intent is to complete your master's so that you would get better employment, yet, there must be something that you would want to learn during your master’s program. Mentioning them is extremely important and you must make a conscious effort to include the same.

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2. Professional Goals – Short and Long Term

Learning is important, but you must be able to state what you wish to do at a professional level. A statement of purpose needs to be categorically about your purpose in life. The most important question you should aim to answer while writing your SOP is – What is it that I want to do in my life and how. Remember, to answer how it is necessary to divide your goals into short and long-term goals. Please remember – being successful is not a goal. You must be specific and able to mark out the path chosen/ intended.

3. Final Project

Strictly speaking, master’s programs, be it MSc. Or MS requires extensive practical work. As such, the universities are looking to understand your ability to take up the task. You should include the projects you have completed and attempt to explain what you did in the project. Remember, an SOP is not the ideal place to list down all the projects that you have done/ completed. What you need to do is choose the one that suggests in detail the extent of your learning. It is also important to remember what not to include in your SOP as much as what should be there.

Here are a few other things you may choose to include in your SOP for the master's program

  • Social Initiatives you are a part of
  • Extra-curricular and co-scholastic activities
  • Seminars you may have attended/ presented
  • Papers published (if any)
  • Internship/ work experience
  • Financial Background, etc.

It has to be your unique mix of things and how you present them. However, do remember that while you can include almost anything in your SOP, there are some things that you should not include in your SOP,

4. Personal Motivations

Many believe that a person should not include too much about his or her family. We concur with them. However, students perceive that not talking about the family means not getting personal about it. And that is not right. Your personal motivations must be mentioned in the statement of purpose as well. While you have mentioned what you want to do and how you intend to achieve it, it is extremely important to also suggest – why? For instance, say you wish to be an ace scientist in the field of biotechnology and are inspired to invent Nanobots that can cure cancer. What they want to know is why? What inspires you to walk that road? Is it some personal tragedy? Or your personal desire to bring harmony to society or simply because the subject fascinates you beyond anything else! Whatever your personal reasons/ motivations are, you should mention them in your SOP. Also, read what you should include about your Personal Life in your SOP.

5. Specific Reasons for Choosing a University

Students applying abroad, often apply to more than 4 universities to increase their chances. As such, they try to summarize the last paragraph generically manner, explaining why they are intent on the course but leaving out the university-specific information. It could be a certain faculty, a research program, or even the university’s proximity to your corporate of choice. It could also be the city that the university is located in. whatever the reason, it is important to showcase what all reasons lead you to choose the university that you chose to apply to.

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SOP for MS Format

Now that you are aware of what points need to be included in an SOP for MS, it is important for you to understand the format of a Statement of Purpose for MS. Students must note that the structure and specific requirements for an SOP for MS might vary as per the university and course requirements; however, the following points provide an overview of the format of an SOP for MS:

  • Introduction: Start the SOP with a brief statement about yourself, your training, and why you want to get a master's degree in the discipline.
  • Academic Background: Describe your academic history in general terms, mentioning any degrees, certifications, or diplomas you may have obtained as well as any pertinent courses.
  • Professional Background: Include a section on your professional experience and how it connects to the programme you are applying for, if appropriate.
  • Career Goals: Describe your future ambitions, including any particular research interests or projects you want to pursue, and how the programme will help you accomplish them.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main ideas discussed in the SOP in a few sentences and express your excitement for the initiative.

Tip: Whatever events you mention in your SOP should be connected in a logical order. There must be a flow from one idea/event to the other.

Now that you are aware of what to include in your SOP for MS, you must make sure to draft it carefully. For help with university applications, students seeking to study abroad can contact our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors. The comments section below allows candidates to contact us as well.

Related Links:

SOP: All You Need to Know How to Write a Winning SOP
What not to include in your SOP SOP Guidelines


Q. Is an SOP important for an MS degree application?

A. Yes, a statement of purpose (SOP) is a crucial part of the MS degree application process. It is a written statement that describes your educational background, professional experience, aspirations for the future, and reasons for applying to the programme. You have the chance to highlight your special traits and persuade the admissions panel that you are the perfect fit for the course by submitting an SOP. Also, it might reveal information about your areas of interest in the study and your goals for the discipline. In conclusion, an SOP is an important part of your application, and it is advised that you take the time to carefully compose a powerful and captivating essay that satisfies all the criteria and standards established by the university or programme.

Q. What are some tips to improve an SOP for MS?

A. The following are crucial pointers for crafting a compelling statement of purpose (SOP) for a Master's programme:
  • Read the directions carefully: Make sure you thoroughly read and comprehend the institution's instructions and prompts.
  • Think back on your objectives and experiences: Consider how your academic and professional experiences have influenced your decision to seek a master's degree. Furthermore think about your long-term objectives and how the programme will assist you in achieving them.
  • Be unique and distinctive: Your SOP needs to be special and tailored to you.
  • Declare in a direct and succinct manner: Your SOP needs to be precise, clear, and direct. Your SOP should be simple to read and comprehend.
  • Edit and proofread carefully.

Q. Can I copy someone else’s SOP?

A. A statement of purpose (SOP) is not something you should copy verbatim from another source. Plagiarism is not permitted and may have a negative impact on your application. In order to represent your individual experiences, objectives, and reasons for pursuing the Master's degree, your SOP should be distinctive and customised. While reading great SOP examples might serve as inspiration and direction, it is crucial to develop your own statement in your own terms. Take the time to properly construct a powerful and appealing SOP that showcases your special skills and abilities. Be sure to read and adhere to the programme's or institution's guidelines.

Q. How do I write an introduction and a conclusion in an SOP for MS?

A. A strong opening sentence that grabs the reader's attention and demonstrates your motivation for pursuing a master's degree is the first step in writing a strong introduction for your statement of purpose (SOP). Describe your academic and professional background and how it influenced your decision to apply for the programme. Write a powerful conclusion for your SOP by summarising the main ideas discussed throughout the essay, such as your educational background, professional experience, and long-term objectives. Highlight your passion and enthusiasm for pursuing the Master's programme, as well as how it will help you reach your objectives. Finish with a powerful ending statement that leaves the reader with a positive impression. Keep fresh information out of the conclusion.

Q. What is the word limit for an SOP for MS?

A. Depending on the institution or programme, a statement of purpose's (SOP) suggested word count might change. While others may only offer a range of words or none at all, some may have strict word limits. Generally speaking, an SOP should not exceed 1200 words, while some institutions may advise keeping it at 500 words. It is crucial to adhere to any word count restrictions set by the programme or institution because going above them might reveal a lack of attention to detail. If there is no set word count, it is normally advised to write a focused, brief essay that expresses your academic and professional experience, research interests, and objectives.

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About the Author
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant has scored 700 on the GMAT and likes to write articles and blogs in his free time. He has considerable experience in the study abroad domain, especially in MBA admissions and wants to provide authentic guidan... Read Full Bio



6 years ago

Can you provide few sop far ms in machanical engg

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