I have written my Statement of Purpose (SOP) for the graduate programs that were Ph.D. or M.Sc.+Ph.D. (the American doctoral programs), but I am also applying for some only M.Sc. programs. They often require a shorter SOP, and even if they don’t explicitly mention a word limit, my presumption is that they find a full 2-page SOP (just below 1200 words) to be too long. I am wondering what are the least important points for an M.Sc. application, so I can cut out those parts from my SOP.

Given the programs I’m applying to, it seems to me that they care a lot about the courses I’ve done, and not only a few important ones, but almost all relevant coursework. I also know that they don’t really expect any research experience, but I thought my research experience is what could make my application stand out in the pool of applicants to those M.Sc. programs (a lot of whom have little to no research experience). There is also a part about my interest in the subject and my long-term plans, where I explain my research interest (since I’m definitely going to do a Ph.D. after my M.Sc. and pursue an academic career). I don’t know how necessary it is, but I think they might care about why I wanna do a master’s degree at all (this is separate from the part where I write about their program in particular). The rest of it is about my educational background and skills.

Which one of these parts do you think is the least important so I can exclude it?

(I list the paragraphs here: )

  1. My interest + view on the subject + long-term goal
  2. Background from college 1
  3. Background from college 2 (I’ve
    transferred from 1 to 2)
  4. Skills and other important points about
    my background
  5. Research experience 1
  6. Research Experience 2
    (I’ve briefly described the project too.. is it necessary to do that
    for Master’s programs?! )
  7. Short-term plans
  8. Why this particular master’s program

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