The Application Essay: Personal Statement
The "personal statement" is very open: there are no set rules for its content. Applicants should try to convey an impression of who they are and why they will make good health care professionals. A wide range of topics-- including background information, descriptions of experiences or important personal choices, and reflections on life-- may be addressed in the essay. Ideally, applicants should reveal qualities demonstrative of their intelligence, compassion, good judgment, energy, leadership, communicative ability, self-awareness, commitment, motivation and integrity. Applicants are encouraged to let the reader figure out why they should be accepted into a health professional school; they should avoid writing essays indicative of a "hard sell." It is a good idea to ask an objective person such as an advisor, teacher, or dean as well as a parent, close friend, or significant other to read the essay and make suggestions.
Applicants should plan to attend the personal statement workshop given in the spring semester by the Office of Preprofessional Advising. Current students may also consult with the Undergraduate Writing Program for one-on-one assistance with their personal statement.