As more and more people need a graduate education in psychology to achieve their career goals, competition has increased dramatically. Dedication to the practice of psychology and research experience, whether field, clinical or in the lab have become prerequisites and are no longer sufficient to distinguish one applicant from another. This makes it all the more difficult to craft a personal statement psychology that will set you apart from the crowd. Moreover, it means that psychology personal statements can trump other aspects of your application. Someone who is less qualified than you, but submits a psychology personal statement that is passionate and persuasive, can be the one who receives the acceptance letter.
But this also means that you have the ability to create a personal statement that reflects not only your ability to handle the demanding coursework and research schedule, but shows the admissions committee that you have the potential to enhance the quality of the program experience for your entire cohort. By selecting you, the school is putting part of their program’s reputation on the line. What the program produces, in terms of research as well as the accomplishments of its students during the course of the program, will determine how that program is viewed not only within the larger university but also among other psychology programs across the nation. Make your psychology personal statement work for you by reflecting an understanding of this within your essay.
Your psychology personal statement lies well within your locus of control. You get to decide the tone, content, and overall effectiveness of your personal statement psychology. If you have a long list of accomplishments, you get to help the admissions committee understand which ones most signify your ability to do well in their program. If you have below average test scores, you get to show why other aspects of your experience more than make up for that.
Most of all, psychology personal statements are your opportunity to show that you are a perfect match for that school’s program. Each school has unique characteristics that appeal to you as an individual. Don’t be shy and name names. Tell the admissions committee which classes you look forward to taking. Provide names of professors whose research interests you or whose research aligns with your own. Finally, state that the program attracts the type of students such that you will both be able to contribute to and grow from their backgrounds and experiences.
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