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Academic Statement of Purpose (SOP)

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The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about an applicant's academic and research background, career goals, and how this graduate program with help meet career and educational objectives. The length of the SOP should be 1-3 pages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What should I include in the Statement of Purpose (SOP)?

A: The Academic Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about an applicant's academic and research background, career goals, and how this graduate program will help meet career and educational objectives.

Q: How long should the Statement of Purpose be?

A: The SOP document should only be 1-3 pages.

Q: Can I combine the Statement of Purpose with the Personal Statement in one document?

A: No. We ask that all applicants submit two separate documents for the Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement. If an applicant submits one document we will contact them to request two separate documents. The Graduate Admission Committee requires two separate documents.

Q: Are there specific guidelines for formatting?

A: No there are no formatting guidelines in regards to font type, font size, etc.

Q: Should I include my name on the Statement of Purpose?

A: Yes. We ask applicants to include their full name and UMID near the top of the document. This allows ME to quickly match this document to the application.

Q: I uploaded my Statement of Purpose with the online application. Should I mail a hard copy in to Mechanical Engineering Department or Rackham Graduate School?

A: ME does not accept hard copies mailed to our office. Rackham Graduate School only accepts the first version uploaded with their online application. Please do not mail any hard copies to ME or Rackham.

Q: Can I submit an edited Statement of Purpose?

A: Yes we will. Applicants will need to submit a PDF version of the revised document to me-grad-application@umich.edu. The edited version must have your full name and University of Michigan Identification Number (UMID). If you do not have a UMID yet, please add your date of birth to the document. We need this information in order to match your new document with your application file.

Please note that once an applicant submits their online application, no changes to the Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, Curriculum Vitae, and Application can be modified online.

Q: I previously applied to a past term and was not admitted to the program. I am submitting a new application to the new term and would like to request that my Statement of Purpose be used for the new application. Is this possible?

A: Yes we can pull the Statement of Purpose from your previous application file. We will need your full name, University of Michigan Identifier Number (UMID), and the term you previously applied to in order to match the new document to your new application. A message can be sent to us at me-grad-application@umich.edu.