Learn today, plan for tomorrow.
Sign up for news and offers from Planetizen Courses, the online learning platform for planners.
A few years ago I blogged about the statement of purpose in planning. I made five suggestions that are still relevant:
Over the past few years I’ve noticed statements improving in some ways. However, they also may be suffering from the explosion of advice on the internet, much of it presumably focused on the large group of people trying to enter undergraduate programs. Many schools require two statements of these undergraduate applicants—one about the applicant as a person (perhaps a general topic, maybe focused on a theme such as learning from mistakes) and one about the applicant's interest in a major (often linking it to life experiences and written in a novelistic or journalistic style). Such statements frequently start with anecdotes—even directly quoted conversations. I’ve been a reader of such statements and the format is well honed.
However, the graduate school statement of purpose is different in some fundamental ways:
After five and a half years of doing monthly blogs, I am now changing to one blog every 2 months.
For earlier advice on Getting into graduate school in planning see: how to decide if planning is for you, whether to get work experience before you go to grad school, find the right program, understand the basic philosophiesunderlying graduate education in planning, evaluate universities, use social media to find out about schools, apply, write a statement of purpose, obtain letters of reference, assess your undergraduate transcripts and your GREs, visit successfully, and decide which offer to take up including how to assess the real costs.