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2/9/2019 How do I write an effective SOP for master program in computer science?

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Joseph Nithin Thirumalareddy, Analyst at Genpact
Answered Nov 20, 2017 How do I write a Statement Of Purpose for
graduate school?
How do I write an effective SOP for Master's ?
How do I make my statement of purpose (SOP)
There are several ways to write a strong SOP for MS in Computer Science. But impressive enough to get into grad school for
computer science in Stanford?
writing an effective one to get enrolment in one of the top colleges and schools
are given below: What was your Statement of Purpose (SOP) for
entering into a PhD program?

Keep focus on MS Specialization How do I write a perfect graduate SOP?

The most important subject to remember is to keep MS specialization in your What are the points to be covered in a statement
of purpose for applying for graduate school?
mind before you start writing your SOP(Statement of Purpose) . It is better to
highlight your specialization in MS in the first part of the SOP. The main cause is What should be the flow of thoughts in a
statement of purpose (SOP) for graduate
that it brings to the limelight the specialization you want to pursue in MS. It admissions?
points to the purpose of your ambition to get enrolment in a specific course to
How do I write an SOP for masters in electrical
have a successful career. For example, you want to pursue MS in Computer and computer engineering?
Science. If so, your SOP must reflect the reasons for deciding on why you want to
What does it take to be admitted to a top US
take up MS. school (MIT, CMU, Berkeley or Stanford) for a CS
Master's? CGPA of around 3, with considerable
MS in Computer Science re...

How do I write an effective Statement of Purpose


The SOP must go like this. During my schooling, I was always was drawn (SOP) for a masters in Mechanical Engineering?
towards the subject of applied sciences and computer programming. I was
How can I write a successful SOP for a PhD in
amazed at the amount of task a computer could perform. The speed, memory, computer science?
and ability of multi-tasking. Moreover, the high-end versions of computers
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brought a revolution in the life of human being.
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To quote Late Steve Jobs, “The computer is the most remarkable tool that we
have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds”. Question Stats
Therefore, on every occasion, I went to the library I studied books on computer
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programming, including the sources that explained the core details and
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operations of a computer. The infinite ways it performs to do things that a Last Asked Jun 20, 2018
human mind can explore with it. 3 Merged Questions

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Thereafter, you need to reflect on the core reason for doing MS in Computer
Science. You need to begin explaining about your interest in the subject of
schooling. Move on to reveal on why computer programming and applied
sciences impressed you most.

Example:

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2/9/2019 How do I write an effective SOP for master program in computer science? - Quora

In my undergraduate
1 studies in __________, I went into the practical part of
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_________ in detail in the classroom, then as a research assistant and my
internship in companies. After summer, I worked in a technology firm in
engineering _______________. I worked on several projects. Here, I was able to get a
broad outlook on the subject.

Create an angle

Write the reasons pointwise. Give a thorough analysis of each point. Pinpoint
the best reason to highlight a point and explain it. It can purely academic or
personal. It may be in reference to a particular interest that made you make a
choice of MS in Computer Science.

Example:

In school, I worked on a project on Physics. I had to use circuit elements to


construct logic gates and latches. The Power of Electrical and Electronics was
really amazing. I was willing to give a major part of my time to understand it in
complete detail.

US, UK and Australia Universities

The universities in US, UK and Australia, including other nations in Europe, do


sometimes ask for working experience to doing your graduation there. It could
be in the form of internship or work experience. Your learning experience must
be addressed in the SOP. Give in points how they were an influence on the
critical reasoning skills and what was learned in pursuing them for fulfilling
your life ambitions . A highlight of your performance and appreciation can be
mentioned as well.

Example:

I understood the necessity of the industry to employ me, which motivated me to


accept the chance after graduation. My role as a Software Engineer at
_______________ ( industry name ) was a very good opportunity to get training. I
got a good amount of experience in information management.

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What to include in a SOP? Here is an ideal checklist of a Good SOP:

Introduction

What do you want to do (study or research?)

Why this program?

Why this university?

Why did you choose to study in this particular country? What do you
like about it?

How much and what kind of experience you have in your field?

Specific classes, special courses or projects you have taken, that are
related to your field of interest.

Any community service or leadership experience while in college.

Why should you get admitted to this program?

What values will you bring to the institute and to your peers?

What do you understand about the student community and college


culture? Why do you think you will fit in?

What are your career goals?

How will this program help you to achieve your career goals?

Your extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests

What is that one unique aspect/characteristic about you that the


admission officers should know? Why does it matter to the admission
officers and/or to the fellow students of your class?

Conclusion

How to write a good SOP for MS?

Self-Reflect

You need to start with introspection and recapitulating all the important events
in your life that have influenced your thoughts, personality, and actions. You
need to spend a lot of time looking inwards (well I am not suggesting meditation
of Yoga though). For the majority of the MS applicants (without any work
experience), there’s hardly anything outside the academic world. So, it would be
best to talk about motivations, aspirations, interests, vision, values, mottos,
career goals, hobbies, strengths, weaknesses, and even failures.

Tell the Purpose after thorough Research

When you are applying to a university, you are aiming for an academic upgrade
in a specific domain. Then, it’s not only a foreign degree, there is a bigger
purpose – getting a job (unless you plan to attend a foreign university just for
traveling foreign locations). You need to tell clearly about your expectations
from your intended program and the university. Have a look at this example
below.

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Source: MBA Crystal Ball

The candidate has spoken his/her heart out. But, this is actually quite vague.
Harvard University cannot change your life when the candidate is blaming the
destiny. Here comes the research part. You need to research about the
university, the department, the curriculum, the professors, the university
culture and the current students and alumni. Now, take a look at this one below.

Source: MBA Crystal Ball

Might not be perfect, but this candidate is talking about specifics, and it’s more
credible. The candidate has tried to connect the dots – the life events that
influenced his/her thoughts and actions. It shows that the applicant has done
research about the university and the faculty members.

Demonstrate Passion and Potential

Don’t just tell, you need to demonstrate your passion. You can excel in a field,
only if you have a passion for it. The reader must know that you are genuinely
passionate about the particular field. So, it is critical to express in an interesting
and convincing manner.

Your potential is your ability to excel in something. You should discuss the
relevance of your recent activities and achievements, and summarize your
undergraduate career. You need to demonstrate your potential to pursue the
intended program and complete it successfully. You need to talk about
accomplishments in the academic and co-curricular activities. It needs to show
that you are well-prepared for the program.

Add Some Uniqueness to make it Personal

The SOP is rightly called a Personal Statement as you need to give an indication
what type of a person you are and express your suitability for the particular
program. Don’t shy of adding some failures, if applicable. The admission
committee will accept or reject your application on the basis of your GPA, test
scores, recommendation letters etc. Usually, MS admission process do...(more)

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Dipankar Trehan, Overseas Education Specialist at MINDLER


Answered Jul 30, 2016

Originally Answered: How do I write a SOP (computer Science graduate)?

First up you need to understand that your Statement of Purpose is perhaps the
most critical element of your application, and the entire admissions process, for
it is the MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPRESSION of you as an individual.

All other elements set aside, your SOP has the power to make or break your
application.

Your Statement of Purpose assumes an even greater role, because unlike in MBA
Programs, it is the only way to tell your story to the admissions committee.
(MBA programs put a lot of importance on personal interviews).

Though a lot depends on the program, college & country where you’re applying
to, but here are a few pointers that should form the crux of a ‘good’ SOP. These
are questions that a SOP generally tends to ask.

1. What program you wish to study at the graduate school?

2. Why you want to study only this degree?

3. Why do you want to study at this particular college/ university? How do


you connect with our beliefs and ideology?

4. How much and what kind of experience you have in your field? Is your
experience ‘relevant’? (related to your choice of degree).

5. If you are already experienced, what additional skills do you intend to


gain from the degree?

6. What you plan to do with your degree after graduation? Would you
choose to work or take up research?

7. What are your expectations from both the graduate program, and the
university?

8. Would you like to study or do research under any particular professor?


If yes, why only them?

9. How can you contribute to our university and our program? What
specific skills do you bring to the table?

10. Apart from work and education, what are your hobbies, interests, and
habits? What are you like, as a person?

11. What do you understand about our student community and culture?
Why do you think you will fit in?

12. What is that one unique aspect/characteristic about you that we should
know? Why does it matter to us or to the fellow students of your class?

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13. What are your accomplishments


1 in life? Why should we choose you over
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another individual?

The above mentioned questions pan the length & breadth of your ‘core’ and thus
are able to provide best representation of yourself, thus making for a standout
SOP.

There are many approaches to writing a SOP, but the best that works is
individualistic. I believe its the personal style of writing that has the ability to
make sure that admissions committee remember your story, even after reading
several thousand applications. However, you still may find the following tips
useful.

1. Novel v/s Newspaper -Ever wondered what makes one stay up all night
and keep reading a good book? It’s the connect that one develops (with
the plot/character/author) while reading. Can one do the same with a
newspaper? Your SOP should be interesting to read, that’s one objective
you should always keep in mind. Maybe write a story and not just some
statements.

2. Include Specifics - Details could make all the difference! Always make
it a point to include specifics of your experience and education. What
you did, how you did it, what was the end result. If you managed a
team, how big was it and so on. ‘I lead a team to National Competition…’
and ‘I led my 40 members strong team to the National Competition,
where we presented our act, an adaptation of “Ramayana”, and
secured first position from 18 participating teams” Which sounds
better?

3. Be YOU - Think really hard about each of the pointers, I mentioned.


Craft separate answers for them, and really introspect. Though you can
always take reference from others’ SOP’s, remember each individual is
different, with entirely different cultures, methodologies, visions,
values, mottos, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

4. Super Formal v/s Super Friendly - What should be the tone of your
SOP? Should it be super formal or should it be frank? Truth is your
tonality of writing gives an admission committee member, a lot of
insight into your attitude, personality & value system. Are you practical
or emotional - and sort questions get answered immediately. What you
would want to do here is not give that answer upfront, and make sure
that the person evaluating your SOP, should at least completely read it.
The best way to do that is fuse both the approaches - Be formal yet
conversational. Another way to do maintain the interest of the reader is
using Indirect Writing, instead of using a more head on kind of
approach.

5. Address your issues - Understanding the reasons that led to


something, accepting it gracefully and striving hard to get better, are all
the signs of maturity, and top programs hunt for mature people. For
something as basic as failing an exam, a mature person will always
realize where (s)he is at fault. More than the ‘situation’ itself, ad com’s
are interested in the experience of it - how you overcame it and what
did you learn from the entire experience.

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6. Do your Due Diligence
Home - Before youSpaces
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your SOP(s), make
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sure you really understand the program and the college you’re applying
to. Speak to an alum or research on web and find out what makes the
college & the program, unique to you. The members of the ad-com
know how great their program is, do not reinstate that. What you need
to tell them is what makes it truly unique to you, what it means to you
and how you intend to customize the programs offerings. Is there any
professor that inspires you - If so what has their career progression been
like, what is it that impresses you the most, etc, such specific details, do
matter. If you’re planning to apply to multiple universities, try and
write a different SOP altogether that projects you as sharing the
ideology of the school you’re applying to.

7. Read & Re-Read & Re-Re-Read - Remember your first draft of the SOP
is never the final one. It is a mere framework of what you’re gonna write.
Do not keep your SOP to yourself, in fact do the opposite. Share it with
people you think know you best. They could be your professors, friends,
colleagues, and mentors etc. who will give you great feedback and help
improve your SOP. Having said that DO NOT put it on Facebook, and
ask for comments: P. Feedback is credible, as long as it comes from
people who know you and their craft.

Statement of Purpose is an exceptionally critical element of your graduate


admission application for colleges abroad, do not leave it at the last minute.

Hope this helps. If there are any more queries that I can answer, please write to
me athello@mindler.com . You can also find your best fit career match and
plan your international education journey at Revolutionizing Career
Assessment, Planning and Guidance
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