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Mention Health Issues in SOP?

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:29 am
by Photon
Hey guys I was wondering if it's worth mentioning health issues in your SOP? Will that make me look like someone who is unreliable to finish their degree? I cleared them up mostly.

Honestly, i've dealt with different health issues almost half of my undergrad years, which made studying very difficult a lot of times but didn't affect my performance. But the worst happen after finishing my MS in EE, right after my last semester, I had some serious health issues which have just now resolved and during those years I did nothing : no research, no jobs, no applications, no volunteer work, NOTHING but focus on getting better.

Will that be worth mentioning in my application? Im not gonna mention being plagued by health issues during my studies but what worries me is the "long spring break" I took from 2012-2016 after graduating(there was a year gap between finishing all my classes and me applying for graduation because I was too sick to care about it). Will it make a difference if I mention it? I really don't want to but if I have to do it to increase my chances I will.

Any suggestions, any help is appreciated.

Re: Mention Health Issues in SOP?

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:49 am
by TakeruK
I'm a little confused about the gap. You say there was a year between finishing classes and graduating but then you also say there is a gap from 2012-2016 (which is 3-4 years?).

The gap between the end of your classes and graduating with a degree is not a big deal. Some schools only issue degrees once a year so if you finish classes just after the deadline, you have to wait a year to get your degree!

It's also not a big deal that you took time to get yourself healthy after your MS degree.

But if your CV has absolutely nothing between 2012 and 2016, then I think it's worth mentioning in your SOP that you were unwell and took this time to get better and now you are ready and excited for graduate education! You do not have to provide details on your health issues and you do not need to "prove" to the school that you are healthy enough. After all, they are not medical doctors and they are not qualified to judge whether or not you are healthy enough. They just want to know if you are qualified for grad school and that you are motivated/excited to be back in academia.

So, I think just 1 or 2 sentences in your SOP is enough to address the health issues part.

Now that you are mostly better though and now that you are thinking of applying to school, you should try to do something between now and the the application season to get back into the academic groove. This will also show in your SOP as evidence that you are excited and motivated and that you are serious about this degree. It might not be too late to start some research even, but you can also do some self-directed studies, review old courses, etc.

Good luck!

Re: Mention Health Issues in SOP?

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:46 pm
by Photon
yeah i finished all my material by 2012 and could have graduated earlier but i applied much later 2013, and between 2012 and 2016 i did bananas.

i have no research exp either but i have many useful projects in my Masters. so i think you are right i have to mention it, there is a box in the application form where i can mention any other details i should probably mention it there.