Optional Personal History Statement

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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:36 am

Optional Personal History Statement

Post by graddespair » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:11 am

Background: I am not socioeconomically disadvantaged and both of my parents have a college education. I do not belong to any historically underrepresented groups in physics.

I have already written a separate statement of purpose for UW. Would there be any value (could it hurt my application if I don't) to write an optional personal history statement described as:

The University of Washington Graduate School is committed to enhancing the intellectual and social enrichment of the University community and to preparing our graduate students to become leaders, innovators and responsible community, state, and global citizens. The University actively seeks and welcomes students with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

In this section provide a statement describing how experiences within your personal history (family, educational, cultural, and economic background) have influenced your intellectual development, interests, career plans, and goals.

Please note that this is not an academic “Statement of Purpose,” but rather an opportunity to reflect on your intellectual growth and development, both inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Responses should be no more than two pages in length.

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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Re: Optional Personal History Statement

Post by occamsshaver12 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:10 am

I had been thinking about it too and I decided not to write it. I had nothing to add in the personal statement and felt at best it would not effect my application or at worse it will have a negative impact. There was no information I could write that would somehow improve my application.

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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:06 am

Re: Optional Personal History Statement

Post by HubbleBubble » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:06 pm

Agreed. It is an opportunity to say something that could improve your application, e.g. how you learned from or helped your friends/environment/community. But that isn’t super valuable, plus you could just as well accidentally say something that puts off the reader. If this was the very top school with so many applications that a minor difference matters I wouldn’t waste the opportunity. But at most schools it most likely won’t make a difference.

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