This sample SOP was used by a non-native English speaker to apply to a master’s program in Child and Developmental Psychology in the USA
The modern world differs greatly from the world in which humans evolved, and children therefore naturally face many difficulties in adapting and learning to cope with this reality. I am eager to pursue a career in child and developmental psychology in order to help children with behavioral and developmental problems, as I believe that I can have a great influence on society through such a role. In order to prepare for this career, I have decided to continue my studies in the USA, where the academic programs in psychology are much more advanced in comparison with my native country. Therefore, I am applying to your post-graduate program for the full-time taught course in September 2018.
In the university, I built a broad foundation of essential psychology-related knowledge in courses such as General Psychology, Psychology and Education, Practices in Guidance, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Psychology of Gender Roles. In my sophomore year, when taking the course Childhood Psychology, I realized that I had found the area of my true passion. I learned how relatively young the field of child development is, and I came to understand how complex child development truly is. In truth, children’s development can be shaped by genetics, parenting, personal experiences, friends, family relationships and school, and any approach to child development must take all of these factors into account.
My own education was supplemented by extensive involvement in extracurricular activities, which I view as a very important component to the learning experience. I joined the Piano Club and Dance Club, where I met many classmates from different departments. After school, I took up a number of home tutoring positions teaching children ranging from kindergarten to primary school age. Each of these cases was a unique and important learning experience. Those children often could not receive sufficient love or attention from their family, and it caused them mental disorders, personality problems or deviant behavior. I tried to accompany them through these difficulties, yet I quickly found that I lacked the professional knowledge necessary to do so, which is one of the factors inspiring me to study abroad.
After graduating, I decided to go to the UK for six months and visit my sister, who was on a work holiday there to improve her English. Living overseas broadened my vision and gave me a chance to consider my long-term goals and how I would achieve them. After returning home, I immediately began working in a combination coffee shop and bookstore, where we not only served adults but also offered special meals, toys and books for children. I learned to deal with different types of people, yet I also saw firsthand how the stress people experienced in their daily lives resulting in them behaving negatively toward the children around them. In this way, this job has given me a new perspective about the challenges of child development in my home country.
Now, having matured into a competent and confident adult with not only extensive academic experience related to child development but also considerable work and extracurricular experience, I believe that I am in an ideal position to begin post-graduate studies. I have been studying English in preparation for going abroad, and after reviewing your curriculum online, I firmly believe your master’s program is ideal for expanding my knowledge of development and counseling while improving my research skills. After completion of my studies, I hope to get an internship in the USA to gain practical experience. Then, I will return home, working to obtain my psychologist license and eventually pursuing my ultimate goal of becoming a youth psychologist. By devoting my career to this area, I hope to bring a fresh perspective to psychological approaches to child development in my country, and I will be able to apply what I learn not only in my career but also when raising my own children in the future.